Written by { Erinn Valencich

Recently, my husband and I had the pleasure of spending 24 glorious hours at the surfside Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort. We arrived at the luxury retreat, set on 15 Pacific Oceanfront acres, and walked right into the warm welcome of resort staff, who instantly made us feel at home. The lobby area beckons and mixes business with pleasure; it gracefully leads guests from the check-in desk to the lounge, a marvelous space with ocean views and low-profile, Asian-inspired décor. Rainy afternoons are spent right here, sipping fabulous cocktails, playing cards and lounging on the daybeds.   

Like all of the resort’s 301 accommodations, including 35 suites and 11 luxury villas, our room was large and well-appointed, with modern wood furnishings, a soothing neutral color palette and a private lanai. The spa-like bathroom was relaxing, with its oversized rain shower—perfect after a day at the beach. Spacious two- to four-bedroom villas have private plunge pools or hot tubs, gourmet Miele kitchens and Viking outdoor grills. I could see coming back with a larger group, relaxing and entertaining with all of the resorts’ amenities at your fingertips.

One thing you can count on in Wailea, the resort community on the south shore of Maui, is water, water everywhere—and the Andaz doesn’t disappoint. Three terraced infinity pools cascade down the hillside to the beach. Plus, there’s a lagoon pool and an adult tranquility pool for guests 18 and over, so you’re always assured privacy and serenity. 

Food is appropriately ambrosial at five outstanding on-site bars and restaurants, which feature local, farm-to-table flavors of the Hawaiian Islands. Last spring, Jonathan Pasion, the former chef de cuisine, was named the winner of the Good Taste Series annual global culinary competition put on by the Hyatt brand. Not to be missed is Ka’ana Kitchen, where old-world Hawaiian flavors combine with modern culinary techniques to produce award-winning dishes, and Morimoto Maui, where we enjoyed an absolutely fabulous meal of Japanese fusion fare. I highly recommend the Thai curry snapper along with a selection of super-fresh raw fish. Also to be enjoyed are Lehua Lounge, poolside for epic ocean views, idyllic sunsets, tasty cocktails and live entertainment; and Bumbye Beach Bar, perched on the edge of the lagoon pool—great for lunch and island-inspired beverages. Super-convenient is Mokapu Market, where you can grab and go with locally sourced snacks, wine, bubbles and locally crafted beer and gelato, 24 hours a day!

Indulgences don’t end with the culinary offerings. We opted for some much-needed relaxation at the award-winning `Āwili Spa and Salon, where we enjoyed a couples massage; a perfect experience. The spa itself is sublime and was our first stop after the flight. With hot and cold stone plunge pools and a heavenly quiet room to unwind after the services, we felt completely refreshed and ready to explore the property.  I love the way they pay attention to every detail, including the fragrance in the air, which was otherworldly.   

Another highlight of our stay here was discovering the lush 1.2-mile path along spectacular Mokapu Beach. It’s perfect for a morning run or sunset stroll.

A beautiful architectural property and wonderful service paired with delicious cuisine and a great location make the Andaz a standout among the grand Wailea resorts. I look forward to returning here again next time we are in Maui. 3550 Wailea Alanui Dr., Wailea, HI, 808.573.1234, andazmaui.com