Katie Kelly Bell, Contributor
A stay at the Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort is a multilayered experience—literally and figuratively. Terraced into the steep hillside that runs into the Pacific, the resort is tucked into Maui’s southwestern coastline along Mōkapu Beach. Guests have their pick of three cascading infinity pools and the hotel offers everything from a hotel room-styled stay to an oceanfront private villa with a private pool. The most recent addition to the Andaz offerings is the Ilikai Villa collection.
Unveiled in summer 2021, the villas comprise 19 three-bedroom option, nicely suited for big families or large groups. Each villa is tricked out with every type of premium appliance imaginable, a Bosch coffee station, Bosch dishwasher, outdoor Viking grill, and the cooking accessories to match. Each private Lanai terrace has a small dining table, sofa and chairs for everyone’s al fresco pleasure, and the setting is quiet, set apart from the rest of the resort. Rooms are outfitted with smart technology (cool features such as subdued underbed lighting that pops on when you get out of bed in the darkness.) You’ll also get remote control shades and blackout curtains, laundry, rainfall showers, and Toto toilets. It’s swanky from tip to toe.
Villas located on the ground level include a private plunge pool and expansive lawn space. The penthouse features 3,750 sq. ft. of living space, a really cool glass bottom cantilevered pool and in-room Peloton bike. For the biggest group, consider booking an entire floor of five villas -which can be connected to offer a total of 15 bedrooms, five kitchens and five living spaces.
At the resort, there are several pools to choose from, or make it a beach day, but one of the best gems wasn’t overlooking the oceanfront but rather the spa tranquility pool, where birdsong and waterfall sounds are the soundtrack. It’s a serene oasis just outside the spa—no music or bar, (but poolside service is offered, of course).
The resort also partners with a local company who offer guided outrigger experiences just off the beach. Or, just opt for snorkel gear and make your way into the water for a swim with some sea turtles. Luaus are offered twice a week – you’ll get an open bar, lots of fascinating Polynesian dance and song, as well as a stunning sunset and a three-course meal. The resort sits on 15 acres and offers guests a full-service spa and fitness center, as well as private poolside cabanas. You are also just a short walk from The Shops at Wailea, where you’ll find over 70 retailers (some very posh ones too) and a slew of great dining options.