There is no mistaking when the humdrum of the everyday grind starts to get to you. It’s the perfect time to take off for a staycation at the Four Seasons Wailea where they are offering their generous Kama’aina nights starting Nov. 24 through December 23, 2018. The modern traveler is all about the feels. As a travel destination, a lot of us work at providing those tastes of our island culture for our visitor. Sometimes it feels good to just experience it for yourself.
Marc Bromley stepped in as new General Manager in June of this year, coming from Four Seasons in Scottsdale Arizona. He says they are delighted to offer locals a time to enjoy the resort and recharge before busy season on Maui.
“Our annual Kama’aina Season gives us the opportunity to open our doors to Hawai’i’s residents to offer, not only the lowest rates of the year, but specials across the resort,” says Bromley. “The Four Seasons culture is significant on Maui because of how it organically intersects with the spirit of aloha. From what I’ve already experienced, aloha is all about soul, energy, spirit, integrity, care and respect. Those are the same virtues that Four Seasons was built on and the reason it continues to be the undisputed leader in true luxury hospitality.”
The Four Seasons has recently completed their lobby renovation with Wimberly Interiors and it is more inviting than ever. Lobbies used to be treated like a fly through zone, with folks just stopping in quickly on their way to someplace else. That trend is changing. Lobbies are now comfortable hang out spots in resorts, where you can take in some of the atmosphere if you don’t feel like lounging poolside or at the beach. There are plenty of cozy couches, nooks and coffee table areas created at the Four Seasons Lobby Lounge, and beginning at 5pm you can indulge in service for food and drinks here too. The resort has plans for a new modern tropical cocktail list and shared plates menu coming in January for this space.
The rooms underwent a renovation completed in 2016 also with Wimberly, so everything is just current and fresh feeling. I didn’t think I would love their new body products provider as much as I do. The Lokahi grapefruit guava body wash and soaps by Lather is custom created just for the Four Seasons Wailea with macadamia nut oil, papaya, pineapple, and hibiscus. Their sustainably sourced palm oil plus paraben and sulfate free products feature only all natural scents. The famous-in-LA brand is obsessed with keeping synthetics out and only good old natural ingredients in their body line.
The Friday Night Market is a new event featuring an eclectic collection of artisan and local pop up shops. It’s a mini made in Maui County night time shopping affair with cocktails by Four Seasons’ master mixologist Ben Yabrow. You can find so many treasures like the beautiful hand tooled leather bags designed by Jennifer Lazo at Kumu Scratch, or elegant fresh foraged flower lei and lei po’o from Hawai’i Flora Fauna and Kula Roses. I loved the Eurasian concept from Ame Maui Paris, luxe glasses, textiles, clothing, and jewelry with two designers, one on Maui and the other in Paris. Another indulgent shopping experience is to be had at their 22 Knots boutique where you will find curated pieces from hard to find resort wear collections like Zimmerman, Lisa Marie Fernandez, Amber Sakai and March 11. Kama’aina get 10% off purchases at Cabana and 22 Knots, but some restrictions can apply.
Now it’s the Spas turn for redesign, but in the meantime it has temporary digs on the courtyard level. I really enjoyed my brief time in the fresh air waiting area in the garden courtyard. I went in for the ultimate deep tissue recovery massage that included Celluma low level light therapy. This high tech light treatment was developed by NASA. The warm light is applied to sore muscles and joints at your direction while the therapist uses the Rad Roller myofascial release tools on the body. The Celluma light is also directed on the face for anti aging or clearing acne. There is nothing like it! You come out feeling incredibly refreshed and relaxed. For kama’aina the spa offers 20% off couples oceanside massages, a complimentary Oxygen Therapy with any spa facial booked, a complimentary blow dry with any hair coloring services and complimentary Diamond Radiance Hand Mask with any manicure or pedicure.
Art is in the pores of the Four Seasons Wailea. The whole property is a contemporary museum exhibit that lends itself to the luxury feel. Everywhere you go from the lobby to your rooms is steeped in curated thought provoking contemporary pieces by Hawai’i-influenced artists. There is a self guided art tour; you can pick up a pamphlet from the concierge desk, that will map and explain the pieces throughout the grounds and seven story resort structure. I took off on my own to find some of the artwork in the walking tour and it brought me to some spectacular corners in the resort that I didn’t even know existed.
From their magnificent breakfast buffet to their two signature restaurants Ferraro’s and DUO there is no question that Four Seasons is for foodies. The morning buffet is the only one I know of that does custom pancakes, with choice of chocolate chips, berries, bananas, mac nuts and a slew of compotes and syrups to slather on them. Their pancake mix is for sale too, and it makes the most delicate spongy short stacks you’ll come across, a great gift for pancake lovers. The same station can also make waffles and made to order omelettes. The buffet has a full selection of breads, cold cuts, salad items, fruits, smoked salmon and cheeses, plus a hot section of breakfast dishes like sausages, bacon, eggs, miso soup, bao, potatoes, hash brown and breakfast pizza. There are also cereals and juices, and a smoothie and green juice bar. They have an adorable knee level buffet where kids can serve themselves too.
Ferraro’s is their Mediterranean and Italian cuisine restaurant open for lunch and dinner. It sits overlooking Wailea beach and has sweeping views of the West Maui Mountains and Lana’i. They also happen to make some incredible stone baked pizzas and salads during lunch. I also noticed the delicious “Wellness Your Way” healthy, vegetarian and gluten free options have permeated all menu offerings at the Four Seasons. You can always ask for too. At dinner they roll out a different menu full of housemade pastas and an extensive Italian wine list.
Dinner at DUO is all about the steakhouse. The clever menu is a choose-your-own-adventure — you design your complete meal — choosing preparations, beef cuts, seafood accompaniment, sauces, and side dishes. Be prepared to make decisions! Filet, wagyu, New York, chateaubriand, and rib eye are just some of their gorgeous flesh choices. I asked Executive Chef Craig Dryhurst what makes their steak experience so phenomenal, and it could be down to their aging process and butter.
“We use butter to enhance the flavor of the steak and to keep it moist,” says Dryhurst. “It’s also for aesthetics–it gives the steak a nice glazed look. Aging beef increases the tenderness and taste of the meat by producing a more succulent flavor. Most beef is aged in shrink wrap in a process called “wet aging.” However, exposing meat to the air will cause water to evaporate from it, concentrating its flavor. This is called “dry aging.”
Dryhurst insists that you don’t miss the truffle mac and cheese side dish on the menu. Guests go nuts for it!
“Our Truffle Mac n Cheese really cannot be missed,” says Dryhurst. “It’s hands-down our most popular dish. It starts with a rich, creamy cheese sauce which we combine with our house-made pasta, white truffle oil, and freshly grated truffle. And just when you think it can’t get more decadent, you have the option to add lobster or crab. And if you really want to go over the top, I recommend the 35-Day Dry-Aged Bone-In Rib Eye!”
The resort is unsurpassed in outdoor comfort. Relax in the cabanas and umbrellas with lounge chairs around the pool, they are complimentary amenities, first come first served. I like to spend my time on the beach, where their staff can also set you up with chairs, ice water and umbrellas to soak up sun, salty air, ocean and sunsets. Four Seasons has a complimentary Kids for All Seasons club where keiki can find their own opportunities to experience the resort. Four Seasons amenities also include details you might need for travelling with little ones from baby monitors, to strollers and playpens to pop up tents. Kama’aina also enjoy 25% off Maui Undersea Adventures.
You can create an unforgettable staycation at the Four Seasons. Nightly Kama’aina room rates start at $349 with no resort fee and a complete host of complimentary amenities and activities. Kama’aina also get 20% off their bill at DUO Steak and Seafood Restaurant, and cocktails at the Lobby Lounge. At Ferraro’s Kama’aina enjoy 2 for 1 entrees. To make reservations call 808-874-8000.