Get Back to Nature at This Magical Oasis Overlooking Honokahua Bay
Just minutes from downtown Lahaina, Kapalua isn’t your typical Hawaiian vacation destination. There are beautiful beaches and swaying palms, but the dramatic landscape is also home to towering pine trees and oftentimes inclement weather. Rain showers never last long, however, and the aftermath somehow leaves the resort community looking even lovelier. With a slew of best-in-travel awards, beautifully landscaped grounds and one of Hawaii’s largest nature preserves, here are 10 more reasons to book the ultimate vacation at The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua ASAP.
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1 | A Legendary Resort Reimagined
Being committed to the environment, honoring Hawaiian culture and providing guests with an experience unrivaled on Maui have been integral to the spectacular $100 million resort-wide transformation at The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua. Making its final big reveal in December, rooms, suites, restaurants, public spaces and a show-stopping pool deck have all been reimagined to incorporate elements of the island’s wild and natural beauty. In fact, it’s so special that there’s no shame in not stepping foot off the 54-acre property when vacationing there.
2 | Welcome to Paradise
They say first impressions always count, and nowhere does this maxim ring truer than the resort’s new lobby lanai. Pretty as a proverbial Instagram picture and punctuated with different seating areas and firepits, the infinity-edged space enjoys stunning views over the property and Honokahua Bay beyond. It’s an inviting spot to spend time from sunup to sundown—a spot where thoughtfully chosen artwork and design details, including hand-carved wooden kapa panels and lighting fixtures, are inspired by and have symbolic connections to Hawaiian chiefs and royalty.
3 | The Ritz-Carlton Club Experience
Upgrade to the ultimate getaway with the The Ritz-Carlton Club Experience. The new Club Lounge at the Anuenue Room provides an exclusive yet relaxed environment where a dedicated concierge can help with everything from dinner reservations to planning excursions. Guests can also simply come to conduct business, spend time in the family space, enjoy five chef-curated presentations throughout the day and sip on a cocktail. Special programming features here include lei-making, cooking demonstrations and a special torch-lighting ceremony that you can enjoy with a mai tai or glass of champagne to toast the sunset.
4 | Educational Eco-Tours
One of only six Ritz-Carlton hotels in the world to partner with the Jean-Michel Cousteau Ambassadors of the Environment program, guests of all ages can immerse themselves in local culture while learning about the flora and fauna of Hawaii. Activities and eco-tours range from an underwater photography and snorkeling expedition to a hike along Kapalua Coastal Trail, which includes a history lesson about the area and tide pool exploration. It’s also possible to participate in a beach cleanup or help with invasive species plant removal.
5 | Give Back to Hawaii
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It’s estimated around 2,000 Hawaiian ancestors are buried at the “wahi pana”—sacred site—adjacent to the resort, where native Hawaiians conduct ceremonial rituals today. Guests interested to learn more about the Honokahua Preservation Site can speak with Hawaiian Cultural Advisor Clifford Nae’ole. Another way to give back and learn more about the land is with the Mālama Hawai’i package (Mālama means “to care for” in Hawaiian), which includes a sixth night free plus a $300 credit to select Ambassadors of the Environment programs.
6 | Beautiful Beaches
Perfect for sunbathing, snorkeling and spotting marine life, this section of Kapalua coastline is blessed with six bays and beaches within walking distance or a short drive of the resort. Its closest, D.T. Fleming, is home to beachside casabellas, while at Kapalua Bay, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards can be rented. Considered one of the best surf breaks on Maui, Honolua Bay draws top wave riders from around the world every winter, but during the summer months, it’s a great place to go snorkeling.
7 | Hawaiian Coastal Cuisine
Whether it’s poolside pupus at Olu Café, a picnic lunch from the beachside Burger Shack or a romantic dinner and Honokahua Bay views at the award-winning Banyan Tree restaurant, The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua has plenty of dining experiences to choose from with chefs sourcing ingredients locally as well as from the resort’s sustainable organic garden. With its spacious lanai, killer sunset views and live entertainment, The Alaloa Lounge is the spot for cocktail hour. Equally scenic, Ulana Terrace is where most people head for morning meals.
8 | Dream Pool and Destination Spa
Connected by waterfalls and lined with umbrella-shaded oasis daybeds, the resort’s three zero-edge pools were inspired by a natural lava rock formation at Makaluapuna Point. Another highlight is the seven luxury cabanas, which include perks like complimentary internet, drinks and fresh fruit plates. Another feel-good space is The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua Spa, a sanctuary where botanicals and herbs from the resort garden are used in rituals and signature therapies, like the Tropical Awa Nui experience and Coconut Crush body renewal.
9 | Fire Lanai Collection Rooms
Sophistication meets a sense of place across the 466 new-look guest rooms, suites and residences at The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua, which feature island decor that skews decidedly modern, marble bathrooms and chic dark wood floors. For Maui indoor-outdoor living at its finest, book new premium and private room category The Fire Lanai Collection. Located on the ground floor of the Nāpili Tower, these rooms feature extended lanais with shade trellises, hammocks, sun decks and firepits with special menus for making s’mores with a tropical twist.
10 | A Golfer’s Paradise
Set on the site of a historic pineapple plantation, Kapalua’s two golf courses helped land the property a spot on Golf Digest’s 2022 “Best Golf Resorts in Hawaii”’ list. Famous for its dramatic views, golfing greats (including Tiger Woods) have teed off on the Plantation Course, which hosts the PGA Tour’s Sentry Tournament of Champions every January while the Arnold Palmer-designed Bay Course is famous for its spectacular oceanfront 17th hole. For award-winning instruction, putting or driving range practice, stop by the Kapalua Golf Academy.
Your island escape awaits!
The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua
1 Ritz Carlton Dr
Kapalua, HI 96761
Keri Bridgwater is a freelance writer covering travel and lifestyle. Her work has been featured in Fodor’s Travel, Marie Claire, Matador Network and InsideHook, among other outlets and publications.