Wailea and the Wailea Beach area in Maui do not really contain a town at all. It is instead a planned resort area similar to those found at Kapalua and Kaanapali This is also not the only beach in Wailea—there are several others along this approximately five-mile stretch of southern island coastline south of Kihei and north of the Big Beach and Makena area. The Wailea Beach Villas comprise the most exclusive resort accommodations and vacation rentals here, but you will find numerous other Wailea hotels, condominiums, and lodging available.
The Wailea Beach Villas are located a little south of Wailea Beach and between two other beaches, Mokapu Beach and Polo Beach. Winding its way along this entire stretch of coastline is the Wailea Beach Walk, a paved walkway popular with joggers that passes by restaurants and other dining venues, chic shops, and the many Wailea hotels. The Kaanapali Beachwalk is perhaps more well-known, but the Wailea Beach Walk is more scenic. The majority of these beaches have restrooms, booths renting snorkeling gear and boogie boards, and good parking. Several also have shower facilities.
As is true with many beach tracts on Maui, each individual beach in Wailea is known for a particular activity, water sport, or attraction. Wailea Beach has sugar-fine sand and excellent swimming. This is due to the beach's protection by black lava points at either end of the gracefully curving crescent bay. Relatively flat, it is considered one of the best and most beautiful beaches on the island. It can sometimes be crowded, especially on weekends and holidays.
Mokapu Beach, located in front of the Renaissance Hotel, is known for good snorkeling around the lava outcroppings that separate it from the other beaches. Polo Beach is popular with families and has picnic tables. Ulua Beach is just north of the Wailea Marriott, also has good snorkeling when the seas are calm and is popular with joggers. These beaches are generally less crowded than Wailea Beach. Each beach in Wailea provides superb vantage points for whale watching during the November through April migration season.
This entire area is a bit more upscale than the middle-class Kihei area to the north, and it boasts numerous luxury Wailea hotels. These are quite popular for Maui weddings and honeymoons. The quintessential resort here is the Wailea Beach Villas, which caters heavily to families and honeymoon couples. Because the condos have full kitchens, families can cut down on dining expenses, and the villas are very secluded if you’re on a honeymoon. On arrival, you can turn in your grocery list while you do a little scouting around, and you'll find that the concierge service has gone shopping and stocked your refrigerator while you’ve been out. Many of the units have two-person Jacuzzis, and there are in-room spa services. This is not truly a hotel but rather condos with concierge service. For dining out, you can choose among scores of fine gourmet cuisine at nearby restaurants.
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