dward Roe, director of rooms and the
person in charge of the Keiki Lani Kids Club at the Fairmont Kea
Lani on Maui, isn't sure which aspect of his property is more
attractive to families.
First he said it was the all- suite aspect, which he said is Kea
Lani's hallmark: "Families find our two-room arrangement very
But then he thought about it.
"Maybe it's our Keiki Lani Kids Club," he said. "Families are
always telling us how much their kids love the program, and they
especially like the Hawaiian activities we offer."
It's probably both.
The all-suite and villa oceanfront resort on Polo Beach (Wailea)
is 22 acres of sculptured, tropical landscape and lagoon-style
And it boasts one of the most successful kids clubs on the
island, featuring a program that combines fun with authentic
That luxury and kids mix so successfully here helps explain why
Conde Nast (November 2002 Readers' Choice) placed Kea Lani third in
its 25 top Pacific Rim Resorts.
More importantly, Rina Anoussi, president of Travel Business in
Manhattan, said that when she sends a family to Kea Lani, and she
sends many, she never gets a complaint. "In this business," she
said, "that's really saying something."
Roe called the family market "critical" to the property's
success and pointed out that the Keiki Lani club is often the
deciding factor for families who choose to vacation here.
The staff determines the names and ages of the children before
they check in so they can be greeted personally.
This "personal greeting" is becoming popular at family-oriented
properties and often includes a separate kid's registration card,
which asks for the names of the child's favorite cartoon character,
color, best food -- whatever it takes to make the child feel like a
special person and not just an "add-on" to mom and dad's trip.
The resort has 413 one-bedroom suites. It also has 37 two- and
three-bedroom oceanfront villas, each with its own kitchen and
private plunge pool. Maximum occupancy is four.
The three pools are a huge attraction -- especially the new,
140-foot-long pool slide that rushes kids (and parents) from the
upper lagoon pool to the lower one. There's also a kids or
toddlers-only swimming pool.
Amenities include four restaurants; a full range of spa
services; golf and tennis facilities; a free fitness center;
escorted daily Power walks; a tour and activity desk; and water
Suites include a double-size sofa bed in the living room; an
oversize bathroom with a soaking tub, walk-in shower and twin
sinks; Japanese-style Yukata robes; a minirefrigerator and wet bar;
high-speed Internet access; and DVD players.
For the kids, the Keiki Lani Kids Club is open year-round, seven
days a week, for ages 5 to 13. Activities revolve around Hawaiian
and ocean themes.
One day kids learn Hawaiian instruments, and the next, all about
reptiles. They make hulas and leis, explore tide pools and build
The fee is $55 a day for the first child, $40 for each
Also, for the 4 years and younger set, breakfast buffets,
holiday buffets and banquet buffets are free.
There are games and toys available, including family movies.
Worth mentioning is the Nanny Connection, an islandwide
child-care referral service with staff trained in First Aid and
CPR. It has its own set of activities for children.
The fee is $12 an hour (minimum three hours). For information,
call (808) 875-4777 or visit www.thenannyconnection.com.
Book it: Fairmont Kea Lani
Address: 4100 Wailea Alanui, Wailea, Maui, Hawaii
Phone: (808) 875-4100 or (800) 441-1414
Fax: (808) 875-1200
Price range: One-bedroom suites, $339 to 729;
Villas, $1,400 (two bedrooms, six occupants) to $2,400 (three
bedrooms, eight occupants)