Graced with a spectacular location overlooking Honokahua Bay, The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua has reemphasized the restorative power of nature in its spectacular $100-million resort-wide renovation. The transformation combines a profound commitment to the environment and the richness of Hawaiian culture with a luxurious approach to relaxation and renewal.
“The driving force behind this project is providing our guests with an unrivaled experience that can only be found in Kapalua,” says General Manager Andrew Rogers.
Visitors will appreciate the vivid sense of place as soon as they arrive. The new lobby lanai opens to a breathtaking panorama of the bay, the honored site of a native burial ground. Hawaiian flora and fauna enhance the space, which includes hand-carved wooden kapa panels that evoke the six bays surrounding the resort and distinctive light fixtures inspired by ancient royal fish traps.
One of the highlights of the renovation is the new Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge. Open to guests with club access, the private indoor-outdoor space has an inviting atmosphere and a dedicated concierge. This is the place to enjoy meals or drinks from morning through cocktail hour and to partake of exclusive programming that includes cooking demonstrations and lei making.
Inspired by the famed lava rock formation at Makaluapuna Point and extending the beach atmosphere inland, the resort’s centerpiece pool has been reimagined as three zero-edge pools connected by waterfalls and surrounded by lush tropical vegetation. With the addition of seven custom-designed cabanas and personal cabana attendants, guests can enjoy a range of luxe indulgences.
New furnishings and appointments in the 466 guest rooms and suites also reflect the island-and-ocean environments with a palette of delicate sand tones, azure and deep green accents, and rich custom wood finishes—the design work of Philpotts & Associates. The renovation has also created the Fire Lanai Collection of premium rooms with extended lanais, sundecks, and firepits, which allow guests to experience Maui’s indoor-outdoor lifestyle.
A new offering is the opportunity to enjoy the Ritz-Carlton Club Experience, which combines comfort and the exclusivity of a hotel within a hotel. Previously open only to guests who had booked a room on the club level, these accommodations include Club Lounge access and culinary treats all day and are now available as upgrades for all guest rooms with a five-night stay.
The resort’s multiple dining venues offer tastes of Hawaii from early morning into the night. The Kai Café offers house-made pastries and coffee, while the Ulana Terrace, which overlooks the gardens, the pool and the ocean tempts diners with local favorites like loco moco and banana macadamia nut pancakes. For lunch alfresco, there’s the ‘Olu Café, while the place to be at sunset is atmospheric Alaloa Lounge, which serves cocktails, sushi and other light fare and features a sunset chanting ceremony to say farewell to the day. The resort’s signature restaurant is the Banyan Tree, where walls of cascading orchids frame a view of the ocean and the menu showcases coastal cuisine from local purveyors in such dishes as Hawaiian cioppino and black garlic–glazed beef short ribs.
In planning and carrying out the renovation, a guiding principle has been to remember that the resort represents ambassadors of the earth, attentive to the history and ethos of the island. Notes Clifford Nae‘ole, Hawaiian cultural advisor at the resort, “Each element, no matter how big or small, has important significance in Hawaiian culture, and we hope that our guests will enjoy them for both their beauty and meaning.”