Grand Wailea Resort Wins an Unprecendented Four Best Of Maui Awards from the Island's Number One Newspaper

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Best Resort, Best Spa, Best Restaurant and Best Chef

Grand Wailea's Chef Michael Lofaro, The Maui News' Best Chef Choice

Although Hawaii welcomes millions of visitors from around the world each year, the 50th state has also made an art of welcoming local residents to their hotels and attractions with a range of special rate offers called Kamaʻaina (literally “child of the land”) Rates. But, special rates or not, it takes a special place to sweep the hotel awards categories of their location’s biggest newspaper. This month, THE MAUI NEWS announced their READER’S CHOICE AWARDS and the 780-room Grand Wailea Resort & Spa– that has been wow-ing international and local guests for the past 23 years, has swept an unprecedented four categories:

BEST RESORT: Grand Wailea Resort & Spa, A Waldorf Astoria Resort

BEST SPA: A standard-setter in the industry, the 50,000 square-foot, award-winning Spa Grande is the largest spa in Hawaii, uniting Thalassotherapy and ancient Eastern and Hawaiian philosophies by offering over 100 different beauty and body treatments. With 40 treatment rooms, the award-winning spa’s most distinctive feature is the Termé Wailea Hydrotherapy Circuit where guests are invited to unwind and get their muscles and minds ready to make the most of their treatments by first enjoying an invigorating loofah scrub, followed by a soak in a Roman hot tub and visits to a Finnish sauna, cascading waterfalls, Swiss jet showers, a Japanese furo, and five Hawaiian sea salt baths.

BEST RESORT RESTAURANT: Humhumunuknukuapua’a or “Humu” as it is affectionately known, is a “floating” seafood restaurant named after Hawaii’s official state fish. The restaurant is composed of a cluster of thatch-roof Polynesian huts floating atop a saltwater lagoon with stunning sculptures of ancient Hawaiian fisherman perched above the water and amazing views of Wailea Beach. Guests may select their own lobster from the lagoon or savor delicious Island cuisine with Polynesian and Hawaiian influences.

BEST CHEF: Michael Lofaro – makes sense, since this classically educated chef, surfer, canoe builder, triathlete and father of three is the creative force behind Humu’s menu. Prior to Maui, Chef Michael was the Executive Chef at Mill’s Tavern in Providence, Rhode Island, which earned a Mobil Four Star Award under his direction. Coming from a large, food-loving Italian family on the East Coast of the U.S., his culinary background also includes training at Culinary Institute of America Hyde Park in New York and a stint working with famed chef, Michael Mina at his original San Francisco restaurant called Aqua. Chef Lofaro is known for both his delicate touch with seafood – using a Mina inspired combination of sour, sweet, spicy and rich flavor interpretations – and for building a family like atmosphere with his kitchen team.

The Maui News is a Wailuku, Hawaii based, daily newspaper covering the islands of Maui, Lanai and Molokai. The Maui News began publication on February 17, 1900 and is now owned by Ogden Newspapers. The “Best of Maui” reader survey was launched by the paper in 1992 and now includes 40 different categories ranging from best surf shop to best cultural programs. For six weeks prior to The September 1 Best of Maui winners announcement, the newspaper receives thousands of electronic and paper ballots from its readers, with results reflecting honest feedback by locals who have front-line knowledge of their island home.

“As the largest employer on the island, we are honored that many of the very same people who live and work here have chosen our beautiful resort as the best in these key categories,” explains Grand Wailea Managing Director, Tom Donovan. “With the growth in quality in the hospitality and culinary offerings on this island, we know we were up against some very formidable competition in these categories, so it makes the results that much more meaningful.”

Since opening in 1991, this majestic, landmark resort consistently ranks among the world’s best in leading travel consumer reports and by industry peers. Built to portray the riches of Hawaii’s culture, people and nature – especially via its $30 million art collection – Grand Wailea is the ultimate Hawaiian resort.

Nestled on 40 acres of lush, tropical gardens fronting Wailea Beach, this Waldorf Astoria Hotel provides a range of vacation experiences: water sports for the active vacationer, beauty and seclusion for romantic getaways and family fun – ranging from a fully equipped Camp for children and a teen lounge to rope swings and a jungle style river pool.

Just 35 minutes from the Kahului airport, this idyllic Hawaiian resort features 22 elegant outdoor function spaces, seven unique event facilities – including an elaborate seaside wedding chapel – for remarkable events, business conferences and destination weddings.

With 9 different restaurant and bar outlets – including Along Wong’s AMASIA and the hotel’s open-air, art-filled lobby astounds with its trompe l'oeil Botero Bar. Guests also have access to five different world-class golf courses and the finest tennis facilities on the island. Accommodation options also include an enclave of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom luxury villas called Ho’olei’, which are located directly across the street from the resort.

For reservations and information, call 1-800-888-6100 or visit

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Kim Marshall

Yvonne Biegel