Actually, in our opinion, neither of these is the best hotel option in Maui. We prefer the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea. The Four Seasons tends to be the most expensive, but it has larger rooms, the best beachfront, and overall feels the most luxurious. You can read our comparison of Four Seasons Vs. Andaz Maui and Four Seasons Vs. Ritz-Carlton Maui.
The main difference between Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua, and the Andaz is their brand and, therefore the points you can spend and collect at these properties. The former Ritz-Carlton being part of Marriott Bonvoy and the latter Andaz is part of World of Hyatt.
Each hotel also has a very different vibe. The Ritz-Carlton has a more traditional feel with more traditional room designs. It focuses on the excellent golf available, and has plenty of pools but offers very little emphasis on their distant beach. The crowd is older than that at the Andaz. The Andaz feels youthful and trendy and is right on the beachfront. The vibe is lively, with plenty of activities going on around the tiered pools in front of the resort that lead down to the beach.
The location of the two hotels also differs, with the Andaz being in Wailea, not far from Four Seasons. This is the sunniest part of Maui. The Ritz-Carlton is located in a windier part of the island with less reliable weather. Wailea is definitely our preferred location.
The Andaz wins for a number of reasons, but mainly because it is lively and beachfront. Let’s dive in deeper below. The only advantages that the Ritz-Carlton has over the Andaz are the club lounge, the adjacent golf and golf crowd (if that’s what you’re looking for), and the fact that you can book your stay on Marriott Bonvoy points at the Ritz, so your holiday stay can be free except for the resort fee. Of course, you can book your Andaz stay on World of Hyatt points, too. It depends on which loyalty scheme you favor.
Wherever you travel to, if you want to book a hotel, use our luxury travel concierge. We offer free upgrades, free breakfasts, free hotel credit, and VIP gifts at luxury hotels. We offer free benefits at both the Four Seasons and the Ritz-Carlton Maui, as well as the Fairmont, Ritz-Calton, Hyatt, and more…
Andaz Vs Ritz-Carlton Maui: The Best Beach
Andaz Maui at Wailea is located directly on the beach. The grounds lead directly down to an expansive patch of managed beach complete with loungers. The walk from your room to the beach isn’t far, and the patch of beach is picture perfect.
The Ritz-Carlton Maui is not directly on the beach. Yes, you read that correctly. For a beachfront idyll, don’t pick the Ritz-Carlton as it isn’t on the beach!
There is a beach with a burger restaurant around a five-minute walk from the pool, but there is no decent lounger set up as the water is often rough and muddy here. The focus here is on golf and pool rather than beach fun.
Andaz Vs Ritz-Carlton Maui: Best For Style
Andaz feels trendy, modern, and hip. Your teenage children are likely to prefer it unless they are into golf. The Andaz is fun! The Andaz has four infinity pools, two restaurants, a full-service spa, and is beachfront on Waikapu Beach. It’s a great resort.
The grounds at the Ritz-Carlton Maui are beautiful too, but in a more Ritz-Carlton style, with the lush, lime green hills of the West Maui Forest Reserve in the distance and the Plantation golf course in the forefront. But the views are not of the beach. The vibe is of a more traditional tropical paradise.
Andaz Vs Ritz-Carlton Maui: Resort Fee
Most resorts in Hawaii charge a resort fee, even if you are paying on points. Both of these hotels have a resort fee. Four Seasons is the only luxury hotel on Maui we know of without a resort fee.
Andaz Maui Vs Ritz-Carlton Maui: Best Bar & restaurant
The Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort has three main eateries. Ka’ana Kitchen offering food to share with the people you love, which is also a big part of traditional Hawaiian culture. This restaurant offers some of the best dining on the island from local farmers, foragers, and locavores.
There’s also Bumbye Beach Bar, set on the edge of the lagoon pool near Mokapu Beach. This relaxed bar works to “island time,” and and delivers island inspired bites and cool cocktails. Finally, Lehua Lounge is an elegant island lounge is nestled among crystal clear waterfalls fwaturing handcrafted cocktails, gorgeous views of Mokapu Beach, and delectable small bites. It’s the perfect place to watch the sunset.
The Ritz-Carlton offers good if un-noteworthy food. The Ritz-Carlton sits right next to a village of shops and restaurants in Kapalua, so if you get bored with the food within the resort, there is plenty of choice outside the resort.
Andaz Vs Ritz-Carlton Maui: Best Rooms
At the Andaz, each one of the hotel’s 320 guest rooms, suites, and 30 residential-style villas blends the non-traditional Andaz style with the feel of a luxury resort community. Modern touches include private lanais for admiring magnificent Hawaii sunsets, bathrooms with ocean and garden view showers, and luxurious body products that invigorate both body and mind. You can book Ocean View rooms at the Andaz.
At the Ritz-Carlton Maui, the rooms vary greatly in size, are designed in traditional decor and have very green views over the forest, golf, and the grounds, but not the ocean.
Andaz Maui Vs Ritz-Carlton Maui: Best Pool
The Andaz Maui has a smaller garden that stretches down to the beach. At the Andaz, the pools are layered on terraces down to the sea. There are three ocean-facing, cascading infinity pools, a lagoon pool, and an adult tranquility pool for guests 18 and over. The pools are fun and lively.
At the Ritz-Carlton Maui, there are plenty of pools and hot tubs surrounded by thatched tiki umbrellas, but the resort is not on the beach, and when you are in Hawaii, you want some beach, right! The pools themselves are very good, plentiful, and peaceful. This resort focuses on the golf course and the pools which are nice, but for us, nice isn’t ideal. You want brilliant if you are to get on a plane for this long.
Andaz Maui Vs Ritz-Carlton Maui: Best Club Lounge
One particularly attractive feature of the Ritz-Carlton property is that guests who book into a Club room or Club suite enjoy complimentary access to the hotel’s exclusive Club Floor Lounge. You can only get access to the club level lounge if you book a club level room. The Club Lounge is located near the elevators on the eighth floor of the Napili Wing of the resort.
They call it a hotel within a hotel, with a dedicated concierge and a well-appointed, relaxed lounge environment. Continuous culinary offerings include breakfast, light snacks, hors d’oeuvres, beverages, and sweets – many reflecting the cuisine of the Hawaiian Islands.
The continuous culinary offerings throughout the day (breakfast, light lunch, evening hors d’oeuvres, desserts, and sweets), and in the afternoon and evening, you can drink alcoholic drinks of your choice, and the staff makes will make up great cocktails complete with flowers in, all included of course.
The lounge itself has a dark wood floor and loads of comfy chairs and sofas. It does look slightly less trendy when you compare it to, say, the Andaz in Wailea or the Four Seasons Lanai with its ultra-modern Asian-inspired decor. Then again, this is all taken into account in the price. The Ritz-Carlton is generally less expensive than the Four Seasons properties in Hawaii and appeals to a more traditional and sophisticated golfing crowd.
Club-level rooms offer better views and are on the higher floors of the hotel. Ritz-Carlton values club access at about $100 USD per person per day, and because the Ritz-Carlton club lounges are so much better than most other club lounges (except for Four Seasons Club lounges). So I would agree that this is probably fair, mainly because the food and drinks are enough to negate the need to go anywhere else. Of course, you miss out on other dining and drinking options by booking and staying in the club lounge.
When traveling with kids, the value of the lounge is increased as kids under twelve do not usually cost extra, so it is terribly convenient to have a constant array of food available and not to have to stick to mealtimes, so paying for Club Lounge does seem worth it if you don’t go above the $200 USD additional charge on top of the ordinary rooms.
The Andaz Maui does not offer a club lounge.
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