I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with the Andaz Maui. On one hand, I think it is the most attractive resort on Maui. It’s close to the shore, is relatively private, and has an amazing beach. Hotel staff are friendly and helpful. The room design isn’t quite what I’d prefer, but they’re still very comfortable and tasteful. On the other hand, I feel the service has declined since the resort first opened. The World of Hyatt Globalist benefits have been diminished, upgrades and award availability are sparse, and the service from wait staff during our last stay was so poor that I would not eat at any of their restaurants for dinner (except the independently operated Morimoto).
Add one more reason to be concerned: Construction at the hotel will be returning from late 2019 through early 2021.
You may be aware that the hotel was once a Renaissance hotel, and there were plans to demolish it completely and rebuild. Then the recession hit. A new plan was hatched to renovate the hotel to turn it into one of the first 10 properties in the Andaz portfolio. Hyatt itself was the original owner. In addition to operating as a hotel, there are several high-end villas that surround the pool and garden areas. These rent for several thousand dollars a night or can be purchased for for several million dollars.
What you might not realize is that only five of the six original condo buildings were actually constructed. Building A is on the original drawings and was to be located in the back next to the parking lot. Now the new owners have received a two-year extension from the Maui planning commission to complete that construction. (See location on the final page of the filing.)
People have complained about construction noise near the Garden View rooms in the past. Garden View rooms are the base award redemption category and face away from the ocean, toward the parking lots in the back. In the past I imagine most of the noise was due to staging materials and trucks heading back and forth for the current five villas. But now, the villas themselves will be built on the site of the former staging area staging area. I imagine the noise will be even worse.
I still find myself going back to the hotel because the issues I mentioned at the start aren’t very big roadblocks. The hotel was once known for high room rates, and now similarly high prices have spread to the rest of the island, including hotels that I consider inferior. I’m not a Globalist anymore, so those benefits don’t matter as much to me. I can always book a Fine Hotels & Resorts rate, especially since I’m willing and able to pay for hotel rooms when award space isn’t available. And while I’d gladly eat at Morimoto every night, I’ve also found some good alternatives within walking distance, including Tommy Bahama and Humuhumunukunukuapua’a.
But construction of a new building? I’d hold off on booking the Andaz again during 2020. If I did return you can bet I would pay extra for an ocean view room to get as far away as possible from the disturbance.