HBD Andaz

The Andaz and my friends at The Lucky Honey have some things in common, they are both about the same age–we can begin there. Though their businesses have nothing obvious in common their businesses actually have everything in common. The Lucky Honey has pretty much everything you need for that resort staycation: swimwear, accessories, skin care, floaties, travel bags… everything, of course, except for the resort itself. And let me tell you I love these two things very much. They are the ultimate way I treat myself and that would be how I define living that best life that everyones talking about.

My first photo for The Lucky Honey was at the sleepy pool of Andaz. Their first official photoshoot was at the Andaz, before most people even knew it existed. And, I’ll add here, that my husband helped build the Andaz, with his own two hands.  He tells me the stories everytime we go there for dinner, about having giant machines amidst the hollowed walls of the former Intercontinental, its kind of a curious thing for him, to see how grand and amazing it is now.

The Andaz is kind of this gem of a hotel here on Maui that lacks the typical slip-n-slide atmosphere and instead offers you a place to just slide in and slip into a state of relaxation. Its hard to put your finger on exactly what it is that brings you to that level so automatically, but once I’m there I’m not exactly worried about figuring it out. Is it the constant fall of water from the various levels of pools? Is it the quiet hush of guests sipping cocktails, is it the aromas? The thick foliage? It’s definitely something…

So when the Andaz announced their fifth birthday Ho’olaule’a celebration I had to go against my save-for-Disney budget and my newly started diet and scooped up a ticket to join my Lucky Honey ladies for an evening in Wailea.

The beach front lawn was nicely adorned with white tables and fabric shades which danced slightly in the barely-there Wailea breeze. Cute little shacks housed brightly colored food truck themed booths, with portions of amazing foods from culinary masters like Chef Masaharu Morimoto and his Big Eye Tuna Tacos, and Kona Kompachi from Chef De Cuisine Jonathan Pasion; just two of our personal favorites.

To beat the Wailea heat, an all-you-can-drink (responsibly) bar was set up which offered signature cocktails like the Lehua’s Passion with Malibu Passionfruit Rum, Lilikoi Purée, Pineapple Juice, Coconut and Coruba Floater–let me ask you this: would a maitai by any other name taste as sweet? Yes it does (a little Shakespeare shout-out for you). There was also an adult shaved-ice stand for those needing an extra chill.

Soothing sounds of Kaena Music and host Malik’s Dudley greeted us as we strolled over the gentle lawn and there again we found ourselves in the relaxed state the Andaz is known for. Though there were a few fashion and art booths, we found ourselves sitting down for most of the event, enjoying the slow place, soaking in the flavors and sounds. As the sun set behind island band Nuff Sedd, the colors that danced were reminiscent of a firework show in slow motion, one that captures your attention and you can’t look away. There’s also something about watching the sunset collectively with so many people, its like you are witnessing something grand.

I think perhaps my favorite part of the event was the cultural facet. Part of the proceeds of this event went to the Pu’u Kukui Watershed, who were also there to share about their efforts in preserving a water source on the west side of Maui through culturally sensitive management of this 9,000 acre area.

I loved one of the main speakers of the night, a beautiful Hawaiian woman, with hair flowing to her ankles, and who carried herself so well. She was one of the first people to catch my eye coming into the event and so I was of course intent to listen closely. She shared that she was brought into the Andaz when it originally opened to ensure the cultural aspects would be genuine to the ahupua’a in which it sits. I feels that a truly vital aspect to any industry that sits on this island, and I appreciate the measures they’ve taken. I almost wonder now if that mellow, cool spirit of the hotel has something to do with this approach. When you start at the roots of a place, when you consider the history and the stories, the value of the land and its people, when this is where you begin everything that builds and grows from it comes from that place. And everyone can feel it.

To end the night, the ever talented Anuhuea kept up the harmony of the evening, singing some of our favorite songs that always seem to sound like you are falling in love under a coconut tree with the moon bouncing against the perfect ocean waters. And I guess we kind of were, falling in love, again with this great resort.

After all, it’s not hard to do.

Happy birthday Andaz, mahalo for having us!

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