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.

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IMG_1096What 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.

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The Resort/Property

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.

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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).

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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).

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The Breakfast

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).

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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.

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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:

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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!
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  • dhammer53 said,

    Nice report. Do you have pictures of the regular rooms?

  • Frugall Travel Lawyer said,

    Thanks for your review! Looking forward to our stay in January.

  • Katie said,

    Great! What’s the beach area like? Our favorite activity is sitting on a quiet beach and reading, and we like really shallow water.

  • GringoLoco said,

    Will be there just before Xmas — so looking forward to lobster grilled cheese! Mahalo for the review…

  • Kent C said,

    Looks great for adults, romance, etc but not great for families with young kids. That’s certainly a plus if you are in the former category, but I do see families arriving and the kids being disappointed by the pools. Yes I know there is an ocean but you are paying for the pools and with the Grand Wailea next door along with the Kea Lani a little south well there are better choices for families which are a huge part of the tourism in Wailea. Seems to be very modern with not enough greenery and plants. Could just as well be in New York but people are raving about it so what do I know. But not my cup of tea.

  • The Weekly Flyer said,

    Congratulations on starting a new family. Exciting times!

  • Erndog said,

    Loved the resort! As for kids, there is a large pool at the lower, ground level with a graduated entry (like walking into a lake) where it seemed most of the families with kids would hang out. If you are looking for pool slides, kiddie pools, pools with basketball or volleyball nets, this isn’t the place.

    The beach was small, but great. The beach chairs and umbrellas are for the guests and maintained by the hotel staff that has a presence on the beach. I could see getting a chaise on the beach during peak occupancy being a problem.

    I can see why the multiple pools on multiple levels makes sense, though – we were there just last week – the hotel occupancy was low, I was told it was only 30% one night. If this place gets crowded, having 4 pools on 4 different terraced levels would certainly help in dispersing the crowd.

    Also, there is an adult-only pool on the ‘other’ side of the hotel – very quiet.

    There are a set of ‘villas’ that offer 2/3/4 bedrooms – I believe the largest one clocks in at almost 4,000 sq. ft! Assuming the pricing makes sense, it could be a viable option to rent a villa instead of 2-3 separate rooms. The villas come equipped with a kitchen, large outdoor stainless grill, outdoor shower, and a private hot tub that looked like it would seat 6-8.

    It’s hard to be critical of this hotel – but a couple of comments:
    *It seemed the hotel staff is very friendly, but a bit overly so and maybe not as sincere. Maybe it’s because the place is new, and everyone is happy to see you, but a constant gushing over your mere presence seem a bit much for me.
    *That being said, it seemed that many interactions were for upsells or attempts at trying to get you to buy/order something from the bar or restaurant – you sit down at the pool, they bring you a menu. I was walking by the bar on the way to the beach, and it’s like, “hey, need a drink for the beach?” A little pushy.
    *Housekeeping was a little inconsistent – the complimentary water jugs showed up every other night and not every night, one day our room was completely missed for make up and we had to call at 5 pm to have housekeeping make up the room – but these aren’t deal breakers.
    *The $30/night valet and $16 cocktails were a bit steep, but I’m sure it’s in line with other resorts in the area.

  • Patty said,

    I’ve read complaints about the furniture in the rooms being uncomfortable. Any comments?

  • The dad said,

    Loved the hotel and family time in Maui. Angie nice review!.

    @Erndog- Agree with your comments. Did not feel pressured to buy drinks. In fact, some family members asked for water and the staff was happy to serve. I was not a big fan of the valet parking. I prefer parking my own car.

    @dhammer- I had a regular room with ocean view. We had 3 adults and was ok.Just enough space, could have been a little bigger.

    @ frugal travel lawyer you will love it.

    @ Katie -beach area was clean and staff was very accommodating.

    @ kent c- hotel was quiet during the week. We did run into families with very young children.Definetely does not feel like NYC.

  • justSaying said,

    Have appreciated previous posts but these photos gave me the impression that the property is “very sterile”………..not the least bit appealing………and didn’t see anything about lap swimming which is what a swimmer is looking for………..

  • TravelBloggerBuzz said,

    Wow, this was great. I usually don’t bother with trip reports unless I have a special interest in the property. And I will be here in April. Trying to make it there as a non Platinum ;-)

  • Sang Kancil Guru said,

    Tempted to make a booking for next year at this new Andaz before the Hyatt devaluation happens.

  • Vagablond said,

    Great Report! I stayed at Andaz 5th ave in NYC for my daughters 16th b-day. Wrote a review after as well, Andaz brand is magical! Have not been traveling as much as a “vagablond” should…..but this is on MY bucket list for 2014 big time!

  • Angelina said,

    @dhammer53: Yes, Mom and Dad took tons of pics of their room… I will dig them up and send them to you or add them to this post. Mommy Points also has pictures o a regular room in her review post.

    @FTL: You’ll love your stay!

    @Katie: The beach was wonderful! Spacious, clean, calm, and water was calm and shallow and not rocky. The beach staff is great too – they will set up chairs and umbrellas for you.

    @GringoLoco: Enjoy! The Lobster Grilled Cheese was great -they definitely don’t skimp on the lobster!

    @Kent: There were actually more families with young babies and kids than solo traveling couples/adults. There is a shallower pool that families have been hanging by all the way by the beach (graduated entry). There’s also a kids club too. Lots of greenery at the resort – due to the size of the property, it was impossible for me to capture all of it. Truly lovely.

    @The Weekly Flyer: Thanks!! We are very excited.

    @Erndog: Thanks so much for your contributions with such a detailed comment! You answered a lot of questions that people had. A word on the Villas though – I heard they are selling for 11 million a piece! Or you can rent them for 6k-25k a night – eeeeek! I’m glad you also loved the resort.

    @Patty: I found the bed in the room to be especially comfortable – had amazing sleeps each night. I did not spend much time on the couch/dining room benches as I was primarily by the pool. Pool chairs were great and so were the lobby lounge areas.

    @JustSaying: I appreciate your readership very much and honesty in your comments :) The pools were large but I definitely did not see many people swimming laps in them.

    @TBB: You will love it! Thanks for the comment.

    @Sang Kancil Guru: Definitely do so!

    @Vagablond: I am also a huge fan of the Andaz brand! Hope you can make it out to the property next year!

  • Just Maui'd said,

    I enjoyed reading about your experience. My wife and I stayed one night at this Andaz a couple weeks ago after our wedding reception. From all the reviews I had read I was kind of expecting an exceptional experience like you’ve written about above. I am also currently on a Diamond challenge.

    I guess we just had a little bad luck with our stay. We checked in about 10:30pm at night and while our check-in was fine it didn’t feel particularly wonderful (they didn’t realize we were arriving to check in at first so we kind of awkwardly stood in the lobby for a minute or two (no check-in desk)). We got to the room and had a hard time getting the room to be warm enough. It was heavily air conditioned already and the floors are mostly stone. Tried turning up the air control to maximum temperature and fan but only helped a little and the fan noise was pretty loud. Tried opening the window to the balcony but that turned off the air control and autumn nights in Maui isn’t crazy warm in Kihei/Wailea. To be fair it wasn’t arctic level cold in our room – just not totally comfortable for us. A call to the front desk wasn’t super helpful (I asked what was going on and was pretty told that I should just keep the fan and temperature as high as it would go). I guess I could have demanded to change rooms but didn’t want to spend the time on it since we were only staying one night and had already arrived late. I don’t know what sorts of rooms are available overall but we were in an ocean-facing room on the Makai wing (points stay).

    On the other hand – breakfast quality really was great! I was very glad to have the charge comped as a Diamond member. The resort is very pretty, Wailea is an awesome spot on Maui (ocean view is great), and the pools are nice and relaxing. I guess I just felt like it didn’t live up to my expectations. I felt like we were treated better and had a really great experience at the Hyatt Regency in Waikiki in October for a one night stay (again on the Diamond challenge).

    As I said – I’ve read about other people’s great experiences at this Andaz and I think it is a really good property. But it seems like maybe the hotel still has some quirks to iron out since the opening. I would like to go again and feel the magical experience that other people have had :)

  • JustSaying said,

    I love the Hyatt so much I think the only true way to experience Hawaii is do a 4-5 night points stay at every property on the islands and then I can talk trash……..until then I have nothing……..

  • VU said,

    how many breakfasts does the diamond status cover? is it people per room?

  • KFC said,

    You mention as diamond you got breakfast for the family. Was it 4 adults?

  • Angelina said,

    @Just Maui’d: First off, great handle! I’m sorry you guys had a less-than-pleasant experience at the Andaz – it sounds like a series of unfortunate events :( Hopefully the hotel can work out the kinks before you return again.

    @JustSaying: I’ve also stayed at the Grand Hyatt Kauai (amazing) and Hyatt Place Waikiki (also a great stay). SO far 3/3 Hyatt stays in hawaii have been great!

    @VU/KFC: I want to say 4 breakfasts are included, but since we were a family of 5, we split the bill into 3 and 2 and were covered under two diamond accounts. That’s something I’d check with the hotel.

  • justSaying said,

    Ultimately it is just a great brand waiting for another expansion to put it firmly at the top of the heap………

  • VanAllan said,

    Have stayed at the Fairmont, Grand Wailea, Sheraton, Westin in Maui and similar in French Polynesia and Europe. The Andaz Maui is a nice property. On the small side for Maui. Beach is small (not Ka’anapalli size) but not as crowded as Fairmont, Four Seasons, Grand Wailea beach. Pools are cute but not meant for laps, just soaking. Pool loungers and towels are best ever used. Room and balcony furniture are ridiculous, cute but not actually useable. If your room overlooks the pools (partial ocean view) it is too noisy to enjoy Maui. Party time every night. Might as well be somewhere where there is nightlife, but then you wouldn’t be in Maui. “Boutique” is used often to describe. Guess I like resort. Too many quirks for me ( no sink at all, unless you count the 3/4 inch deep bathroom one). Staff are super nice though. Oh and the $45 dollar buffet breaky isn’t actually a buffet-it’s a big kitchen where you walk in and ask for things. There is very little actually made or on display. Kind of like home-except I am on vacation to get away from home….

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