Andaz Maui at Wailea
3550 Wailea Alanui Dr., Wailea
The new Andaz Maui is a relaxed and affordable changeup from the Wailea beach big-hitters (Four Seasons, Fairmont…). Designed by David Rockwell, we hear the open-air lobby is insanely cool: You enter on a footbridge that crosses an infinity pool to arrive at a sandpit (where you’re encouraged to remove your shoes) while checking in…on an iPad. It’s super contemporary—even the apothecary-style spa, which means your therapist will custom-blend locally grown herbs, plants, and fruits for your treatment. Oh, and in addition to Ka'ana Kitchen, an onsite restaurant with a great breakfast spread, Morimoto is here, too. There are also lots of beachside activities, from boogie and paddle board rentals to snorkeling gear (which can be deployed right in front of the hotel), all of which are included in your resort fee. They book up fast, so make a reservation at the kiosk off the beach right when you check in. Friends have also told us that it's worth taking advantage of the hotel's car service for exploring Wailea, as the über situation is still pretty few-and-far-between.
Four Seasons Maui at Wailea
3900 Wailea Alanui Dr., Wailea
Along with all the Four Seasonish amenities (beachside cabanas, sunglasses cleaning, poolside Evian spritzing), the resort offers an abundance of only-in-Hawaii extras, making the Maui at Wailea outpost a South Pacific dream. For one thing, Kids for All Seasons—a daily camp for littles ages five to twelve—allows parents to explore the spa, spend the day surfing (lessons and board rentals are always available), or read a book at the adults-only serenity pool, while the kids build sandcastles, craft leis, and take hula lessons, all under the watchful eye of trained staff. Thoughtful touches, from complimentary swim diapers by the pool to a lengthy roster of family activities (snorkeling, boogie boarding, putting greens), make vacationing en famille a total joy. At night, take your pick of three on-site restaurants, including Wolfgang Puck’s award-winning standby Spago. Take note that kids five and under eat free at Italian-Hawaiian fusion eatery Ferraro’s and at seafood-centric DUO. And when in Hawaii…surfing legend Dave Kalama hosts surf camp and lessons here. The most exciting activity at the hotel is what they call Fire & Wine: an excursion that starts with a private helicopter tour, includes…