One of three Hyatt properties on Maui, the Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort is a minimalist-chic retreat surrounded by nature but close to all the dining and shopping of Wailea. Set on 15 beachfront acres, it has 301 rooms, suites, and villas; multiple pools and onsite dining options; and a spa and fitness center.
Upon arrival, I was greeted with a traditional lei, which is pretty standard for any luxury hotel in Hawaii. Not so standard, though, is the hotel’s entrance, which immediately sets the tone for the sleek design you’ll see throughout the hotel. From the start of the long, covered walkway that leads to the stunning lobby, you can already see the ocean, and as you get closer, the full grandeur of the view comes….well, into view.
You could get into island life immediately by kicking off your shoes and wiggling your toes into the Zen-garden-style sand pit in the center of the lobby; instead, I made a beeline for the balcony to look out over the hotel’s cascading pools and the ocean below.
It was early morning and my room wasn’t ready, so staff took my number and promised to call when it was (which they did, just a few hours later and well before the posted check-in time).When I returned, I headed to my room, a King room with a partial ocean view. All rooms range from 380-420 square feet, and all have lanais, though not all have water views. My room was spacious enough for a short stay, and very minimalist, with a boho Palm Springs-meets-Tulum vibe.
The design of the room helps maximize the space’s size; there’s a mini-fridge, drawers, and desk incorporated into the TV console and the modular-style bathroom had a fairly large amount of storage space. While aesthetically pleasing, the bathroom is one area I found fault with, though. It was on the small side, a bit dark, and the oddly square-shaped bathtub was tucked around the corner behind the shower, making it not very inviting (and potentially hazardous to get out of).
I was also a bit disappointed that the rooms didn’t have screens, which meant I couldn’t leave the door open and listen to the ocean at night. On the flip side, I was happy to see that the hotel gives all guests a free water bottle to refill from stations around the property, rather than using bottled water.
Outside the room, the hotel is sleek and stylish, with lots of amenities to keep you on the property for a few days. Like most luxury hotels on Maui, the Andaz changes a resort fee (in this case, $48 plus tax) which covers things like snorkeling equipment, yoga classes, and bike rental. It also covers daily activities like hula and ukulele lessons, outrigger canoe excursions, and a mixology class. Unfortunately there were very few offerings aside from the mixology class during the 48 hours I had on property and the class was fully booked when I inquired.
There are five pools on multiple levels (though the top one is a bit wasted as it abuts the dining area of the pool bar), including one that’s adults-only, one that’s open 24 hours, and one with a sandy lagoon bottom (popular with kids).
Over my two days there, I never had an issue getting a beach chair, making this one of the few hotels where it was easy to snag a prime spot any time of there. There are also cabanas which can be reserved and the hotel has private access to Mokapu beach.
I also took advantage of the hotel’s multiple dining options. Morimoto is located onsite and the Feast at Mokapu, an intimate high-end luau with craft cocktails, was the best luau of the four I’ve attended on across the Hawaiian islands. There’s also the Mokapu Market for to-go drinks and snacks and the poolside Lehua Lounge for cocktails.
While the property is undeniably beautiful, there were some hiccups in service—like when I went to the 24-hour pool one night around 9pm and there were no clean towels, but tons of dirty towels and abandoned drinks throughout the area.
Unlike at other hotels I’ve stayed at on Maui, which tend to have a mix of couples and families, the other guests at the Andaz during my stay were almost all adults who appeared to range in age from late 20s to late 40s. While this led to a very posh vibe and quiet atmosphere, it also felt a bit cold, without much in the hotel’s personality that felt exclusive to Maui. If I wasn’t looking out towards the ocean, I felt like I could be at luxury hotel—though a stunning one—just about anywhere.