Travel Success Tale: Say aloha to a review of Andaz Maui

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I’m so excited to share this new Travel Success Tale with all of you. One of my travel buddies, Ben, recently visited the Andaz Maui. Ben is one of my favorite travel experts. He runs a Facebook Travel page, Ben’s Big Deals.

What I like about Ben and his family, he and his wife, Karla, along with their 7-year old daughter, Nai Lee, they all enjoy the fine things that travel life has to offer. Many of their travels get them places using miles and points earned with credit cards. Smart!

I’ve seen Ben and Karla post many pictures traveling in first class, but they also welcome the value of traveling in economy when they see great deals. And if there ever was a family travel reality TV show, they’d be in it. I’d call it, “Where in the world is Ben’s familia?” Yeah, Ben. I better get credit for that title. 🙂

Meet Ben, Nai Lee, and Karla – ALOHA!!!

Towards the tail end of our most recent Costa Rican vacation, without fail, sure enough, I saw a Facebook post from Ben, Karla, and Nai Lee as they were en route to Maui. I knew we’d be in for a treat. If there is something I know about Ben, he loves Hyatt properties. The Andaz properties are the luxury properties under the Hyatt umbrella. And how appropriate that I just I shared my recent Andaz Costa Rica experience.

Review: Andaz Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo & how we stayed here for FREE

Now, here we are sharing yet another Andaz experience, aloha style. Here’s what Ben had to say about Andaz Maui.

Welcome to the Andaz Maui

The Andaz Maui Experience

I have been planning to visit Andaz Maui for close to 7 years since they opened in 2013.
I booked this $750 per night room via World of Hyatt points instead. This Category 7 (30,000 WOH points) property for two nights cost me 60,000 points on one of the rare weekends in February they had availability.

Aloha from Andaz Maui front desk with Karla and Nai Lee

As a Top Tier Globalist, they upgraded me to a gorgeous two-queen ocean view with balcony room. I requested this room over a King bedroom since the room is about 400 sq. feet and no room for a rollaway or pullout sofa for my 7-year old daughter. In addition, there was no chance of suite for me on this trip.  

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They run about an 80% occupancy here pretty much the entire year and this was technically their low season. They have 10 gorgeous villas oceanfront currently. I found out they are currently building 19 new resort view villas with 3-4 bedrooms that rent out for $4,000 per night. 

Pros

  • Parking was covered in the award stay for Globalist, resort fee which was waived for award stays covered lots of on property things
  • Breakfast was very memorable, and reminds me more of the Asian properties vs. the bare bones US buffets
  • Friendly, engaged Andaz check-in/wait staff, and on the beach.
  • Great Elite Recognition, upgrade to ocean view, and welcome amenity each day

Cons

  • Rooms were smaller size for a family and no bathtub
  • Geared for adults and not families- this could be a good thing
  • Lots of pools but no slides or kids activities

Interesting bathroom design

The bathroom is interesting design to say the least. There is full glass on one side looking out into the balcony overlooking the pools and ocean. My wife, appreciates the shutters around the glass shower for the privacy. On the other side of the shower are two mini curtains that don’t do a very good job blocking the water and protecting the rest of the bathroom from over spraying shower head. Lastly, the toiletries are organic in nature but not very inspiring.

Pools at the Andaz Maui

There are 4 main tiered pools (all ages) in main area, 1 private adult pool, and a nice beach. 

Although the $40 Resort fee is waived for all award nights, it does includes some great benefits:

  • fitness class
  • morning yoga/pilates
  • use of all the non-motorized beach gear and toys

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Wailea Beach at the Andaz Maui

The beaches in Wailea are fantastic and one of the best things was their private beach. The beach staff were friendly and had fantastic service. It’s a clean and pristine beach overall, white fine sand, and the waves were calm in general and great for kids.

Nai’s getting ready to swim in Wailea

Umbrellas and chairs were easy to find. No need to bring  your own kayak, snorkeling gear, and fins. It’s all included here and a fantastic perk overall. 

Pro tip: make sure to make a reservation and take advantage of the complimentary guided kayak and canoe ride in the morning.

Breakfast at the Andaz Maui

There is no club lounge like all the other Hyatt Andaz around the world. This was actually the highlight of this property as a Globalist. Their breakfast features farm-to-table Asian and Western fare and locally sourced fruits/ salads here. The spread has some great pastries with Hawaiian touches as s’mores sweet bread and macadamia nut cinnamon rolls along with omelet station. There were several hot items I loved like hot and sour miso soup, pork belly, longanisa, shrimp fried rice, and chow mein. Most notable are the 4 different local hot sauces, the fabulous papaya and pineapples.

The cost of the morning buffet was $49 per adult and $24 per child, however, Globalist benefits covered it all ( 2 adults and 2 children) as a complimentary benefit. They say the Andaz and the Four Seasons have the top breakfasts here on the island, and I would agree.

Andaz Maui Globalist

Lunch and Dinner outside the Andaz Maui

We went offsite for lunch and dinner quite often. We found two spots that we really enjoyed.
One was a Tanpopo in Kihei area just 3 miles away.  It is run by a Japanese chef who dreamed of opening a Japanese restaurant 4 years ago.  He use to be the head chef of the prior Italian place for 15 year in the same spot.  So when he opened up Tanpopo, he kept some of the best Italian dishes.  I ate their Linguine Vongole (clams) everyday. Please do yourself a favor and drop by. It’s 60% locals that go there.

Also, check out Cafe Moon. A new entry in the same area, just opened by this local Korean family.  The Kalbi and Bulgogi are divine and please even the pickiest of diners, my little girl. 

Lastly, if you are just landing from your flight to Kahului and need a great first or last meal, stop by Top Chef Sheldon’s Tin Roof Maui for some great local grinds. You won’t be disappointed.

Meeting Chef Sheldon, finalist from “Top Chef”
Chef Sheldon’s casual restaurant on Maui – Tinroof

The Andaz Maui Takeaways

Ultimately, the Andaz Maui service is warm and personal. The rooms are clean and modern, but small.  My expectations were quite high arriving here, as it is one of most talked about Hyatt properties in the US.  I received everything as  expected as a Hyatt Globalist here. The property is visually stunning and the food fantastic.

The grounds outside Andaz Maui

Although kids account for 10% of the guests resort with children, it isn’t a kids resort. You would be better off at the Waldorf Astoria’s Grand Wailea just down the street.

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Waldorf Astoria Grand Wailea.

But, if you are looking for the honeymoon, or weekend getaway with your significant other, this is your place for relaxation and place to chill – the Andaz Maui.

Here’s a quick video highlights that Ben shared with me. To set the mood, I included island-style music by Kolohe Kai – Good Morning, Hawaii.

Mahalo, Ben, Karla, and Nai

I expected nothing but great details from Ben. I’d like to thank Ben for taking the time in sharing this write up, along with all the pictures and video clips that depicted the grand time that his family had during their trip to Maui.

Gotta try shave ice when visiting Hawaii

Visiting Hawaii is definitely something that’s always in my family’s travel agenda. It’s our go-to vacation spot. We go every year. We regularly visit the Hawaiian islands. Kauai is our #1 favorite, with Maui being a close second. The last time we visited Hawaii was in the summer of 2019, we were able to book 6 free round trip tickets to Kauai.

How we booked six FREE tickets to Hawaii for the 4th of July (worth over $4000)

Kauai Summer 2019

In 2016, we also visited Maui, and stayed at a nearby resort not too far from the Andaz, we were at the Wailea Beach Marriott and had a grand time with the kids.

Day Six Maui: Wailea Daze and Hamilton moment

It’s great to see other families, just like Ben’s, enjoy sharing the gift of travel with their family. It’s even more admirable when I learn of ways they utilize their points to max that gives  everyone an opportunity to experience luxurious accommodations all thanks to points. Again, mahalo Ben, Karla, and Nai. I can’t wait to see where your next trip takes you.

How again are we traveling for nearly free

This World of Hyatt was the card that got us FREE rooms at Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome, Park Hyatt Paris, Park Hyatt New York,  and a Presidential Suite upgrade at the Grand Hyatt Washington DC. Most recently, we stayed at the Andaz Costa Rica at Papagayo Peninsula, and Hyatt Regency Mission Bay in San Diego and received an upgrade to a suite with views of the marina.

  • Annual Fee – $95 Annual Fee.
  • Earn up to 50,000 Bonus Points
    • Earn the first 25,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
    • Earn an additional 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend $6,000 total on purchases within the first 6 months of account opening
      • That’s up to 50,000 Bonus points – enough for 10 free nights at Category 1 hotels or 2 free nights at Category 7 hotel
      • Get a free night every anniversary year at any Hyatt that is between Category 1-4.

This one is a keeper for me. Earn an extra free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort if you spend $15,000 during your cardmember anniversary year.

To apply for  World of Hyatt, click here!

There are many credit cards out there. The points earned with Chase have been my favorite for many years. These Ultimate Rewards points could be used for airfare, hotel, car rentals. Here are the Chase Cards that I, myself, use on a regular basis which can earn you these Ultimate Rewards.

a. Chase Sapphire Preferred (click here)– earn 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards.  

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a perfect starter card. With its current 60,000 bonus points, those points alone have gotten us two tickets to Hawaii, have gotten us to many countries and cities in Europe and Asia, just as an example. The sign up bonus alone can be worth as much as $1,000 or more in travel.

– 60,000 Ultimate Rewards sign up bonus after $4,000 in spend in the first three months
– Points are transferable to:

  • Hotel Partners
    • Hyatt
    • Marriott
    • IHG
    • Ritz-Carlton
  • Airline travel partners
    • JetBlue
    • United Airlines
    • British Airways
    • Southwest Airlines
    • Singapore Airlines
    • Flying Blue
    • Virgin Atlantic
    • Aer Lingus
    • Iberia

– Points are worth 1.25 cents each when redeemed through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal
– Primary rental car collision damage waiver
– Earn 2X points on all travel and dining
– $95 annual fee

If I were just starting out in earning miles and points, I suggest starting out with this card,  the Chase Sapphire Preferred

b. Chase Sapphire Reserve – earn 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards (I don’t have an active link at the time this was published, feel free to search on the net for a recent link, or check with me). Here’s a write up that I wrote on both Sapphire cards.

c. Chase Ink Business Preferred– earn 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards, perfect for those with small business.

I value my points earned with Chase. Here’s a write-up I wrote last year as to how we travel for nearly free (click here) with points earned with these credit cards.

For other cards that have helped us travel for nearly free, I recently I updated my favorite travel credit cards. I’ve also written this recently:

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Lastly, here Reader Success Tales that I featured on my site.

 

 

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