The Newly Transformed Ritz-Carlton Kapalua Takes A World Class Stay Up A Notch
by Heather Cassell
If seclusion and romance is what you are seeking, The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua (1 Ritz Carlton Drive, 808-669-6200, ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/kapalua-maui) might be exactly the place you want to escape to.
The AAA Five-Diamond luxury resort is far away from the crowds located within the 22,000-acre Kapalua Resort at the furthest northwest point of Maui, Hawaii near Kapalua Bay. Perched on the edge of the Pacific Ocean and neighboring the island’s traditional spiritual Honokahua Preservation Site, which the Ritz proudly preserves, the resort offers its guests’ a tranquil place nestled within mountains, a rainforest, and the ocean.
The Ritz is so tucked away on Maui, that we weren’t sure if we were heading in the right direction upon leaving Lahaina, where many of the other resorts line the beach next to each other, until we turned onto Ritz Carlton Drive. That for sure is a tell-tale sign, but then the building emerged within the trees with the Pacific Ocean in the background. It was breath-taking and became more so as we entered the lobby which provides a sweeping vista of the same view.
Needless to say, the Ritz provides guests’ the best of both worlds. Picturesque views that are relaxing and the opportunity to reconnect with your partner, your friends, and/or yourself and within only about six miles away from the popular Front Street filled with restaurants, bars, and shopping and the Whaler’s Village, which is the center for upscale boutiques and stores, in Lahaina.
A world unto its own the resort just completed its latest $25 million transformation of its 463 guestrooms with luxurious baths and spacious lanais spread out among nine floors and two wings. Each room is excellently appointed bringing in the elements of Maui into the Ritz’s sophisticated designed rooms featuring elegant wood floors and furniture, French doors that open out onto the lanais and into sprawling rooms with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, mountains and rainforests, or one of the championship golf courses. Inside the room, you will sleep on feather beds and relax in a bath or deep soak tub surrounded by marble. Separate glass-enclosed showers and tubs inhabit each bathroom. Couples to girlfriends can get ready for an evening out at one of the two vanities available.
Vacationing families, wedding parties, or a group of girls on a girlfriend getaway can enjoy staying in the Ritz’s new one and two bedroom residential suites. The suites host fully equipped kitchens from modern appliances to china and flatware. Prior to your arrival, the kitchen can be fully stocked with everything you need simply by shopping with the in-room shopping program or go to the Ritz’s new Aina Gourmet market or next door to the Honolua Store, a general store that offers everything from breakfast to groceries to casual resort wear and souvenirs. The store has been there since Maui’s plantation days.
The new décor marries the natural beauty of the mountains, rainforest and the Pacific Ocean surrounding the resort with its classic modern and sophisticated sensibilities all accented by artwork inspired by Maui’s natural beauty created by local artisans. The combination of the beautiful woods and the rich green, brown and cream hues create an inviting and serene atmosphere and naturally luxurious living space that is carried out throughout the Residences.
We know Maui is made for disconnecting and connecting in other ways, but for those of us who need our digital connection you can now hook up much faster and better with the newly upgraded Wi-Fi. The new Wi-Fi allows guests to connect up to five devices and stream simultaneously without interruption. You can also get your selection of complimentary newspapers, and enjoy premium channels.
Never fear getting into a food slump at the Ritz. The resort offers nine dining options from cafes and poolside bites to fine dining. Casual eats from burgers to sandwiches can be found at the Aina Gourmet, Burger Shack and the Pool Bar and Café. Each restaurant offers a sea food culinary journey at The Banyan Tree, Japanese cuisine at Kai Sushi, and for breakfast fans a plantation-style breakfast buffet at The Terrece.
Relaxing & Getting Out
The Ritz goes all out rolling out the welcome mat enticing you to stay. Who can say no to lounging around and sunbathing on the new lounge chairs, sunbeds and palapas on the 20,000 square foot sundeck that surrounds the 10,000 square foot, three-tier swimming pool? Or you can simply take a stroll or a golf cart down to one of the three secluded beaches.
Get blitzed out at the spa with one of the Ritz’s signature Hawaiian-style massages, wraps, or facials.
If nature is your quest, the Ritz offers adults and kids opportunities to learn about Maui’s environment with guided tours and activities provided by the Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment program.
Getting outdoors and staying healthy while on vacation is easy at the Ritz with its two world-class golf courses, award-winning tennis facility, and a basketball court. The newly remodeled resort also offers guests a brand new 17,500 square foot spa and fitness center. It has everything from 15 treatment rooms – both indoor and outdoor – to state-of-the-art equipment and machines for cardio, strength-training and more; classes, such as Pilates and yoga; and a sauna and steam room that is open 24-hours and all with an ocean view.
The Ritz has had a resident Hawaiian expert, Clifford J. Nae’ole, for nearly 25 years. Clifford has created nine events, such as the nightly “Aloha E Ka La … Farewell to the Day Sunset Ritual,” a traditional Hawaiian ritual to say thank you to the day and to put it to rest; to the Sense of Place Film and Tour that educates guests about the significance of the Honokahua Preservation Site; to the Give Back Getaways, where guests help restore the local forest; to the annual Celebration of the Arts, a festival celebrating Hawaiian cultural.
The Ritz offers guests a world-class way to escape on Maui. It is a perfect spot for a romantic getaway for honeymooners or to celebrate a romance that has aged like a fine wine. The experience is priceless. You will leave rejuvenated and with memories of a lifetime of your time in Hawaii.
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, 1 Ritz Carlton Drive, Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii, 96761. 808-669-6200. ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/kapalua-maui.
RATING: 5 = midnight blue
(5 best – 0 worst: color code: 5 = midnight blue; 4 = black; 3 = Aqua; 2 = orange; 1 = gold; and 0 = green)
TYPE OF LODGING: Luxury, Resort
CHECK OUT: $$$$ = Over $350
(Lowest price for a single night in a standard room during high-season)
SWEET DREAMS: You can feel like a queen at the Ritz with the lei greeting when you step into the lobby that opens up onto a veranda overlooking the resort’s gardens and pools. That’s just the beginning.
WORTH THE SLEEP?: zzzz = This was divine!
VIBE: Relaxed and peaceful.
SCENE: Shorts, sun dresses, airy cottons, and flip flops around the resort during the day and night and sporting wear depending on the activity when going out.
LOCATION: The Ritz is its own world, but travel is required to escape the exclusion and find the action on Front Street where there are lots of bars, restaurants, and shops, or shop at Whalers Village.
ROOM: It’s style all the way with rooms that offer ocean or garden views, feather beds, and marble bathrooms.
BATHROOM: It’s beautiful and spacious with the marble, separate bath and shower and two vanities, spa quality products and fluffy towels and robes.
AMENITIES: Hi-speed Wi-Fi that allows up to five devices to connect, cable, onsite car rental, world-class golf and tennis facilities, three-tiered pool (adult only and kid only pools), state-of-the-art fitness center, fitness classes, and spa, nine restaurants, and Hawaiian culture activities.
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