It may seem odd that visitors to Maui’s Wailea Beach would choose the manufactured sanctum of a hotel pool over the shore’s golden sand and soothing surf. But at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea’s Serenity Pool Terrace, waterside massages and other indulgent amenities can make even the most alluring beach seem secondary. Perched on the edge of a cliff behind the 380-room resort, the adults-only water complex debuted in July with a 2,100-square-foot saltwater pool, two hot tubs, six luxury cabanas, and a swim-up bar.
Adjacent to the Four Seasons, the Grand Wailea resort (pictured) recently refashioned all nine of its swimming pools as part of a $50 million renovation. The project—which included updates to the property’s 780 guest rooms and Spa Grande—refurbished such family-friendly features as 19-foot waterfalls and multiple waterslides, and added the world’s first water elevator (so you need not climb a three-story staircase or even leave the water to reach the top of the slides). For those who can pull themselves away from the pools, the 40-acre oceanfront resort also provides easy access to the sand and surf of Wailea Beach. Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, 808.874.8000, www.fourseasons.com ($395–$12,500); Grand Wailea, 800.888.6100, www.grandwailea.com ($725–$15,000)