EXCLUSIVE: FEMA officials are staying at $1,000-a-night luxury hotels in Maui amid recovery efforts in Lahaina


Exclusive DailyMail.com photos show FEMA officials drinking at the cocktail bar at the Grand Wailea hotel on Friday August 18 amid recovery efforts in Lahaina

Bungling U.S. government bureaucrats dispatched to the Maui disaster zone are shacked up in $1,000-a-night luxury hotels on the Hawaiian island, DailyMail.com can reveal.

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 $5billion in damage.

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.

FEMA teams have checked in at three five-star hotels, the Fairmont Kea Lani, Four Seasons, and the Grand Wailea Astoria where past guests include members of Hollywood’s elite.

Their rooms carry price tags that are well out of reach of most hard-working Americans.

Federal government rates for this week at all three resorts start at an eye-watering $1,000, company sources told DailyMail.com.

The Fairmont Kea Lani, Hawaiian for ‘heavenly white’, boasts on its website about being the ‘only all-suite’ hotel in Hawaii that once welcomed ex-Bond star Pierce Brosnan and offers ‘gourmet dining’ to uber-wealthy guests.

The 780 rooms come with either one or two bedrooms, measuring at least 860 square feet, and have private balconies so that visitors can soak up the sunset views of what the hotel calls ‘an oceanside paradise.’

Meanwhile, the Four Seasons, another top resort that once hosted Kanye West, spans nearly 15 acres and has a white fountain pool, green trees, 600 square-feet rooms.

The Grand Wailea, where Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston and Nicole Kidman filmed their romantic comedy, Just Go With It, has 776 rooms that start at 640 square feet.

The hotel is set on 40 acres of tropical gardens and sits right on one of Maui’s most beautiful beaches, Wailea Beach.

And there are FEMA 100 officials staying at the four-star Marriott Wailea Beach Resort for $531 per night, a company insider said, but where rooms currently on offer to the general public start at $749.

Among them are search teams who face the horrifying and challenging task of looking for the bodies of the dead and recovering their remains.

But FEMA’s choice of accommodation for their officials could raise eyebrows given that there are scores of cheaper hotels in the west of the island.

Kaleo, a local government employee who asked for his surname to be withheld amid fears that he could lose his job, said the revelations about their use of luxury hotels was ‘selfish’.

‘Shouldn’t they stay closer to the site, instead of staying across on the other side of the island?’ he asked.

There has also been anger about the $700 ‘one-time’ payment to help survivors get essentials such as clothing, food or transportation.

Bogus claims circulated online last week that the Biden administration had set a cap on any federal handouts to those who survived the deadly blazes at that amount.

The White House has signed off on $7million in emergency funds, meaning FEMA can stump up cash to put those who lost their homes in temporary accommodations such as hotels or condos.

But locals have also fumed over accusations that FEMA has blocked volunteers from delivering aid to the disaster zone.

They blamed U.S. government red tape which means only FEMA-approved supplies can be distributed to those in need.

And Maui’s top emergency official Hernan Andaya resigned suddenly on Thursday citing health problems, just one day after he defended his decision not to sound the island’s alarm system.

Andaya said he did not activate Maui’s 80-alarm, all-hazard outdoor siren system because he feared that residents would confuse the alert for a tsunami warning.

DailyMail.com asked FEMA why those hotels had been chosen and whether they had been offered any additional discounts.

The U.S. government’s emergency response agency failed to reply to the request for comment.


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