I just came back from an awesome 5-night family trip to Maui, and boy is it coldddd in the northeast. I’m definitely missing the warm Hawaiian sun and sand!
As a family, we had originally planned to spend 3-nights at Hyatt’s new property – the Andaz Maui at Wailea, but after the rest of my family left to go home, Mr. Points Traveler and I decided we loved the property so much that we stayed another night, making it a total of 4 nights.
For those who know my “travel style”, I rarely rave about hotel rooms and I consider myself a tough critic because I’m usually more about the destination – redeeming points for flights – instead of using them to indulge in luxurious hotel nights.
I’ve had the opportunity to stay at many aspirational Hyatt properties over the last year or so – The Park Hyatt Maldives, Park Hyatt Zurich (beautiful), The Grand Hyatt Kauai (loved it), Park Hyatt Tokyo (awesome, but probably wouldn’t use points again), and The Grand Hyatt Istanbul, just to name a few. All were amazing stays, but I probably wouldn’t consider splurging up to 22,000 (soon to be 30,000 for some) Hyatt GoldPassport/Ultimate Rewards points per night again for them.
…But I’d return to the Andaz Maui on points in a heartbeat! Wow, wow, wow is all I can say! From the moment we set foot on the property to the moment we said our last farewells, I was continuously amazed. Not only is the property itself incredibly stunning, but for a resort that has only been open for a few months, the staff is outstanding to say the least – they really have everything down to a science when it comes to making sure guests are enjoying themselves to the fullest.
In fact, I have so many wonderful things to say about this property that I am afraid this review will sound more like a novel than a review post… but here goes:
The Arrival/Check In
When you pull into the property (about a 30 minute ride from the airport in normal traffic), you’re immediately greeted by the property’s valet staff. Valet parking is the only option available at this time, and it’s $30 per night. At first I was bummed about that, but in defense of Andaz Maui, the resort does not charge a resort fee (the majority of resorts in Hawaii do) to cover use of facilities/pools, wifi, fitness centers, etc.
Each person was given a beautiful fresh-flower lei, a lavender lemonade, and pineapple skewer as a welcome treat. You’ll then be escorted into the beautiful lobby where a staff member will meet you for check in.
What I especially liked about the lobby was that it had an open feel – like walking into an Apple store; there weren’t desks separating the staff members from us. Each staff member had an iPad and sat one-on-one with you in one of the cozy lobby lounge chairs. I appreciated the laid back style.
Since we arrived at the hotel fairly early (around 9 am), our rooms were not ready, but they offered to stow our bags while we explored and enjoyed the resort. We met with Debbie from the concierge team to book some excursions during our stay in Maui. Throughout the week, we participated in many activities off of the resort (saving for a separate post) such as a helicopter tour, a luau, a magic show, local dining, and the boys even did a full day of guided hiking.
While our rooms were getting prepped, we were invited to hang in the “Ohana Lounge” downstairs, which featured a comfy couch, large flat-screen TV, bathrooms, showers, work stations etc. The Ohana Lounge is especially useful if you arrive early before check in, or if you have a late flight back home and need a place to hang and freshen up after check out.
What can I say – the resort grounds are simply stunning. There are a multitude of infinity pools to relax by, along with a separate “tranquil pool” hidden away from the main pool area for ultimate relaxation. From the moment you settle down in a pool-side lounge chair, you are greeted by the attentive pool staff who will set you up with chair covers, towels, cold water, and even sunscreen if you wish.
The Fitness Center / Resort Activities
Every morning, I made it a point to work out for a little bit in their state-of-the-art fitness center, which has everything you can possibly ask for in a hotel gym – cardio machines, free weights, yoga equipment, etc. The resort also offers complimentary fitness classes in the morning (around 6:30 am) and yoga for a fee ($25). I did not get a chance to experience the spa because it was over my budget (a 90-minute couples massage priced at $510, pre-gratuity).
If you’re looking for a great outdoor workout, you can participate in daily complimentary outrigger canoeing (at 7:30 am and 10:30 am), but do know that pre-registration at the beach activities kiosk is required (I learned the hard way that you have to book days in advance). On the last day of our stay, there was a canoeing race that Mr. Points Traveler participated in; two teams of 6 raced each other in the ocean and the winning team got a pretty sweet prize – one hour of open bar (unlimited food and drinks – you can easily rack up a $100 tab).
Speaking of poolside food and drinks, a cocktail was about $14 and lunch plates (very big portions) were reasonable (about $20 a dish) and absolutely delicious (my favorite was the lobster grilled cheese sandwich).
One of my absolute favorite things about my stay was breakfast each morning. Hands down, hats off, this is definitely the best hotel breakfast I have ever experienced. Since my family and I were Hyatt Diamond members thanks to the Hyatt Diamond Trial, we enjoyed breakfast for free each morning (gratuity included). For non-Diamond members, the breakfast spread is $45 a person.
Breakfast starts at 6:30 am at the Ka’ana Kitchen right below the lobby, and the restaurant features both indoor and outdoor seating. I loved the open kitchen design and the fact that everything is made fresh, from scratch, using local ingredients from nearby farms. The food choices are beyond endless – fresh fruits, Hawaiian specialties, pancakes, breakfast meats, fresh juices, omelets, and even an ala cart menu (half portions are included in the Diamond breakfast benefit).
The Room – Andaz Suite
Mr. Points Traveler and I were kindly upgraded to the “Andaz Suite” since we were on our “baby moon” (can’t believe how soon it is until Mini Points Traveler’s debut). We were assigned room 340. The rest of my family had a double-bed ocean view room on the 7th floor (which was very awesome in itself).
The suite was definitely a treat – what a gorgeous room! When you first enter, there is a half bathroom in the foyer area, and then you are lead to the living room area which features an elaborate dining room table, mini bar, and separate sitting area with a flat screen television. The bedroom is separated by doors for privacy. We received a bottle of champagne (which my family enjoyed) and everyone received reusable Andaz water bottles and a beach bag to use during our stay.
The bathroom was tremendous with a huge shower, soaking tub, a fancy Japanese-inspired toilet, and double-sink vanity. Bath amenities were by Malie, a high-end organic product line. The room also had a really nice walkout balcony with ocean views.
Another cool room perk was that for Diamond members, all mini bar snacks and non-alcoholic beverages were complimentary and re-stocked during our stay. We received nightly turndown service (which included a jug of cold water by our bed) promptly around 8 pm each evening. During turndown service on our first night, we received a platter of Hawaiian desserts and a hand-written note from management.
Other Cool Resort Features
Do Laundry: There’s a full-service (and free) laundry room by the tranquil pool – detergent and dryer sheets included. Nothing beats hanging poolside while doing a load of laundry on your last day – feels good to pack clean clothes and not have to worry about doing it when you get home!
Awesome Wifi: Serious high-speed wifi all throughout the resort. No connectivity problems what so ever.
Get Professional Pictures Done: You can make an appointment for a complimentary beach photo shoot with a professional photographer. My family and I wanted a fun family photo (complete with cheesy Hawaiian shirts – Mr. Points Traveler wasn’t too thrilled with that component, but still was a good sport). We also used this opportunity to take a few maternity pictures. Just for doing the shoot, you’ll receive a complimentary photo in front of the resort. For everything else, you have to pay between $25-$49 a photo (don’t worry it is extremely low-key and low pressure). We chose to purchase a few shots. Here’s some samples:
I really enjoyed my first time in Maui and staying at the new Andaz sure was a treat! If you have free night certificates or Hyatt points, I would definitely recommend checking this place out – I’m sad to be back home!
Have you visited the Andaz Maui in Wailea yet? Or are you planning to visit soon? If so, I’d love to hear about your experiences/plans!