SHAMELESS: FEMA officials turning Maui visit into luxury holiday while Lahaina residents suffer
08/28/2023 // Ramon Tomey // Views

Officials of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) under the Department of Homeland Security are reportedly turning their visit to the wildfire-ravaged island of Maui into a luxury holiday.

According to the Daily Mail, officials under the agency are staying in luxury resorts costing $1,000 per night. More than 1,000 FEMA employees have booked rooms at hotels in Wailea, a 45-minute drive away from the town of Lahaina damaged by the disaster, with taxpayers shouldering their stays.

Agency staffers have checked in at three five-star hotels in Wailea – the Fairmont Kea Lani, the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea and the Grand Wailea Astoria – popular among the rich and famous. Starting prices for these rooms are well out of reach of most hardworking Americans.

The Fairmont Kea Lani boasts of being the "only all-suite hotel" in Hawaii that offers "gourmet dining" to its high-earning guests. Its 780 rooms measure at least 860 square feet (sq. ft.) and come with either one or two bedrooms. These rooms also have private balconies for visitors to soak up the sunset views of what the hotel calls "an ocean-side paradise."

The Four Seasons Resort spans nearly 15 acres and has a white fountain pool, green trees and 600 sq. ft. rooms. Meanwhile, the Grand Wailea Astoria has 776 rooms that start at 640 sq. ft. and is situated on 40 acres of tropical gardens. It sits right on one of Maui's most beautiful beaches, Wailea Beach.

Aside from the three five-star hotels, 100 FEMA officials are staying at the four-star Marriott Wailea Beach Resort. Room rates for the general public start at $749, but a company insider said the agency managed to secure rooms at a lower $531 per night.

"FEMA's choice of accommodation for [its] officials could raise eyebrows, given that there are scores of cheaper hotels in the west of the island," the Mail pointed out.

Measly aid for residents, opulence for officials

One local government employee who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of losing his job said the revelations about FEMA employees checked in at luxury hotels were "selfish." He continued: "Shouldn't they stay closer to the site instead of staying across on the other side of the island?"

Greg Price of Para Bellum News did not hide his disgust over the finding. He tweeted: "It's completely insane that the government is only giving Hawaii residents whose lives just went up in flames $700, but is paying $1,000 per night for FEMA officials to stay in five-star resorts."

Price's tweet referenced the one-time $700 assistance promised by the Biden administration to affected households. President Joe Biden announced the aid on Aug. 14, as part of the White House's focus on getting aid to survivors of the Lahaina wildfires.

Fox News host Jesse Watters, meanwhile, tweeted that the federal government is "disrespecting" Americans once more.

"FEMA has turned the Hawaii tragedy into a vacation. Officials booked themselves into five-star luxury Hawaiian resorts where they relaxed at cocktail bars, 45 minutes away from Lahaina," said the "Jesse Watters Primetime" host.

"They're shacking up beachfront hotels that go for [more than] $1,000 a night, filled with all the luxuries you could imagine. While they live in luxury, FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell is complaining [the agency doesn't] have enough money and needs more taxpayer cash." (Related: FEMA's emergency funds to be completely depleted within WEEKS – but at least Zelensky is still getting billions from U.S. taxpayers.)

The agency defended its stance in a statement to the Mail: "In the immediate aftermath of the tragic Maui wildfires, FEMA surged personnel – including hundreds of search and rescue teams – to provide relief to the survivors and support to the state and local governments as quickly as possible."

"To complete that mission, FEMA selects hotels where all responders can be centrally located to ensure the most effective response possible. Due to the lack of available lodging, [the agency] negotiated government rates, at the lowest possible cost, for staff temporarily staying in the available hotels."

The statement reiterated that agency staffers "will move to longer term, more affordable responder lodging" as recovery efforts in Maui continue. However, the fact remains that tax dollars were used to book FEMA staffers into opulent hotels while survivors received a one-time aid of $700 – a mere pittance.

Visit for more about the federal government's response to the Lahaina wildfires.

Watch Next News Network's Gary Franchi discussing the irony of FEMA employees staying in luxurious hotels while Lahaina wildfire survivors suffer.

This video is from the NewsClips channel on

More related stories:

Chinese state media (justifiably) MOCKS Biden's INCOMPETENCE in handling Hawaii wildfires.

Maui wildfires continue to expose government's FAILURES and QUESTIONABLE decisions.

House Speaker McCarthy vows investigation into Biden's response to Lahaina fires.

Sources include: 1 2

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