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