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Hotel Wailea Maui

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Diamond Resort of Hawaii
1990, Nikken Sekkei Ltd. in association with Gima Yoshimori Miyabara Deguchi Architects, design architect Takashi Okamoto. 555 Kaukahi St.

A rustic, modern Craftsman design sets the moderate-sized hotel apart from the grandeur and classical gestures of most resort architecture, favoring a more relaxed, natural expression. The lobby rotunda, with a thirty-six-foot-high, Japanese parasol–inspired ceiling, is balanced by a capacious, lateral-running lanai and a corner turret. The broad low-pitched roof combines with the Kauai coral pillars, India sandstone floors and walls, and Chinese slate roofs to impart an earthiness to the main building. An elongated two-story waterfall forms an entrancing, facade-length tropical moat. Cascading down to a pool, it dramatically flows under the building, emerging as a stream that meanders through Japanese gardens and the remainder of the fifteen-acre property. Dotting the landscape, eighteen quadraplexes accommodate guests in large one-bedroom suites, each with a makai (ocean-facing) lanai.

The mobile-like “surf boards in the moonlight” atop the rotunda's freestanding fluted columns and the Taiko Restaurant's lighting add a contemporary flair. This immaculately detailed restaurant, with its high double-beamed ceiling offers intimate dining in a baronial hall with superb views of the Pacific Ocean. Design architect Takashi Okamoto received his architectural education from the University of California at Berkeley.

Writing Credits

Don J. Hibbard



  • 1990


What's Nearby


Don J. Hibbard, "Hotel Wailea Maui", [Kihei, Hawaii], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Hawaii

Buildings of Hawaii, Don J. Hibbard. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2011, 200-201.

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