I’d like to start my holiday recap with a warning to y’all. It’s a bit of a long one, but I feel like this needs to be told. I promise, there will be loads of happy hotel reviews and recommendations for what to do in Hawaii coming up after this 😊
This is a story of how a hotel can do every single thing, that is humanly possible, wrong. Prepare for some strong language and brutal honesty.
Basically, this was a company trip so we were left redundant when it came to booking flights or accommodation. It was quite nice to just go with the knowledge that everything had been taken care of already.
Except when most of the 6-couples-strong group arrived at the hotel to be told that the reservation, which had even been paid for already, didn’t show up in the hotel’s system, we realized that things weren’t so hunky-doory after all.
This hotel goes by the name of
Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort
and it caused us a lot of stress and confusion from day 1. Not a way anyone wants to start a holiday, right?
The amount of money spent on our altogether 6 suites was so substantial that I cannot comprehend what sort of a brain seizure took over whoever decided to delete our booking from their system after it had already been paid for. It was especially stressful for us because they knew that it would be close to impossible for us to find other accommodation.
Since it was the week before New Year, the entire island of Maui was booked full; there was no space in hotels, surfing classes, restaurants, spas, absolutely anywhere. Finding rooms for 6 couples in such circumstances was a nightmare.
Camping or sleeping on a boat were considered. Thankfully one guy’s tenacity was rewarded and in the end we had even too many rooms booked. Rather that than too few rooms! Reviews on those hotels coming up next week.
Despite such an appalling welcome provided by Andaz, we decided to go there for the New Year’s party… Okay, we didn’t decide so, but were rather forced to, because every single party on the island was already fully booked. We should’ve realized that the fact that there was so much space left at the Andaz party was a bad sign.
So, we went there for dinner. Funny fact about Hawaii: every single restaurant, where we had a table booked, made us wait minimum 10 minutes before giving us a table. Every single time. Never before have I gone to a restaurant I’ve booked and they haven’t had my table ready at the agreed time. In Hawaii this happened every single time.
But Andaz exceeded also in this regard; we were made to wait for half an hour. In the end one guy got tired (and simply pissed off) and went to find us a table himself. And there, right behind the corner our table was waiting, ready and set up. For how long it had been there ready, I actually didn’t want to know because my will to burn this place down was already rather high.
So, we sat ourselves down and the waiters handed us the New Year Eve’s special menus. First we ordered cocktails and our “lead man” ordered a bottle of some special champagne he had seen on the bar shelf. The waiter straight off lied that they didn’t have this champagne. When our Lead Man argued he promised to go and check.
I mean, he LIED to our faces! WTF?? Meanwhile the rest of us were ordering cocktails and, for some inexplicable reason, some of the waiters were responding to us in a very rude and condescending manner.
When we ordered food, many of the guys wanted to order multiple starters and couple main courses (these are hungry men!). For some reason we had to argue with the waiters about this as well, until they finally yielded.
In addition, our Lead Man always orders an extra course of fried brussels sprouts. He loves them. In every single restaurant we went to this was not a problem at all. Except in Andaz:
The waiter mockingly told us that they will only cook with the ingredients used for the special menu. When the Lead Man tried to convince him to try and figure out if it might still be possible the waiter answered (as if to a child)
“Eat your main courses first and then we can discuss if you’d still like brussels sprouts!”
WHAT! THE! FUUCCKKK!! At this point I was ready to stand up and face-slap him with a baseball bat all over the place!
From the beginning it was quite clear that they didn’t particularly like us. Whether it was because they realized we were the people whose rooms they had fucked up or because we all look quite young (despite most of us being 30 or over) doesn’t matter. There is no excuse for waiters to treat customers the way we were treated.
About food I can tell you that the oysters were prepared wrong (they weren’t prepared at all), there was sand left in the salad, their pork belly was under-cooked and not seasoned at all. My question at that point was:
How much can you fuck up!?!?
A great deal more, as it turns out!
From the restaurant we moved to the pool area where the New Year’s party was ongoing. We ordered couple bottles of champagne from the restaurant to take to the party.
Note, Hawaii has its very own, extremely strict laws on alcohol; you can’t order a drink without an ID even at the hotel pool and all sale of alcohol, whether it be a bar or a shop, ends at 11 PM the latest. So, if you’re looking for a party destination, rule Hawaii out of your list. For families and people looking for ultimate relaxation without rowdy parties, this is the perfect destination.
In any case, New Year was a special occasion: you could purchase drinks until 2AM in the restricted area at the hotel where the party was walled off from the pool area. To get to the restricted area you had to show your tickets and, of course, your ID.
Since we had tickets we were supposed to get bracelets. They again LIED to us that they had run out of bracelets. How ridiculous is that?! You have a set number of guests! They allowed us to enter without bracelets.
But the champagne bottles, that we had bought from the restaurant, they decided to confiscate. Now, taking alcohol away from a Finn is as risky a business as running towards a bear screaming “HUUUGGG!”.
It’s an understatement to say that I was NOT happy when they told me to leave my half-full glass at the “gate” and put the bottles under the table for “safe keeping” promising us that we could pick them up when we left.
It was 20 minutes until midnight and we rushed to the bar. At this point I was already fuming so much that my New Year was ruined. We got the drinks, returned to the table and counted down with everybody else.
After the countdown the fireworks started… somewhere beyond the beach so that you couldn’t see them from the party area. So, we had to leave the area to move to the beach to see the fireworks. Guess if they took my drink away when we were nearing the beach?
Just the thought of the injustice of it all makes me wanna kill! I didn’t enjoy the fireworks at all. I didn’t enjoy anything at that point. All I wanted was murder and to make a massive bonfire out of the so called “resort”.
I don’t think I need to tell you, because you probably already guessed, that the champagne bottles that we left at the “gate” were no longer there when we went to get them to leave the shit hole.
We made our last attempt to allow them at least a speck of dignity and reported this to the front desk. They promised to figure out where the bottles had disappeared and to get back to us the next day.
Have a wild guess, did they offer to refund the expensive beverages or did they ever get back to us?
Standing outside, waiting for a taxi to take us to the ONE bar that was still open, I couldn’t help but imagine the Nazi swastika hanging above the doorway. Why? Because it’s fucking appropriate!
Long story short,
NEVER MAKE THE MISTAKE OF BOOKING THIS PLACE FOR DINNER, DRINKS, HOLIDAY OR FOR ANY REASON WHATSOEVER.
Happier Hawaii greetings coming up shortly. I just needed to get this weight off my shoulders first :D
Overall our holiday was one of the best ones I’ve ever been to! This was just the one, rather major drawback to the otherwise awesome week.