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Wailea: A Sanctuary of Beauty

South Maui’s Wailea is 1,500 acres of prime resort land and staggering ocean views that include the stark red island of Kaho‘olawe and the quarter-moon sliver of tiny Molokini islet, a popular snorkeling destination. Molokini, a marine sanctuary, is the lip of a submerged volcano and one of the stellar sights of Maui.

Wailea’s mile and a half of shoreline is notched into five crescent beaches, fringed in palms and splashed by gentle surf. Five hotels are tucked into this resort. Three times the size of Waikiki, exuding a sense of serenity, privacy and freedom, Wailea also encompasses low-rise condominium villages and luxurious private homes. All have been guided by a master plan that preserves and enhances the natural beauty of the setting.

It was golf, however, that put this end of the island on the tourism map. Stretched across Wailea’s gently sloping terrain are 54 Erin-green fairways that make up the Wailea Blue, Wailea Gold and Wailea Emerald courses. The latter two, designed by renowned architect Robert Trent Jones II, have been named among the country’s best courses; and the Blue is consistently ranked among the finest courses in Hawai‘i. Each winter, the Wailea Gold Course is home to the ConAgra Foods Seniors Champions Skins Game and ConAgra Foods LPGA Skins Game. Even Wailea Golf Club’s Gold and Emerald clubhouse is an award-winner, and the state-of-the-sport training facility is unlike any other in Hawai‘i. No matter how good the golf gets, however, players are constantly distracted by the panoramic vistas of mountain, sky, and sea - and the occasional whale.

Tennis is another big draw. Wailea’s 1,000-seat tennis stadium is the site of one of Hawai‘i‘s largest local tournaments, and the Wailea Tennis Academy offers state-of-the-art instruction. Both the tennis and golf facilities include clubhouses, pro shops and instruction by resident professionals.

There’s a lot going on with the event scene in Wailea. In addition to the televised Skins games, annual events include Whale Week in February, May Day festivities in May, the Maui Film Festival in June, the Maui Writers Conference in August, LifeFest Maui in September, and the XTERRA Championships in October.

Other activities are sailing, swimming, windsurfing, snorkeling, diving, kayaking and whale watching. Guides and instruction are available in all sports. Hawaiian cultural programs, art tours, and fitness programs are all available, as well as prominent health and wellness facilities. For the ultimate in rejuvenation, the resort houses five spas, some of which have been ranked among the best in the world.

Maui’s newest shopping complex, The Shops at Wailea, is a destination in itself, featuring world-class restaurants and shops with regular entertainment programs.

There are dozens of restaurants in Wailea, including several national award-winners. Ingenious, creative chefs highlight the celebrated products of Maui in their exciting Hawai‘i Regional Cuisine. They serve fresh Maui seafood, vegetarian fare, fine French and continental foods, steak, snacks and ethnic cuisine. Some of the island’s finest Japanese and Italian restaurants can be found in Wailea.

At night, Wailea is filled with music. The lounges and clubs of the hotels pulsate with rock, dreamy cheek-to-cheek tunes, jazz, and the mellow, soulful sound of Hawaiian music.

Article Courtesy of the Maui Visitors Bureau

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