We enjoyed a relaxing, six night stay at the sparkling new Andaz. The property is absolutely gorgeous and brand new (the landscaping barely has roots!), and offers a great alternative for accommodation in Wailea. Our stay was not *perfect* though, and had we paid full price (we booked an opening special through Hyatt Gold Passport) we definitely would have felt short changed.
The property is gorgeous. Crisp, clean, elegant and minimalist. The lobby is open air and is set to capitalize on a west-facing (sunset) view. The tiers of infinity pools are gorgeous, and make you want to do nothing but spend all day dipping your toes in the water.
The rooms, similarly are crisp, clean and minimal. I really felt that Andaz did a great job of utilizing light and space, and the white color scheme is bright and airy. The linens are extremely comfortable, and the bathroom is pretty unique. The free mini bar is a nice idea - free non-alcoholic drinks and some basic snacks, and there is also a water cooler at the end of each hallway. Nice touch.
The resort feels empty - whether this is real, or simply because it can absorb a lot of people without feeling busy, not sure. However, it was very quiet and relaxing. There was never an issue finding a great and quiet location to relax. We also loved that all of the lanai's in the rooms were built to capitalize on the gorgeous view. It was fantastic to sit on the poolside lanai and enjoy a glass of wine.
The beach is also incredible. Not busy, very pretty and quite calm. The hotel is located at the north end of the Wailea resorts, and you can easily walk along the waterfront to the other beaches. The walk along the beach to Kihei is also very pretty - great sand, pretty views, gorgeous water.
Some of the service was top notch. I highlight the word "some", The girls in the coffee shop / market were friendly and engaging, and the valet staff was awesome. Some of them even RAN for our car, which was always waiting within minutes. The beach staff was also incredible - very friendly, very responsive.
You are in Maui. However, you have to walk down to the beach to remind yourself of this. The lobby and the rooms need something...perhaps a bit of color, perhaps some flowers...to make you feel like you are in Hawaii. You could be absolutely anywhere - Miami, Palm Springs. Kind of disappointing.
The food services (market, restaurant, beach bar) seem to be focused on either the uber-rich or the uber-stupid. The prices are so high that they are laughable. As noted in another review, breakfast is $45...who can eat that much? Over $100 with tip for breakfast....are you kidding me? The beach cocktails are $18 to $20 and the glacial service (more on that below) makes you feel really annoyed when you are paying top dollar. Worse, the cocktails are not even really that special. Go to the Four Seasons lobby bar or Ferraros...not only are the cocktails better, but so is the service and the view. (A trivial point - I really HATED the name of the beach bar.."Bumbye Beach Bar". Terrible!)
The market / coffee bar is a great idea, but totally overpriced. The pastries are $6 apiece - about $3 more than the price you would pay for the same piece of banana bread at the Honolulu Coffee Company located less than a kilometre away. Also about $4 than any sane person would pay for banana bread. Similarly...$7 for water, $8 for a can of beer, $3 for a protein bar....you get the point. Maui has such incredible, local and sustainable produce...WHY do these hotels insist on gouging to such an extent?
The front desk (or rather, no front desk) service is strange with a bunch of people running around with iPads, and seems to be experiencing a learning curve. Or perhaps hiring issues. Some of the staff were incredibly eager and amazing, while several of the women were completely indifferent. Hipster, too-cool-for-you indifferent. As a client, I should never feel like I am annoying someone with a question or request.
The rooms are uber-modern with button controls for all of the lights, blinds, etc. However, the "service" and "do not disturb" buttons did not seem to work - we had housekeeping staff walking in our room when DND was on, and then had a day when our room was not serviced at all despite the "please service" light being on all day. Something they need to figure out for sure.
The pool and pool bar staff was also inconsistent. They seemed to have nothing to do (it was not very busy) and spent a lot of time chatting with each other and guests, but when you actually needed something (a drink, your bill),,,vanished! We spent 15 minutes trying to search for our server to clear our pool bar bill. Just annoying.
The music at the pool is what I would describe as "pop-rock-cliche elevator tunes" and is on a continuous loop. Stay at the pool too long and you will go crazy.
The hotel is quite empty - this may be seasonal, or perhaps just because it is new. We got the sense that many of the guests were on discounts of some sort. However, it totally crosses the line when the pool staff is in the pool with their kid. Perhaps this is a staff perk....but I find it offensive to see the servers playing in the pool. I am paying top dollar to be there, not to finance a place for the staff to play in their off time.
Overall - a very promising property that needs to find its aloha.
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- Also Known As:
- Andaz Maui At Wailea