Forty years ago, the height of luxury was a clam shell sink and a humble hot tub.
Fast forward a few decades and things are decidedly more extravagant. At the Fairmont Kea Lani, I learned how far luxury has advanced.
You can sense something special is about to happen when you drive through Wailea on your way to the resort. The grass seems greener. The aroma of flowers is stronger. White egrets flutter about manicured lawns.
Then … the Fairmont, Hawaii’s only all-suite and villa oceanfront resort.
Lush gardens tumble down to the sea. Heart-melting Pacific Ocean views await.
Two activity pools are connected by a 140-foot water slide. Another pool off to the side for quieter pursuits.
At your suite, you enter a richly furnished living room. The suite is tempered with earth tones. An airy, clean-lined aesthetic prevails.
Insider tip: Book one of the suites higher up for a more spectacular view of the deep blue sea, and the romantic sunsets.
The five-star service is impeccable.
I don’t know who makes the mattresses, but sleeping in the bed feels like sleeping on a cloud. It’s only appropriate that the bed is on a raised platform.
The rainfall shower opens directly into the main part of the bath but is contained in a separate tiled area. Designer bath products for tub bathing are welcome accompaniments.
Escape to the expansive balcony. Lounge on the chaise and indulge in the cherished concept of doing nothing. Or — grab pen, paper and order up your favorite cocktail. This is the perfect environment to lay out the chapters for your next mystery novel.
Romantics will want to check into one of the oceanfront villas. Complete with private plunge pool and exquisite views of the Pacific.
Amenities and activities abound. How about pampering yourself in one of the spas? One unique treatment combines exfoliating volcanic pumice with purifying ginger, olena, wasabi, lemongrass, mahimahi tea and tropical oils. Or kiss away an afternoon on the sandy beach.
Take advantage of a full range of ocean activities: snorkeling, sailing, kayaking, stand-up paddling and scuba diving. Outrigger canoe trips available daily.
The resort’s signature restaurant is Ko (sugar cane). Ko features a mix of cultures and flavours.
I indulged by dining at Nick’s Fish House. The name does not convey the high quality of the meal I received there: A heavenly crab cake, succulent rack of lamb and a slice of decadent New York cheesecake.
Go ahead. Treat yourself to the hedonistic way of life. Check in and prepare to be pleasantly fussed over. This is a resort worth leaving home for.
After my stay, it’s gonna take a while to wipe the smile off my face.
Bill Peeler is a freelance travel writer based in Courtenay.