Actually, in our opinion, neither of these is the best hotel option in Maui. We prefer the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea. The Four Seasons tends to be the most expensive, but it has larger rooms, the best beachfront, and overall feels the most luxurious.
If you don’t have time to read this article in detail, the Wailea Beach Resort Marriott is better than Ritz-Carlton and Hyatt Maui, in our opinion. It’s modern with a fantastic children’s pool complete with curly slides in a tropical pirate island setting. We also prefer the location of the Wailea Beach Resort Marriott in the sunniest part of the island, and the beach here is usually better and calmer too. The Ritz-Carlton is better if you are not bothered about the beach and want golf or a club lounge. The Hyatt Regency Maui Resort And Spa tends to be the cheapest and is in the most lively area if you are looking for nightlife.
You can earn and spend Marriott Bonvoy points at Ritz-Carlton and the Wailea Beach Resort Marriott. You can earn World Of Hyatt loyalty points at the Hyatt. If you choose the Wailea Beach Marriott, you must walk up the idyllic beachside pathway which leads from the Marriott to the Four Seasons and spend at least one evening in the bar and restaurant at the Four Seasons.
Wherever you travel to, if you want to book a hotel, use our luxury travel concierge. We offer free upgrades, free breakfasts, free hotel credit, and VIP gifts at luxury hotels. We offer free benefits at both the Four Seasons and Andaz in Maui as well as the Hyatt, Fairmont, Ritz-Calton, Hyatt, and more…
1. Best Beach: Wailea Beach Marriott Vs. Ritz-Carlton Maui Vs.Hyatt
The Wailea Beach Resort Marriott shares the same beach as Four Seasons Maui at Wailea. While the beach is the same for the two hotels, the accessibility and setup at the Four Seasons is much better, but both have access to the calm, warm waters in Wailea.
The Wailea Beach Resort Marriott’s beach is right on the other side of this bay. The ocean in front of the Wailea Beach Resort Marriott is rocky, so if you book an ocean-front room, you will have fabulous views, but if you walk towards the water, you will reach craggy black rocks rather than a beach. This is because the Wailea Beach Resort Marriott is built on a rocky headland and the beach it shares with the Four Seasons is to the left of the resort when facing out to sea, rather than in front of the resort.
Why does the position of the beach matter? Because the Wailea Beach Resort Marriott is an enormous resort built up a steep hill. If you book one of the base rooms by the check-in desk, you are a fairly long walk from the beach, so much so that you may prefer to use the pools over the beach as you might not be bothered to walk the distance to the beach in the heat every time you want a dip. That said, the beach is fantastic and better than the beach at the Ritz-Carlton.
The Ritz-Carlton Maui is not directly on the beach. Yes, you read that correctly. For a beachfront idyll, don’t pick the Ritz-Carlton as it isn’t on the beach! The beach is a 5-10 minute walk away and does not feel like it’s part of the resort.
There is a beach with a burger restaurant around a five-minute walk from the pool, but there is no decent lounger set up as the water can be rough and muddy here as this resort is located on the windy side of the island. The focus here is on golf rather than beach fun.
The Hyatt Regency Maui Resort And Spa is a beachfront resort, and the beach is easily accessible from all of the rooms. This is your best hotel for easy beach access, although the beach can be busy. For a quieter beach, a longer walk away, go for the Marriott. For a resort not based around the beach, go for the Ritz-Carlton.
2. Best Pool
At the Wailea Beach Resort Marriott, there is a great children’s pool with multiple long curvy slides which deliver you into a tropical paradise-themed pool. The slides at the Wailea Beach Resort Marriott are brilliant for children and arguably offer a better children’s pool experience than the pools at Four Seasons, although your kids may hate the lengthy and steep walk from their room to and from the pools and beach. We think this is the best pool area of the three hotels.
The pools at the Ritz-Carlton are also excellent for children’s fun (or the young at heart) but they are more sedate in design without the fun slides offered by the Marriott.
The Hyatt has a busy freeform tropical pool with waterfalls and caves. It’s right on the beachfront but we prefer the fun at the Marriott in Wailea.
3. Best Style
I prefer the style of the Wailea Beach Marriott, being modern but spread out. The Ritz-Carlton feels more traditional. The Hyatt feels, well, nice but very Hyatt. There is little to choose between the hotel styles in these hotels. No one is a major step above the others, and they all have their pros and cons.
4. Best Best Bar
The Wailea Beach Resort Marriott does have a bar which is OK, but wherever you stay, the bar at the Four Seasons is the place to watch the sun go down. You can walk to the Four Seasons from the Wailea Beach Resort Marriott. You can from the Ritz-Carlton or the Hyatt as they are in different resort areas. For this reason alone, I would choose the Wailea Beach Resort Marriott.
5. Best Rooms
This is a tough one. I prefer the style of the rooms at Wailea Beach Resort Marriott, but they are very spread out, and if you get a room at the back of the resort, everything can be quite a walk downhill and, worse, a walk back from the beach or pool uphill.
At Wailea Beach Resort Marriott, the rooms are layered in mainly two-floor buildings arranged in terraces down to the sea. While the views can be excellent at the Wailea Beach Resort Marriott, you do need to book a decent room to get these views. We recommend the rooms right by the waterfront. The base rooms at the Wailea Beach Resort Marriott are pleasant with traditional balconies, but they are set a long way from the sea and the beach.
At the Ritz-Carlton Maui, the smallest room offering is 440 square feet of space. The views are very green over the forest and golf course rather than of the beach.
At the Hyatt, the rooms are very Hyatt in design but you can book into the Ocean View rooms which have fantastic views.
6. Club Lounge
Crucially, the Marriott does not have a club floor, nor does it have a club lounge, so if you are looking for an exclusive club lounge experience, the Ritz-Carlton Maui or the Hyatt are the ones to pick. The Ritz-Carlton lounge is by far the best.
You can only get access to the Ritz-Carlton Maui club-level lounge if you book a club-level room. The Club Lounge is located near the elevators on the eighth floor of the Napili Wing of the resort.
They call it a hotel within a hotel, with a dedicated concierge and a well-appointed, relaxed lounge environment. Continuous culinary offerings include breakfast, light snacks, hors d’oeuvres, beverages, and sweets – many reflecting the cuisine of the Hawaiian Islands.
The continuous culinary offerings take place throughout the day (breakfast, light lunch, evening hors d’oeuvres, desserts, and sweets), and in the afternoon and evening, you can drink alcoholic drinks of your choice, and the staff makes will make up great cocktails complete with flowers in, all included of course.
At the Ritz, Club-level rooms offer better views and are on the higher floors of the hotel. When traveling with kids, the value of the lounge is increased as kids under twelve do not usually cost extra, so it is terribly convenient to have a constant array of food available and not to have to stick to mealtimes, so paying for Club Lounge does seem worth it.
The Regency Club Lounge at the Hyatt Regency Maui has recently been redesigned and moved to the lobby level of this hotel, which means that it now benefits from a large outdoor terrace with ocean views and the resort’s gardens.
The new lounge features over 3,000 square feet of space. Amenities include a continental breakfast every morning, refreshments, and snacks throughout the day, with light hors d’oeuvres and desserts in the evening. Alcoholic beverages are chargeable but discounted.
You must book a Regency Club room to get access to the lounge or be a high tier in their loyalty scheme. Regency Club rooms have better views and are on higher floors of the hotel. We prefer the exclusivity and incredible food offered in the Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge.
The Kapalua location of the Ritz-Carlton is on the windy side of the island. We prefer sunny Wailea, where the Marriott can be found. The Hyatt on Kaanapali offers a great beach but Kaanapali feels less exclusive than the Wailea location of the Marriott.
The Ritz-Carlton, Hyatt and the Marriott have extensive grounds. There is little to choose between the hotels in this respect.
9. Resort Fee
All three hotels charge a resort fee.
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