First visit was five years ago for our tenth anniversary. This was for our fifteenth. Will definitely be back - hopefully before five years!
This Ritz property just does not disappoint. Our arrival was flawless. After a 13 hour flight, we were bushed. The valets and bell staff were so nice and upbeat, it put a bit of wind back in our sails. We had a fine check in process, highlighted by special flower leis and an upgrade to a corner two bedroom ocean front residential suite (we had booked a garden view). More on that in a moment.
Steven, the bellman who escorted us to our room, could not have been a cooler guy. We had the farthest walk in the hotel from the front desk, so we had some time with him. He educated us on any changes since our last visit, gave us great advice on where to eat for dinner that night and handled the considerable amount of luggage six people take with them for two weeks in Hawaii. We saw Steven throughout our stay and he always had a kind word, or another great restaurant location (his top three were Pineapple Grill, Honu and Mala Ocean Tavern - also had a great meal at Merriman's). The thing that knocked our socks off is that, later in our stay, he found my father in law and asked him what day our anniversary was. That day, two Ritz coffee mugs were delivered with a nice note from Steven, congratulating us on our anniversary, hoping that the mugs served as a future reminder of a great trip and a reason to come back. I work in a customer service business and so I am always attuned to this stuff, but that attention to detail and the genuine way that he wanted us to have a great time was truly spectacular. If the GM of the hotel is reading this, please give that man a raise. We probably would have come back anyway, but Steven sealed the deal.
The room was AWESOME. Huge King bedroom with a bathroom and closet that were just as big as the bedroom. Living room, full kitchen with high top counter to sit at. Second bedroom with two queens. Two full lanais with great deep seating outdoor furniture. Great place to watch the ocean, watch the kids playing on the grass, have a glass of wine at night. Spent more time here than anywhere.
Food in the resort is consistently good. We had breakfast in our package in the Terrace. I never eat breakfast but my kids love it so we went. Every day they couldn't wait to see what the handmade juice of the day was. Service was great. Lunch at the pool a few times. Good food, good service. Beach bar was the same. Different food in each place, but the service and quality rings true in all of them. It's all expensive though. Cheaper options at the Honolua Store. Sad to see that it was bought by ABC stores. Although they did remodel it so it's very nice, it's much more commercialized than it used to be - it once was a quaint place that the locals frequented. Oh well. Still have good food at a decent price, along with everything else that ABC sells.
Played golf at both the Plantation and the Bay courses. Great deal on kids golf - free with an adult and free rentals for resort guests. Also an all you can play deal for three days. That was worth it to me.
The concierge was helpful in delivering flowers to our room for my wife. That day we also had occasion to visit the hotel's on-call doctor (long story). Great that they have that. Also spent that day at the spa. I am NOT a spa person. Second massage of my life. Never felt like it was worth the money to me, although my wife likes it, so off I went. This one was worth it. Felt amazing afterwards. Would definitely go again. Wife reports it was the best massage of her life and she has lots more experience than I do.
There was a Prudential Insurance meeting ongoing while we were there. Really couldn't tell other than the big beach party. That was the best thing about this place....you just get to unplug and relax. It never felt busy (although it was); it was never loud (other than the beach party but it was good music); never really had to wait for anything. We had so much fun, I really can't think of a bad thing to stay.
Stay here. See Steven. Repeat.