96753 Travel Guide
Celebrity Chefs / Masaharu Morimoto / Andaz Hotels / Hyatt Hotels / Maui Hotels / Wailea Hotels / Hotel Restaurants / → All Tags
You may not be able to tell from this laid-back photo, but chef Masaharu Morimoto really is hard at work preparing for the opening of his second Hawaiian restaurant Morimoto Maui, now scheduled for October at the Andaz Maui at Wailea.
When we visited the resort for its grand opening on September 1st, we'd hoped to get a sneak peak at the restaurant too, but we were shut down on all fronts. In fact, the teak wood and black-stone tile restaurant is currently hidden behind a huge tent that's been lovingly called "Cirque du Sushi".
Morimoto did allow for a candid shot and we gotta say, he looks super cool outside the chefs whites, right?
Snapshot / Hotel Fashion / Andaz Hotels / Maui Hotels / Hyatt Hotels / Hotel Volunteer Programs / → All Tags
..this little guy! We've never seen such a cool looking kid decked out in the finest resort wear. The boy was one of the Andaz Maui at Wailea first guests (with his family, of course) when the hip hotel opened on September 1st. Check out our first look here.
Although the Andaz isn't your typical family resort--you won't find water slides, game rooms or a kid's club, they do support the area's local youth and have adopted the nearby Kihei Elementary School.
Part of the corporation's responsibility program, Hyatt Thrive, the hotel has already started volunteer work at the school, developed a monthly rewards program, and even installed a new refrigerator in the school’s faculty lounge.
The hotel's goal is to help strengthen education at the school and personal advancement within the local community. That's part of the Hawaii's ohana (family) spirit, and one of the reasons we love the islands so much.
[Photo: Trevor Durham/Andaz Maui at Wailea]
Best Room To Book / Hotel Openings / Photo Gallery / Andaz Hotels / Maui Hotels / Hyatt Hotels / → All Tags
It finally happened. At 2pm on September 1st, the highly anticipated Andaz Maui at Wailea finally opened for business, after being delayed from their original August 15th debut date.
We were front and center for the emotional blessing ceremony led by the respected Kahuna Nui, Kapono'ai Molitau. The kahuna told us he's particular about the places he'll perform his chants, and felt the Andaz's space was very special.
Indeed, there's history here. The hotel was once a Renaissance Hotel that was beloved by long-time vacationers. After sitting empty for many years, the Hyatt group came in and decided to turn it into one of the hottest hotel brands today.
The Andaz Maui is the 10th of its kind to open, and there are more on the way. But right now let's focus on this gallery of first looks at this resort that's made a huge effort to embody the spirit of Hawaiian aloha.
Plus, we'll tell you which is the Best Room to Book, after the jump.
Andaz Hotels / Maui Hotels / Hawaii Hotels / Hotel Openings / Hotel Opening Rates / Hotel NEws / → All Tags
In our sneak peek of the Andaz Maui in May, we were given plenty of details about the eagerly anticipated Andaz resort, from the high-end Rockwell Group Design to the private beach, the Hawaiian apothecary spa, a new restaurant from Chef Morimoto, two outdoor bars and the seriously chic guest rooms. Except there was no confirmed opening date. Well, now we finally have one.
The Andaz Maui will open on August 15. Aloha! However, right now, we can't actually seem to make a reservation for that day. We tried various dates in August on the website (as well as over on Expedia) but everything was coming up as Sold Out. We hope that it's just a minor issue with the reservations system and that we can start reserving rooms soon.
However, we were able to find a room on September 9 for $509 a night for an Andaz Garden King. Ocean views were not available but will presumably cost more. Also the Morimoto restaurant is expected to open later in the fall. But at least the WiFi is free!
[Photo: Rockwell Group]
Hotel Design / Design Thursdays / Hawaii Hotels / Andaz Hotels / Hotel Openings / Hotel Hype / Photo Gallery / → All Tags
The 297-room paradisiacal hotel, which will debut in late Summer, is well on its way to becoming our most anticipated hotel opening of the year (literally), for its private beach, free WiFi, and signature restaurant, Morimoto Maui. Sure, that's a big statement. But we dare you to disagree after taking a look at these images, straight from the offices of the property's designer, David Rockwell:
The Iron Chef star will take advantage of the island’s direct access to fresh produce and pay homage to Hawaii by incorporating local ingredients to his traditional Japanese menu.
A Hawaiian vacation is notoriously expensive, especially at the tony resort town of Wailea in Maui. So when we heard about all the free amenities at the five-star Four Seasons Maui, we were impressed, but skeptical. Had they just built the cost of all their freebies into the hotel rate? And how do other Maui hotels rate in comparison? We broke down the amenities to analyze the savings, if any.
First, the Four Seasons Resort, which costs around $465 per night, doesn't charge a resort fee and tells their guests to “put away your wallet” and enjoy their extensive complimentary services and amenities.
Here's a sample of what they're giving away gratis:
· Fitness classes including Pilates mat class and yoga
·Internet access throughout resort
·Kids for All Seasons Club (5-12 years) 9am - 5 pm daily (nominal fee charged for lunch)
·One-hour use of snorkel equipment
·Cabanas at Fountain Pool and Waterfall Pool (limited inventory)
·Introductory scuba clinic twice daily
Fairmont Hotels / Hotel Restaurants / Luxury Hotels / Maui Hotels / Revamped Restaurants / Ko / → All Tags
With most of the culinary attention in the Hawaiian islands drawn to "Hawaii Regional Cuisine," we were fascinated to learn that Kō, the newly renovated signature restaurant at The Fairmont Kea Lani derives its flavorful dishes from humble beginnings--the food of the various ethnic groups that came to work Maui's sugar cane plantations.
The Hawaiian word Kō means sugar cane, a large un-branched grass brought to the islands by the early Polynesian settlers, later hybridized to increase variety and yield and forming at one time Hawaii's largest industry. Native Hawaiians for the most part did not work the cane fields. So the Portuguese were sent from the Azores, the Chinese, Japanese and later Filipinos, Puerto Ricans and Koreans came.
Everyday in the midday sun they'd break for lunch, sometimes sharing a dish and teaching the other nationality about a new vegetable or method of preparation.
Fa la la la, we've got some concrete proof that the Andaz Hotel brand is coming to paradise aka Wailea, Maui, thanks to this traditional Hawaiian Blessing ceremony photo op from Wednesday. And there's another little surprise in our hotel news stocking as the Andaz Wailea Resort and Residences will open in the Spring of 2013, not 2014 as we first heard.
The hotel will have 255-rooms, 35 suites and 19 villas located along Mokapu Beach which is a little bit further north from the Grand Wailea-Four Seasons-Marriott hotel cluster that most people frequent in Wailea.
Japanese-born chef Alan Wong has spent years building a legacy as one of the most talented and innovative chefs in Hawaii. His Oahu restaurant, Alan Wong's, was ranked twice by Gourmet magazine as one of the top ten best restaurants in America. Now, the master will be turning his attention to the Grand Wailea Resort for a new "Asian street food"-inspired upscale restaurant—to be named, awesomely, Amasia.
The name refers to the possible future merging of the Asian and North American continents. Which is actually fitting for Wong's style, which likes to borrow a little from both cultures. Wong recently entered into an agreement with Grand Wailea to take over their Japanese kaiseki restaurant Kincha, which closed in 2009. Currently undergoing a $2 million renovation, and with Wong's team set to arrive in January to start experimenting in the kitchen, the restaurant will re-open as Amasia in February.
We thought the unsettling news about NASA's rogue satellite might be cause for a quick spa getaway to Maui—you know, to ease your mind. After all, if you're going to be pummeled by a 6.5 ton defunct spacecraft, you might as well be enjoying your last few moments in style. Even if your pampering session becomes a twenty-man operation.
It turns out that the Spa Grande at Grand Wailea Resort is experimenting with a "20 Hands Duo Massage," meaning (you guessed it) a two-and-a-half hour massage treatment for couples by ten people, twenty hands, and 100 fingers. We're not sure if this should be considered relaxing or merciless, but we're curious nonetheless.
While some people raise money with bikini car washes, like Octomom and some fame-hungry celebrity mistresses, Grand Wailea's Managing Director Matt Bailey really gave something of himself for charity—his hair.
To inspire the Maui resort workers to donate money to the annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk, which aids Hawaii nonprofits, he vowed in the beginning of the year to shave his hair if they hit a fund-raising goal of $32,000. Not only did they raise the money, they exceeded it, with donations totaling $50,000—the most raised in the state.