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If you want to use your Hyatt points to stay on Maui you have two choices, the Hyatt Regency Maui in Ka’anapali or the Andaz Maui in Wailea. These hotels are located in different parts of the island not only geographically, but they also have very different feels and offer very different getaways. Truthfully, aside from the obvious similarities of both being ocean front Hyatt properties in Maui, the two resorts have very little in common and offer very distinct experiences.
If you have to choose when Hyatt property to visit in Maui, I’m going to try and help you out the way I did for those choosing between the Grand Hyatt or the St. Regis on Kauai, but my best advice unless one is obviously a poor fit for your preferences, is to visit both. This is what we did on our most recent trip to Maui and it is really like getting two vacations in one since they are such different experiences.
Location, tie based on preference:
The Hyatt Regency Maui is located on “resort row” on the beach in Ka’anapali while the Andaz Maui is in a more upscale and secluded part of Wailea. There are more stores, restaurants, and other hotels within walking distance of the Hyatt Regency than the Andaz Maui, and whether or not that is a good thing to you will of course be personal preference.
While we enjoyed walking to some places to eat and to snorkel at Black Rock from the Hyatt Regency, the constant “through traffic” of that area impacted my husband’s ability to relax at the Hyatt Regency. However, both properties offer west facing ocean views, meaning there are epic sunsets at either hotel.
Pools, advantage Hyatt Regency Maui:
I am giving the pools category to the Hyatt Regency Maui in part because you actually have two large pool complexes to select from at that property thanks to the Residence Club property next door.
The Hyatt Regency has a toddler water slide and a very fun large water slide that is the most “thrilling” of any Hyatt hotel slide I have ever gone down!
It also has a cave, some true deep ends, some open swimming area, a fantastic toddler play area, zero entry areas with splash zones at the Residence Club, and the Residence Club section is even heated!
The Andaz Maui has a multi-layered pool that is great for cocktail sipping, but not nearly as good for child playtime.
The very bottom level of the Andaz Maui pool area does feature a zero entry larger pool that is good for kids, but it can’t really complete with what the Hyatt Regency Maui offers to swimming families and it is right next to Morimoto which can get sort of awkward during meal times.
Beach, advantage Andaz Maui:
The beach directly in front of the pools at the Hyatt Regency Maui is not ideal for swimming, though it is good if you go just a bit on either direction. However, the Andaz Maui beach wins for me because of the boogie board friendly waves, the scenery, the solid snorkeling right off the hotel, and frankly, because you get beach gear or shaded beach chairs for free (included in resort fee) right from the hotel.
Views, advantage Andaz Maui
This is Maui, so everything is beautiful, but I give the views competition also to Andaz Maui, in part because there isn’t as much around it distracting from the view and in part because, well, just look for yourself.
Food, tie based on preference
The Andaz Maui has an insane breakfast and “farm to table” offerings via the Ka’ana Kitchen as well as Morimoto Maui on site, but neither of those things comes cheap. More on eating in Maui here…
There also isn’t really much within an easy walking distance of the Andaz, though Wailea does have good options, and there is a house car to take you where you want to go in that area.
The Hyatt Regency Maui has more options within walking distance, features Japengo that has a solid and affordable happy hour as well as a full menu, and there is fantastic shave ice right by the pool.
I liked the food offerings that both resorts had, but the Andaz Maui can blow out your budget in a hurry with their fancy concoctions, so the Hyatt Regency Maui may be a little more palatable for some.
Rooms, advantage Hyatt Regency Maui
For families, I think the standard rooms at the Hyatt Regency Maui are larger and more comfortable than the Andaz Maui at 451 square feet, though I have honestly never stayed in standard rooms in either. I have toured one at the Andaz Maui and I immediately thought it would be quite a tight fit for a family of four.
It also is a slippery endeavor as the rooms are not carpeted. In fact, the Andaz Maui rooms, while stylish, are a little form over function in my view. For what it is worth, the soaps at the Andaz Maui are outstanding, but otherwise I think the standard rooms at the Hyatt Regency Maui win.
Club Lounge, advantage Hyatt Regency Maui
The Andaz Maui does not have a Club Lounge while the Hyatt Regency Maui has a fantastic one that you can access by using elite status, extra points, or some extra cash.
As outlined here, the lounge at the Hyatt Regency Maui was a big way we kept food costs down and didn’t waste time when all we needed was a full belly.
Spa, advantage Andaz Maui
If you are lucky enough to enjoy a treatment in either the spa at the Andaz Maui or the Hyatt Regency Maui you are in for a treat. I again had a massage on this most recent visit to the Hyatt Regency Maui and it was just as good as the one I enjoyed several years ago, though they didn’t have any oceanside massages at this time.
I did not again return to the spa at the Andaz Maui on this trip for a treatment, but I know how fabulous that spa is from my first stay at the hotel.
While the treatments at the Hyatt Regency are great, the apothecary element to the Andaz Maui spa takes it a notch above. I think the prices are also a notch above which is the main reason we skipped it this time, but if you can afford the prices, or make a special exception and splurge at the Andaz Maui, I doubt you will regret it.
Kid’s Club, advantage Andaz Maui
Both Hyatt properties in Maui had fantastic Kid’s Club/Camp Hyatt programs for those ages 5-12. My 7 year old took part in both on this trip and she would probably rank them as a tie, with perhaps a slight edge to the Hyatt Regency Maui as they were allowed to swim in that program. However, as the mom that was paying, I’m giving the edge to the Andaz Maui as their daytime kid’s program is free, or rather it is included in the resort fee.
The program runs from 9AM – 3PM, but even if you don’t have your kid stay for the whole day (mine almost cried when we got her at 1PM!), it is still a phenomenal way to have a little adult time while your kids have a blast without it hitting your wallet. We snorkeled, swam, boogie boarded, and enjoyed a sushi lunch at Morimoto while our kid lived it up with others her own age.
Included free activities, advantage Andaz Maui
The kid’s club is just the start of the included activities at the Andaz Maui and it is the clear winner in this category as there is no additional charge for paddleboard lessons, an outrigger excursion, yoga classes, snorkel gear, boogie boards, and so much more. The little things like the sunscreen stations out by the pool are even so appreciated since sunscreen is one of those messy things I just hate packing.
Not all of the ocean equipment is free at the Andaz Maui as we paid about $40 to rent a kayak for an hour since the classes were all full when we had free time, but we did make full use of the snorkel and boogie boards that were available for the taking.
I hate resort fees, but you don’t pay them on full points awards with Hyatt anyway, and even if you did pay it here, it is one of the rare places I think you actually could get your money’s worth, especially if you use the free kid’s club.
Upscale Luxury Vibe, advantage Andaz Maui
If you want a swanky setting for your Hawaii vacation, Andaz Maui is the winner. This is where the ‘cool’ folks with “man buns”, designer sunglasses, $20 cocktails, and perfectly blown out hair hang out. So, I clearly don’t fit in.
There are families and normal-ish folks here too, but the Andaz Maui is sleek, cool, and pretty upscale. If this is what you want from your resort, you found it.
Family Friendly Vibe, advantage Hyatt Regency Maui
The Hyatt Regency Maui is also a very, very nice property, but you will see many more families, conference attendees, and normal looking folks in Target swim trunks rather than Gucci swimwear here than you will at the Andaz Maui. Not only is the crowd a little different in general than the Andaz Maui, but there are things like penguins and parrots in the lobby, swans and flamingos on some walking trails, and just more for families looking to explore and enjoy the resort.
Globalist Breakfast Benefit, advantage Andaz Maui
While the Hyatt Regency Maui has the Regency Club, the Andaz Maui has my favorite Globalist breakfast of any of the Hyatt resorts we have visited. The fresh hand pressed juice bar alone wins me over, but the breakfast buffet at the Ka’ana Kitchen just keeps going and going and going.
If I were paying cash, this breakfast experience would cost $47 per person, but if you have Globalist status it costs you $0. I dream of the foods on this
buffet breakfast experience and cannot wait to return!
Award Availability, advantage Hyatt Regency Maui
Okay, here is where things take a turn. If I have sold you on using points at the Andaz Maui, it’s time to share the bad news and apologize a bit. They are very, very stingy with standard award reservations. It wouldn’t shock me if they are the worst Hyatt property about releasing standard rooms for award reservations in the entire world. I lucked into getting what we got for spring break by booking the day the schedule was released 13 months out, but even that doesn’t always work anymore.
Right now the best way to find award nights at the Andaz Maui is to ask Hyatt to tell you which nights are available rather than searching one by one and coming up empty handed. Unfortunately, right now it is just that bad of a situation with this hotel and award reservations.
On the other hand, the Hyatt Regency Maui reliably has award rooms available if you book well in advance and even has cash and points night available with some frequency. Additionally, the Hyatt Regency Maui is only 20,000 points per night for a standard room whereas the Andaz Maui is 25,000 points…if you can even luck into award availability at all.
Which is Better? Hyatt Regency Maui or Andaz Maui
For families who aren’t going to make real use of the kid’s club or beach amenities, the Hyatt Regency Maui is the far and away winner. For couples looking for a swankier getaway, the Andaz Maui is the clear winner. For families with kids in the 5-12 range who will use the included beach activities and the kid’s club it becomes more of a toss up. In that case I will recommend time at both resorts if you can pull it off.
I don’t have a favorite between the Andaz Maui and the Hyatt Regency Maui, but because the Hyatt Regency Maui is a lower category and it far more reliably has award availability in the first place, it is probably the overall more relevant recommendation for this site. But, the insane breakfast, the included kid’s club, the natural beauty of the area, and all the beach amenities at your disposal at the Andaz Maui keeps it as a top property on my list as well.
What are your thoughts when choosing between the Hyatt Regency Maui and the Andaz Maui for your trips to paradise?
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