My husband is a Platinum rewards Marriott member so when we take family vacations we try to stay at the Marriott brand. My husband and I have previously stayed at the Ritz Carlton in Kapalua so we knew that it was windier on the beach than Wailea. We therefore decided to split our 9 night vacation into 2: 4 nights at the Marriott in Wailea and 5 nights at the Ritz. If you are trying to decide on which area to stay while at Maui this review may help.
We should have stayed at the Ritz Carlton for our whole vacation. I think our blood pressure went down 10 points as soon as we entered the lobby. After being at the Marriott for 4 nights, I realized how exceptional the service is at this hotel. Every staff member is friendly and eager to help. The pool is beautiful and it was easy to find chairs to lay out in, even though there were very few in the shade. Our room, a residential suite, was warm and comfortable, and housekeeping kept our towels and shampoo products in ample supply for a family of 4. I never had to ask twice for anything I needed or any question I had. Some ideas:
- went snorkeling on the Hula Girl catamaran in Hololua Bay per a recommendation from the Ritz....highly recommend! The crew was terrific and there was so much room on the catamaran. The food (extra $) was excellent and very unexpected. Also try their $5 Mai Tai - the best we had in Maui. Oh, and the snorkeling was great too...my husband and son swam with sea turtles.
-There is a coastal walking path in Kapalua that takes you to Kapalua Bay. It was hard to find at first but the views are amazing! It is mostly concrete and boardwalk but it does take you on a dirt and rock path for a short distance along the rocks by the water. Leave early and bring your camera!
- During the summer months the hotel keeps the beach restaurant open for dinner on Tuesday nights and offers a traditional Hawaiian dinner. It was excellent - one of the best meals we had on our trip - and we were also able to sit and watch the sunset.
It is true that the beach is not as accommodating at the Ritz Carlton - and I think that is the only drawback to this hotel. That is, after all, the reason why we chose not to stay the whole time in Kapalua, but there is a trade-off. The Marriott was a nice hotel, and I have nothing really negative to say about it, but we found Wailea to be extremely busy and faster-paced. The beach at the Grand Wailea was great for my 10 year old son, as he was able to paddle-board, and jump on an inflatable trampoline in the water. However, in order to reserve beach chairs on the front row by the water, you had to arrive early (before 9am) to reserve your chairs. I didn't connect with the Marriott or Wailea like I did with this hotel or Kapalua. I think it's because I was always trying to plan ahead or keep track of something - such as towel cards, resort cards, trying to stake my claim on a pool chair with a decent view before they were all taken, and housekeeping was not generous with shampoo or towels. We had to track down housekeeping a few times. The Ritz Carlton requires none of this and I was able to just "be." And that's what we needed on this vacation in Hawaii, and I can't wait to return!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nestled on 54 acres, The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua showcases a stunning, fully-renovated destination resort offering 463 guestrooms, including 107 residential suites, warm wood floors, travertine bathrooms, flat-screen televisions and Hawaiian-inspired artwork. The Spa beckons with treatment rooms framed by private garden showers, volcanic stone grottos, heat therapies, and a fitness center with spectacular ocean views. Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ambassadors of the Environment offers all levels activities from land to sea. Also featured are six restaurants, indoor/outdoor meeting space, an inviting children's pool and luxury cabanas. It is enveloped by picturesque Kapalua Resort’s two championship golf courses, dining and a century-old pineapple plantation. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua Hotel Kapalua
- Ritz Carlton Maui
- Ritz-Carlton Lahaina
- Ritz Lahaina
- Lahaina Ritz-Carlton
- The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua Maui