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Hotel Review: Andaz Maui at Wailea

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Back in 2012, I took a hardhat tour of the Andaz Maui, and ever since it opened in September of 2013, I’ve wanted to go back and check it out as a full-fledged guest. On my most recent trip to Hawaii, I figured I’d do five nights in Maui and three in Kauai (to re-visit the St. Regis Princeville, one of my favorite resorts)—and after staying at the Andaz Maui, was glad I made that decision.

A magical Maui sunset from the Andaz pool.
A magical Maui sunset from the Andaz pool.

Overview

The Andaz Maui at Wailea lies along 15 acres of prime beachfront, and has 297 rooms/suites and seven villas. An Andaz Suite with partial view averages $1,199/night. Just checking now, choosing a random long weekend in March 2015, I wasn’t able to find any availability using Hyatt Gold Passport Points.

The Andaz Maui
Our suite featured a private pool area, with views of the hotel’s main pools as well.

Booking Experience

Originally I was going to use 25,000 Hyatt points per night for a standard room (valued at $500/night) and then upgrade to a suite, but when I called Gold Passport, there was no way to use points to upgrade—there are very few suites on site—so at first, it was a standard room for me.

Overview of the Andaz Maui from the beach
Overview of the Andaz Maui from the beach

But since I’m Hyatt Platinum now and no longer get the Diamond breakfast or the chance of an upgrade, I decided to book four nights in a pool side suite through Amex FHR, which is a perk of having the American Express Platinum Card, at $680/night, with the fourth night free, a $100 spa credit, and breakfast for two daily (anything from the menu at Ka’ana Kitchen, including entrees). For the fifth night I used 25,000 Chase points, which I transferred to Hyatt. With 4th night free it came to $510 a night for the suite, which is a pretty good deal in my opinion.

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The beach area is a short walk from the pool area.

Booking like this is also a great way to leverage your awards for a premium room without having to pay any extra nights. The hotel could have asked me to move from my pool side suite for the fifth night—and I’m assuming that could change during peak times—but I was able to stay in the suite for my entire stay. As a Hyatt Platinum member, I earned 5 base points per dollar plus a 15% points bonus, and I also earned four nights towards Hyatt’s recent Stay More Play More promotion.

The chic open-air lobby of the Andaz Maui definitely gives me Asian vibes.
The chic open-air lobby of the Andaz Maui definitely gives me Asian vibes.

Check-in Experience

The Andaz Maui has free car service to take you pretty much anywhere you wanted to go in Wailea, but they weren’t able to arrange an airport pick-up. However, they did have a taxi waiting for me and the 30-minute ride was about $60.

Like at most Hawaiian resorts, immediately upon your arrival you receive a lei. The staff member who met us walked down the gorgeous open-air corridor with iPad in hand and checked us in. We were then seated in the lounge and sipped complimentary guava drinks while they explained how the resort works and all its amenities. 

Lobby done right (and the rest of the resort for that matter).
Lobby (and the rest of the resort, for that matter) done right.

I asked for an upgrade from Amex FHR but because I was already in a specialty room, and because there are so few rooms above my grade at the resort (just the seven villas), I stayed put in my pool side suite.

Through Amex FHR I had late check-out, which came in handy.

The main bar at sunset was a favorite spot of mine.
The main bar at sunset was a favorite spot of mine.

Room

I had one of the three pool suites, which are really cool. All three pool suites are near the adults-only infinity serenity pool, and each has a patio that connects to a mini-pool one level down from that adults-only pool.

VEry glad I made the decision to stay at the Andaz Maui, where I was treated to this view every day.
Very glad I made the decision to stay at the Andaz Maui, where I was treated to this view every day.

Because of this, if you have your shades up it’s not quite private, but the access to the pool can’t be beat.

My pool suite was sleek and tranquil.
My pool suite was sleek and tranquil.

Inside was sleek and tranquil, with an easy-breezy ambiance that matches the beachy vibe of Maui. There was plenty of room, great lighting, and of course the views couldn’t be beat—not only from the patio, but from two balconies as well. The living room was comfortable, and included a full wet bar with coffee, tea, non-alcoholic drinks and snacks.

I like a good wet bar.
I like a good wet bar.

The bathroom had a rain shower and a great soaking tub, with double sinks in the bathroom. I’m seeing the double sinks more and more, and it’s a great feature. There was also a TOTO Japanese toilet and the usual full line of Andaz-branded amenities.

Hotel Amenities

The breakfast buffet at Kanaa Kitchen  cannot be beat.
The breakfast buffet at Kanaa Kitchen cannot be beat.

The hotel has two main restaurants, the first one is Kanaa Kitchen, and the daily breakfast buffet was amazing. I had a Kahlua pork Benedict, which was absolutely delicious.

A volcanic eruption of the taste buds - Kalua Pork Benedict with ponzu hollandaise and heirloom tomato salad topped with Thai pepper hot sauce
A volcanic eruption of the taste buds – Kalua Pork Benedict with ponzu hollandaise and heirloom tomato salad topped with Thai pepper hot sauce

We ate there for other meals three times, and each time was a delight – really fresh, with delicious sushi. The other restaurant is Morimoto, which is located poolside.

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I ordered the “Duck Duck Goose” at Morimoto which was duck confit fried rice with frozen foie gras.

It’s a shame the room service menu was so lacking, though. They only had a few items, and you really have to push them to get anything else.

The spa was private and relaxing.
The spa was private and relaxing.

We went to the spa, where I had a huge suite that was truly private and absolutely beautiful. I got a massage with my spa credit and it was fine. The gym is not your standard hotel after-thought; it’s huge, and fully equipped. There is also beachfront yoga.

Beachfront yoga is just past these 4,000 infinity pools.
Beachfront yoga is just past these 4 infinity pools.

The staff was extremely helpful, and the concierge was able to set up diving and boat rental and restaurant reservations—anything we needed. The same goes for the crew at the resort’s small beach, who will rent you paddle boards and such. And it’s a great beach for whale-watching.

There are plenty of activities... or you can just lounge by the pool.
There are plenty of activities… or you can just lounge by the pool.
It's hard to beat an evening sunset in Maui.
It’s hard to beat an evening sunset in Maui.
Swing outside the suite by the pool area.
Swing outside the suite by the pool area.
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The Andaz Maui features an open-air lobby, which is common for most hotels on the island.

Overall

The resort itself is gorgeous. Maui has no shortage of options, but the Andaz is probably my favorite here. It’s is chicer, younger (although there were people of all ages there) and just more modern than the very, very old resorts that are on Maui. The Four Seasons, for example, has a Vegas feel that doesn’t quite match the tropical vibe of Maui. We ate at Spago one night and it was… meh: super expensive, crowded, and just not that nice.

Indoor and outdoor spaces blended seamlessly at the Andaz Maui.
Indoor and outdoor spaces blended seamlessly at the Andaz Maui.

There is no shortage of good views at the Andaz, with the multi-level pools all facing the ocean and the open-air lobby giving you a real feel of the surroundings. I highly recommend staying here, and I plan to do so again myself one day!
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