This past Labor Day weekend was a three-day holiday for many on Maui, but not for the employees of the just-opened Andaz Maui at Wailea. The hotel, which is Hawaii’s first LEED-certified resort, has 297 guest rooms and suites, including seven villas with two to four bedrooms. The resort will eventually feature two full-service restaurants: Ka’ana Kitchen, which is already open, and Morimoto Maui, by Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto. The resort is located at the site of the former Renaissance Wailea Beach Resort, which closed in 2007.
Upon entry to this ultra-chic property, guests will be greeted by a sculpture whose story demonstrates all the values of the Andaz Maui in one truly unique piece – the restored sculpture of the Hawaiian demi-god Maui, who is credited with raising the islands from the ocean floor with his fish hook.
Originally done by an artist in the late 1970‘s, the piece was going to be recycled, as it was in pretty bad shape after sitting on the oceanfront lawn of the Stouffers Hotel for the last 30 years. Kainoa Horcajo, the Cultural Director for the Andaz, called on the master metal smiths at Padilla Designs to bring the statue back to life, and set about the task of finding a fitting new home for the 9 foot, 1200 pound sculpture.
Padilla Designs rebuilt the hands and feet out of steel plate, sculpted a new Lei Poo around his for head out of hundreds of hand cut copper maile leafs. They also created a copper fish hook embedded in a natural lava rock as well as a sculpted copper rope link it all together. The entire statue was then highlighted and clear coated to bring out the saturation. Kaleo Padilla of Padilla Designs is “thrilled to see Maui resurrected to live another lifetime at the front entrance to the luxury Andaz Maui at Wailea.”
Kainoa Horcajo shared his thoughts on the statue of Maui and “my hopes for its use and integration into a larger, place-appropriate, totally Andaz front art piece:
Maui the demi-god, often called Mauiakalana, Mauiakamalo, and Mauiakamai, is the progenitor of humanity in these islands. He is the archetypal ancestor and the embodiment of positive, uplifting values that place the good of the community over the desires of the individual. Maui slowed the sun, lifted the sky, obtained the secret of fire, and raised the islands from the ocean. It is this deed of raising the island from the ocean that we want to honor and highlight.
Early on in the process of creating the Andaz Maui at Wailea, the general manager Michael Stephens called me about working on a project to create a fictional story about a Japanese man that sailed across the sea and landed on the beach fronting our resort in a past time. This man, Hyato, fell in love with a Hawaiian woman and together they created a family and built a home for them and their friends. This home they built is the Andaz Maui at Wailea. We used the story and the elements of it to inform bits of our design, our hiring process, and many of the details of the resort. The characters are built around Andaz values and Hawaiian values and help us better understand who we are and why we do what we do.
Just as our mythical ancestor Hyato raised the islands from the sea by traveling Eastward into the rising sun and landing on Mokapu beach, we envision this property and building as our home that was created to house our ever-growing family.”