Arrival/Check-In: I arrived in Maui after a few days of business on Oahu, ready for a relaxing weekend. After a quick, 25- minute taxi to Wailea, I arrived at Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort. I was ushered down a tranquil outdoor walkway surrounded by water, leading into the open-air, expansive lobby. The lobby, on the top floor, offers views of several pools, restaurants and guestrooms in cascading levels all the way to the beach. Check-in was easy, with a kind front desk member showing me to a couch with a view of the water while I waited.
Guest Quarters: My room on the third floor offered a partial view of the ocean and the private, adults-only pool area with lush foliage. My room exuded an open, fresh ambience with its white stone floor, white couch and lighting accents facing wide glass doors leading to a nice-sized balcony. My comfortable, kingsized bed offered views and sounds of the ocean when I kept my doors open in the evenings. A flat-screen TV faced a small living space with a desk sitting adjacent. The mini fridge was stocked with water, juice and local craft soft drinks, free for guests and refilled daily.
The bathroom sat behind the bed and made great use of the limited space. Dark stone floors accented a long, single-sink vanity with excellent lighting and a chair tucked under the vanity. White doors flush with the wall opened to a large closet and separate water closet. A floor-to-ceiling mirror gave an open feeling to the space as well. The shower, with several jets and rain shower options, ran the entire length of the bathroom. It also looked over the bedroom if you opened the blinds — a nice touch for honeymooners.
Services/Amenities: Exploring the resort is an adventure in itself. Three separate pools and an expansive grass area for playing or lounging lead to the property’s beach. Hotel crew stand by to provide lounge chairs and umbrellas for the afternoon. It is one of the best beaches of the Wailea resorts — perfect sand, swimming and snorkeling. I spent most of my time here. If you are up for a real adventure, the beach crew offers group outrigger tours, standup paddle boarding and kayak tours. I braved SUP for the first time and found it a great experience, even though I fell off about six times. The concierge also helped arrange a sunrise snorkeling tour at Molokini Crater.
The Andaz Maui offers great dining options, which I enjoyed with a mai tai. For casual dining by the pool, try Bumbye Beach Bar. If you can get a reservation, I suggest sitting at the chef ’s table tasting at Ka’ana Kitchen, the farm-to-table restaurant. The bartenders can create custom cocktails to accompany any of the chef ’s creations — try the grilled octopus. My bartender extraordinaire, Archer, added to a great experience and offered a nice twist on the cocktails with flower- and herb-infused ice cubes, something I’d never seen.
◆ Andaz Maui’s private beach is a perfect location for lying in the sun, snorkeling and enjoying the views. The resort’s free daily activities are perfect for adult travelers, including paddle boarding, snorkeling and outrigger tours.
◆ The expansive property has a boutique feel and didn’t seem overcrowded even in the high tourism season.
◆ Dining options are superb, from great Japanese and Hawai’ian items to custom cocktails. You cannot go wrong for brunch, lunch or a romantic dinner.
Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort
3550 Wailea Alanui Drive
Wailea, HI 96753
tel 808 573 1234
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I had just taken off my sandals, stepping onto the white-sand beach for a late-morning walk to a secluded spot I heard about from a front desk clerk, when I glanced down and saw the time on my phone. It had just turned 11 a.m., which meant it was only 7 am back home, the perfect time to call and say good morning to by husband before he left for work. Not quite ready to head back to my room, I decided I’d test the WiFi signal and made the call as I continued walking toward the shoreline.
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