It’s no secret that Maui is paradise. If you’ve ever had the opportunity to set foot on the island, you are well aware that it is one of the most beautiful places to ever exist. The people are some of the nicest you’ll ever meet, the sunsets get more and more stunning with each passing day, and the food is as good as you would expect.
I was recently invited by the Andaz to explore their flagship resort property in Maui. If you’ve followed my recent travels, you may have seen that I had the opportunity to visit the Andaz Mayakoba (Riviera Maya, Mexico) just a few months ago. I’ve been familiar with the brand for years and also spent time at their West Hollywood property, and I’ve been a fan for just as long.
What I Love About the Andaz Brand
The Andaz is Hyatt‘s lifestyle brand, and the lifestyle is very present from the moment you step foot on the property. Each property is different because they’re meant to be a representation of local culture. They’re just trendy enough, but not too trendy, so they still feel welcoming to many. Their properties tend to draw well-traveled individuals who find meaning in experiences, and they’re great whether you plan to relax your entire stay or be on the go.
The Andaz Maui is located in Wailea, which is a 1500-acre resort community on Maui’s southern coast. The property is 16 miles/25 minutes approx. from Maui’s Kahului airport, making it easier to get to than the Kaanapali side. Wailea is known for its luxury hotels, upscale dining, golfing, and shopping. If luxury is the way you travel, then Wailea is the right spot. But what I like about the Andaz is that its luxury meets trendy, but not too over-the-top. There’s a place for everyone there.
One of the highlights and differentiators of the Andaz property is their collaboration with (RED). They collaborated with (RED) at four of their properties – Maui, Mayakoba, Scottsdale, and West Hollywood, to create red cabanas. If you’re not familiar with (RED), they are a philanthropic group dedicated to research and aid for victims of HIV/AIDS. If you rent one of the #AndazRed cabanas, 30% of the rental fee will go towards HIV/AIDS research, which means you can travel and support a good cause at the same time.
We spent most of our weekend by the pool. It’s a 4-story infinity pool. I’ll warn you, the top three pools are chilly! But if you lay out and swim in the bottom pool, it seemed to be heated and was a bit warmer than the rest. There’s also an adult pool located on the north side. During winter it tends to be in the shade, but if you’re looking for a quieter area to relax, the adult pool is a great option.
The hotel is located right on the beach in Wailea. If you walk towards the end of the property, you’ll find a path that leads you down to umbrellas and chairs. They are manned by Andaz staff and you can secure a couple beach chairs and umbrella at no additional cost. It makes it easy to spend your day at the beach or at the pool depending on your preference. We spent two days by the pool and one day by the beach. I’d have to say the beach was my favorite. Nothing like being able to step foot in the ocean. It was perfect, even in winter!
Food + Drink
Our entire dining experience may have been our favorite part of our trip. Of course nothing can beat spending December at the beach. But the food was absolutely unreal and perfect at every meal. There are five dining options at the Andaz – four of which are a part of the property itself, and Morimoto, which sits on the property but is separate (you can charge your meal to your room though!)
Ka’ana Kitchen: We ate most of our meals here. It’s located one floor above the top pool area. We ate there almost every morning and enjoyed the most delicious breakfast buffet I think I’ve had at a US hotel. Our favorites from breakfast were definitely the mochi waffles. You also have the opportunity to dine at the Chef’s table for dinner when it isn’t a busy week at the property. Unfortunately for us we had reservations for the Chef’s table but there was some miscommunication since it wasn’t going on that week because of the busy time of year. That being said, they recreated the dining experience for us and absolutely EVERYTHING was to die for. We can easily say that was our favorite meal there, and probably one of our top five ever. I’ll leave it a mystery so you can discover it on your own but two of our favorite dishes were the ahi belly and fried chicken and mochi cake (similar to waffles).
Bumbye Beach Bar: If you’re ordering poolside you’ll be ordering from Bumbye. It’s good for poolside lunch, small bites, and cocktails.
Mokapu Market: It’s a 24-hour market that’s great for snacks or small meals. There was only one morning we didn’t do the breakfast buffet at Ka’ana, and instead opted for a quick, on-the-go breakfast from Mokapu.
Lehua Lounge: Lehua is a lounge restaurant/bar located on the top floor of the pool area. We ate our first dinner here and it was great. It’s a good spot for evening cocktails or a dinner meal. It was nice because it was casual and easy. During our stay there was live music from 3pm to 9:30pm. Our room was located in the Makai tower and overlooked the pool and Lehua lounge, so it was nice to be able to leave our doors open and hear the live music each night.
Morimoto: Last but not least, Morimoto! Named after the famous chef himself, Masaharu Morimoto, their cuisine blends Western and Japanese traditions. Our food was delicious, and we definitely recommend you have dinner here one night. If you’re traveling during busy season, make sure to make advance reservations!
We had a suite in the Makai tower, which is the main tower just off the north side of the lobby/entrance. The Makai tower has some of the best views of the property, especially if you’re located on the southside of the tower which overlooks the pool and has perfect views for sunset. If you have a north facing room during winter there will be less direct sun, and it’ll be quieter, which may or may not be appealing to some.
Peak season runs from mid-December through March. Off-peak runs from mid-September to mid-December. Rates range from $499 up to $1400. Head over here to see more details on rooms and rates.