FEMA Officials Staying at $1,000 a Night Luxury Hotels in Maui - While Days Inn, Airbnb Rooms Are Available

Craig Bannister | August 23, 2023
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Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials visiting fire-devastated Maui are staying at high-end hotels featuring aroma-therapy sessions and $32 Mai Tai cocktails, investigation reveals.

  • FEMA officials staying in luxury hotels in Maui during wildfires, at taxpayer expense, while residents struggle to rebuild their lives.
  • FEMA's slow response and inadequate assistance criticized, as locals doubt the empathy and priorities of FEMA officials.
  • Locals pan the limited financial assistance offered to wildfire survivors.


Four high-end resorts in Wailea are hosting FEMA teams, with room rates starting at $1,000 per night at three locations and $750 at another:

  • The Fairmont Kea Lani ($1,000+ a night)
  • The Four Seasons ($1,000+ a night)
  • Grand Wailea Astoria ($1,000+ a night) and
  • Marriott Wailea Beach Resort ($750+ a night)


“The beachside resorts are popular among the rich and famous and located about a 45-minute drive away from the fire-ravaged town of Lahaina,” The Daily Mail explains in its investigative report:

“Officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have been slammed by locals over their slow response to the devastating wildfires that have claimed at least 114 lives and left thousands of people homeless after their houses were scorched to the ground.

“But that has not stopped the under-fire agency from splashing taxpayer cash to put up more than 1,000 of its personnel at four bank-breaking resorts in Wailea after the deadliest wildfire in the U.S. for more than a century that caused an estimated $5 billion in damage.”

The news has sparked outrage, both nationally and among locals:

  • Local residents feel that FEMA officials should be closer to the disaster site, not 45 minutes away.
  • Taxpayers outraged over the use of taxpayer dollars for lavish accommodations.
  • Calls for greater accountability and more judicious use of taxpayer dollars.
  • Locals say that FEMA officials' decision to stay in lush hotels shows a lack of empathy for the community's struggles.
  • Anger directed at FEMA’s relatively paltry $700 one-time payment to survivors for essentials, while FEMA officials spend hundreds of dollars more than that a night to indulge in luxury.


“FEMA booked themselves in the five-star luxury Hawaiian resorts – relaxing at cocktail bar, knocking back drinks – 45 minutes away from Lahaina, the city consumed by an inferno,” Fox News Host Jesse Watters said on his Tuesday program - noting that “The Mai Tai at the Maui Four Seasons is $32, gratuity not included.”



“The five-star resorts, 45 minutes away, weren’t the only options,” Watters explained:

“FEMA officials could stay at the Days Inn – where you could get an ocean-front view for $250 a night. We confirmed it. Rooms are still available there.

“Days Inn isn’t a bad spot. It doesn’t have the aroma-therapy sessions that the Four Seasons offers, but, logistically and financially, it seems to make sense.”

Additionally, Airbnb has pledged to provide at least one thousand free accommodations to the displaced and, presumably, the FEMA officials there to help them.

There are almost 500 Federal personnel deployed to Maui, with more teams on the way, the Biden Administration reports.