Yesterday I wrote about how I wound up staying here, and why my Deluxe Ocean Suite was free.
I was originally booked at the Andaz, an the opening date for the hotel was changed so my reservation got split — one night at the Hyatt Regency, two nights at the Andaz. The Director of Rooms promised me a suite upgrade as an apology Then the opening date for the Andaz changed again, so I had to get moved twice. So they comped a stay at the Regency instead — and since that’s clearly a downgrade, and I was to be in a suite at the Andaz, they gave me a suite at the Hyatt Regency Maui as well.
And since Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond members aren’t even charged the resort fee there, I was going to have a completely free stay — other than parking and anything I chose to pay for on property, which could be fairly limited since the hotel has a club lounge which I’d have access to based on elite status as well. Not bad.
My Preconceived Notions Were Right.. and Wrong
I don’t like big resort hotels, lots of people, or long lines. I prefer tranquility on vacation, which is why I love the Park Hyatt Maldives so much, and why I didn’t like the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman. I expected the Hyatt Regency Maui to be in the latter category, what I refer to as “resort factories,” the kind of places where you have to get a book down on a beach chair at 8am if you hope to have a spot later in the day.
And indeed the hotel is large, I think it’s fairly well captured by observing that there’s a Macy’s on the ground floor (as well as other shops, like a Sunglass Hut). And it’s the sort of hotel that gives you cards to exchange for towels at the pool. It does get busy. Although the hotel is apparently quite aggressive about collecting peoples’ stuff if they leave them out for over an hour unattended.
But everyone at the hotel was really friendly, the atmosphere was great and relaxed, the views were stunning, the grounds are lovely and I enjoyed my stay.
They’re doing renovations, which are sorely needed, but that also presents an opportunity for great value here which I’ll describe below.
It’s not where I’d pick for the limited time I’m able to spend away for leisure but that says more about my own preferences than it does about the hotel.
The Deluxe Ocean Suite
I have to say, the views from the suite were stunning.
There were three balconies, though two were little more than walkout and the one with furniture barely fit the furniture. You’re not really going to comfortably lounge around the day on your balcony most likely.
The room could use an update for style, but everything was in good working order and it was well equipped.
Off the dining room there was a coffee setup with a pot and coffee grinder to grind local beans in the room. There was a telescope. So definitely some thought has gone into the amenities.
There was only one small trash can in the room, though – in the master bathroom – so I didn’t have a place to put empty bottles of water. I lined them up on the desk, and housekeeping never removed them.
Housekeeping didn’t ever bring shampoo, either, until the last servicing of the stay. It turns ou there were two lotions the first day. That’s ok, I grabbed a shampoo off the maid cart!
The bedroom was comfortable enough.
As was the living room.
The Club Lounge
The lounge is well provisioned in the morning with an extensive set of pastries, with cereal, meats, cheeses, and one hot item that rotates daily.
The lounge staff is super friendly and responsive.
But this has to be the busiest, most bustling club lounge I’ve ever been in. It was so busy I had to dodge and weave to avoid running into people or more likely their running into me.
Access is via keycard and I can’t imagine everyone in the lounge was entitled to be there based on booking a club room or due to Gold Passport elite status. The lounge has three discrete seating areas in addition to an area with some computers, as well as two small outdoor seating areas with a single table each. And the place was packed at feeding time.
I find that sitting outside was nice, you could close the door on the rest of the lounge and things would be much quieter.
Although the view from the lounge isn’t really of the ocean, you can crook your head if you’re standing outside and see the water but the lounge location really isn’t a prime one on the property. And it gets windy up there, too.
Food at the Hotel
I went downstairs to the breakfast restaurant one morning. Fortunately I got there shortly after the 6:30am opening, because the restaurant fills up quickly. Later in the day there was a line that wrapped around up the staircase to be seated.
The first question I was asked was, “Is breakfast included in your room?” It wasn’t, but I was hoping for something a little nicer and relaxing than the club lounge and also to experience more of what the hotel had to offer. The buffet runs $25.95++ per person.
There was coffee, juice, an extensive array of pastries, an omelette station, and a few hot items – pancakes, bacon, sausage, potatoes. In some ways it felt more like mid-tier city hotel buffet than resort buffet in paradise, but the latter would probably have been priced higher. And the setting is really nice, on a little lake, though birds would fly in and try to grab food off the tables (and a little kid at the next table was tossing food out to them, I was aghast when the kid tossed out eggs).
Room service options are limited. They don’t serve 24 hours a day, and the all day dining menu basically has salads, burgers, a couple of sandwiches, and pizza. That’s not a lot of choice. You really are better off going off property when possible. Still, after a full day’s flying I was pretty exhausted and just wanted something delivered. The food was fine, not great, but I had two general issues with room service.
First, they didn’t wash the lettuce so I didn’t put it on my burger.
Second, after finishing room service and ringing them up to collect the tray, they did not come. The tray was still sitting outside the door the next morning.
The lobby downstairs has an outdoor coffee shop that serves Starbucks coffee and offers pastries. This was actually one of my favorite spots on property, they did a reasonably good job with morning coffee and outdoor seating is really almost the point of being on Maui anyway. Though it, too, could get crowded..
I didn’t eat dinner on property at all during the stay, so I can’t offer insight into those options, I’m much more inclined to sample things outside the resort anyway and I’ll have a subsequent post on a couple of places that I recommend trying in the nearby area.
Insider Tips for a Stay at the Hyatt Regency Maui
Parking: Valet parking runs $20 per night, they apparently charge it to cars that are in their possession at midnight. So you could even valet during the day and move to self-parking and wind up paying the lower $14 self-parking rate. At least that’s how the front desk explained it to me.
Self-parking is going to be better for many guests, anyway. My room was in the Lahaina tower and if you drive past “Hyatt Guest Parking” on the way into the hotel and turn left just before the valet parking driveway in front of the lobby, you will find a self parking lot (you let yourself in and out with your room key, but can take a ticket there on first arrival to get into the lot) that is right beside that tower which is the tower on the far left hand side of the property if you are facing the ocean.
An Opportunity for Hyatt Diamonds to Save: I already mentioned that Diamond members do not get charged a resort fee here (Platinums are charged a reduced fee). But right now there’s another opportunity. The hotel is doing some construction out by the Lahaina tower and there are a block of rooms that overlook the construction. They are sold as “obstructed view” and generally run about $100 less than the other entry level rooms on property. That’s a great thing for Diamonds, who can use confirmed suite upgrade certificates from any Hyatt rate to get into a suite. While these obstructed view rooms are available it’s the cheapest way into a suite on the property. (Note that the basic suites on property aren’t large, about 550 square feet, in some ways more like a junior suite.)
Bottome-line: This hotel was better than expected. I absolutely appreciated the lengths Hyatt went to in order to make things right when the Andaz didn’t open on time. I have no complaints at all about a free deluxe ocean suite.
This property would be good for families, I think, there’s lots of see and lots of keep kids’ attention.
It isn’t secluded, private, tranquil — so not really my speed – and yet I enjoyed my stay. But then I don’t tend to stay on property as much in Maui as I might at some resorts elsewhere, so it made for a good base of operations in an area of resorts.