We had the honor and pleasure to be invited to the Grand Opening of the Andaz Maui at Wailea this last Saturday. The Andaz is the Hyatt’s new beachfront resort, which has gone through an almost complete rebuild from the original Renaissance Hotel. What they have done with this property is jaw dropping.
We expect quality from the Hyatt, but you can tell that the big wigs involved have a special place in their hearts for this property. It shows in every detail.
UPDATE: The Andaz resort now has what we consider to be the best Maui luau! It’s called Feast at Mokapu and offers one of the best locations for sunset over the water, table service of family-style dishes (INCREDIBLE FOOD), and a great show by Tihati. Worth checking out, regardless of whether you stay at the Andaz.
Here are just some of our first impressions:
Andaz Maui is their modern, minimalist interpretation of a luxury hotel. We had some time with Shawn Sullivan, lead designer and partner of Rockwell Group. He mentioned how challenging it was to rebuild without taking away elements that people loved from the original property. Shawn shared the same enthusiasm as everyone else we’ve met from this resort, and we know why. We love the way it looks, though it needs another 3-6 months for the foliage to fill out. It’s beautiful as is, but you can tell some elements were built with future growth in mind.
Mokapu Beach in front of the Andaz Wailea is one of our favorites. Being next to the Grand Wailea, Wailea Beach Villas and the Marriott is convenient for those looking to explore other areas by walking. We also love the snorkeling out in front. This is a spot we regularly do shore dives from.
3 food stations, along different levels, served incredible pupus. The quality of flavors and presentation made an obvious impression on the crowd. Having Iron Chef Morimoto’s new restaurant on site lends even more prestige to the property. You can tell we liked the food, considering most of the photos we took were of our plates!
Often in resort destinations, you’ll find bar menus that are meant to appeal to the casual tourist: fluffy, fruity drinks with too much syrup and an umbrella. The Andaz took a very different approach. Instead of pre-made, boring dessert drinks, they brought in Julie Reiner, master mixologist and my new hero. Her experience and skills along with her upbringing and understand of Hawai’i made her the perfect person to train the staff and create an outstanding, unique drink menu. Everything is from scratch and masterfully prepared. Fresh, delicious cocktails were served across the property. One in particular is stuck on our minds: the delicious spicy serrano chili margarita concoction.
Other than the Travaasa Hana Hotel, this is one of the very few resorts that puts inordinate amounts of time and effort in perpetuating the culture of Hawai’i. We caught up with Kainoa Horcajo, Hawaiian Cultural Director of Andaz Wailea. He shared how involved they’ve been in bringing the island’s culture to visitors and by thoroughly educating their staff. Guests are able to get a much clearer picture of the unique customs and people that have shaped the Hawai’ian Islands.
- BEACH CREW:
Andaz has partnered with some very knowledgeable Maui adventurers. The Andaz Beach Crew will supply you with beach gear, surf lessons, guided hikes, and much more. We were fortunate to chat with Danny, Charlie and Ben, and we couldn’t imagine more fun people to experience Maui with.
Their epicurean spa is gorgeous and their use of exotic materials and oils will elevate your experience. We can’t finish without mentioning their many teared infinity pools. This is one of the few places in Hawaii where you could have an infinity pool to yourself.
ANDAZ MAUI AT WAILEA
3550 Wailea Alanui Drive
Wailea, Hawaii, USA, 96753
Tel: +1 808 573 1234