Andaz Maui REVIEW - MASTER THREAD

Old Jan 31, 14, 11:01 am
  #676  
 
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Originally Posted by l'etoile View Post
I know at least two of the villas are sold to the same buyer.
I was told by various staff that one specific (wealthy) buyer purchased an entire building (six suites? three?).
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Old Jan 31, 14, 11:31 pm
  #677  
 
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I recently completed a stay at the Maui Andaz and would like to share my thoughts. This property has been extensively (and pretty much accurately) covered in this thread so I will just comment on the details not already mentioned.

You are welcomed with a drink (lemonade) and ice-cold towel, as well as a tuberose lei (very fragrant as well as expensive, as someone else noted). For the Diamond welcome amenity, you get your choice of coconut macaroons (not French macarons) or edamame hummus along with your choice or red or white wine. As mentioned earlier, the wine is expensive. Someone on this thread had raved about the macaroons but I thought they were just ok. The edamame hummus comes in a small portion. You can try both the macaroons and hummus for free in the spa and judge for yourself (the spa also has a fruit-infused water which changes daily Ė itís much better than the water available elsewhere in the resort). If I had to do it over again, I would probably just opt for the points instead. I never received the welcome amenity anyway until I asked a second time for it to be delivered.

The bellman will deliver your luggage to the room with a macrame beach bag and reusable plastic water bottles (although as someone mentioned, they ran out of water bottles so we got disposable water bottles instead). We didnít get any slippers, although as another poster mentioned, you can get them in the Ohana lounge on the 1st floor of the Makai tower. The slippers arenít anything special, so donít feel neglected if you miss out. The plastic sandals in the spa are better anyway.

The minibar has a small refrigerator, and as others have noted, doesnít get very cold. There is no freezer. The minibar comes with 2 bags of chips (rotates between Maui Onion and Regular/BBQ/Sour Cream & Onion Pop Chips) and 4 Kind bars (coconut and dark chocolate). You also get 2 Honest Organic Mango-ades, 2 Colas, 2 Ginger Beers, 2 tonic waters, and 2 seltzers, in addition to 6 Starbucks Via packets (2 decaf and 4 regular). Our minibar, contrary to prior reports, was refilled every day (although I tipped the housekeeper everyday, so Iím not sure if that had anything to do with it. The one time I forgot to tip, I didnít get any Kind bar refills). Also, our toiletries (Maile-scented) were replenished every day, and sometimes twice per day (at turndown service).

The room also comes with a mini iPad which I thought was a very nice touch. Otherwise, you can use the computer in the Ohana lounge to print your boarding pass. The room service menu (booklet) is next to the iPad, or you can access it on the tv. As others mentioned, you can get your Diamond breakfast as room service.

I can confirm (as others have mentioned) that the suites are located on the top floors of each tower, and on lower floors, they are located at the far end of each tower. There are also pool suites along the lower level of the Makai tower which feature direct access to a pool, but these suites are not private at all.

In my opinion, the best suites, as others have noted, are the end suites in the Makai tower (x39 and x40; the higher, the better). The middle suites are ok, but in the Makai tower, both the north and south facing suites actually face the ocean at an angle. The north facing suites (even-numbered) are quieter, but at this time of year, miss the sunset. The south facing suites (odd-numbered) face the pool and the sunset, but are more noisy (with music from the pool, as well as the live entertainment in the evening). They are also not private at all. Everyone at the pool can see you, and at breakfast, everyone on the terrace can see you too.

I actually think the end suites in the Akau tower are much better (they are more private, quieter, and they directly face the ocean, instead of at an angle as in the Makai tower). And you get full ocean views from both the living room and the bedroom and can see the waves crashing on the beach. The suites in the Nema tower also directly front the ocean, but you are set a little further back and your view of the actual beach is obscured by the villas. The suites in the Akau and Nema towers are slightly smaller than the Makai suites and lack a hanging chair on the patio (although there are hooks for them, the chairs are missing). But I think the privacy and full frontal ocean views more than make up for that.

As others have noted, the furniture is not very comfortable. The bed was hard even for me (and I generally prefer firm mattresses). The sofas and patio furniture are also not very ergonomic, although the patio chair was not as horrendous as everyone made it out to be. I found the room stylish but not very functional. The lack of handles on the doors and closets made opening and closing things more difficult. Contrary to other reports, the bathroom door does latch (but doesnít lock). The open shower means water gets everywhere (I am sure the wooden shutters will be rotting in a year or two). Theyíve fixed the shades, so they work perfectly now. And I really liked the motion-sensing night-lights in the bathroom. The most impressive feature to me, however, was the Kleenex. It was called Cool-Touch Kleenex and it was the best damn facial tissue I have ever felt!

The cascading pools are nice, but as Mohamed mentioned, lack shade. The multiple levels also make it difficult to navigate with a stroller (and the ramps were closed, so only stairs were available.) For this reason, I really wouldnít recommend this resort for young children (or even older children). Itís nothing like the Grand Wailea. I know Mommy Points touts the free childcare, but the minimum age is 5, and I never saw anyone actually using Club 808. The resort really caters to adults.

There are free outrigger canoe excursions daily at 7 and 7:30. Make sure you sign up in person at the kiosk at the Beach Club. Several people signed up over the phone with the front desk, but their reservations never made it to the books, and they ended up missing out since the excursions were full (only 6 spots for each session). This activity is really for adults, and young children cannot tag along as there is definitely nowhere for extra people to sit.

The water was too rough for snorkeling while I was there; the waves were about 5 feet and people were actually surfing on Mokupu Beach. The recent storms have also eroded about 40 feet of the beach, according the beach club. I was also told the owner of Peoplesoft bought the villa closest to the beach for $13 million (in addition to the top floor of one of the residences). He has used the villa only once!

Diamond breakfast at Kaíana Kitchen was very good. I canít say I was blown away, however. I had impossibly high expectations due to all the raving reviews here on Flyertalk, so thatís probably why. But it was definitely a great experience. If you get the buffet (valued at $45), you can order a half-size portion of anything else on the non-buffet menu. As others have mentioned, the key to not getting bored with the same thing everyday is to request something different thatís not on the menu (saimin, poke, loco moco, steak & eggs, smoothie, frapuccino, etc.) I think some people on this board went a little overboard in giving the impression that the staff will bend over backwards to make virtually anything you want. They will definitely try to accommodate, but when I asked for certain things, sometimes I got puzzled looks and responses like, I donít know if we can do that, but let me ask the chef. To their credit, however, they always came through. I just donít want to give the impression that they can do ďanythingĒ. I think you have to be somewhat reasonable with your requests (which I was).

Dinner at Morimoto was excellent. I highly recommend the omakase menu ($140 pp) as the style of presentation reminded me of the omakase menus at Nobu. However, I didnít receive any GP points for dining here even though the charge was billed to my room (I think because the restaurant is not operated by the hotel).

As others have mentioned, there is free alcohol at the Mangerís reception at 5 to 5:30 pm on Mondays and Fridays. There are also free newspapers at the bar every morning and in Kaíana Kitchen (NYT, WSJ, USA Today, Honolulu Advertiser, and Maui News). While there is a newspaper slot at your door, they donít deliver to your room.

As another person mentioned, you are only charged the $30 valet fee if you park overnight. If you use the valet during the day only, you are not charged. You could also park during the day (for free) in the adjacent public Mokupu beach parking lot, but the lot is constantly policed (morning and afternoon) by the Wailea Patrol so you risk being towed if you arenít using the lot for beach access (and one time, I did see a tow truck). Also, they lock the gate to this parking lot at 8 pm. However, thanks to canyonleo, I was able to take advantage of the ďcomplimentaryĒ overnight parking. It worked perfectly for him for over 2 weeks, and if it werenít for his experience, I would have been very hesitant to leave my car there for fear of theft, vandalism, ticketing, or towing (the area is poorly lit and kind of sketchy looking). But it worked out fine for me too, so I wouldnít hesitate to do it again, as $30/night is kind of steep. On the other hand, when you are spending $2,000+ for a weekís vacation here, $180 for parking really pales in comparison. So for many people, it may not be worth the hassle of trying to avoid the parking fee, especially if you can afford to stay here in the first place.

As mentioned earlier, there is a complimentary shuttle (Escalade) for the Wailea area only. This service is fantastic and runs 24/7. It is very reliable and you never have to wait long. Interestingly, the Four Seasons also runs a shuttle, but itís a white cargo van. It really looks funny when you get into your black Escalade while the Four Seasons people are waiting for their cargo van. On another note, the Fours Seasons Hualalai was having their retreat at the Maui Andaz while I was there. I also thought this was very funny, as they were staying at a ďrivalĒ hotel when they could have stayed at the Four Seasons Maui instead (and probably more cheaply too!) I guess the Maui Andaz is the hot place to stay right now. They had a write-up in USA Today last week and were featured this week on the season finale of Top Chef.

This is my first post on Flyertalk so I hope itís not too long-winded. I really tried to cover what hasnít been clarified already. For me, this thread was invaluable in planning my stay, so I hope this adds to what has already been extensively discussed. Thanks!
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Old Feb 1, 14, 1:14 am
  #678  
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Welcome to FT and what a great review!
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Old Feb 1, 14, 6:09 am
  #679  
 
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Great review great first post
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Old Feb 1, 14, 8:38 am
  #680  
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akimyai

Welcome to FlyerTalk! Yes, great first post.
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Old Feb 1, 14, 9:04 am
  #681  
 
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Originally Posted by Ancien Maestro View Post
akimyai

Welcome to FlyerTalk! Yes, great first post.
Here now and can confirm that akimyai is spot on from everything that I've seen. This is my second stay at a great Hyatt property in 2 weeks (upgraded to an awesome 2 bedroom suite at Escala Park City during Sundance) and I'm a little disappointed in my SPG friends...time to step it up and make aspirational properties points-worthy redemptions!

I'm off to wake the wife for the 7:00 am outrigger adventure (hoping to see some humpbacks up close, although many were visible in the distance from our '39 suite), but feel free to posts any questions or requests that I can address on site.

Aloha.
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Old Feb 1, 14, 11:20 am
  #682  
 
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Adding in another Welcome to Flyertalk!

My only comment/correction is that we were able to get a newspaper delivered to our room--the woman who checked us in arranged it.
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Old Feb 1, 14, 11:29 am
  #683  
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Originally Posted by canyonleo View Post
I was told by various staff that one specific (wealthy) buyer purchased an entire building (six suites? three?).
Number varies. There are as few as two in one building.

akamyai: Welcome to FlyerTalk. PeopleSoft hasn't existed for a while. Perhaps they meant the founder. :-)

A couple of more notes based on two stays (including stay now): the leis have been of different flowers on both my stays, and the champagne amenity this time was very much downscaled ($25 retail), but appropriate as other was overly generous. In both suites the toilet paper spare was stored in sink area, not toilet room - rather awkward. There is a problem that needs to be remedied with the corner suite slider into the bedroom. There is a handle only on the bedroom side. From the living room side it cannot be opened unless you reach your hand to the top of the door and fit your fingers into the track area. I'm seeing more workmanship flaws - the bathroom floor is cracking and wavy due to poor thinset application. The dining table is already well scratched. The robes aren't holding up to laundering well - already misshapen and appear to have shrunk. Yukatas might have been a better choice.

The outrigger regatta was held yesterday with 20 people in three heats. Winning team received an entree and a drink; second place finishers received a drink. Yesterday they ran out of loungers and chairs by noon.

They have added telescopes to lobby for spotting whales.

Probably one of best deals here: The week-long pass for beach equipment rentals. About 3-4 hours of a rental pays for a week of equipment use.

Also, bottomless mimosas confirmed as part of diamond breakfast (at least at this point in time), and 18% tip is included in diamond breakfast, but if you want to leave more you can and the excess will apparently be charged to you.

It's a new hotel. Much is better this time than last and still a few things to work out.

Last edited by l'etoile; Feb 1, 14 at 2:37 pm
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Old Feb 1, 14, 11:49 am
  #684  
 
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Originally Posted by Calcifer View Post
Adding in another Welcome to Flyertalk!

My only comment/correction is that we were able to get a newspaper delivered to our room--the woman who checked us in arranged it.
That's good to know! That was one complaint with both the HR Maui and Andaz Maui this last trip -- I enjoy reading a local paper over breakfast when on vacation to get a sense of what's going locally, and it appeared both the HR & Andaz had gone to electronic newspapers access rather than delivering a paper one. Good to know you can request a paper one!
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Old Feb 1, 14, 11:54 am
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Originally Posted by oc2005 View Post
That's good to know! That was one complaint with both the HR Maui and Andaz Maui this last trip -- I enjoy reading a local paper over breakfast when on vacation to get a sense of what's going locally, and it appeared both the HR & Andaz had gone to electronic newspapers access rather than delivering a paper one. Good to know you can request a paper one!
This morning there were two local papers, nyt, and wsj at the "front desk"...next to the coffee and fresh pineapple.
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Old Feb 2, 14, 7:45 am
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Nice TR AK.

Were you upgraded to a suite at chek in? Im diamond and at chck in i was told that i was upgraded to a full ocean view but the room is more like 1/4 ocean and full palm tree room. I was told that the were 45% full but had no deluxe room available but of course its available for sale online lol. I guess i epuldnt b dispointed had she no tell me it was a full ocean view room.

When you go to the breakfast buffet, do you need to tell them you are a diamond or just get the buffet and charge it to the room and they'll take care of the charges at th end?
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Old Feb 2, 14, 7:57 am
  #687  
 
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As others have mentioned you could use the spa facility such as the sauna etc for free. Does anyone know if kds are allowed? Is there a co- ed sauna or steam room?
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Old Feb 2, 14, 10:38 am
  #688  
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Originally Posted by hqly2001 View Post

When you go to the breakfast buffet, do you need to tell them you are a diamond or just get the buffet and charge it to the room and they'll take care of the charges at th end?
The host will ask for your name and room number and will see your status. You will sign the check. Charges will not appear on your final bill.

Originally Posted by hqly2001 View Post
As others have mentioned you could use the spa facility such as the sauna etc for free. Does anyone know if kds are allowed? Is there a co- ed sauna or steam room?
The spa is adults only (18+). The saunas, steam and pools are in the changing rooms, separated by sex.

Last edited by l'etoile; Feb 2, 14 at 5:28 pm
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Old Feb 2, 14, 10:52 am
  #689  
 
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Originally Posted by akimyai View Post
As another person mentioned, you are only charged the $30 valet fee if you park overnight.
How does the valet distinguish daytime parking guests from overnight? Do they ask if you will be parking overnight? Or at the end of your stay did you just tell the desk that you did not park overnight?

And unrelated: Has there been anymore success with getting the mimosa charge included with comped Diamond breakfast? If not, what is the cost?
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Old Feb 2, 14, 11:25 am
  #690  
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Originally Posted by heatheresq View Post
And unrelated: Has there been anymore success with getting the mimosa charge included with comped Diamond breakfast? If not, what is the cost?
As I posted yesterday, mimosas are currently included. I'm sure this could change at anytime so you may want to confirm at ordering. Cost is $15 pp.
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