Sneak Peek at the New Andaz Maui at Wailea

Andaz Maui at Wailea, on Maui’s south shore, has been one of the year’s most anticipated properties in Hyatt’s pipeline. Andaz is a relatively new brand for Hyatt that aims to capture the luxury market with smaller and very personalized hotels. There also hasn’t been much new construction on Maui for several years. Andaz Maui stands apart from other hotels on Maui by offering its guests a more contemporary design as well as the first LEED-certified hotel on the island.

I requested a tour during my recent visit to Maui, and while it’s no secret that construction on this resort been delayed, they had just received the all clear to stop using hard hats and other safety gear — a very positive sign. The hotel still expects to open sometime late this summer. To celebrate, I also asked my guide if they could offer a giveaway for my readers (scroll to the bottom to learn more).

Arriving Is an Experience All Its Own

Andaz Maui is about 20 minutes from Kahului Airport (OGG), and valet parking attendants greet all guests. I know mandatory valet parking can be annoying, but it fits with the Andaz mission that guests leave their cares at the door. I’m cheap and often try to do self-parking even at big resorts, so I know how that can add a little extra stress every time I try to take the car somewhere.

Guests then pass through a covered walkway with fountains on both sides. You’ve probably seen this picture before in renderings, and it looks similar to that scene from Skyfall where James Bond floats across the water to the casino in Macau. There will be vegetation and lamps added here, but no current plans for tiki torches. :(

Andaz Maui 01

The entry hall is vast space with exposed wood beams and floor-to-ceiling windows. Designers deliberately planned this area to avoid distractions and ensure the first thing you see when you enter is the Pacific Ocean. The sliding glass walls can also open when it isn’t too windy.

Andaz Maui 02

Andaz Maui 03

Like at other Andaz properties, guests will be greeted by a “host” who will check them in on an iPad and offer a welcome beverage while they relax from their journey. Although Andaz properties do not have a Regency or Grand Club, they do offer complimentary snacks and non-alcoholic beverages here and in the room.

This Isn’t Your Parents’ Hawaiian Vacation

Andaz Maui was renovated from what was once a Rennaissance hotel and designed by the same team responsible for Andaz Wall Street. You’ll notice many of the same clean lines and modern touches.

I thought it felt very different for Hawaii, but I was raised on the old Hawaiian aesthetic of the 1960s and ‘70s: lots of dark wood, woven furniture, and pictures of bamboo and palm trees. Andaz Maui is definitely a modern beach resort of the sort more common in Miami’s South Beach. Still, I found it very hard to fault any of the design choices.

Andaz Maui Map

One benefit to staying in Wailea is that Andaz Maui is situated adjacent to Mokapu Beach and Ulua Beach, two relatively secluded areas with excellent snorkeling and swimming. Several parts of Kaanapali Beach on Maui’s west shore are relatively rocky, making it difficult to spend time in the water. For those who would rather go shopping, The Shops at Wailea are just two blocks south and don’t require driving.

Rooms and Suites That Make You Forget the Beach

I was able to tour both a standard room and a suite during my visit to Andaz Maui. There are standard rooms with garden/resort views, partial ocean views, and full ocean views. Award nights tend to book into the garden/resort view category, although Gold Passport members with Platinum or Diamond status may get assigned to a room with a partial or full ocean view.

When entering a room, guests will use a touch-free RFID key card — the same kind you’ve seen at Andaz Wall Street and probably a few other hotels. High tech sensors will turn on the lights, and switches will allow you to raise and lower a shade and blackout curtain (they’re very quiet). Past the window is a fairly large balcony, although I didn’t see what kind of patio furniture would be available.

Andaz Maui 13

One side of the entryway has what looks like a wall of closets, one of which is a hidden door to the bathroom. Every bathroom, in suites and standard rooms, has a large, rainfall shower with a glass window that looks past the bed to the view of the ocean. It’s really cool, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen such nice bathrooms in Hawaii. Suites will also have a separate soaking tub. (Note: All room photos are of a standard room, but all bathroom photos are of a suite. They are very similar except where indicated.)

Andaz Maui 12

Andaz Maui 10

Andaz Maui 11

The living space has a desk, lounge chair, and bed pointed toward the view. In most cases the television is recessed and faces the lounge chair — which I prefer — but it does swivel out for those who like to watch television in bed. A small nook holds an electric teakettle and other minibar items. One positive development for a coffee snob like me is that management is taking in-room coffee seriously. Starbucks will be offered at first while they continue to examine their options.

Andaz Maui 14

Suites will have a separate living room that includes its own balcony, a dining table, and even a cocktail cabinet with a sink for preparing drinks. The suite I saw was still under construction but had great views of the resort and ocean from both rooms. A few suites don’t have ocean views, and instead have patios that open up to provide direct access to an adults-only plunge pool on the opposite side of the resort.

Andaz Maui 16

Finally, the hotel has a small number of private residences in a series of detached buildings (they’re visible to the right of the pools in the picture above; more are near the adults-only pool). Some of these will be available to hotel guests and could be a great choice if you’re visiting with a large family. Fortunately they won’t be building giant condo towers of the kind you see elsewhere.

Pools, Restaurants, and Other Amenities

There will be five pools and five options for meals and refreshments at Andaz Maui. Three of the pools are a series of infinity pools with lava rock waterfalls on their edges, descending to a lagoon pool (not yet filled) near the beach. None of these pools are very deep, designed more for lounging than kids’ play. Don’t forget about the adults-only pool if you are still worried about noisy children.

Andaz Maui 04

Two lounges with all-day dining menus await guests by the top of the infinity pools and at the bottom near the lagoon pool. But those who arrive late can also take advantage of a 24-hour market located near the main lobby. They will provide snacks, prepared food, and even hot sandwiches.

Andaz Maui 05

Back in the lobby, there is a large spiral staircase that leads to the hotel’s two main restaurants. The first, open for breakfast and dinner, has an open kitchen and is where you can take advantage of your complimentary breakfast amenity if staying as a Diamond guest. The second is a new outlet of celebrated chef Masaharu Morimoto — yes, the same Morimoto from Iron Chef!

Andaz Maui 17

Andaz Maui 18

The hotel has a variety of meeting spaces if you want to host an event, though it probably isn’t large enough for a large corporate event with hundreds of people. Still, many of the meeting rooms I saw had large, sweeping views of the ocean with floor-to-ceiling windows, and some interior rooms had ample skylights.

I’m not sure I would actually get much work done in a meeting room like this, but on the plus side, I’m told the view mimics that from the Presidential Suite.

Andaz Maui 08

One of my favorite spaces was the demonstration kitchen. It was large enough to fit dozens of people, and some of the countertops can be refrigerated for preparing cold dishes. This space can be used to host special cooking demonstrations for private events.  The resort is also exploring the possibility of offering cooking classes as one of many possible activities, but that decision won’t be made until after opening. (The demo kitchen in this photo continues around the corner with additional islands, stoves, and ranges.)

Andaz Maui 07

Should You Redeem Points?

Let’s end with a brief talk about value. Hyatt’s other property on Maui is a Hyatt Regency, one of the first resorts to open in Kaanapali. I have stayed there multiple times, including on this trip. It has a great location, nice décor, and friendly staff. But I also admit that it has some shortfalls. Free night awards hardly seem worth 22,000 points when published rates can be as low as $250. Suites are nice, but they are on the far ends of two towers that require a very long walk to anywhere.

So while I will pay cash for Hyatt Regency Maui, I’m not sure it is a worthwhile redemption for free night awards or suite upgrades. Andaz Maui definitely will be. Suites are spectacular. Even if you are in a basic room with a resort view, the in-room amenities are generous and the walk to public areas is short.

I always say to value points based on what you would pay, not what the hotel charges. Andaz Maui delivers the experience you would expect for such a premium price, whether in cash or points. They aren’t just charging you for the location. I’m sorry the resort wasn’t open for guests during this trip, but Andaz Maui is definitely part of my plan the next time I visit Maui!

Win Three Free Nights!

Andaz Maui was not only kind enough to let me tour the property, they also offered a generous giveaway to my readers! One lucky winner will receive three free nights in a standard room at Andaz Maui at Wailea once the resort opens later this summer. Some limited blackout dates may apply, such as major holidays, but the award will be good for one year (through July 31, 2014). Daily resort fees may apply.

To enter, please provide your first name and an email address so we can contact the winner. Your personal information will not be used for any other purpose. Additional bonus entries are also available. Like or follow Andaz Maui (or me) on Facebook and Twitter, or send out a tweet to encourage your friends to enter the giveaway! A total of six entries are available per person, and you must enter by 11:59 PM (Pacific Time) on Friday, July 19. The winner will be randomly selected by July 22.

Win a Free Stay at Andaz Maui!

Disclosure: Prize fulfillment is the responsibility of Andaz Maui at Wailea. I received no compensation for my review or for organizing this giveaway.

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  • Dan Ray

    Do you now if you can use points to book a suite.

    • Scottrick

      You should be able to. This is a Category 6 hotel, so free nights cost 22K points for a standard room and 33K points for a suite.

      • disqust101

        How about calling it an “award” night, not a “free” night. We all know that award nights aren’t free – unless you win in a contest…

        • Scottrick

          Point taken. Change made.

      • Jeff

        In your opinion, is this worth the 33,000 for the suite? We have extra chase rewards so considering using for 5 nights here. Knowing we’d get a suite is a nice benefit. But is it worth it from what you saw? And how is the beach??

        • Scottrick

          Hard to say. It was very much under construction when I saw it. Some suites, as I said, don’t have ocean views but do have direct access to the adults-only plunge pool. The suite I saw was on the end of the tower on a high floor. It was about as big (maybe more?) than the HR Maui but with bigger balconies (both rooms) and nicer furnishing.

          The standard rooms are just as big but miss the tub and have no living room.

          I would probably not redeem for a suite. You’re paying 50% more points, and I would prefer to save them for a future return visit. But I don’t really need a suite when I travel. Those who like them will probably be happy with the decision to pay more.

          I did not access this particular beach because of construction. But Wailea has smaller enclosed beaches than Kaanpali with more snorkeling opportunities. I think the weather at Kaanapali is better, but others disagree.

  • old fart

    Thank you for posting that. too modern for me (old Fart), Fairmont here we come!

  • Heather L. Cannady

    So hoping I win this one!

  • Elysa Harbin

    It looks like a good place to have a staycation! :)

  • Sayyid C

    Hope I win this. Sure could use a little vacation.

  • Francisco C

    Would be a sweet vacation!

  • Kevin Furay

    Looks great! Thanks for the promotion as well.

  • David

    there’s no reason their promotion needs access to my friends list or my birthdate. Another crappy facebook promotion that requires more access than it needs. I don’t understand why you are taking part in something like that.

    • Scottrick

      I agree, and I’ve talked to PromoSimple about fixing that. But there are a variety of reasons why I still use it, some of which are for your benefit. Everyone still has the opportunity to enter using only their basic contact info.

  • KyleB

    Thanks for chance to win!

  • Kevin

    Looks awesome!

  • Justin Poole

    I would Love to win ! I have never in my life bee on a real vacation.. Only trips to the beach

  • Chris K

    Pretty awesome!

  • Steve Zussino

    I would love to go back to Maui and a stay here would rock! I actually saw the sign on our trip to Wailea last week.

  • disqust101

    Surprising cold and impersonal for laid-back Hawaii. The bathrooms seem awfully dark with that tile and dark wood. I’m not impressed.

    Hopefully some decent landscaping and art will liven up the place.

  • 2thepoint

    Amazing property

  • snakedoc1

    Wow! What a property. Would love to win!

  • W Brian Duncan (aka IPBrian)

    Fingers Crossed!

  • Jay

    Pick Jay!

  • Michael W Travels

    Awesome contest & prize. That must’ve been awesome to tour the property before it opened. Would love to win to give me an excuse to go to Hawaii!

  • miketown

    Oh, my wife would love me…

  • Alexandra

    Looks wonderful! Nice addition to Maui. Looking forward to seeing the property.

  • Brian

    Thanks for that article Scott – it’s exciting to see what’s new coming up on the island. I have my fingers crossed for a staycation 😉

  • Kelly

    Looks wonderful, hope I win!!!

  • ktn

    Great reviews and pictures! Hope I win this so I can enjoy this wonderful resort in person.

  • Benny Hsu

    Looks like an awesome place! Would be perfect to experience on a first time trip to Maui!

  • ia9561

    I would like to stay here

  • Aarash

    Nice preview! Winning these 3 free nights would be great, as I was wanting to Island hop with the wife in Sept

  • Landon

    Lang Nguyen
    hope I win =)

  • Shuai Zeng

    Shuai Zeng
    I would love to go with my wife, never been to HI before.

  • Nick O (PIT)

    Looks awesome. Better than I expected actually. Thanks for the peek

  • Sandy

    That area is my favorite part of Maui.

  • stefan

    Maui is the best island to visit. 7 days and you can take in all the beauty
    from bicycling down from the dormant volcano to the winding road to Hana
    or watch the surfers at the end of the road past Kaanapali.

    Thanks for giving us a preview and I feel it’s time to go back.
    Good luck to everyone on this giveaway.

  • Char

    Would love to have this experience…..entering with a hope and a prayer.

  • SusanB

    Hoping for a great win and great stay!

  • Connie

    Sounds amazing! Thanks for the review.

  • Brian – BY DESIGN Builders

    Nicely done, Scott. We have been anxiously awaiting Andaz Wailea for over a year! We experienced Morimoto Waikiki in March and are looking forward to Morimoto Wailea as well.

  • Taryn

    This would be so awesome to win!

  • Don

    Thanks for the pictures, puts all the hype into view!!! Looks great

  • LM

    Thank you for the update ! Love Wailea and love Andaz..

  • Vik

    Hoping to stay here with my girlfriend, when it opens

  • Ahmed

    Looks great, would love to win 3 nights, thanks!

  • Babs

    Planning first trip to Maui in March. A stay at the new Hyatt would be sweet.

  • bob

    want to stay there!

  • Abhishek Duggal

    Thanks for the opportunity!

  • Anita

    This is awesome!! I want to make this our honeymoon trip! ! If I win this that means im the luckiest girl in the world. I’m going to buy $100 worth of lottery tickets lol
    Good luck everyone

  • Sarfa33

    Please enter me into the giveaway!
    sarfa (at) aol (dot) com

  • Viet

    Would love to go back to maui!

  • joe aucello

    Going in November would love to win

  • Wood Guy

    Thanks for the pics and props on the Demonstration Kitchen. It took trips to two states to coordinate the cabinets in that room. I hadn’t seen the final product until now.

    • Scottrick

      I think the woodwork throughout is really beautiful (and my architect fiancee agrees). Thanks for the effort!

      • Wood Guy

        Again, Thanks. If she does commercial work tell her to feel free to spec us out…I used a fake email BTW

  • Meghanb904

    Hey Scott! Love the site! I know I am a little off topic, but I wanted your input. What is the best way to get from mainland USA to DPS (or anywhere in Bali) with a stopover in HNL?? My fiance and I are planning our elopement/honeymoon! Thanks for your input!!

    • Scottrick

      Probably Star Alliance using United miles. Fly SFO/LAX to HNL, then on to SIN, HKG or BKK, then DPS.

      Personally I wouldn’t do a stopover in HNL. My honeymoon is coming up in DPS and we nested two itineraries with stopovers in HKG, BKK, and HKT.

  • Lee Huffman

    Wow! That is an amazing looking hotel. My wife isn’t too excited about visiting Hawaii, but if (when) I convince her, this is definitely on the top 5 list of places to stay.

  • Jun

    Great Review. Thanks Scott

  • agarwala

    Pick me

  • Josh

    I am booked for early September and looking forward to our stay. A few extra nights would be wonderful!

    I booked on points and am considering upgrading on points to a suite. What do you think about the value at 33k/night.

  • Brock

    Haven’t been to Hawaii yet and this would be the perfect excuse to go! I had a wonderful stay at the Andaz 5th Ave on points and hopefully I’ll get to stay at this Andaz as well!

  • Chris

    Would like to spend our honeymoon there in October

  • econjon

    Be perfect getaway with kiddo on the way

  • Peter

    Pick me!

  • cmeinc

    Pick Me!!

  • Nancy Gray

    Maui has the most beautiful beaches in the world and Andaz Maui is situated in the perfect spot.

  • Ali


  • Shaun

    I could use three nights during Thanksgiving!

  • Acker

    Nice write-up. Maybe it’s time to plan a winter trip to Hawaii.

  • Moshe

    Nice report!! I hope I win!

  • Sebastian

    There is now another destination for my to-do list.

  • Lola

    Crossing my fingers :)

  • Kim

    Fingers (& toes) crossed! Thanks.

  • Joe

    I am really looking forward to this property and their restaurants. We usually stay at Four Seasons or Fairmont and having another option will be great!

  • Alana Gomez-Placido

    please please…..

  • Kim

    Would love it!

  • Stefan

    Would love to stay at this new hotel. It looks awesome!

  • George

    Looks great. Thanks Scott!

  • Tracy T.

    The hotel looks gorgeous! Would love to visit! Thanks for he review.

  • lanie

    never been to Hawaii would be nice. looks great

  • Doug

    Looks very peaceful.

  • KCGal

    Ooh, pick me, pick me! :)

  • Michelle S

    Been to Maui over 100 times and never stayed in a hotel there. I guess there’s a first for everything! I would love to check out this property :)

  • Rachel

    Thanks for the review Scott and Andaz Maui at Wailea for the generous giveaway!

  • JudithCatherine Lam

    The instructions for the 3 nights promotion at Adaz Maui was to end at 11:59 p.m. July 19, ……………………RIGHT NOW IS FRIDAY, JULY 19, 2013, AND THE PROMOTION IS ENDED!!!!!!?????? How come?

  • JudithCatherine Lam

    Well, I truly enjoyed viewing the photographs of Andaz Maui, and love the clean modern refreshing look. Allows the strong amenities to be more enhanced.

  • JudithCatherine Lam

    I am Maui’s only Certified Canine Massage Therapist. Therefore, if Andaz Maui allow Dogs with their human guests, I ‘d be happy to perform Canine Therapeutic Massage for any Canine Breed….this is a health-care regimen necessary for all dogs, and it takes about 2-hours for each dog.. Will relax the dog at a resort of this high standard so everyone can be happy…..

  • Jono

    Would love to win the free nights, Hyatt’s rock!

  • Ryan

    I would like to win the 3 nights!

  • Doreen

    Looks beautiful!

  • Todd

    I would love to be one of the first to visit

  • gilnyc

    Planning a trip to Hawaii this coming winter and would love to stay at the Andaz Maui!

  • Curt

    Can’t figure out if the contest has ended or not..?

  • aniruddh77

    This would be so so so so cool!

  • Erik Ernstrom

    Wow, great giveaway

  • lara

    Nice going! This was just posted on facebook…And it’s Saturday, the 20th at 12:23 PM!

  • reachdp

    Would love to stay at the Andaz Maui.

  • ashley

    good reason to go back to maui

  • Laurent

    Sure would love to go to Hawaii

  • Nishanth

    Looks awesome! I’d love to win the three nights! :)

  • Joey

    I’d love to send my sister here with her daughter!

  • Kara

    this would be so great! Thanks!

  • Naomi

    I’m probably too late for this, but just in case… I’d love to go. The property looks AMAZING!!!

  • fun_fly

    wow..looks great, wish i could win .