Review: Andaz Maui at Wailea
Late last year, Chris and I lucked into some very cheap tickets to Maui as a result of Alaska Air's Black Friday sale. We knew without hesitation that we would book the Andaz Maui at Wailea since we were both anxious to check it out.
It's no secret that the Andaz Maui is incredibly expensive ($700 per night and up) and unfortunately, there was no cash and points availability during the nights we would be staying. We didn't love he idea of booking a full points rate (the Andaz Maui is a Category 6 hotel, which requires 25,000 Hyatt points per night to book), so immediately after booking the tickets, Chris applied for the Chase Hyatt Visa, which offers two free nights at any Hyatt hotel once you complete the minimum spend. Once the two free nights posted, we used them to book two nights for our time in Maui.
Cost of two nights in paradise: completely free.
I shared my initial thoughts on the hotel here shortly after we returned home because I knew it would be a while before I got around to writing the full review, so feel free to check that out if you'd like a quicker read.
The Andaz Maui is located in Wailea, which is on the southern coast of Maui and is quite far away from where most people stay when visiting Maui, Kapalua. Wailea is a 30-40 minute drive from Maui's Kahului Airport (OGG), so unless you've rented a car, you'll need to take a taxi or an Uber to the hotel. Unfortunately for us, there were no Ubers available when we landed, so we took a taxi from the airport and it ended up costing about $45, which was pretty steep, but we didn't have much of a choice. Upon arrival at the hotel, you'll be greeted by attendants happy to help you with your luggage and hand you the most gorgeous flower (or kukui nut if you're a guy) lei. To enter the lobby, you'll walk down a beautiful covered walkway lined with water on both sides. As soon as you begin walking, you'll be greeted by the most stunning view of the ocean, which you can see straight through the lobby.
Once arriving in the lobby, we were promptly greeted by a staff member and she offered for us to take a seat anywhere in the lobby while we completed check-in. Would we like a complimentary lavender lemonade? Yes, of course we would! The lobby, much like the rest of the resort, is absolutely stunning. You'll be greeted by the most beautiful view of the ocean, which you can see straight through the open-air lobby. There's plenty of seating throughout the lobby, along with very high, elegant ceilings, and understated decor.
The hotel staff each had iPads that they used to check us in and go through our preferences. We chose to accept the Diamond amenity of wine and cookies and were happily informed that we had been upgraded to a partial ocean view Andaz Suite. Getting upgraded when we hadn't even paid a dime for the room in the first place was absolutely unexpected and we were absolutely stoked. After finishing our lemonade, we nearly ran to check out our home for the next 48 hours.
You'll find gorgeous wood accents all throughout the hotel and the hallways were no different. Room numbers lit up and the halls were open-air on the ends, which gave it a very island feel.
We were assigned to room 418, which was at the very end of the hallway on the left-hand side of the resort. The room was a partial ocean view suite, which was partial because it was blocked by the villas located right in front of the room, but if you looked out over the pool, you could see the ocean, which was absolutely good enough for us!
The room itself was also really incredible. Chris and I both love minimal, modern decor with wood accents, and the room was just our style. Immediately upon entering, there was a half-bath to the left and then the room opened up to the living and dining area. The room had a couch, chair and flat screen TV, along with a full dining table and armoire which held the bar.
All Andaz properties offer free non-alcoholic beverages and free snacks, which are replenished daily and usually the offerings are hit or miss. At the Andaz Maui, they were a hit! The snacks included Maui-style potato chips and the absolute BEST local granola bars (I was so obsessed, I looked them up when I got home and was disappointed to find out that they are incredibly expensive). The drinks were also on point. You'll find a San Pellegrino Limonata, as well as craft cola and local root beer. We definitely fought over them.
In addition to the bar, there's also a coffeepot for morning coffee.
The room also had an iPad Mini available to use while you're visiting, which is a nice touch, although we didn't need it during our stay. Next to the iPad and the phone, you'll also find the controls for the shades in the room, which is something I always love finding in a hotel room - definitely something you won't have at home!
The bedroom was simple and beautiful, with a door opening onto the patio, a king bed, a chair, and another flat screen TV.
The bathroom was spacious and had a lot of character. There was a double vanity, a soaking tub, and the shower took up the entire back wall, with the ability to open up the screens running behind the bed so you could (in theory) shower with a view of the resort. The toilet was in a small room off the bathroom next to a fairly large closet.
The toiletries were Malie branded and were absolutely amazing. Keeping with the very local theme of the hotel and amenities, Malie is a Hawaiian brand of all-natural luxury bath products. I loved the scent and would have taken home 50 bottles if I could.
Once we finally pried ourselves out of our gorgeous room, we went for a walk around the hotel. The Andaz is considered a boutique hotel in Maui, especially compared to the mega-hotels you will find nearby, with only 297 guestrooms and suites. When we visited, the occupancy levels seemed to be perfect. We were always able to find a lounge chair by the pool and the pools themselves didn't feel overrun with other guests.
One of the most stunning aspects of the hotel is the four tiered infinity pools that descend down to the lawn and, eventually, the beach. Each level has lawn chairs and offers perfect views of the ocean beyond the pool.
In addition to the tiered infinity pools, there is also an adults only pool off to the right hand side of the resort, with one of my favorite features - lounge chairs situated right in the pool.
There are a couple of towel huts spread around near the pools and pool attendants will be happy to set up a lounge chair for you. One of the nice extra features of the hotel is the Andaz branded water bottle you will (usually) receive at check-in (we didn't receive it and had to ask for one later). In an effort to be more green, the hotel gives them out to use throughout your stay so that you can refill them at the water coolers located around the resort, rather than wasting paper or plastic cups. It's also a fun souvenir to take home and remember the trip by.
Unfortunately, we found the service around the pools to be a bit lacking. Several times, we wanted to order drinks or lunch while sitting by the pool, but rarely saw any of the servers or bartenders who were supposedly attending to guests. This wasn't a huge deal, because there were bars on the top and bottom levels of the pool area, but at a five star hotel with such a high price tag, I would have expected excellent service.
The two poolside bars and grills, Bumbye Beach Bar and Lehua Lounge both offered the same menu options for food and drinks. Bumbye Beach Bar is located on the bottom level of the pool area, while Lehua Lounge can be found on the top level. The other dining options at the resort are Morimoto Maui ($$$$), Ka'ana Kitchen, which is where you can have breakfast in the mornings, and a small on-site market, called Mokapu Market. We had lunch from both Bumbye and Lehua and one night, we weren't super hungry, so we grabbed a pizza to share from Mokapu Market and it was actually really good (and cheap!).
As I mentioned, breakfast in the mornings is at Ka'ana Kitchen, which is located beneath the lobby in the main building. The restaurant is beautifully appointed with a large open kitchen and has a handful of outdoor tables available, so it's good to get there early if you want to dine with a view.
It has to be said that the Andaz Maui offers what I have found to be the most disappointing Diamond breakfast of any Hyatt hotel I have visited. One of the very best benefits of Diamond status is receiving free breakfast (which, at a hotel like this, will save you nearly $100 a day between two people).
As a Diamond guest, you will receive $28 worth of breakfast for each person in your party or you can upgrade to the hot buffet for an additional fee. The Diamond breakfast includes the cold buffet, which offers a selection of fruits, pastries, breads, cheeses, meats, yogurt, and two hot items: scrambled eggs and rice. You will also get to select one side: bread/toast, two eggs, potatoes, grilled slab bacon, chicken sausage, or bacon, as well as orange, apple or POG juice and coffee.
Now, you're probably thinking that this is quite generous, but honestly, compared to any Hyatt hotel in Asia (or even elsewhere in the US, where I have received a $75 credit per person), it's a disappointing breakfast offering.
Overall, the food was tasty, but I was glad that I didn't have to pay for it.
By the end of the first day, we realized that we hadn't yet received our Diamond amenity, so I called the front desk to ask about it. Apparently, they had completely forgotten and sent it over shortly after, but this was one of several disappointments from our check-in service. We also were not asked if we would like a late check-out (another Diamond benefit is 4PM check out), so when I remembered at the beginning of the second day, it was almost not possible for the hotel to accommodate the request because they had already assigned the room. These two things alone were not significant, and were not incredibly inconvenient, because we were accommodated without a problem, but it does illustrate the disappointing service we noticed throughout our stay. Again, nothing was incredibly bad, but at a hotel this expensive, I would have expected the very best and I was disappointed not to receive it.
Service flaws aside, the beauty of the hotel makes up for A LOT and that is why we still rank the Andaz Maui as one of our favorite hotels in the world. It's really just stunning and we liked the fact that it wasn't incredibly busy and the fact that you'll find less families here.
The hotel has a private beach right in front, which is small, but beautiful. You'll find the Andaz Beach Crew right next to the beach where you can rent stand up paddle boards, kayaks, snorkel sets and boogie boards. They'll also set up a beach chair and umbrella for you on the beach for free.
Quite conveniently, the resort also offers rental cars on-site which you can rent by the day. Unfortunately, I found the price of rentals at the hotel to be more than twice what the price would be renting straight from the airport, but between taxis and the cost of parking at the resort ($30/day plus taxes), it was a wash. We did get a car just for one day while staying at the hotel and it was quick and convenient, which we really appreciated.
The Andaz Maui really is the best of the best in terms of decor, location, and amenities. We walked along the ocean one morning and checked out the other hotels nearby - Marriott, Four Seasons, etc, and we felt that none were more beautiful than the Andaz. Not only that, but the others were massive and full of people. Not super relaxing. While there were certainly service-related flaws, overall, the hotel was exactly what we wanted for our visit to Maui and I know we will be back.
4/19/2018 04:03:30 pm
Great write-up and great photos? What type of camera did you use?
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Just a girl with a full-time job and a full-time obsession with traveling. It's best to LiveTraveled.