Andaz Maui REVIEW - MASTER THREAD

Old Apr 10, 19, 8:36 pm
  #3271  
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I enjoyed my recent stay at the Andaz. I found the hotel to be significantly more pleasant than my stay at the Grand Wailea. The hotel is just on a more human scale, the staff is friendlier, and I liked their free activity program (if you're just staying a few days, consider calling a couple days before your visit if you want to do the free kayak and SUP lesson, take the outrigger canoe ride, or attend the mixology class.

As an Explorist, I had a somewhat strange check in experience/ The front desk clerk offered me a suite upgrade -- for $200 night. She said it was a very nice suite, but I don't pay for hotel upgrades (I get enough of them for free). After I politely declined, she upgraded me for free! It was a great 2-room corner suite overlooking the ocean. It honestly would be worth paying something extra for.

There is very good snorkeling off the beach to the left. Free snorkels and masks from the beach shack.

The free snacks/non-alcoholic drinks in the minibar are fun, but the only unpleasant thing about the hotel is the food cost. Breakfast is $49 per person and it gets worse from there. If you don't want to drive anywhere, the Island Gourmet Market in the Wailea Shops is a good alternative. It's about a 6 minute walk turning right out the front door and (as the bellman described ) "cutting through the trees" to get to the sidewalk to take you to the Shops (the market is on the closer end of the mall in the back). A hot breakfast (which you can take back to your room if you want to ) is about $5 to $10 from their deli (also take a look at the Japanese items from the case). I like the kim chee fried rice with egg and teri beef for about $8 as something different. Their $11 NY Strip dinner may be the best meal deal on the island, but the plate lunch places in Kihei (if you're willing to drive) are probably tastier. The market is very expensive for groceries and snacks, however, so if you have a car you'll probably want to stop at the Safeway and Longs in Kihei for that.

For parking, I did save the $35/day fee by parking on S. Kihei Road just north of the hotel and walking 5 minutes up the beach to the hotel. There's some uncertainty whether this is entirely legal, but it certainly looks legal -- and it's great fun to avoid the outrageous "gotcha" parking fee. BTW, if you just need a place to park during the daytime, there's a free public lot right next to the hotel on the south side (no nighttime parking allowed).

Last edited by iahphx; Apr 28, 19 at 1:16 pm
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Old Apr 11, 19, 11:46 am
  #3272  
 
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Originally Posted by iahphx View Post
Oddly, my experience with Hawaii chain hotels is that elite status doesn't make it significantly more likely to get you an upgrade (unless the upgrade is confirmable). I've actually gotten better rooms on award stays when I was a "nobody"! You just have to arrive at the right time (and being nice to the clerk probably doesn't hurt). This time, as a Hyatt Explorist, I'm pretty much expecting nothing.
I can't speak for this hotel but I suspect that your problem is that (1) hotels are often close to capacity, (2) especially at nicer hotels, many of the guests are fairly well off and will just pay for a suite or a nice room, and (3) explorist just isn't worth that much.

Having said that, over several trips to the HR Maui (as globalist) I always book cheapest available and I've never gotten less than a high floor corner room with an ocean view. Once I even got the palace suite.

So I'm not sure that you can apply your experiences to all chain hotels in Hawaii. But if you are not top tier, it's probably true that status is not worth much at any busy hotel.
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Old Apr 11, 19, 12:59 pm
  #3273  
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
I can't speak for this hotel but I suspect that your problem is that (1) hotels are often close to capacity, (2) especially at nicer hotels, many of the guests are fairly well off and will just pay for a suite or a nice room, and (3) explorist just isn't worth that much.

Having said that, over several trips to the HR Maui (as globalist) I always book cheapest available and I've never gotten less than a high floor corner room with an ocean view. Once I even got the palace suite.

So I'm not sure that you can apply your experiences to all chain hotels in Hawaii. But if you are not top tier, it's probably true that status is not worth much at any busy hotel.
Even with the highest status, upgrades seem like a crapshoot. For my recent stay at the nearby Grand Wailea as an Honors Diamond (celebrating my wedding anniversary no less), I got a "normal" room. I'm sure they called it an upgrade of some kind, but it was nothing noteworthy at all. If you read the Flyertalk thread for that property, you'll see that room assignments are all over the board, without status being particularly relevant.

You are definitely correct about folks being willing to pay for upgrades in Hawaii. A couple of years ago, we were at the Fairmont Orchid taking advantage of our last free Fairmont credit card stay. Nice perks with that card, including a suite upgrade even on a free stay. Obviously, the suite was nice (probably about 650 square feet), but nothing memorable and certainly nothing I'd pay much extra money for. While we were at the desk, we overheard a guest unhappy with their smaller room forking over more than $450/night extra for a suite in our category. That felt like Silicon Valley money to me.
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Old Apr 28, 19, 1:08 pm
  #3274  
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As a heads up, the Andaz provides Malie toiletries in the rooms. I was unfamiliar with the brand -- and assumed it might just be a house brand -- but I just saw that the 2.5 oz bottles of shampoo go for $12 at their shop in Ala Moana. Obviously not "worth that," but I thought it was good shampoo. So maybe you want to ring housekeeping and ask for some extra shampoo and conditioner.
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Old Apr 28, 19, 3:44 pm
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Originally Posted by iahphx View Post
As a heads up, the Andaz provides Malie toiletries in the rooms. I was unfamiliar with the brand -- and assumed it might just be a house brand -- but I just saw that the 2.5 oz bottles of shampoo go for $12 at their shop in Ala Moana. Obviously not "worth that," but I thought it was good shampoo. So maybe you want to ring housekeeping and ask for some extra shampoo and conditioner.
I really like the smell of the bar soap too. But maybe it just reminds me of good times at the Andaz.
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Old May 11, 19, 4:46 am
  #3276  
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Can you go snorkeling on the beach on the Andaz property or would you have to go on a formal snorkeling excursion. Some of the resorts are said to have great snorkeling and a great reef on their beachfront property, is this also true of the Andaz?
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Old May 11, 19, 12:24 pm
  #3277  
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Originally Posted by Jordan Around The Globe View Post
Can you go snorkeling on the beach on the Andaz property or would you have to go on a formal snorkeling excursion. Some of the resorts are said to have great snorkeling and a great reef on their beachfront property, is this also true of the Andaz?
Snorkel gear is included in the resort fee and you can borrow them at the beach activities desk down on the walkway that sits above Mokapu Beach (immediately fronting the Andaz). That desk closes at 3 pm, and the snorkel gear needs to be returned by then, so that's probably the only bummer if you getting a late start at the beach. But snorkeling off Mokapu beach is better in the morning any way. There is a small rocky reef to the left of the Andaz as you're facing makai (toward the ocean) and good, but not great marine life. We were there last month and the real highlight was the honu (turtles) that came in right up to the shore. Irritating to see a bunch of tourists running up to the turtles to throw a GoPro right in the turtle's face or touch them. Please don't do that ( https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dar/species/sea-turtles/ ).
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Old May 12, 19, 7:41 pm
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I've snorkeled nearly ever reef in Maui, some dozens of times... the one at the Andaz (Ulua) maybe a hundred times. Ulua might be Maui's best reef (and yes, I know Makena, Honolua, Kappalua, Dumps...all many dozens of times).



Ulua has more critters than any of the Maui reef I know. And for the large stuff, I've seen manta, spotted eagle ray, turtles of course, tiger shark... just about anything I've ever seen in Maui I've seen at Ulua, too.
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Old May 12, 19, 9:24 pm
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Originally Posted by canyonleo View Post
I've snorkeled nearly ever reef in Maui, some dozens of times... the one at the Andaz (Ulua) maybe a hundred times. Ulua might be Maui's best reef (and yes, I know Makena, Honolua, Kappalua, Dumps...all many dozens of times).



Ulua has more critters than any of the Maui reef I know. And for the large stuff, I've seen manta, spotted eagle ray, turtles of course, tiger shark... just about anything I've ever seen in Maui I've seen at Ulua, too.
You saw the tiger shark, and continued with your snorkling?
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Old May 13, 19, 8:48 am
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Originally Posted by beachfan View Post


You saw the tiger shark, and continued with your snorkling?

I get where you're going here. I don't snorkel with tiger sharks (scuba, sure, if I'm not on the surface). While snorkeling, a tiger spooks me. I've seen a tiger snorkeling twice ever. Once out at the mooring balls behind the church in Makena, saw it swim away into the deep and while we kept snorkeling it was in the shallows close to shore.


The time at Ulua was my last day of the trip and I was getting out anyway... the tiger was not near the reef but in the shallows of Mokapu Beach area.


Any other shark I would swim with, but not a tiger, I'd calmly leave if a tiger is visible.


All that said, I used to think Ulua was kind of a beginner location, which it is great for, but for the expert it has it all, too.
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Old May 13, 19, 9:16 am
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Plenty of experts dive here also. I keep thinking I should on one of these trips. They go in the public access and, presumably, down that wall at the end of the reef.

Any idea if it flattens out a bit below that wall?
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Old May 13, 19, 9:32 am
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I shore dive there, both solo (only to about 22' where the main reef bottoms) and sometimes with friends (for an easy afternoon dive). But, the snorkeling is so good there's really no need (unless one can't get down to say 10' snorkeling/freediving).


There is a second patch type outer reef (pretty flat in topography) that gets down to lower 30'-something if I remember correct, just follow the reef edge of main shore reef until it makes the turn to the north and then swim out and slightly north, you can't miss the first of the two outer reefs.


But, there's nothing at Ulua that I've seen diving that I haven't also seen snorkeling - from one inch sized frogfish and leaf scorpion fish and nudis, to larger animals like manta and eagle rays.
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Old May 23, 19, 3:44 pm
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Trying to plan a trip there, but I'm getting no luck. Is there any chance to find award availability in August if I keep checking every day?
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Old May 23, 19, 4:07 pm
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Check for a seven day stay. If you find it and have the points, book it and then cut it down. Thatís how I got mine for November
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Old May 23, 19, 9:17 pm
  #3285  
 
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Try searching for 3 or 6 nights
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