After several delays Hyatt finally opened the Andaz Maui At Wailea last night.
Starwood and Hyatt have the most reasonable award redemption rates on the beautiful island of Maui. The Sheraton Maui and Westin Maui go for 12K points per night or 9.6K Starpoints per night if you stay for 5 nights. They also offer cash and point options where you can save half your points by supplementing cash. The Hyatt Regency Maui goes for 22K points per night and they even carry kosher food in their restaurants and give diamond elites a wonderful free kosher breakfast.
But those hotels are located in West Maui where beaches, snorkeling, and swimming are good but just can’t compare to South Maui. In South Maui there is the Grand Wailea, if you have the asinine 70K-95K Hilton points per night that the lackluster property commands. South Maui also has the Fairmont Kea Lani, which is great for lifetime Fairmont Platinums and will get even better thanks to the Willow Stream Spa opening there.
But the modern Andaz Wailea is a real treat for point addicts. Wailea is a beautiful, well-manicured area with awesome beaches and snorkeling. South Maui is also less windy than West Maui and has better weather.
And the Andaz brand is great. I love the Andaz 5th Avenue, it’s easily my favorite hotel in NYC (though I can’t wait for the Park Hyatt NYC to open in 2014!) Andaz hotels have a modern feel and the free minibar and WiFi is always nice as well.
I looked up the night of January 26th for a random mid-winter rate.
-A 2 Queen garden room is $589+tax=$668. Or use 22,000 points for a value of 3.04 cents per point.
-Perhaps the real value is in the Andaz Suite which have a living room, 2 balconies, and an ocean view. The rate for that room is $1,219+tax=$1,383. Or use 33,000 points for a value of 4.19 cents per point. You do need a stay for at least 3 nights to redeem for a suite.
The great thing about Hyatt is that the most any of their luxury hotels can charge is 22,000 points per night for a standard room and just 33,000 points per night for a suite, so there are great values at the high-end. And as long as a standard room or suite is for sale then you can book it with points-no blackouts or capacity controls.
You can earn Hyatt points via the Hyatt Visa though you will earn more points per dollar thanks to superior bonus categories on Chase Ultimate Rewards cards like Freedom, Sapphire Preferred, Ink Plus, Ink Bold, and Ink Cash. You or your spouse will need the Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold, or Ink Plus to actually convert the Chase points to Hyatt (or any other airline or hotel). Points convert instantly at a 1:1 ratio.
I’ve been to Maui 4 times though I’ve yet to write a trip report about it. Perhaps it’s time?