Set along Maui’s 30 miles of beaches is the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua—one of the archipelago’s most iconic all-inclusive resorts. The dreamy oasis on Hawaii’s second-largest island is turning 25 this year and is celebrating the milestone anniversary in style by unveiling a $30 million revamp to its guest rooms, residences, dining areas, and pools. The property’s fresh new look is focused on reconnecting the European-style resort to its location on the sacred shores of the Honokahua reserve and the surrounding Hawaiian landscape and culture.
After checking in at the new open-air lobby—which is now lush with puakenikeni trees, hibiscus plants, light wood tones, and communal fire pits—guests will be shown to one of the property’s completely refreshed 463 rooms and suites. Designed by the Oahu-based Philpotts & Associates, the breezy units feature a sophisticated beachy palette of sandy shades, light linens, and original hardwood floors. This neutral backdrop puts all of the attention on the stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and lush gardens outside as well as on each room’s cache of local artwork. The team at Philpotts & Associates sourced all of the property’s new art to showcase the island’s traditions—employing locals like Scott Szegeski, whose prints make use of the traditional gyotaku (fish printing) technique to capture the island’s flora and fauna through ink impressions. He uses this Japanese art form to create images of surfboards and then places the designs into distressed, bleached wood frames that complement the room’s ultra-luxe furnishings.
When not out lounging on the beach, guests of Kapalua can head to the stunning swimming pool, which offers up ocean views and plenty of opportunity to splash in the meandering lagoons tucked against towering palm trees. In between dips, guests can soak up the sun in new teak-wood cabana suites, which can accommodate up to eight people and come with a whole host of amenities, ranging from Bluetooth speakers to a dedicated cabana attendant. When it’s time for lunch or a casual snack, guests can wander into the brand-new oceanfront Kai café for homemade pastries, organic smoothies, fresh local coffee, and a daily selection of tropical fruits on the go. If that’s not enough, they can head to one of the resort’s five other restaurants, which serve up everything from seafood and tacos to personalized Bloody Marys.
If guests are looking for a little bit more physical activity, they can tee off at one of the two golf courses or head off property for an adrenaline-pumping mountain zip-line tour and a hike through the lush rainforest. When it comes time to wind down, they can find solace at the on-site spa, where ancient healing methods and local, organic plants and herbs make for a menu full of detoxifying treatments.