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“Nice hotel but in need of some updates”

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The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Kapalua
Certificate of Excellence
Los Angeles, California, United States
Level 6 Contributor
116 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
“Nice hotel but in need of some updates”
Reviewed December 30, 2012

We have been coming to the Ritz at Kapalua for over 10 years and it is like a second home to us, as we visit the Maui several times a year. Maybe it is because we are there so often that we have noticed a decline in the hotel over the recent couple of years.

The hotel did a major renovation a few years back, but there are items that are already starting to show wear, and some others that were ignored that need help.

In general the hotel seems to be cutting back on services, and the little things, not sure if times are tough or what, but at a hotel that should never show. The hallway rugs were in need of cleaning on our last visit. The gym equipment is getting pretty sad, rusty, old and very outdated. The pool shows the most wear and tear and honestly it is shocking that a Ritz hotel would allow it to be the way it is. This is the one area that was not updated in the last renovation. The entire time were were there in December 2012, the pool had obvious algae growth, which could be seen up close and from the room balconies even worse. It looked as if the pool had not been cleaned for weeks. All the umbrellas around the pool were also gone. The towels at the pool could also be newer, fresher.

The pool menu also needs some improvements, additions. It seems silly that you can't get the food offered at the beach cafe at the pool and vice versa, how about just combining the menus?, so basically there is one or two salads to choose from, one burger you get the idea. So after 2-3 days you are looking for other options.

They closed the sushi restaurant in the lobby, it was always empty so I get why, but they have not replaced it with another option.

One suggestion for saving a few bucks, how about turning off the A/C in the lobby! It is absolutely freezing all the time, 24/7, and all the walls open to the outside, so why bother with a/c, it is a waste of energy and money, there is no need, its Hawaii after all, its rarely hot in Kapaula and the air conditioning is on so full blast that we could not even hang out in the lobby for drinks and desert, maybe the food on that level would be busier if it were more comfortable. I actually had to go back to the room to get a sweater one evening so we could wait for friends.

The rooms here are very nice, large enough to relax, large balconies as well. The bathrooms are very large, great for two people, double sinks, baths and showers. If you get one of the suites on the East side wing, you will get a kitchen as well. These rooms were redone and sold as timeshares, but most are still being rented by the hotel.

The pool area is large with several levels, and a kids pool. Just be prepared for major winds. Kapalua gets the brunt of the wind, and the pool area can get it pretty bad because of the shape of the hotel. The beach area is just down the hill, a short walk, or take the tram.

Room Tip: The suites on the East wing have kitchens, they are basically condos, so very roomy.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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3 Thank AdventureTravelerEM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Austin, Texas
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed December 30, 2012 via mobile

Amazing hotel. Well kept. Great service and food. Lovely grounds. Awesome gym. Excellent service. You will pay out of both nostrils for all this, but its worth it. Breakfast buffet is $36, great food but a couple can easily spend $80 for breakfast at this place. That's a bit high. Small bug situation in our upgraded suite was handled immediately and efficiently by Bobby- who also treated us to breakfast for our trouble. Quite nice of him. Overall, great place, awesome location. But not cheap, at all. If you're on a tight budget this is not the place to go. But we will try to return next year!

Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank TravelNatL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Australia
Level 5 Contributor
38 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed December 29, 2012

From the moment we arrived at the Ritz Carlton we knew our 6 night stay was going to be special. Our trip to Hawaii in December was to celebrate our 30th Wedding Anniversary. We booked 3 hotels, all 5 star, but there was no comparison - this hotel left the others sadly lacking. After congratulations were offered during check in, our room was upgraded to a Residential Garden View Suite, with champagne and chocolates delivered on the second night. Our room opened onto the grounds close to the pool (complete with hammock) but was screened by a beautiful garden giving privacy. We had full kitchen facilities, a generous size lounge area, large bathroom with a separate deep bath and luxurious bath products, huge very comfortable bed and doors from each room opening onto lanais with chairs. Breakfast offered a large variety was delicious. We included breakfast in our booking as thought the location of the hotel looked secluded. There is a fully stocked store next to the hotel so we could have catered ourselves (glad we didnt!). The beach is about a 5 minute walk through the property - our only complaint was the beach side bar shut too early. Would have been nice to have a cocktail and watch the sunset there. The spa facilities are amazing - the staff offered the excellent advise of arriving early for my appointment so I could make use of the facilities. The eucalyptus steam room was prefect for post 20+ hours travel revival. We ate & drank several times at the pool, pool bar and beach bar. The cocktails were excellent and thought the prices reasonable. The hotels gift shop is well stocked including postage stamps & posted my Christmas cards for me. The fitness centre was immaculate, huge range of equipment and open 24 hours a day. Plus a view over the resort to the ocean! The pool is 3 tiered pool with waterfalls between each level and has 2 jacuzzis & a separate children's pool. There was always chairs available and we loved the fact the pool was open 24 hours a day, not closing at sunset like a lot of other hotels. Every member of staff was exceptional - from the friendly and very efficient guys that took our luggage, offering tips on where to eat & places to visit, to the attentive pool side staff setting up our chairs, the very helpful concierge, to the maid staff making sure we had what we needed and more everyday. The hotel is beautiful and location, peaceful and magnificent. It was a wonderful, romantic stay - we loved it & cant recommend highly enough.
Travel tips:
The hotel is about 45-60 minutes from the airport although there is a second airport about 15 minutes away. Its more expensive to fly into this one but comparable with the transport costs to the hotel. We hired a car at the hotel (only Hertz available) & in hind site should have hired from the airport as driving is easy on Maui.
The local Japanese restaurant (walking distance) Sanai is excellent - bookings recommended.
A self serve laundry is at Whalers, about 5 minutes down the road.

Room Tip: The rooms overlooking the pool were peaceful, ground floor access was very handy.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank LucyIntrepid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
68 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed December 29, 2012 via mobile

We stayed for four nights. A hotel the greets you by name as you walk through the door (because you gave your name to the fellow parking your car) and has a welcoming drink for you as you approach the registration desk already has my attention. This is a well run hotel in every way. The dinner at the Banyan was excellent. My wife had the tasting menu with wine. It was excellent and the "half price Wine Wednesday" is excellent value. (Imagine a $15,000 dollar of Rothchild for $7500?) (we only imagined it) but the Silver Oak Cab was as great bargain. All the food was excellent and the service was professional and friendly without being overly "overly".

  • Stayed December 2012
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Helpful?
1 Thank M B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed December 28, 2012

Certainly not a bad place to spend a vacation, but if you're looking for that something extra: elegance, personality, sex appeal, beauty--go elsewhere. This feels like a very nice Marriott or Hyatt--NOTE, it is not 5 STAR like a Four Seasons or St. Regis or some other Ritz Carltons!! The lobby and main entrance is totally uninspired and oddly furnished. There is no real sense of luxury or personality at all, it feels very corporate. The rooms and property are certainly 4-star, if blandly so, but decidedly not 5-star. Service is fine, nothing special. Food is also fine--the sushi bar in the lobby was definitely above par. The place just lacks appeal, from the expensive touristy convenient store next door to the types of travelers it attracts. This is not where people in the know go. I wouldn't go back--I felt like I could have been anywhere tropical. But certainly nothing terrible to report.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank ilikehotels77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed December 26, 2012

We stayed at this hotel for 8 nights for combined business and vacation. It was perfection. The holiday decorations were lovely and in a perfect amount. The food was delicious, the service outstanding and the resort impeccable with every detail.

The room was immaculate. It was one of the few times I felt like someone had not stayed there before us.

We cannot say enough great things about the staff. The Ritz doesn't know the word "no." We were greeted by every person, any question was answered promptly and they truly seemed to enjoy their jobs.

I am amused at the things people nitpick in these reviews. Before booking the hotel I read through the reviews and was a bit concerned. The fuss about the hallway carpets being worn had me worried about the condition of the hotel's public areas. Heavens, the carpet doesn't look brand spanking new, but they aren't worn out and are extremely clean. The beach is very nice and easily accessible by a beautiful, short walk or the golf cart shuttle. One of the restaurants was closed because we weren't there during a busy time of year. There is a shuttle to take you to any of the restaurants in the area.

One note: we were told two hours was enough time for the return trip to the airport. We barely made our flight. Leave at least 2.5 hours ahead of time. Security was slow and very busy on a Saturday afternoon.

For anyone headed to the Ritz at Kapalua--enjoy your trip to paradise!

Room Tip: We stayed on the sixth floor looking over the pool. The palms decorated with the white holiday light...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled on business
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Helpful?
2 Thank gardenger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Worthington, Oh
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed December 25, 2012

If you want service with class this is your spot. Arriving from the airport you pull under the open air lobby and are greeted professionally with the Hawaiian touch. The lobby is inviting, the Alaloa Lounge is one your right, and a great view of the pools and the ocean down at the bottom of the complex awaits exploring. If you want a getaway with family, friends, business, wedding parties, or a quiet time with someone special this is a great hotel. Service is outstanding, the breakfast at The Terrace is outstanding, with a wide variety of fresh fruit, omlettes on demand, everything fresh and enough to till you up for most of the day, great before golfing, and outting, you name it. Concierge was very helpful in renting a car, even a particular style of car with no problems. They were very helpful in setting up tours and recommedations around the island. The resort is built on a hill so you may have to take elevators down from the lobby to your room. The ocean and nearby tennis courts are a short down hill walk and service is available if you wish to ride on a golf cart. DT Fleming Beach is connected to the resort and The Beach House by the water offfers local flavors and coctails. Golfing is outstanding with dramatic views of the water and nearby Molokai. This resort is top notch so plan your budget accordingly, but it is a must visit and if you want to get away from the crowded beaches elseware and the staff and patrons respect your privacy. Lahaina is a short 15-20 minute drive and is a must visit for shopping and gifts. Overall The Ritz Carlton is one of the best on Maui and I highly recommend it for that special occasion!

Room Tip: Ask either for a poolside or tennis court views, the other wing of the hotel would also offer views...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank marada
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

Property: The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua
Address: 1 Ritz-Carlton Drive, Kapalua, Maui, HI 96761-9067 (Formerly The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua)
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 Spa 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 Lahaina
Ritz-Carlton Lahaina
Lahaina Ritz-Carlton
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua Maui

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