Premier Hospitality

Wailea Beach Resort 

Written by Roma Publications

Wailea Beach Resort


A major $100m refurbishment has impressively transformed the 22 acre 574-room Wailea Beach Resort in Maui.

The resort opened in 1976 as the Maui Inter-Continental, and was the first resort in the area. It boasts a spacious 22-acre property, but over the years its amenities had become dated – especially compared to its more modern neighbours.

The project comprised extensive renovation, including revamping the resort’s three pools, guest rooms and suites, conference centre and Luau, as well as the introduction of a new Arrival and Departure Lounge, the Kolohe Hut Kid’s Centre, Family and Teen Centre and Movie House.

The project was carried out for Sunstone Investors, with Looney & Associates as overall consultants and designers for the scheme. Bespoke outdoor furnishings specialist, Venika International Inc supplied furnishings for the project.

Molly McDonald of Looney & Associates said: “Due to the extensive scope of the works throughout the interiors, as well as a repositioning and development of exterior elements, the scheme required significant coordination from everyone involved.

“Sunstone Hotel Investors is a longstanding client of ours, and we have successfully partnered on many hotel renovations. When they acquired this property in summer of 2014, we were brought in immediately to help masterplan the repositioning of the resort.

“We subsequently worked internally to develop a design brief that could be applied to all areas of the renovation.

“This included a design which incorporates elements of elegant simplicity together with a Hawaiian spirit, capturing the natural beauty of the Wailea shores with a sophisticated yet timeless design.

“The signature look showcases Moui’s most recognisable influences – an outdoor leisure lifestyle in the true Hawaiian spirit, with a re-imagined vision for one of the world’s most sought-after ocean front resorts.

“The addition of key amenities, such as the Kid Centre, Game Centre and Movie House, as well as the Arrival and departure lounge, have really elevated the resort. We were also able to incorporate the longest water slide on Maui, at the new children’s’ pool.”

Pulling inspiration from the Hawaiian word ‘Nalu’, which means wave or surf, the 547 guest rooms were designed with a calming background of warm, dark wood tones, with nautical elements being introduced, such as an art package that evokes the ocean’s many moods.

The rooms offer enhanced technology such as custom music streaming, mirror-casting from computers, iPads and other devices, and personalised Netflix and Hulu content. Every room has an outdoor lanai, and a handful of accommodations are set remarkably close to the sea.

Molly McDonald concluded: “The feedback from the client has been very positive. This renovation, while dramatic aesthetically, also helped our client increase revenue and occupancy at the resort.

“We pride ourselves not only on focusing on improving design, but also translating this into generating more income for each venue.”

“Hawaii has such a welcoming and unique culture. Projects like this allow us to learn more about the depth of Hawaiian culture, and how we can be inspired by so many different things throughout our design process.”


Faulkner & Locke Inc

Faulkner & Locke Inc is an international art consulting firm, specialising in work within the hospitality industry. The company is overseen by Sally M. Faulkner and Brenda Locke, who have been in business together for the past 12 years.

Faulkner & Locke Inc have worked with various prestigious clients, including Four Seasons, Fairmont Hotels, Rosewood, Ritz Carleton Hotels, Conrad and Autograph Brands, as well as numerous boutique hotels and resorts. Most recently, Faulkner & Locke Inc has been involved with the Wailea Beach Resort project.

Working on Wailea Beach Resort, Sally M. Faulkner worked closely with Looney & Associates designers to select a custom artwork program for the guestroom, guest corridor, and public spaces, within the resort. Commenting on the project, Sally said:

“I love working with Looney & Associates! I feel like every project they get involved with is luxurious, totally fresh and yet so thoughtful, both in terms of its place and its intention.”

Sally added:

“At Faulkner & Locke Inc, we pride ourselves on our personal customer service. Unlike other art consulting firms, we do not have sales representatives – instead, my partner and I enjoy a close working relationship with each of the owners, designers and brand partners for each project.

“We offer a turnkey service and we can provide art, accessories, framing, storage, shipping and installation – whatever the project may need!”

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Roma Publications

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