By Lora Chow
Maui is an idyllic tropical getaway. Sunny skies, crystal clear aqua ocean waters, and gorgeous topography will surely please any vacationer. The only question is: where should you make your home base on Maui? Tom and I decided to check out Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort. From the moment we arrived until we had to depart for home, our stay was magical.
Everything about our stay here was perfect and started upon our arrival. Andaz Maui feels very much like a luxurious property in SE Asia, which is an incredible feat for a stateside resort. The sleek and modern design seamlessly merges with its’ Hawaiian esthetic and landscape. The service is impeccable and personalized. Although the property was at nearly full occupancy, Tom and I never felt cramped. This is because there is so much space in all of the common areas, including the pools and beach. The Andaz Maui was our third and final hotel stay during our trip to Maui. If we could do things over, we would make this our only accommodation for our 11-night trip. Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort is that special.
Andaz Maui is the most northern resort on Wailea Beach. The unique consideration is that although all beaches on Maui are public, this property is geographically secluded from the southern stretch of the very busy Wailea Beach by rock and coral formations. This provides a very intimate beach experience which is quite unusual for Maui.
Wailea Beach in Maui is a quick 25-minute drive from the airport. It is an upscale locale, complete with immaculately manicured landscape throughout the entire neighborhood, a high-end shopping center, luxury resorts, and top-notch restaurants. Just north of this beach community is the town of Kihei which boasts a nice selection of bars, eateries to accommodate all budgets, shops, food trucks, and beaches. It is also the location of an exceptional hot and new sushi restaurants that we highly recommend: 1054 Togoshi.
The long sleek and modern corridor from the valet station to the property’s entrance sets the tone. Wood, stone, and water features conjure up a feeling of tranquility as we walked into the open lobby area. After taking in the stunning view of the ocean from the entryway, Tom and I were warmly greeted by Jules. Once again, just like a SE Asia 5-star resort experience, our check-in process was completed away from the front desk area. Jules welcomed us with fresh lavender lemonade, gave us a brief tour of the property, and showed us to our room.
Tom and I enjoyed discovering all that Andaz Maui has to offer. There are two-tiered infinity pools overlooking the Pacific. At the ground level is a kid’s friendly pool. For adults looking for peace and solitude, there is a secluded pool that exudes tranquility. The beach is staffed with attendants to pitch up umbrellas and chairs for any guest wishing to be near the water. Although the property was at nearly full-occupancy, there was so much space to spread out and relax. Tom and I chose to spend our time lounging under the shade of palm trees dotted throughout the large lawn separating the pool and beach area. This way, we had easy access to both areas.
In addition to the pool and beach areas, the Andaz also has a lovely spa area, state of the art fitness facilities, and laundry facilities. Yes, laundry facilities! This is one of the biggest amenities that we wish all luxury properties offer. If you are like Tom and me, you are active and need to change into fresh clothes several times each day. Instead of overloading our luggage with clothes or having to wash in the sink or spend time going to a laundromat, we can drop in a load and head on out to the water.
The rooms are modern, but definitely on the small side. The pillows are also much to squishy for our taste and made for a somewhat uncomfortable sleep. We do like how most everything is automated including the privacy and service indicator and the blinds.
ACTIVITIES AND AMENITIES:
Most resorts impose a resort fee and Andaz Maui is no exception. However, the list of amenities included are much more extensive than any other property we have stayed. If you are like Tom and I and are active and want to document all of your adventure and water activities, be sure to stop by the concierge desk to pick up a GoPro 4 for the day. Unfortunately, it is first come, first served and we missed out. Once you secure a GoPro, check out the SUP and canoeing classes. Record memories of your kayaking tour or yoga classes. Do you need to fuel up after all of these activities? Then get your fill of snacks and non-alcoholic beverages replenished each day in your room. For those over 21, check out a cocktail class. Tom and I took a class on tequila and he enjoyed tasted several styles alone and in margaritas. Several times each week, s’mores are offered at sunset. If you are like me, nothing completes a lively day of touring and sightseeing than a gooey chocolate treat!
Another interesting fact: Andaz is environmentally conscious. As such, the use of paper is limited. Also, instead of providing water in plastic bottles, each guest receives a complimentary Andaz logo water bottle to fill at water stations throughout the property.
DINING AND LOUNGES:
Normally, Tom and I forgo resort dining as it is usually overpriced and doesn’t deliver excellent cuisine. However, Andaz Maui is an exception. We were pleasantly surprised by the selection AND execution of the meals at the resort and highly recommend guests and non-guests check out the outlets on property. Morimoto Maui is the “name” restaurant at Andaz Maui. We never tried this outlet, but it seems to be popular. Mokapu Market is the only 24-hour option in the entire region. It offers light prepared foods to take away for a picnic or a midnight snack, bottles of wine or beer, and a lovely array of gelato to satiate your sweet tooth (if you’re like me and always need to end the day with a treat)!
Ka’ana Kitchen serves as the main dining venue for breakfast and dinner. Breakfast was exceptional and deserves its’ title as the best breakfast buffet on Maui. The bountiful array of offerings is outstanding. Naturally, there is an omelet bar. However, the hot offerings are the standout as the trays are constantly turned over and fresh. The variety includes western and Asian fare. My favorites include a savory kimchi pancake and deliciously crunchy and tasty sugar coated Belgian waffles with warm maple syrup. The cold salads, fruit, and charcuterie are all nicely chilled. The banana bread and pastries were fresh and flavorful. And the fresh cold pressed juices were refreshing and healthy (I needed a little boost of health to compensate for my tasty but calorie dense meal choices)!
Tom and I experienced an exceptionally special dining event on our last evening at Andaz Maui. We dined at the Chef’s Table at Ka’ana Kitchen where we were treated to a six-course customized menu complete with cocktail pairings (instead of the usual wine pairings). This personalized culinary tour lasted the entire evening, while our fond memories will last a lifetime. *We will share this dining affair on a future post*
Enjoy beverages and light bites at Lehua Lounge. Boasting never ending views of the Pacific, this is one of our favorite places to start and end the evening. Be sure to ask for Holly, John, or Chase to concoct a one of a kind cocktail! Tom loved off menu creations featuring tequila and I loved sampling different frozen mocktails.
Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort is a one of a kind luxury resort on the island. It is perfect for couples wanting to get away from it all as well as for families who wish to enjoy a refined and luxurious property but not be overwhelmed by other kids running around aimlessly. Unfortunately, we only stayed at the Andaz for a short 36 hours and did not have enough time to comment on the quality of the group activities. However, they are available and hope to experience them on our next visit to Maui. Be sure to make time to explore both the resort and the island of Maui when you visit. Andaz Maui is a special resort we cannot wait to return!
Be sure to book your stay at Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort with us! As Virtuoso Agents, we will be able to secure …
- Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
- Daily full breakfast, for up to two in room guests, served in Ka’ana Kitchen
- $100 USD Equivalent Spa Services credit, to be utilized during stay (not combinable, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
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