The Ritz Carlton is a beautiful and secluded resort in the high end resort of Kapalua on the North West coast of Maui. It offers excellent golf and is the perfect place to unwind in acres and acres of grounds.
The Ritz Carlton Kapalua offers numerous pools including a 3-tiered pool with a stunning view of the Pacific, a huge spa, a beach and many restaurants, but due to its size and the events held there, it does have a slightly corporate feel. This said, I think it is one of the best value luxury hotels on the Hawaiian islands.
Kapalua, being at the northern most point on Maui makes it wetter and windier than the rest of the Island, particularly in the winter months. If you keep driving North beyond the hotel, there are some incredible snorkling beaches, and some volcanic tide pools that the waves crash around. There is the Honolua store (ABC store) right next door to the resort that is ideal for snacks, and a complementary shuttle up to the Plantation Course to grab an alfresco bite with great views.
My arrival was flawless, the valets and bell staff were so nice and upbeat. I love flower leis and juice greetings in Hawaii and this hotel is no exception. In fact we found the staff to be particularly good throughout our stay.
This hotel is very generous on upgrades when they are able, and I was upgraded to a garden view residential suite (I had booked the base room). The rooms are large with marble bathrooms, large flat screen TVs, hardwood floors, very comfortable beds and a good sized balcony with a sofa seat. Even the standard rooms here and large and well appointed, however the decor seemed tired and they could do with an update.
Although there is a small and beautiful beach located on the Ritz carlton property, it is around a ten minute walk from the main resort. Kapalua and particularly the Ritz Carlton site are extremely windy most afternoons so the sea is often too rough for a swim. In the winter, clouds form around this area and threaten rain, so if you are intending to sit by the pool and on the beach to top up your tan, the wind and cloud could make this quite a challenge! The beach loungers are actually located on a grass area above the beach rather than on the beach which makes them less tempting, plus there is little beach service with no umbrellas, so there is little shade when the sun is out. You will find a better calmer beach conditions at the resort of Wailea.
There is one adult pool and two pools for families. Overall the pool area was relaxed with loads of tropical foliage and few people. Loungers were readily available and the cabanas were also rarely occupied, probably due to the extra fees charged to use these.
You are based at the end of civilization in Kapalua so you have to get in your car and head down South to Kaanapali to reach restaurants outside of the Ritz Carlton resort. My highlight within the resort was the Beach House down on the beach with breathtaking views of the Pacific. I can honestly say that they serve best Fish Tacos I have ever eaten and enjoying the food alfresco under the coconut palms was a joy. Around the resort the food quality is very good, but there isn’t much nightlife. The main crowd here seemed to be older a golfers who were enjoying the peace and quiet.
The Ritz Carlton offers a stunning location, lush tropical grounds and the bars and restaurants have amazing views. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this hotel and location for a relaxing summer trip and it is particularly attractive if you love golf. Perhaps stay here for three nights, combining it with a stay of three or four nights in the more pricy Wailea probably the Four Seasons. This way you can enjoy the best of both sides of this slice of paradise.
I will be doing a direct comparison between the Four Seasons Wailea and Ritz Carlton Kapalua hotels soon.
Finally, The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua is a Virtuoso member property so be sure to book through your or our Virtuoso agent to be sure of an upgrade (if available), complementary breakfast and other perks.
Disclosure: Our property, service and product reviews are sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own and are in no way influenced by the sponsor.