There are not too many places in the world where you can be sitting on your hotel balcony, watching whales breach right in front of you. We’re not talking a few little splashes or sprays on the horizon. At the Fairmont Kea Lani Maui, guests have 180 degree views out to sea, and the prime viewing spot just happens to be anywhere you can see the water. Whales breach just off the shore during migration season (Jan-March) and it’s a show that is pretty hard to get sick of.

It’s how we begin our mornings, on a walk down to the beach, and how we end the day, with a glass of bubbles on the balcony. We learn to spot calves (small splashes) and mothers (really big splashes), with the staff quick to point out a few more technical facts and figures.

When we finally take our eyes off the ocean, it is to be rewarded with impeccably manicured grounds, swaying palm trees, several pools, and a very nice cabana we call our own for the day. The Fairmont Kea Lani has that perfect balance of family fun and grown up fun. The Adults Only pool is a haven of cocktails, cabanas and cooling off – mochi ice cream, cooler bags filled with your favourite soft drinks, trail mix snacks and very helpful staff are just the beginning.

Spend your day by the pool, or get involved in the many activities on offer.  You’ll hear the soft thrum of ukuleles when lessons are held down by the kids pool, see the outrigger canoe head out several times a day and even spot morning meditation classes on the grass – all of these activities are included in a resort fee, and are a great way to learn more about local culture. You’ll also want to work up an appetite, as the Fairmont’s decadent Kea Lani breakfast buffet is worth going to very, very hungry. Bowls of fresh fruit, a full omelette bar, muffins, cakes, crepes, pancakes, bacon, eggs, pork buns, even breakfast burritos are waiting for you each morning. Then there’s the pop up juice bar that takes over the hotel’s signature Ko restaurant in the morning and is part of the hotel’s wellness program. Local produce like Molokai sweet potato, along with celery, carrot and spinach are used to create fresh iced teas and green juices. Later in the day, Ko takes over. Chef Tylun Pang’s tenure at this fine dining fusion restaurant is legendary. With a heavy emphasis on farm to table, Pang’s kitchen produces delicate dishes from local produce that peruse the best of all different Asian cuisines – including Filipino spring roles that you won’t be able to turn down. Don’t forget to ask staff to point out the kitchen garden that’s tucked away on the resort grounds.

Eating, drinking and sitting by the pool are some of life’s simple pleasures, but then there’s the spa. Fairmont’s famous Willow Stream Spa makes an appearance here, with a menu featuring a few very special Hawaiian treatments. The Huaka’i Kupono Hawai’i (Natural Hawaiian Journey) is a full two hours of pampering using local ingredients. Start off with a Hawaiian salt scrub, before being wrapped in ki ti leaves, and covered in Maui vanilla bean. Trust us, you won’t want to leave.

Lisa was the guest of Fairmont Kea Lani