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Hotel Check: The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, Maui

Published: 02/05/2017 - Filed under: Home » News »

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Hotel Check: The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, Maui

HOW MANY ROOMS? 463 rooms, suites, and residences

PROPERTY HIGHLIGHTS The resort enjoys exceptional views of the ocean from its elevated position, and there’s no shortage of places to relax including by the freeform swimming pool or lobby terrace.

PRICE Internet rates for a traditional room on the random dates we checked start at $489

CONTACT The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, 1 Ritz-Carlton Drive, Kapalua, Hawaii 96761, tel +1-808-669-6200,

VERDICT Marriott Rewards members will find this to be one of Maui’s top resorts, and it proves especially popular with families and business events.

BACKGROUND The resort is celebrating its 25th anniversary, and as it has done each year, welcomes guests to its popular Festival of the Arts celebration that honors the island’s culture while sharing art, music, and food with guests and locals.

WHERE IS IT? On the other side of the island from most of the big resorts, the Ritz-Carlton enjoys its own stretch of sand and beautiful pathways that hug the shoreline. To reach Kahului airport, it takes around 50 minutes by car.

The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, Maui view from the sea

WHAT’S IT LIKE? The beautiful open-air lobby permits the fresh breeze to waft through, but while casual, the lobby does not leave out the signature Ritz-Carlton elegance. Enormous flower arrangements, chilled water and towel for runners, and plenty of seating with views of the swaying palms surrounding the pool are all in place. The lobby is actually on the sixth floor (the hotel is on a hill) with guest room levels both above and below it. There are numerous shops and galleries within the resort and also just a short walk from the front entrance.

The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, Maui patio

ROOM FACILITIES Guest rooms follow a traditional look with hardwood floors and area rugs, island artwork, and pillowtop mattresses with oh-so-soft duvets. Flat-screen cable TVs face the beds atop a credenza, and round tables double as desks in the corner. Free wireless Internet access is available everywhere at the resort including around the pool. The chaise longue by the window can also be used as a bed. Nightstands have iPod docking stations, reading lamps, and bottled water.

The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, Maui ocean view

The room’s foyer houses plentiful closet space with robes, slippers, and safes. A refrigerator is a great perk to keep your own refreshments cool, and an espresso machine provides the perfect morning pick-me-up although the Maui coffee in the lobby is even better. The bathrooms are enormous and feature soaking tubs and glass shower stalls stocked with Asprey Purple Water toiletries. Drawers stock hairdryers, toothbrush and shaving kits, and other toiletry items. All rooms have furnished balconies with views of the pool, ocean, gardens, or golf course. Housekeeping does an exceptional job servicing rooms both morning and night. The residences come with multiple bedrooms and kitchens and were the recipient of a recent $25 million overhaul.

RESTAURANTS AND BARS The Banyan Tree restaurant by the pool is a must for its farm-to-table cuisine that includes everything from fresh seafood to tasty salads and grilled meats at dinnertime. Don’t miss the cocktail menu, which carries the clever slogan “garden to glass.” The Burger Shack is down by the beach and is famous for its creative burgers (mahi mahi, pulled pork, and black bean and beet are all on the menu) and its milkshakes served in mason jars. The house made hot sauce adds a nice kick to any meal. By the pool, guests can order drinks and light meals from a café menu, and those that book the cabanas have TVs and beverages to entertain them.

The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, Maui pool bar

By the lobby is a bar and lounge that serves light meals in view of the ocean, and a sushi restaurant opens for dinner with more than 20 types of sushi and sashimi plus a nice sake menu. If you time it just right, the rolls are 50% off during happy hour.

The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, Maui sushi

The coffee shop sells local brews, sandwiches, sundries, and smoothies. Breakfast is served daily in The Terrace restaurant overlooking the pool and gardens.

LEISURE FACILITIES The 10,000 square foot swimming pool is at the heart of the action here with three levels each spilling into the next (one of the sections is reserved for adults). Cushioned lounge chairs are plentiful, including many with umbrellas, but guests can opt to pay extra for a private cabana. Guests can walk (or take a golf cart) down to the beach where more lounge chairs and towels await. With no other resort adjacent to the property, the beach has plenty of space to relax or catch a wave or too. A modern, 24-hour fitness center boasts the latest equipment plus windows facing down toward the pool. The resort’s spa is an experience in itself offering a variety of massage and beauty treatments. Arrive early to enjoy the relaxation areas including indoor and outdoor whirlpools, sauna and steam rooms, and treatment rooms for couples. Children can take part in organized activities that encourage them to learn more about Hawaiian culture. Similar to other Ritz-Carlton properties, the resort offers the Ambassadors of the Environment program from Jean-Michel Cousteau (son of Jacques Cousteau). Activities are designed around environmental awareness and include whale watching, coastal hike and tide pool exploration, sea turtle programs, and cooking classes using ingredients from the organic garden. Guests can also play tennis, basketball, shuffleboard, and croquet. Weekly hula lessons and organized fitness and cultural classes provide another form of entertainment.

BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES Ballrooms and meeting space provide ample areas for gathering including boardrooms and even a movie-screening theater.

The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, Maui meeting reception

This is a hot spot for conventions and conferences that allow for a mix of both business and pleasure. Corporate visitors love bringing their families along for the ride.

(Photos courtesy of  The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, Maui)

By Ramsey Qubein

Ramsey is a regular contributor to Business Traveler across all print, digital, web and social channels.  He travels more than 400,000 miles a year criss-crossing the globe to report on hotels, airlines, loyalty programs, and all things travel.

You can find more from Ramsey at, on Twitter - @dailytraveltips and Instagram - @dailytraveltips


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