By Guest Travella.com.au blogger Lana Hirschowitz
◎ 3550 Wailea Alanui Dr, Wailea, HI 96753, United States
# Hotel Website
$ Rooms start from $900 AUD per night.
PRO ✓ A luxurious surrounding, beautiful room
CON Lack of storage spaces, pricey breakfasts
I am not a beach lover, actually let me rephrase that, I hate the beach. I don’t like dirt, I mean sand, I am very respectful of the ocean (where respectful means petrified) and I wither in the heat.
It would not be remiss to think that I was a little strange wanting to go to Hawaii on holiday. But, in my mind I could avoid the beach, I was excited by the thought of shopping (many people I had spoken to had mentioned taking empty bags with me and as an avid shopper this spoke straight to me sweet spot. My husband was looking for a holiday where he could really relax and do nothing so Hawaii ticked his boxes, and as for my teenage son – he had visions of beach and surfing that clearly showed he has not taken after me at all.
So it was that in mid September we jetted off on a Qantas flight to Hawaii. If you are thinking of making this trip flying Qantas you need to know that there are no premium economy seats and the business class seats, while having all the expense of regular business class, lack the flair and space of a decent business class flight. It’s a smallish plane .
We landed in Honolulu and boarded a Hawaiian Air flight to Maui. The airport was er, islandish. Small, slightly chaotic, and HOT. We had booked car hire but upon seeing the minimum two hour queue (outdoors with no shade) we caught a taxi to our hotel. I was later told that car hire at Maui airport is always the same. The words nightmare and hell were bandied about a lot.
But here’s where we get to the good part.
We were staying in paradise. Paradise that also goes by the name of the Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort. The trip was a birthday present from my husband to me and before we left he had emailed the concierge at the hotel (who made contact after we booked) requesting a room upgrade in honour of my birthday. He never actually replied to that email but our room was upgraded to a suite and it was an absolute luxury treat.
The hotel itself is an oasis of luxury. The lobby overlooking the cascading pools and the ocean was at once opulent and relaxed. The staff could not have been kinder and the service more impeccable. Oh and they could organise car hire in ten minutes without leaving the air conditioned comfort of the hotel. BUT, and here’s a but if you are considering staying there and hiring a car, there is a $US30 parking fee per night.
Even the beach was magnificently serviced so sand haters like myself were well catered for. On stepping toe on the beach you are met by a staff member who sets up seats, towels and an umbrella for you – all part of the resort fee so at no additional cost.
There was an adult only pool that we never used, that said we never actually saw any children at the pool other than our own 14-year old. That may be because it was September and not US school holidays or it may be because the hotel was so expensive people with kids can’t afford to stay there.
Three restaurants service the hotel but they are all quite pricey and the food selection is not what you would call – wide. The US $49 breakfast is very overpriced and if you wake up late you need to sprint because they finish serving breakfast at around 10. There is a shopping centre within an easy walking distance with several restaurants and a shuttle that the resort provides to another area that has about three restaurants.
The surrounds of the hotel are magnificent and the palm trees on the grounds add an almost surreal edge to the sunsets which themselves are worth travelling to Maui for.
But the rooms. As I mentioned previously we were upgraded to a suite which was beautiful. The bathroom was spectacular and the toilet with the Japanese style raft of choices on the flusher was great but there was almost no cupboard space. The wardrobe had THREE hangers and there were no shelves to put clothes away. We kind of make did with clothes in the bedside tables and next to the TV area but my son had no choice but to keep his clothes under the bed. They need cupboards. Stat.
There were also no individual lamp switches next to the beds so if I wanted my light on or off my husband had to do that for me. There was a “kitchen” which was just a cupboard with a sink, a coffee machine, a few glasses and a fridge to small to actually put anything in.
That said the beds were exceptionally comfortable and the wifi is brilliant – you can access free wifi from anywhere within the hotel (including at the beach).
The room also comes with a Go-Pro that concierge provides and it’s a cute quirky extra that we really enjoyed because the ocean is spectacular and you really want to try and capture that somehow to bring home.
If I am to nitpick, and I think that’s valuable on an honest travel site, the one lift did not work for the entire 7 day period we were there and nor did one of the washing machines (there is a 24 hour laundry that guests may use).
The staff were great to us (although I did see a family who just flown in with two babies at 10am being told they could not have their room till 2pm even though it had already been vacated – that nonsense gets to me!). But the setting could not have been more idyllic and the holiday couldn’t have been more magnificent. It also could not have been more expensive but it is a truly luxury resort and possibly the best birthday present a girl could ask for.
Lana Hirschowitz, aka The Sharpest Pencil, is a freelance writer, a blogger (duh!) and a video “star” who loves toast, her family and Candy Crush. Not necessarily in that order. After spending 5 years working on the largest independent website for women in Australia (at Mamamia) and then launching iVillage in Australia she knows a thing or two about writing and social media. You can visit her website here, follow her on Twitter here and like her Facebook page here
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