Maui may be known for its breathtaking Road to Hana (Hawaii’s version of the Pacific Coast Highway), but for those looking to unwind at one of the most luxurious properties on the island, opt to venture west and experience The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua. Here you can enjoy the breathtaking sunsets, West Maui rainforest, and Hawaiian-healing spa treatments at this ultimate Hawaiian getaway. So, while it is customary to rent a car to explore all aspects of this luscious 727-square mile enclave, be sure to also set aside a few days to unwind at this AAA Five-Diamond destination.
The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua is situated on 54 tropical acres, and features an open-air, dark wooden lobby that overlooks a three-tier pool and the Pacific Ocean – giving guests the Maui wow factor. Its 463 guest rooms, including 107 residential suites, have lanais overlooking the rainforest, pool, or ocean. Since last year’s $25 million renovations, the updated residential suites now consist of full kitchens and contemporary Hawaiian-inspired décor, including artwork from local artisans. Renovations of all guestrooms are slated to be complete by the end of the year. In addition to room upgrades, the resort features an updated fitness center and new swimming pool lounge chairs, with thatched umbrellas, and sunbeds.
Whether you are looking to dine in the lap of luxury or nosh on beach fare, the resort’s six dining options are sure to appeal to any palate. Burger Shack is the resort’s newest oceanfront dining option that opened last spring serving craft burgers and shakes — think jumbo sandwiches like the Katzu Katzu with crispy ramen crusted chicken breast and outrageous shakes like the Kula Crunch strawberry milkshake with macadamia nut cookies. Looking to ramp up the romance? Opt to dine during sunset at The Banyan Tree, where farm-to-table Hawaiian cuisine and cocktails are given a modern twist.
Golf: Home to the PGA’s Hyundai Tournament of Champions, this world-class 18-hole golf course set among Maui’s stellar backdrop is fun for armatures and professionals.
Hiking: Don your bathing suit and sneakers for the Kapalua Costal Trail. Hike along seaside cliffs during this 1.76-mile hike spanning four bays within Kapalua. Set aside time to rest in natural wading pools along the way and spot local cliff divers defying gravity.
Cabanas/Pool: The three-tier pool and decadent cabanas decked out with Bluetooth speakers, a TV, ceiling fan, fresh fruit, and unlimited soft drinks and water (to name only a few of the amenities) will give you a reason to forgo the gold-sand beaches for the day.
Ambassadors of the Environment: The resort’s team of naturalists take adults and children on once-in-a-lifetime educational excursions to experience the islands unique offerings, such as turtle and shark discoveries, whale watching between December and April, and snorkeling expeditions.
Spa: Whether you are relaxing in the indoor and outdoor grottos made from volcanic rock or indulging in one of the of the Hawaiian-inspired spa treatments, such as the Pohaku Wela volcanic hot stone massage, you are sure to find your Hawaiian sense of place at the resort’s spa.