The Grand Wailea is part of the Hilton HHonors program, but also has its own program called the Grand Wailea Elite Membership.
Yesterday I was perusing grandwailea.com for information regarding their pool renovations. And while I was on the site, I noticed a “Membership” tab in the menu. This Membership tab takes you to a page detailing, not Hilton HHonors, but instead a program called “Elite Membership.”
What is Grand Wailea Elite Membership?
The Grand Wailea Elite Membership is a paid membership program. Its main benefit appears to be a 30% discount on the property’s Best Available Rate. This rate discount applies to any room category and length of stay, and has no cap on use. However, the discount isn’t valid during holidays. Instead, separate holiday discounts are available:
- 10% discount off full Holiday Rates (December 26th – January 2nd)
- 20% discount on seasonal rates and 10% discount on holiday rates at Ho’olei Wailea
- 15% discount on off best available rate for accompanied or unaccompanied guests
Beyond rate discounts, Elite Membership members also receive:
- 20% discount on individual spa treatments at Spa Grande; on salon services at the Grand Salon; on all food + beverage purchases in all restaurants, bars, and room service; on Grand Wailea signature products; and at Grand Wailea managed retail outlets
- Hilton Honors Gold status for the life of your membership
- Member exclusive promotions
- Exclusive check-in line
- Member appreciation receptions
- Courtesy reminder calls
- Special arrival amenity
- Referral program
So at its core, the Grand Wailea Elite Membership program is simply a discount program. But, the program isn’t free. You do have to pay an annual fee to be a member.
What Does it Cost
Pricing information is not available on Grand Wailea’s website. To get pricing, you need to submit a request form. I was curious, so I sent in a request on Wednesday night. And by mid-morning on Thursday, I had received an e-mail with complete program details, including pricing. So, here’s the lowdown on the programs pricing:
- One-time initiation fee: $2,500
- Annual fee: $225
That’s right… $2,500 initiation fee! WOW!! I was not expecting that. The annual fee is in-line with what I thought it would be. But $2,500 for a first-time member to join? I mean, I get it. That initiation fee is there to ensure those that join the program actually want to be long-term members. Having a barrier to entry like that ensure people won’t join for a one-time vacation. Because you’d have to stay for over two weeks to make back both fees on room rate discounts alone.
Once you recoup your initiation fee, however, the annual fee is very easy to make back. Room rates at Grand Wailea usually start around the mid-$500 range. So a rate of $550/night discounts down to $385/night, giving you a savings of $165/night. That means that you will need to stay just two nights per year to make your annual fee back. Add in discounts for food + beverage, spa treatments, etc. and this program can actually be quite lucrative.
Is the Grand Wailea Elite Membership Worth It?
The Grand Wailea is a very pricey property. So if you’re a regular guest here, the Elite Membership program is definitely worth it. You’ll easily extract more value from your membership than you paid in fees. But for a casual guest? No so much. You’re better off obtaining Honors Gold status via the Amex HHonors Surpass card for possible upgrades and whatnot.
If you do decide to enroll in the Grand Wailea Elite Membership program, though, it’s worth noting that the program does not provide discount on fees. More specifically, members must still pay full price for the property’s valet-only parking ($30/night) and resort fee ($30/night). And while the program states that your check-out time will continue to be the standard check-out time, Honors Gold members do receive complimentary late check-out.