Nutritionists have long advised that a wholesome breakfast is the foundation of good health — and who are we to argue? That’s why we are very strict with each other about this particular meal, especially if we are having a rough patch. It’s possible to forget, after all, that we’re lucky we live Maui — and then an immediate correction is absolutely necessary. Molly is usually the one to seize the wheel, insisting, in a very stern tone, on a visit to a most healthful and restorative breakfast spot. “We must IMMEDIATELY go to the Four Seasons, and scrape together some sustenance at the best breakfast buffet on Maui.”
And then we go, and the Four Seasons swallows us up, just like it does all who enter it’s peaceful halls, and makes all the bad things go away, just for a couple of hours.
Breakfast being the most important of the day, makes this $100 spent on a meal for two on Maui, one of our favorite overall experiences.
Particularly since we can usually skip lunch altogether — and sometimes dinner.
Good Service? Check.
It starts with, as it always does at the Four Seasons, the service. You do not need to be a hotel guest to be warmly welcomed at the resort, and you can almost always snag a table for breakfast without much of a wait, or reservations. (If you have a party larger than four or six, you can call ahead as a courtesy.)
Breakfast is hosted by Duo, the resort’s fabulous steakhouse, but the more formal attire can be dropped for morning meals — if you are coming from the beach or pool, it’s fine to wear your bathing suit and cover up and slippers1.
Lovely Ambiance? Check.
The restaurant is lovely at night, but stunning during the day. It’s the light. The space spills over a giant lanai (open air porch) strategically shielded from the sun by giant, white awnings and umbrellas. The bright Maui morning light reflects off the pool and the ocean, softening when it hits that white ceiling, making the entire restaurant a photographer’s dreamy lightbox.
The diffuse glow makes everyone look like a movie star. Drag your eyes up from your smartphone (or the complimentary newspaper) and take at least one moment to gaze at your dining companions. They’ll be gorgeous — as will you.
(This is how this breakfast buffet on Maui starts to weave it’s magic spell: flattery. Any restaurant that makes you look great before, during and after sampling dozens of decadent dishes is serving a Dionysian’s dream meal.)
Delish Dishes? Check.
There’s a menu, which we never consult, because nearly everything on it can be ordered from your server when you get the full buffet option ($37). There are a few items that are upcharges — a steak, a fish, crab benedict, ahi sashimi … but really, there’s so much on the buffet itself we rarely bother.
(Unless we happen to be dining during a holiday brunch — for which you MUST make reservations — in which case those are already included, along with lots of champagne and many, many other things that are just exquisite and oystery and lobstery and the cost is just a wee bit higher, and you definitely won’t need to eat for the rest of the day.)
Those with allergens — particularly gluten allergens — will love the special gluten-free menu, and the “gluten-free corner” of the pastry section. (Separate table, although we’re not convinced those pastries are turned out in a totally gluten-free kitchen.)
Included with the full buffet is coffee and juice, sometimes including fresh-squeezed options. You can also upgrade to the Ali’i2 option, which includes mimosas or bloody mary’s. There’s also a juice bar near the restaurant’s entrance where you can order to go, or have your waiter put it on your tab. The fresh-squeezed options there will make any fruitarian happy.
Your waiter will bring you your libations, leaving a cozied coffee pot on the table for you (always appreciated). They’ll also clear your plates and reset your utensils as many times as you need — and if you wander to the buffet leaving your plate unattended, someone will swoop a basket dome over it for you to keep the sparrows away.
Abundant Buffet Options? Check.
The food is, uniformly, great to excellent. Everything is switched out regularly, not left to sit there steaming and shriveling. If you think it looks nice to try, our advice is to do so. Some of our favorite items we go for again and again include, in no particular order:
- Omelets made to order, stuffed and overflowing if that’s the way you like them, or neatly folded and dainty if you’re a minimalist.
- Any benedict they offer will feature a lovely Hollandaise sauce. Make sure you have something handy to soak up the yolk/sauce, and yes, they have Tabasco or similar, just ask your server.
- Pastries. Too many to name, and rotating every day. The Four Seasons has several excellent pastry chefs, and they seem to really like being up early making all sorts of strudels, muffins, and scones.
- House-smoked salmon on a (toasted) bagel half with cream cheese. (Sorry, bagels on Maui still aren’t great. Best to toast and keep your expectation low.)
- Pancakes, which can be generously studded with berries or chocolate chips or other wonderful things. Three kine syrup. Yes, you can get yours in the shape of Mickey Mouse, or Minnie even, if you like bows in your pancake’s hair.
- Waffles, particularly those featuring an avalanche of toasty macadamia nuts.
- Fresh white powder donuts. These are usually on the kid’s table. Don’t worry, you can sneak one or two, and no one will mind.
Special Occasions? Check.
If you’re lucky to snag a reservation for a deluxe holiday brunch, you’re also going to be swimming in champagne and gorging on oysters, crab legs as long as your forearm, and lobster tail. There will be at least three roasts (beef, turkey, ham, most likely). And the dessert table will beg you to save room. Cost usually hovers around $120 per person for these feasts, but they book quickly, and these are the rare occasions in which hotel guests are given first preference. If you’re not staying at the resort, you can usually call the day before to see if there any tables left.3
Every Breakfast Feels Like a Maui Vacation
But even on the most average of Maui mornings — say a Tuesday — you can bask in the little cocoon of wonder the Four Seasons has woven for you. We suppose it’s a little different if you’re staying at the resort — perhaps then you want to eat a little lighter, get up a little sooner, and make a day of it.
But if your next stop is the pool just on the other side of the half wall, or the ocean just down the slope, or if you don’t have another meeting to attend until much later, this afternoon, you can probably safely linger at the table, reading your paper and refilling your coffee, letting your shoulders relax, your back loosen, and your mind unwind. The restaurant is cavernous (seats 162, plus 36 in a private room), and as long as your table isn’t needed, and they haven’t closed up for the morning, absolutely no one — and nothing — will bother you.
Parking: Valet only, complimentary. Or, park in the Wailea Beach parking lot, located between The Grand Wailea resort and The Four Seasons resort, and walk up the Wailea beach path to the restaurant.
Breakfast Hours (a la carte): 6am-11:30am daily
Breakfast Buffet Hours: 6:30am-12pm on Sunday, 6:30am-11am Monday to Saturday
Reservations: Not usually necessary for breakfast, however, if you are going to a special holiday buffet, definitely make a reservation.
Interested in dinner? Read our latest review here.