Where To Stay & Eat In Maui: The Four Seasons & Monkeypod Kitchen by Merriman
One of my favorite experiences when traveling is arriving late at night to a resort when it’s too dark to see the surroundings, then waking up, throwing back the curtains, and witnessing a world of beauty that you couldn’t have ever imagined the night prior. That is exactly what happened at the Four Seasons Maui at Wailea. I woke up in time to watch as the sun rose behind the hotel, illuminating the lush, green garden in front of us and bouncing off the ocean in the distance.
Picking the right room category here is key: the Ocean View Prime rooms, which we were in, are the best views for the standard rooms at the property (and by standard I mean spacious, elegant rooms with a lovely balcony and expansive bathroom – their standard rooms are far from standard). The absolute best option for ocean views is going to be an Oceanfront Suite. The property is a U-shape, and the ends of that U are where you want to be (see what I did there?).
Mom and I enjoyed the included breakfast at Duo, where we had the best hash browns and omelet that we have ever eaten (and we are hash brown connoisseurs, coming from the land of Waffle House), along with a fresh pineapple and cottage cheese plate that I could have simply lived off of for the rest of my life. Unbelievably fresh, good food that made the first morning in paradise an unforgettable one.
We walked around the property and enjoyed the absolute beauty of the perfectly manicured gardens before I enjoyed a sunrise yoga class. After an 11 hour travel day, stretching my body and mind were a welcomed activity and I was impressed that the Four Seasons offered this, along with a few other classes (like Barre – so, Ellen & Greg need to get here ASAP!! Sad I missed that one), completely complimentary. I think part of being able to relax at a resort is not feeling like your wallet is thinning around every turn – nickeling and dime-ing for certain elements, like wifi and fitness classes, is the quickest way to create extra tension for guests, so I commend the Four Seasons Maui for recognizing that.
Next I did a quick site inspection of the property, where I toured the adults-only pool (unbelievable views!) and saw an Executive Suite. For the record, the Four Seasons calls these their “Smaller Suites” and likens them to Jr. Suites – these are NOT small! I was blown away when we walked in, it’s a full 1 bedroom suite with a separate living area and everything – well worth the price to upgrade to this room category.
The Wailea area is definitely the place to be in Maui – a perfect little community with easy access to shopping, dining, and activities. We rented a Jeep during our time to experience that element – going from my roadster to driving a Jeep was a little daunting, but I didn’t kill anyone or anything so I think that’s a win. As soon as we picked up the car, my mother got in and said, “We need to be careful, Jeeps are really likely to flip” – at 3 AM EST with a 40 minute night drive ahead of us, a simple look between the two of us made her realize that probably wasn’t the best statistic to throw out.
Even if you don’t rent a car that makes you feel like you’re playing a lead role in Jurassic Park, staying at any of our partner properties in the Wailea area gives you access to their complimentary car service, which will drop you off and pick you up from any of the major points of interest around the area.
We tried this out with a trip over to Monkeypod Kitchen by Merriman, where an adorable valet suggested for lunch one day. Meal #2 of the trip certainly did not disappoint – we enjoyed the fresh Mahi Mahi sandwiches on the softest homemade wheat buns in an incredibly cool, modern setting. Chef Peter Merriman is like the Dan Barber of Hawaii – a James Beard award winner with multiple restaurants, all focused around promoting fresh, local cuisine. More on him to come in my posts about the Big Island. 5 star meal with great prices, I would highly recommend eating here for lunch, dinner, and enjoying their vibrant happy hour scene. As is my usual, I was halfway through my meal before thinking to take a picture of the beautifully presented lunch – I would make a terrible food blogger, I can never quite get the order right of photographing then eating.
The Four Seasons graciously granted us a late check out, one of the amenities included for couples who book through me (if available) and we enjoyed the resort for the remainder of the day. And by enjoyed the resort, I mean we took a nap and sat on the balcony and got ready for our first event for the Journese Curator’s experience, which was held at the Fairmont Kea Lani – more on that property and experience (as well as info on the new kid on the block, the Andaz Maui!) coming up!