Our Visit to The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, Maui
With a recent $180 million transformation of all guest rooms, restaurants, fitness center, public areas, pool and lobby, The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua is located on 54 acres surrounded by 36 holes of championship golf in the midst of a scenic and historic 23,000 acre resort overlooking the pristine “world’s best” D.T. Fleming Beach.
During our visit, we learned that The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua was originally designed to be an ocean-front resort. However, when construction began on the resort, they found ancient Hawaiian burial grounds on the property, and the decision was made to set the resort back from the ocean in order to preserve what is now the Honokahua Preservation Site, a recognized “wahi pana” (sacred site).
Native Hawaiians revere the site, and are grateful to Ritz-Carlton for preserving their heritage and making the site available for them to gather and conduct their ancient ceremonies. Kudos to Ritz-Carlton!
The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua features 463 guest rooms including 107 residential suites. Further amenities include six restaurants, The Ritz-Carlton Spa, a massive three-tiered pool with luxury cabanas, ocean activities on the golden-sand beach, and Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment program onsite for all ages to explore tide pools, snorkeling secrets, underwater photography sessions, and hiking programs along the lava coast as well as in the natural rainforest.
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Our Favorite Memories of The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, Maui
- In the Ritz-Carlton tradition, we enjoyed world-class service from the moment we drove up to the entrance. The staff jumped to our attention, greeted us each with a lei, and for the next few minutes showered us with welcomes, helpful information about the resort, and guided us to our residential suite. First impressions are critical, and The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua made a wonderful first impression as our senses were overloaded with sights, smells, ocean breezes, tropical sun, and all of the luxurious touches enjoyed by luxury travelers worldwide.
We were very pleased with our 900 sq. ft. residential suite. We gushed oohs and aahs the moment we walked in the door of our suite, and very much enjoyed the luxurious and thoughtful appointments we found. Our suite was a delicious respite after a long day of exploration around Maui’s north shore.
- The beautiful three-tiered pool is the centerpiece of the resort. We enjoyed tropical breezes and sun, and particularly enjoyed the hottubs after a long day of travel. It’s fun to meet people from all over the world as the warm waters soothe away any aches and pains from a busy day of travel.
- We enjoyed many hours walking and lounging on the world-famous D. T. Fleming Beach. The beach, once named “world’s best” by Dr. Beach in his annual world-wide survey of beaches, is 500 yards long and we found folks boogie-boarding, snorkeling, flying kites, walking the golden-sands, and soaking up the glorious tropical sun while tropical breezes caressed the skin. Pure joy!
- We loved the hiking trail that guided us out on the ocean-front black lava formations. We spent nearly three hours exploring, watching the waves crash high into the sky, peering into small tide pools, and visiting with gleeful visitors from all over the world.
While the resort is a short drive north of the bustling town of Lahaina, we enjoyed the peace and quiet we found “far from the maddening crowds”. In fact, we very much enjoyed an afternoon drive up the north coast where we found winding coastal roads, little-known secluded beaches, Maui’s famous Nakalele Blowhole, and Julia’s Best Banana Bread in the remote Hawaiian village of Kahakuloa (link to our drive).
- Another unexpected surprise was the onsite Jean-Michel Cousteau’s (the first son of ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau) Ambassadors of the Environment program. This environmental and cultural education center offers hikes through the Hawaiian rainforest, snorkeling among the coral reefs, underwater photography sessions, a tour of the resort’s organic gardens, and daily programs for children that are certain to create special lifetime memories.
We greatly enjoyed our stay at The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua. In fact, I find myself longing to be back there again as I’m composing this article. Sigh…
We give big “thumbs up” to The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua and highly recommend it for your stay on the island of Maui.
Disclosure: our wonderful experience was provided by the kind folks at The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, and our Maui press trip was provided by the Maui Convention and Visitors Bureau. Thanks!