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“Gorgeous location, very nice hotel” 5 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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Hotel amenities
Special Offer
Complimentary Breakfast
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Kapalua
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Cambridge, MA
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Gorgeous location, very nice hotel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2009

My boyfriend and I stayed at the Ritz Kapalua for 4 nights in July (after 3 nights at the Paia Inn - see separate review). We loved it, but I can see why some reviewers haven't been so keen. Here are my pros and cons:

Pros:
-Location: Kapalua is a beautiful, quiet, scenic resort community. It has a few great restaurants, and lots of beautiful nature trails. Merriman's is the Hawaiian restaurant of your dreams. Stunning oceanfront location, airy and tasteful decor, and delicious, locally sourced food. Sansei had great sushi and a fun vibe. The ocean trail that starts right next to the Ritz is really something - we spotted sea turtles and a seal in the water, and a family we met said that they always see whales during the winter.

-Hotel: I really liked the decor - dark woods gave it a very classy feel. We had a standard room facing one side of the pool - it was large, comfortable, and spotless. The tiered pool is beautiful, and there are also a couple of jaccuzzis. The fitness center is very nice - I never made it to an exercise class, but they had quite a few (for a fee). We did self-park - only a couple of minutes walking. We also had the breakfast buffet every day (bc of Amex Platinum) - it was delicious and extensive.

-Go to the "And Then There Were None" special presentation!!! It's a short lecture and film presentation (~1.5 hours total) by a wonderful woman who teaches at a local school. It's all about Hawaiian history - I learned so much, it was really a highlight of our vacation. The hotel doesn't advertise it much, but you can find out when it is on their website or by asking the concierge.

Why did I love it so much? Because I got the distinct sense from our first few days in Maui that the locals weren't happy about the tourists - one of the first things I noticed was how many "keep off - private property!" and more aggressive signs there are when you're driving around. This presentation helps you see where that hostility is coming from - the grandeur and tragedy of the Hawaiian people's history.

Back to the hotel!

Cons:
-Hotel: it is a little worn around the edges - for example, the elevators are really dark, and the wood in them is chipped. Kind of creepy.

-Beach: there aren't any hotel loungers right on the sand - they're up on a little grassy hill instead. The beach itself is pretty nice, but with the wind it's not very comfortable to be on a blanket (sand in the eyes, etc)

-Service: the pool and beachside servers were pretty indifferent, the breakfast buffet waitstaff varied in their quality daily, but everyone we spoke to at the front desk, concierge, and valet were really friendly and helpful.

-Location: if you want hot-and-sunny, Kapalua is probably not the right choice for you. It's windier and more tempestuous than the southern coast of Maui. But it's gorgeous.

So if you can get a good deal, I'd definitely go for it. We loved it. I'm happy to answer qustions about the hotel, or about Maui activities - diving, golfing, Haleakala, the Road to Hana - we did it all!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • 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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Chelan, WA
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2009

This is a beautiul property out of the hussle and bussle of Lahaina/Kaanapali. THe setting is beautiful. The rooms are nice. The hotel reminds me a lot of the Hyatt on Kauai.(though the Hyatt has a better spa). The food was good and the evening drinks at the bar reasonable, with good music every night. It really is a spectacular setting.

The employees are helpful and pleasant. Housekeeping does a good job. Please tip them. A few negatives- constant wind in Kapalua and the hotel needs to get a decent spa. They have small spa but guests can only access the steam room, etc by paying an additional fee over the daily resort fee.

Also, the hotel seems to need some general sprucing up and improvement in upkeep. For example, many of the work out machines were not working. One gets the impression, which is easy to understand in the current economy, that there may be some financial issues with the hotel.

But, I love this place and will definitely return.

Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
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NYC
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2009

The Ritz Carlton Kapalua was where we spent the latter half of our week long stay in Maui to celebrate our anniversary. We wanted to immerse ourselves in total relaxation after jetting around Maui and doing a bunch of activities while staying in Kihei the first half of the week. It was wonderful and luxurious without being too over the top. A top notch Maui resort!

The Ritz Carlton is located in the Kapalua resort complex which is an area north of Ka'anapali and houses luxury hotels & condos, golf courses, and restaurants. The grounds around the whole complex are beautifully maintained and lush. The ritz Carlton is one of the first complexes you see when you turn in on Office Rd into the Kapalua resort. We had booked our room through Amex Platinum to take advantage of a special room rate, which included an upgrade, breakfast buffet each day, and a 100 USD resort credit. Upon arrival, we were given necklaces made of polished kukui nuts, which are black and shiny. I liked them so much more than fresh flower leis as a) these last! and b) flower leis make me itch. Check-in was a breeze. They upgraded us from a standard king room to a pool view king room, and they gave us a coupon for free appetizers at their lounge for happy hour to celebrate our anniversary. Sadly we did not use these as were weren't really around during happy hour.

The funny thing about this hotel is that the Lobby is located on the 6th floor since it's set against a cliff, and there are guest rooms on the floors above and below, so even though we were staying on the 5th floor, we would have to press the down arrow for the elevator. It could get confusing but you figure it out pretty quickly. The gym is on the lobby level, and the spa is on the 4th floor. The pools and ground/beach access is via the 1st floor, although you can technically walk down the stairs from the spa to the pool area pretty quickly.

Our room, 2517, was nicely appointed, about slightly larger than a standard king hotel room, and it had hardwood floors which I loved. The bathroom is huge and has a soaking tub, separate toilet and shower stall. The shower was small though.

The hotel recently underwent a renovation so you can tell that things were nice and new although the building itself is old. The renovationed decor was very modern but still kept a Hawaiian/Polynesian vibe to it, especially in the artwork used throughout the hotel and rooms. The room came with an empty fridge which was great, flat screen tv, dvd player, 2 robes, coffee maker, and regular toiletries you'd expect from a 5-star hotel. (they were all ritz carlton brand and smelled kinda like a spiced latte, I didn't care for it too much but we brought our own stuff anyways).

The pool is nice and large, with 3 "levels", a kiddie pool, and 2 jacuzzis. The only drawback is that the main towel kiosk is located on one side of the pool and you'd have to walk around the 3 levels just to get to it if you happened to be on the opposite side. Sometimes they would leave clean towels on an empty stall on the other side but I only saw it in the mornings. There are covered cabanas you can rent for the day (not sure how much it was), and spa cabanas also line the pool area in case you'd like an outdoor massage. There was never any problem finding pool chairs at all.

The beach at the Ritz is great for surfing and boogie boarding, the waves are very large. If you are not a good swimmer, I woudl think it's kind of scary. It was definitely not a "snorkeling" beach. It makes for great pictures though! If you walk down past the pool and swing left through the golf course, and go towards the water, you will find an area known as "Dragon's Teeth". It's a bunch of jagged lava rock formations that you can take a short hike on and the waves from the ocean create these neat, but very large splashes on these rocks. I am not sure what the specific geological name for these are, but it was a lot of fun seeing how large and how high each wave was going to be. I recommend walking in something sturdier than flipflops since the rocks can be jagged and slippery, but it was pretty cool. Nopt for the faint of heart though.

If you like tame tame water, I recommend driving down to Black Rock in Ka'anapali in front of the Sheraton, as there are a ton of fish, sea turtles, etc over there. However there are a lot of tourists snorkeling so it can get annoying. The areas at the Ritz Carlton were never crowded.

Breakfast buffet was good each day. Had a nice selection of stuff, and you can order eggs benedict or coconut mac nut pancakes to order. There was an omelet station, breads, cereals, fresh pastries, hot food stations that changed daily, and cheese, fruit, juice, etc. The hot foods would include portugese sausage, eggs, bacon, biscuits, and they would change it up each day. The papaya there was sooo good! Eat it with a twist of fresh lime!

We didn't try other restaurants in the hotel, but we did drive a bit further down the road in the Kapalua resort to go to Merriman's, which is a restaurant by the water, food was very very good, although service was a little slow, but we didnt' mind. However, they thought it was too slow so they took the 2 entrees off our bill! that was 100 bucks off! It was super nice of them, and we were not expecting it at all. I highly recommened Merriman's!

I went to the Wailua spa for a facial and massage since we had the 100 dollar credit. It was wonderful. They use eminence products which are divine and smell amazing. It's expensive, but the credit made it worth the money. If I didn't have a credit I might have just gotten 1 treatment. I got the berries and cheeries facial and the stuff smells sooo good. I have to buy me some of their products! The spa changing room has all the ameneties you need. They have an all-female steam, sauna and jacuzzi. There is also a shared jacuzzi in the waiting area but you need your bathing suit for that.

Overall, an amazing stay at the Ritz. Service was amazing but not in your face. The only thing is that it's a bit secluded and far from other areas but I think people go there for that reason. It's only about 20 minutes from Lahaina though so we went there for dinner twice. It is pretty far from Haleakala Crater and Hana so if you plan on doing those sights, you might want to stay closer to Kihei or Paia for a few nights and then a few nights on West Maui, which is what we did. I'm glad we did this as we could just spend the few days we had in Kapalua relaxing!

p.s. the Honolua Store across the street sells cheap breakfasts, tasty plate lunches, picnic supplies, groceries, and other sundries in case you wanted something lo-key and casual and not $$$.

Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
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Australia
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2009

We spent 6 nights at The Ritz. Wonderful location. We had an Ocean View room and it was right at the end of the hotel which meant a lot of walking but it was no problem. Our only issue were the beds - They are suppose to be comfortable, but not for us, I ended up sleeping on the day bed as it was harder. The beds are far too soft and we both had sore backs. We also both ended up with a mysterious rash the day after we arrived and it is slowly leaving now that we have left. The Banyan Tree Restaurant was closed for reservations which we were disappointed about and limited a little our choices at the higher end. The 5 day unlimited golf deal for $399 is great value. I really don't agree with the resort fee as you don't get anything for it. Although they do offer free self parking so we considered the charge for the parking.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Dallas
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2009

From the valet service, front desk, sales and concierge desks, dining ... all services received were excellent. But I have to say what actually amazed and SOLD us on the property was the exploring with Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment program. This had to be the best day in Maui. Traveling with an 18 year old niece who is fixed to her cell phone and FACEBOOK ... this exploration was awesome. The team involved ... hats off! The price may seem steep this year BUT to experience and enjoy the waters ... "just do it". Shuttle to the bay, wet suits, snorkels and the digital camera included. Lunch when you get back and then a CD of gorgeous fish, family and music delivered to your room ... well it is definitely one of the highlights that will always be experienced over and over each time visiting Maui. Only wish that more resorts shared the excellent staff of Ritz ... until we meet again ... Kudos and thank you so much for making my niece's graduation trip memorable.

  • Stayed March 2009
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Melville, New York
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2009

From the moment we checked in, we had an awesome experience at the Ritz Carlton in Maui. The staff was super friendly and helpful. The concierge were able to make some great recommendations. The hotel has beautiful views of the ocean. You can even walk down to the beach. In the afternoon, they even served fresh pineapple at the pool. The only negative was that the hotel was a bit out of the way. It was a decent drive to go anywhere off premises. Other than that, the hotel was awesome, and we would definitely recommend it.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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San Antonio, Texas
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2009

We got married at the Ritz on October 20, 2009. The Ritz lived up to its name. Anyone considering getting married in Maui should do it here. When we initially decided to wed in Maui we were considering the Four Seasons and the Grand Wailea but the wedding price list for 2009 had not been printed and those hotels would not honor the 2008 posted prices. The Ritz was more than happy to honor their 2008 rates and they even upgraded our hotel room to an ocean view. The Ritz lived up to its reputation. The staff was extremely friendly and couldn't do enough for us. Our wedding coordinator Kristina Harpe was simply amazing. She made sure all of our needs were met and was a joy to work with. Kristina, alone is reason enough to marry at the Ritz! The Ritz also recommended photographers and gave us their wedding sites to review. We choose John Pierres. Amazing pictures!!! John went out of his way to get those perfect shots throughout various areas on the property. There was on unavoidable issue with our reception. The restaurant we were going to host our reception at suddenly closed to unforeseen floor repairs a week or so before the wedding, but once again Kristina took charge. She scheduled a conference call with us and assured us everything will be perfect and beautiful. I totally trusted her. I never had any doubt the she would make it special and she did. She reserved the Anenue room and provided a floral centerpiece at no additional charge. It was an amazing wedding and wonderful reception all thanks to Kristina. Later that night when we returned to our room, the staff had placed a small floral on our door and the inside of our room was decorated with rose petals and wonderful gift from the Ritz.We will be returning to the Ritz for our anniversary.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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
Amenities:
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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