I was super excited by the Andaz Maui opening and planned to stay when it first debuted. When I was finally able to stay in July 2014 I absolutely loved it. It was a more boutique property than the resort factories I’d stay on on the island before. And it was a great value not least of which as a Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond member.
It’s been a controversial property over the past 18 months, however:
- Since then they restricted the Diamond breakfast benefit (though they since added it back).
- They added a $40 per night resort fee on top of the $30 per day valet parking fee (there’s no self parking option).
- They restricted Diamond Suite Upgrades to a new separate room type, poolside suites — a lesser room category that there’s only a few of on property.
When I needed to be on Maui and found cash and points ($150 + 12,500 points per night) available for my dates I decided to return. And I found a hotel that wasn’t nearly as peaceful and relaxing as it was on my first stay, and a property that doesn’t seem to be getting the upkeep that it should.
Initial check-in was a bit of an odd experience. I was informed that the hotel was full, and so no ocean view upgrades were available. That’s understandable, an upgrade isn’t an entitlement and I hadn’t been able to confirm one in advance now that the property only allocates about 4 suites to the upgrade pool (and I’m not sure a pool suite is something I’d want over an ocean view anyway).
I took the elevator up to the room on the 6th floor, though I’m not certain why since it was only one floor up, but I didn’t want to drag my rollaboard up the stairs. After that I avoided the elevator, because it smelled like pot.
When I got to the room I found that they didn’t even honor my request for one bed. So I went back to reception. There I got lucky — a woman was checking in and being refused to beds because the hotel was full. She was happy to trade her ocean view room with one bed for a mountain and parking lot view room with two.
The woman who checked us in couldn’t have been less friendly throughout. She kept insisting there was nothing that could be done – for either of us – until we resorted to ‘self help’. During her initial check-in she was going through a speech, and she didn’t seem to want to try to help or find someone who could — just move on to the next guest in the assembly line.
My suite last time was small for a suite but large considering that the non-suite rooms aren’t very big. They’re nicely appointed though and I ultimately did have an ocean view (albeit over the top of the roof of the building in front).
The toiletries are nice, and I love larger bottles, but in this case I was thankful for the larger bottles because despite two room servicings per day housekeeping never replaced them during my 3 night stay.
The couch by the window was super-stained. It was worse in person than the photos show, and reminded me of the furniture at the old US Airways Club at New York LaGuardia prior to renovations there. I didn’t want to sit on it.
The phone on desk in the room didn’t work. The phone by the bedside did, though only the preset buttons and not the numbers.
Since I was getting in quite late and was tired from the trip I ordered room service. I got in before the 10pm cutoff, there’s no overnight service it seems. My burger ordered medium cam rare, and with used condiments on the tray. I called and they replaced the burger, but used the same tray with used condiments.
The thing that bothered me most though was the flooring in the room. Either it was slightly raised at the front door, or the door itself was dragging, because every time I’d open the door there would be a high pitched shriek that was like nails on a chalk board.
Guests do still receive plastic water bottles (I liked the old clear plastic ones better) and a beach bag.
The resort’s grounds though are lovely. The public spaces remain quite striking. And the lobby is a fantastic place for watching the sun set.
Breakfast was good though something of a zoo and getting someone’s attention for a coffee refill was a challenge. They no longer have the ‘pour over coffee’ that I enjoyed on my last visit. And it took as long as 20 minutes to be seated.
Breakfast was efinitely not worth the price, though, if not included:
Though the room was in disrepair – from the furnishings to the flooring to the phone – ultimately on cash and points the stay was still a value. I wasn’t even charged the $40 per night resort fee that would have applied to a paid stay. I received a bountiful breakfast as a Diamond member. I got my money’s worth for sure. But it wasn’t the special place that I had visited only a year and a half earlier.