Earlier this week I received an email from the Grand Wailea Hotel on Maui advertising its Grand Summer Sale. The Grand Wailea is one of Middle Age Miles’ favorite properties, so I decided to take a close look at whether the Grand Summer Sale is a good deal. Here’s what I found:
The Grand Wailea Grand Summer Sale is a useful rate if you plan to stay 4 nights or more at the Grand Wailea from July 15 through September 19, 2018, in a Deluxe Ocean View room or a Napua club level room. The Grand Summer Sale rates appear to match AAA and AARP pre-paid rates, but the Grand Summer Sale rates are cancelable until 14 days prior to arrival.
The Grand Wailea’s Grand Summer Sale – Is It a Good Deal?
The Grand Wailea’s Grand Summer Sale email promised “20% off deluxe ocean view & Napua rooms this summer.” As I’m always interested in going to the Grand Wailea (or at least daydreaming about going there!), I decided to click to “Learn More.” This took me to a landing page with the terms and conditions of the sale:
As you can see, the basic terms and conditions impose some serious limitations on the sale: The only rooms available in the sale are Deluxe Ocean View and Napua club level rooms (as the original email indicated). Travel dates are limited to June 1 through September 19, 2018. A four night minimum stay is required. Bookings must be made by May 22, 2018 (one week after the email was sent).
When I further investigated the rate, the sale became even more limited. June was completely unavailable except for the 5-night block from June 16 through June 21:
July had additional unavailability problems, as all 4-night blocks beginning July 9-13 and ending July 14-18 were not available.
Beginning July 15, however, the Grand Summer Sale rate was wide open through the end of the sale period on September 19:
Next, I checked into the rates during the times when the Grand Summer Sale was available. This confirmed that the sale rate was only available for Deluxe Ocean View rooms and Napua club level rooms (either 1 king or 2 queen beds). These types of rooms, of course, are somewhat more expensive than base-level rates at the hotel. I would say, however, that the Napua club level rooms come with a lot of valuable benefits, as the club lounge has a full breakfast buffet, afternoon snacks, evening happy hour with heavy hors d’oeuvres and an open bar, and late-night cocktails included in the rate. The Napua club level also has its own dedicated check-in desk and concierge staff. We have certainly enjoyed our stays on the Napua club level, and if you take advantage of the food and happy hour, the club level benefits could easily be worth $150-200 per day (or more) to a couple.
Back to the rates, on every block of dates that I checked, the Grand Summer Sale rates were lower than any other rate I could find, except for AAA and AARP pre-paid rates. Those rates were the same as Grand Summer Sale rates. The Grand Summer Sale rates had an important advantage over the AAA and AARP pre-paid rates, however, because the Grand Summer Sale rates were cancelable until 14 days prior to arrival. Given that difference, the Grand Summer Sale rates were indeed the best available rates for Deluxe Ocean View and Napua club level rooms.
The Grand Wailea is a Waldorf Astoria property, and therefore part of the Hilton chain, so Hilton Honors benefits and points-earning are available.
For holders of the Citi Prestige card, combining the Grand Summer Sale rate with the Prestige’s 4th-night-free benefit could be very useful and even make for a reasonably affordable luxurious Maui stay. The Grand Summer Sale rate is available without having to log in to a Hilton Honors account, so I would expect it to be bookable through the Citi Prestige concierge. I would like to have a confirming data point on this, though.
I have several Amex cards, including an Amex Hilton Ascend card, with an Amex Offer for $200 statement credit when spending $1,000 or more at a Hilton brand hotel in Hawaii. The offer expires on July 31, 2018, so it is available through only part of the Grand Summer Sale period (the most expensive part!). The offer does not specifically identify Waldorf Astoria as being included, but I would expect the Grand Wailea, as a Waldorf Astoria, which is a Hilton brand, to qualify for the offer. Again, I would like to have a confirming data point, but stacking the Grand Summer Sale with the Amex offer would be very useful. You could even split payment if you have the offer on multiple cards and have the hotel charge $1,000 or more to each. Here are the full terms of the Amex offer:
Rates at the Grand Wailea were highest in July and the first half of August, then decreased into late August, then decreased again into September. Per-night rates in a Deluxe Ocean Room were $600-plus for stays starting in July through August 16, then dropped to $519 for stays beginning August 19 forward, then dropped again to $495 for stays beginning September 2 forward.
In addition to the base room rates, the Grand Wailea charges a resort fee of $30 day. Taxes appear to be an additional 15.25% of the base rate. And if you park a car, the valet parking fee is another $30 per day.