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“Great Setting, Rooms OK” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua

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The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   1 Ritz-Carlton Drive, Kapalua, Maui, HI 96761   |  
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Complimentary Breakfast
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Kapalua
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Boston, MA
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Great Setting, Rooms OK”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2004

Giving this hotel a single grade is difficult because there are some things about it that were great and others that were only so so at best. Kapalua is absolutely beautiful, and the fact that it is away from the hustle and bustle of Lahaina and the glitz of Wailea was exactly what my wife and I were looking for on our honeymoon. As background we spent two weeks in Hawaii and were really looking to relax. The Four Seasons Hualalai was perfect for our first week, but our second week was to be spent in Wailea. We checked into our hotel and then checked out the next morning. We drove to Kapalua and checked into the Ritz. The hotel does not feel like a huge beach resort, rather it feels a bit more like a relaxed, upscale seaside lodge. The views of the ocean and other islands are gorgeous and the rolling lawns and golf courses surrounded by forest give a little feel of being in the mountains. Also despite the fact that the Ritz is bigger than either the Maui FS or Fairmont it feels more intimate and less cramped. The food at the Banyan Tree was wonderful and the burgers I had for lunch down at the beach bar (go here instead of Cheeseburger in Paradise) were two of the best I have had anywhere. The breakfast buffet was good, but after two weeks of breakfast buffets I was more interested in fruits and juice than omelettes and bacon. The pool is very nice and the overall service, while not quite as attentive as the Four Seasons, was mostly good. However, this resort has a few areas to improve upon, the most important of which is the rooms. Since my wife and I were last minute guests we did not have much choice, but we did look at a few rooms and each one had the distinct mustiness mentioned by other posters. I have bad athsma so it was almost enough to keep us away, but we really liked the setting and feel of the hotel and knew we would not be happy in Wailea. Since it was not uncomfortably hot at night (the cool mountain breezes helped) we wound up keeping the windows open and the A/C off most nights and this helped the smell immensely. I think the smell came mostly from the A/C vent because the minute it was turned on the smell would return. The furnishings were a bit dated and the beds were mediocre at best. While I mentioned that the hotel setting is beautiful, the grounds could use a little bit more attention. A few of the tiles around the pool and on the walkways were broken or missing and little things like left behind trash or overturned flower pots were not dealt with in what I would consider a timely manner. The tennis courts were built in a nice cluster with a clubhouse, but the clubhouse was closed while we were there (is this permanent?), and the courts seem to receive little love from the staff these days. I do not know if I payed the $15 resort fee because my travel agent handled all of the arrangements, but hidden charges like that irritate me. The $15 valet parking fee seemed unusual given that it was a complimentary service at the other hotels. I only used it when we checked in, but was annoyed since the majority of the hotel parking spaces were reserved for valet parking. Overall my wife and I liked the Ritz and for what we wanted it was the best spot on Maui. However, it is likely that our future Hawaiian vacations will focus on the Big Island and Kuaui and not Maui. Maui was just a little bit too touristy and built up for our liking.

  • Stayed November 2004
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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2,158 reviews from our community

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  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2004

This hotel was Fantastic !!!!
We stayed at the Ritz Carlton Kapulua for 7 days and it was just WONDERFUL. Great service Staff are very friendly and the views and the rooms and pools are just Great !!! I and my family will be defenitely going back next year.

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A TripAdvisor Member
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2004

Despite the negative reviews we had read about the Ritz Carlton Kapalua, we decided to take our chances and set our expectations low.

Most everything I had read in these pages was true. The hotel is dated and worn for a Ritz Carlton. We were upgraded from a garden view to an ocean view but the room was musty and old. I asked about changing rooms and the front desk staff suggested I check out a bunch of other rooms before moving our luggage. I took their advice and found a suitable room with no smell. We were fortunate that the resort was practically empty so we had our run of the place.

We had a bed & breakfast package so we ate in the Terrace Restaurant each morning. The buffet is mediocre at best and really is the same thing every day. I chose to order off the menu but found it to be incredibly SLOW service if you didn't order the buffet. Most mornings, breakfast took us over an hour which is frustrating when you want to get out an enjoy the weather.

The spa and fitness areas have recently been renovated and are very nice but SMALL.

Here is what we loved: Kapalua is quiet and beautiful. We have previously stayed in Wailea (Four Seasons and Grand Wailea) which compared to Kapalua is crowded and humid.

We enjoyed having use if the enitre Kapalua Resort area. The hotel next door -- The Kapalua Bay -- has beautiful grounds and a great swimming beach. We spent a couple of days over there and were able to charge lunches & drinks to our room at the Ritz.

Overall, we were not hugely disappointed with the Ritz Carlton because we had prepared ourselves for an average experience. We were using points/miles to pay for our room package so for a "free" trip it was great. I seriously doubt we would come back here if we were spending our own money.

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Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2004

My husband and I just got back from a short (3 night) trip to Maui and stayed at the Ritz. I've stayed in both Kaanapali (Alii) and Wailea (Four Seasons) in the past so this was my first time in Kapalua. We loved it! The resort was quite empty and peaceful and the staff were all extremely friendly from check-in to check-out. The layout reminded me a lot of the Four Seasons although the swimming beach in Kapalua was not as calm as in Wailea so we didn't get to go in the ocean as much as we would have liked. But it was very refreshing to be away from the more crowded areas for once. While the Four Seasons is amazing, I now prefer the Kapalua area for much better views, a little cooler (which was perfect- highs around 85) and more laid back. We didn't get a chance to eat the Banyan Tree as we didn't realize it was not open Sun-Mon (we stayed Sat-Mon and hit Roy's our first night) but we'll definitely check it out on our next trip. The pool at the Ritz was spectacular - we sat at the base of the lowest level so we could see the view of the waterfalls cascading from the upper levels. Again, a very peaceful place. Definitely a 5 star resort. Our room was very nice - no musty/mildew smells or sightings at all. We were upgraded from a garden view room to a partial ocean view (facing the pool area) which other than having to deal with someone on a lower lanai smoking a cigar, was also a great location.

  • Stayed December 2004
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2004

We arrived on December 4th for 7 nights. I had used reward points from Marriott to book the room so the hotel had not cost me anything. I had read many horrible reviews and we were definitelty concerned. We were upgraded from a garden view room to an ocean view room in the Honolua wing. The room was ok, but not much compared to some other 5 star hotels I'ved stayed in. There was no musty smell or mildew anywhere. The service was very much up to Ritz standards. We ate at the Banyan Tree 2 times and both times were excellent, probably one of the best restaurants on the island. The weather was not great at all. Thankfully we had a car and drove down to Wailea almost everyday to go to the beach. If you are considering the Ritz Carlton make sure you have a car available, otherwise you will be stuck in the Kapalua resort and that's it. It was a average experience which we enjoyed, but thankfully did not have to pay for it. If I had to pay that much for a room I would stay at the Fairmont or Four Seasons in Wailea. Also, we heard through the Marriott grapevine that Kapalua Bay will be a Marriott Grand Residence and that the Ritz Carlton will be turned into a Ritz Club. If anyone is interested in dining suggestions, Chez Paul's was amazing and Mamma's Fishhouse was good, but very expensive.

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Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2004

We had a terrific stay at the ritz nov- 26-29th. Before going I had read some of the reviews and I was a little leary about what to expect. We arrived at the hotel tired after a 14+ hour plane ride and we were greated by everyone with a very pleasant "aloha" attitude (this included our lais, cold towels, cold juice & attention to our baggage). Our hotel rooms were great. We just booked a "standard" room and had wonderful views of the grounds, the pool and the ocean, but every room here has a balcony with a table and two chairs for reading on it). I was concerned about the mustiness that so many people have mentioned- please keep in mind that you are in hawaii- at the foot of a rainforest- it is not that bad- you can turn the air conditioning down as low as you would like- but if you keep your patio doors open the air will shut off, i.e. the humidity will come in. If you have ever been to Florida, or anywhere in the south- the humidity here is not that bad in comparison- if however you are from the dry western states then I think that you will notice the humidity. When we were there I found that there was no "dress code" to the coffee bar, as you would expect at any nice hotel no one walked around in ripped up clothing, but you did not have to "dress up" as was implied in another review. There were alot of families staying here and although we have no kids it seemed as though everyone treated the kids with equal respect. The onsite dining is good and going to the plantation golf course- they have a shuttle if you do not have a rental car- offered wonderful views while dining. We did dine at the bayan tree restaurant on site and thought that the meal was wonderful along with the service. I feel that this is a wonderful hotel to stay at if you enjoy golfing as we do, or would like a nice quiet location to enjoy you time in maui.

  • Stayed November 2004
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2004

We stayed here in October for about 10 days for our honeymoon. We felt like we were at a honeymoon factory - they tried to make us feel special but it was pretty robotic - preprinted cards saying Welcome to your Honeymoon. With so many couples on their honeymoon though, it was nice of them to at least try to make us feel special. We actually stayed at a Four Seasons on our wedding night before our flight to Maui and they gave us a handwritten note and some chocolates. At the RC in Maui, they did give us a complimentary bottle of champagne. The lobby was really pretty. We were greeted with leis and fruit juice. The views of the ocean from the lobby were spectacular. Our rooms were not what I would call the nicest we have ever stayed in. They looked really cheesy and outdated - with bamboo and wicker furniture and really old television and alarm clock. The carpet was green and had stains. The bathtub was just okay, not very fancy and didn't really seem like it was built for two. Room service was mediocre. They pride themselves on saying they clean the room twice a day, but I think they only changed our sheets and bedding once while we were there and the room wasn't that impressive. Room service was a rip off. Everything was pricey, and we started ordering off the kid's menu because it was the same, if not better food, for a lower cost. It took forever for them to come get our trays. Once we called after we were done eating, waited about half an hour, decided to leave and came back about 4 hours later, and the table was still in our room. We pushed it out to the hall and called room service again to let them know about the table. It stayed there for another 4 hours. We peeped in the morning and it was finally gone.

We did stay on the Club Level, but I didn't feel like this was any big deal. There were a TON of people there, it started to feel like a frat party sometimes. There must have been a young group who traveled together because they would go in, take all the tables, order a bunch of beers, and be loud and obnoxious. However, the concierge on the Club Level were absolutely WONDERFUL!!! They made our stay worthwhile.

The pool area was nice. They come by every once in a while with water and a piece of pineapple when it got hot. There were lots of kids by the pool though, which is not something you really want to see on your honeymoon, but then again, we weren't at a Sandals so we can't really complain.

The beach was gorgeous. We had a lot of fun playing in the waves and it was very clean.

Overall, it was an average hotel with really high prices. I don't know what the $15 fee per day was for. We parked our own car instead of paying another $15 for valet. The spa was okay. We enjoyed our massage, but it smelled really musty and the gym really reeked and it was close to where we had to go for our treatments. The carpets looked really old too.

The sushi place at the hotel was fantastic. They had great California rolls and sake. I also recommend the breakfast buffet - so yummy, especially the macademia nut pancakes with coconut syrup. Lots of fresh fruit.

We will probably go back to Maui someday, but I would like to look into other hotels in the area. It just wasn't worth the money. It was just okay.

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua

Address: 1 Ritz-Carlton Drive, Kapalua, Maui, HI 96761
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Hawaii > Maui > Kapalua
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Kapalua
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua 5*
Number of rooms: 463
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

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