The new Andaz Maui brings a contemporary style of one of Hawaii’s best-loved islands.
There’s a cool drink in my hand, and the faint sound of tropical music in the air. The Hawaiian sun is warm, the light breeze instantly calming and restorative. Gazing out to the Pacific Ocean, I’m captivated by pinpoints of light sparkling on the cresting waves, then I close my eyes, exhale, and dig my toes deeper into the sand.
And this is just the lobby.
The Andaz Maui at Wailea is a luxury resort where traditional separations between outdoor and indoor living no longer exist — as if the line in the sand has been gently erased by the tide.
Upon arrival, guests cross over a lantern-lit pool on a pavilioned Italian marble bridge to the property’s atrium-like lobby lounge. The absence of an oceanfront wall creates an open, sun-filled void that immediately welcomes guests with a sweeping panorama of Mokapu Beach, a pristine gem of Maui’s southern resort communities.
Immediately, guests can absorb the spectacular scope of the resort grounds, tiered terraces of mirror- still infinity pools appearing to cascade like a waterfall in the direction of the beach, a clever and eye-catching architectural element that forges an emotional connection to the sea and represents Andaz Maui’s oneness with Hawaii’s love of the outdoors.
“Everything is designed to orient you back to the ocean and remind you of that spectacular view,” explains Shawn Sullivan, a partner at renowned architecture and design firm Rockwell Group which oversaw the $90 million transformation of a former 15-acre resort into the 10th property in the luxury Andaz portfolio. Opened in September 2013, Andaz Maui is also the first in a resort location.
The interiors of Andaz Maui have a cool and contemporary vibe that’s both stylish and comfortable
Andaz is a Hindi word meaning “personal style,” and Rockwell honors that concept by planting the resort’s design deeply in the indigenous environment. To that end, says Sullivan, the design team imagined the resort as a lavish beach house welcoming guests as friends.
Cheery attendants greet new arrivals with “Aloha” and offer registration by handheld computer tablet. You can set your welcome drink on a stone bar (which doubles as the check-in desk) or relax in the soft curve of wood bucket chairs in the recessed sandpit. Natural materials, organic textures and a creamy color palette predominate, lending a contemporary, cosmopolitan vibe to the resort. “It can be challenging to find something contemporary,” says Sullivan of Maui accommodations. “We were excited to do something that felt fresh, modern and sophisticated.”
The resort’s main building is an impressive stage of exterior design elements and amenities, a traveler’s delight for outdoor play. The five-pool complex of tiered terraces is interspersed with grassy lawns and speckled with chaises and cabanas for surveying the dramatic sea views.
This is the sun-splashed heart of the resort, where you’ll spend most of your time sipping fruity craft cocktails from the Lehua Lounge, relaxing over a casual lunch at Bumbye Beach Bar, or enjoying water sports off the powdery sand of Mokapu where a mile-long beach path allows for easy ambling to local shops.
In the evening, dinner is a culinary experience at Morimoto Maui, Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s sleek dojo where reverent and experienced hands roll sushi for guests on a 79-seat patio overlooking a spectacular lagoon pool.
Meanwhile, Ka’ana Kitchen serves fabulous farm-to- table cuisine and sends surplus dehydrated fruits and herbs to the resort’s Awili Spa and Salon, an apothecary inspired hideaway where guests create personalized lotions and potions for their treatments of choice.
If a mind-melting massage doesn’t lull you to sleep, the sound of lapping waves will do the trick as you lay in one of 297 airy guest rooms and suites — including seven two-to-four bedroom villas — with tastefully edited interiors featuring clean lines and minimal hardware, lava stone floors, teak slat vanities, and discreet doors to closets and bathrooms.
Showers feature shuttered wooden screens that open to overlook the bed and the swaying palms beyond your private lanai. Bringing the outside world indoors — that might best define Andaz Maui’s signature style. maui.andaz.hyatt.com
???????… AND ANOTHER ANDAZ
Hot on the heels of Andaz Maui, the new Andaz Peninsula Papagayo (the company’s second luxury resort) has opened to critical acclaim in Northwest Costa Rica’s beautiful Guanacaste region.
Designed by the iconic Costa Rican architect Ronald Zurcher, and fusing modern comforts with an authentic pre-colonial design aesthetic, the resort offers 153 spacious guest rooms, including 21 suites, many with panoramic views of the Bay of Culebra.
The resort is also offering unique experiences with its Andaz Salon program, introducing guests to the vibrant surfing, art, music and fashion cultures of the region and exciting local events. papagayo.andaz.hyatt.com