If you want to experience a day at a resort setting with great sunny weather, fantastic views and easy ocean access, then this could be your South Maui beach of choice. Polo Beach is a county wayside beach park nestled between the Polo Beach Club condominiums and the Fairmont Kealani Hotel, and is on the land provided by the Wailea Community Association as a public beach access. Rows of blue beach umbrellas fronting the gleaming white Kealani hotel complex invoke comparisons to the beaches of French Riviera, only with warm turquoise waters and silhouettes of the other islands in the distance. For running or walking enthusiasts, this beach marks the bottom end of a paved oceanside coastal path that stretches for a mile-and-a-half along some of the most beautiful resort areas of Maui's famed Wailea region. The facilities here are very clean and well-maintained. There is ample shade parking and grassy manicured lawn with picnic tables, shower and restrooms, stretching from the parking lot to the beach.
AT A GLANCE:
HIGHLIGHTS: Great facilities, easy ample free parking, unusual in the Wailea resort area, a 1.5-mile paved walking path starts here and runs up the coast to Wailea Beach fronting the Marriott, almost-guaranteed great sunny weather, much less windy than North Kihei.
ACTIVITIES: Swimming, boogie-boarding and body-surfing, walking and running path, picnicking.
LIFEGUARD: NO lifeguards here
WARNINGS!: Both ends of the beach, as well as the middle divider section, have rocky points that stretch out into the water, so be careful when entering. Proceed with caution, look for posted warnings in front of the hotel.
AMENITIES: Well-maintained shower, restroom, picnic tables and BBQs, ADA accessible.
This beach consists of two parts, one fronting Kealani hotel, and a beach cove in front of the multi-story Polo Beach Club condominium building. Facing the ocean, the best beach access is to the right down a stairway. You can't miss this beach, with its characteristic blue-shade umbrellas set in rows, covering white cabana chairs. These are for hotel guests, of course, but their ambiance is free of charge.
The condo-fronting beach crescent is only accessible by walking the beach. Watch out for the waves when passing the rocky outcropping, as during high tides or south swells (summer) the waves can wash up and block access. This end of the beach is less structured, with none of the resort trappings of the northern end, just open sand with plenty of room to spread out your blanket and enjoy. On especially high-surf days (rare), there is a surf break off-shore to your left that provides some fascinating watching.
Take route 31 (Piilani Highway) south until two lanes in each direction merge into a single lane in each direction, heading downhill toward the ocean. The road will open into two lanes each way again, and this is now Wailea Iki Drive. Follow this to the traffic light at the bottom of the hill. Take a left into Wailea Alanui Drive and proceed 0.2 miles. Make a right just past the grounds of the Fairmount Kealani Hotel onto Kaukahi Street. Look for the sign for "Polo Beach" parking at the bottom of the hill on the right. Beach access path starts from the corner of the lot nearest to the Kealani hotel and the beach.
There is never a lack of parking for this beach as it is less well-known then other South Maui beaches and the parking lot is large.