Acclaimed chefs find Maui home at Hotel Wailea


Two of Hawaii’s most celebrated chefs, Anthony Rush and Chris Kajioka, have chosen Hotel Wailea as the home of their next breakout restaurant named Ondine through a collaboration with hotel owner Jonathan McManus. Chefs Rush and Kajioka opened Senia, their first Honolulu restaurant in December 2016 to international acclaim, garnering James Beard Award nominations and the title “Hawaii’s hottest new restaurant” from Food & Wine Magazine.

Ondine, the new restaurant concept, will spotlight on three distinct restaurant features: a private yet interactive chef’s kitchen with a tasting counter for small groups of six to 20 people; a garden terrace with a view overlooking the kitchen; and a treehouse private dining experience for intimate groups of eight.

“To launch at Hotel Wailea, Maui, Hawaii’s only Relais & Châteaux property, continues the momentum of what we’ve accomplished in Honolulu,” said Kajioka. Chefs Kajioka and Rush have been honored to be featured chefs at the James Beard House in New York City November 9, 2017 to launch the new restaurant, Ondine at Hotel Wailea.

Rush and Kajioka described this as the next step in their collaboration with principal investor at Senia, Jonathan McManus, also an owner of Hotel Wailea which was named Best Hotel on Maui by Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards 2017 and recently, #1 Hotel in Hawaii in the 2017 Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards.

“Chefs Anthony and Chris are rare culinary talent with personal drive to match,” said McManus. “Their extensive background cooking in Relais & Châteaux Chef Thomas Keller’s kitchens will break new ground for Maui-beach-casual tasting dishes. This will be a very exciting culinary direction for Maui.”

Along with Hotel Wailea’s Maui-born chef de cuisine Zach Sato, executive chefs Chris and Anthony will be searching for new culinary talent for the project, drawing from the island of Maui and kitchens across the country. Their new menu will focus on Maui regional ingredients with exclusive farming relationships to their kitchen.

“This exciting collaboration is part of Hotel Wailea’s ongoing strategy to join forces with renowned chefs who embody Relais & Châteaux’s commitment to culinary excellence and unwavering attention to detail, delivered in a comfortable dining setting overlooking three Hawaiian Islands,” added McManus.

Hotel Wailea’s existing restaurant will undergo a complete redesign spring 2018 to give way to the new Ondine, projected to open fall 2018.

The first and only Relais & Châteaux property in the state of Hawaii, Hotel Wailea offers travelers a European-inspired elegance infused with relaxed island luxury. The independently owned and operated, all-suite hotel finished a $15 million renovation in January 2015, reimagined as an intimate adults-only escape with 72 oversized suites, new resort pool with residential-style cabanas and an apothecary style pool bar. The ideal island escape for couples was recognized as Best Hotel on Maui by Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards 2017 and #1 Best Hotel in Hawaii in the 2017 Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards. Hotel Wailea boasts an unprecedented level of intimacy, privacy and exclusivity in Hawaii. Personalized guest programming is tailored to couples and centered on authentic island experiences that embody the spirit of Maui and laid-back luxury. Hotel Wailea’s continually evolving culinary program boasts a unique take on seasonal dining with Hawaiian staples and Maui-grown ingredients, including from the hotel’s own organic garden. Hotel Wailea offers two ultra-exclusive private dining experiences: The Treehouse and Chef’s Kitchen.

Established over half a century ago, Relais & Châteaux is an association of the world’s finest hoteliers, chefs and restaurateurs that has set the standard for excellence in hospitality. Relais & Châteaux has redefined luxury hospitality by emphasizing holistic experiences that transport its guests, taking them on a sensual journey and introducing them to a deeper, truer understanding of the Art of Living.

The story of Relais & Châteaux begins in 1941 when two former music hall entertainers, Marcel and Nelly Tilloy purchased “La Cardinale”, an estate in the Rhône Valley. In 1952 the Tilloys began recruiting other hoteliers and restaurant owners that shared the same level of quality and excellence and passions for fine cuisine and Art de Vivre. In 1954, this group of kindred spirits merged together to create Relais & Châteaux. In the beginning, there were eight such establishments along the road between Paris and the French Riviera. Today, there are only 520 Relais & Châteaux members.