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“some truth to the rumors”

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The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Kapalua
Certificate of Excellence
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“some truth to the rumors”
Reviewed July 12, 2004

After 23 trips to maui, all on the wailea side, we decided to try 2 weeks in kapalua. In reading the reviews here, we discounted the rain stories as being negative advertising for four seasons as some messages referred to.

The hotel is awesome, the views spectacular, the service was impeccable. BUT

we were suppose to stay 17 days in kapalua and we only lasted 10. I played golf every morning, early around 7, and i was rained on every single day. We experienced "showers" everyday but 1 at the pool with 4 of those days having showers that lasted over an hour. The staff commented that May and june are normally not like this, i must say that my trip confirmed the fact that it rains (alot) in kapalua.

Also a negative to the trip was we parked our car using valet service, on the 3rd night my rental car was keyed. upon getting my car and immediately noticing, the bell desk was very helpful and concerned. The ensuing security department involvement was just short of making me feel like i was a criminal. The entire conversation revolved exclusively around where this could have happened because it was not something that would occur there. Thank god for LDW.

other than that one incident if the hotel was anywhere in wailea i would go again, but the rain definitely put a damper on our first 10 days. We have stayed in wailea on all of our other trips and have only seen rain 1 time in all of those trips.

For the record, we have never stayed at the Four Seasons, we have stayed at the Wailea Marriott (former Intercontinental/Aston/Outrigger), the prince in makena, and the grand wailea (where we finished our vacation and where we will return to in november) (see review under that hotel)

  • Stayed May 2004
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2 Thank MauiMarkCT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed July 11, 2004

We just returned from 5 nights at the Ritz. The place is beautiful. The grounds are magnificent, the service great and the atmosphere very relaxing. We did have a slightly mildewey room and we were given a dehumidifier to help. The breakfast buffet is great (included with our package). The concierge desk was extremely helpful giving us directions, resturant choices and touring advice.

The beach is a lovely little spot just down the hill from the building. It was relatively uncrowded the days we were there (most people stick to the pool). If the walk back up is too daunting, they run a golf cart shuttle.

The only problem arose at checkout time when our stay 4 nights get the 5th free package didn't show up on our bill. Fortunately they resolved the issue to our satisfaction without too much kicking and screaming.

The Ritz does know how to take care of its guests.

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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed July 5, 2004

We just returned from 6 days at the Ritz Carlton, Kapalua and were delighted to discover that the negative reviews we had read prior to our trip were totally inaccurate. When we arrived we were greeted with leis and offered juice or water. Our bags were delivered promptly. We were offered a nicer room when we registered because they thought we would enjoy the view more.
The room was not fancy but very clean and the interior design was in keeping with the tropical surroundings. The bed was very, very comfortable with plenty of extra pillows and blankets.
Compared to the complaints by one reviewer that the crowd was over 50, we thought the crowd was quite young with lots of honeymooners and families. It was never noisy.
The food was expensive but plentiful. We didn't expect it to be cheap. We ate out at the many excellent local restaurants in Lahaina and Kaanapali and only ordered room service once.
We laughed at the complaints about the distance to the beach. We stayed at Peter Island last year and walked much further to the beach. Although the beach at the Ritz in Maui can't hold a candle to the ones on Peter Island (BVI).
The area is very windy and cooler than other resort areas on the island but that was refreshing as well.
After a day out on a boat or walking on Kaanapli beaches we were thrilled to get "home" to the relaxing and more secluded location of the Ritz.
When our flight schedule changed and we needed a room for one additional night and there wasn't one available at a rate we wanted to pay the woman handling our situation called her friend who owns the Inn at Lahaina and got us a simple ocean front room for one night. That is service above and beyond the call of duty.
My husband golfed twice at the Plantation course and enjoyed it.
The only less than perfect experiences we encountered were the fact that the spa was being refurbished and relocated to a regular floor of the hotel (spa services were still excellent) and poolside beverage service was slow and inattentive at times.
Overall, we had a terrific stay and would happily return.

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Glendale, CA
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed July 2, 2004

We just returned from spending 5 nights and 6 days at the gorgeous Ritz-Carlton Kapalua. The property is amazing. I wonder if the negative reviewers could ever be happy at any property. I suspect they spend their time looking for something to complain about rather than looking at the positive things life has to offer.
We found the hotel to offer elevated levels of service; from the constant Aloha greetings from staff members, to the twice-daily housekeeping service. Everything was picture perfect.
The hotel is located on a bluff overlooking the Pacific. The lobby is on the eighth floor, which is the entry lobby level, and the rooms are on the lower levels.
The beach might as well be the Ritz’s private beach, (there are no private beaches in Hawaii, all must offer and have public access), as there was only a handful of beach goers during our entire stay. Previous reviewers mentioned the terrible lengthy walk to the beach, yet it is only 385 steps, I counted, from the pool’s edge to the sand. The hotel offers golf cart shuttles down to the beach for those unwilling or unable to make the 385 step walk down to the beach. The walk to the beach is on a stone paved, lit, walkway. At the end of the walkway, on the beach, is the Beach House Café, where we enjoyed a delightful breakfast of an egg white frittata, an egg and local sausage quesadilla, with some tropical smoothies. This is a nice spot to enjoy the Hawaiian sunsets with a delicious tropical beverage and local appetizers.
We did learn, as I am certain the negative reviewers did, that the hotel is on the bluff as the lower portion of the property is a sacred Hawaiian burial area about 1000 years old. The area is a protected site, is clearly marked with stone markers and landscaped with native hedges. It is a nice area to reflect on the history of the island and its people.
For those interested, the service is top notch, the rooms are tastefully decorated, about 450 square feet, large bathrooms, with a separate glass shower and tub, the toilet is housed in it’s own little room, double sinks, a bath scale, hair dryers, in room safe, ironing board, iron, and soft thick white cotton Ritz-Carlton robes. The hotel offers TV cable with enough channels to keep the TV watcher fully occupied. Twice daily housekeeping service keeps the room nice and tidy. The room lanai offers outdoor chairs, an ottoman, and a table. One has the choice of closing off the outside world with draperies, shutters, or if one desires, opening up the room to the lanai using the screen slider instead of the glass doors. The beds come with feather bed toppers, which made me, feel like being at home in my own bed. The hotel offers a choice of valet parking for a daily fee or “free” self-parking for quests. For the beach goer, the hotel has big green beach towels, and boogie boards. In the pool area the hotel has towel service, food and beverage service, and live soft hawaiian music playing in an tented area near the outside bar area.
For those not wishing to have every meal on the property on has options. The Honoloa Market, just across from the valet area, offers breakfast and lunch from its kitchen. One can eat the local goodies in the market’s front porch area. The market was the old post office and gathering place for the locals. Try their chocolate chip cookies, pretty yummy. There are also many fine restaurants in the Kapalua area, just minutes from the hotel and all without having to drive on the main highway.
The hotel offers morning coffee in the open lobby, which is open to a view of the pool and ocean. This is a nice area to catch up on the news, a book, and a great cup of java. My only disappointment was the constant pointless cell phone conversations guests were having at this time of the morning. I say point less because the majority started the conversation with, “What are you doing,” they were also loud as if they were competing with each other on who was more important. So much for a quite tranquil morning in Paradise. However I do not consider this to be a hotel problem.
This is a very tranquil quiet property, even the pool area is low keyed, so if you prefer something noisier and in the thick of things, then head to the Kaanapali area and join the party crowd. Otherwise, come prepared for an enjoyable remarkable time in paradise.

4 Thank gr8puck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed July 2, 2004

Me and my wife just came back from our honeymoon on Maui. We stayed at the Ritz Carlton in Kapalua from June 17-25. From the moment we pulled up to the valet at the resort until the time the valet pulled up our car and it was time to leave we had the best time at this beautiful resort. The property is spreadout and gorgeous. Like many I'd read about the mildew smell in rooms. What mildew smell?!?!? The room, like the bathroom, was large, well appointed and very clean. We had outstanding service from the staff every single day. The treatment we received was outstanding from everyone. Everytime we saw someone on the staff they were saying "Aloha!" with a smile. The bellmen, the valets, and the concierge were knowledgable, helpful, and kind whenever we had questions or needed assistance. While the food at the restaurants, especially The Banyan Tree, was expensive, there were at least some low cost options nearby at the Honolua Store. Good tasting and cheap. We ate here for breakfast and lunch several times so we could spend the big money at the pricey places such as Spago's and Mama's Fish House. Like other reviews point out, you do walk alot to get to your room but its not that bad and it helps to walk off a big meal. The walk to the beach is five minutes and is a scenic stroll. Anyone who says its too far to walk probably has a hard time walking to their car in their driveway! The weather was great. It did rain occasionally in the morning and one time in the afternoon but the sun was out constantly. While it was breezy most of the time it made the strong sun bearable. All we can say is it truly was paradise and if we had our way we'd be there tomorrow! Mahalo to the Ritz Carlton staff. They really made our honeymoon truly memorable.

  • Stayed January 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed June 29, 2004

My wife and i just returned from our honeymoon on Maui, and loved every second. The negative reviews for the Ritz are either employees of other hotels or are people who are never happy. The service was perfect, almost overwhelming. The beach was amazing and the distance was refreshing. If you plan on staying in Kaanapali, go to cancun and you will have a similar experience. The Ritz was pure perfection. In my opinion there is no where else to stay. Kapalua is paradise, and Kaanapali is too typical and overrun.

2 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed June 14, 2004

This was our third trip to Maui, and our first stay at the Ritz in Kapalua. We were there during the first week of June, 2004. The Hotel itself and the grounds are immaculate. There is plenty of green space and gardens throughout. The pool is beyond relaxing and I belive it intentionally does not have waterslides and volleyball to facilitate a calm and tranquil day at the pool. Younger children may prefer a more waterpark like atmosphere so keep that in mind. I believe individuals on this site take isolated complaints and turn them into generalities. The pool service was excellent, so much so that you have to be careful when you can simply sign everything off to your room.

As for the beach, yest in Kaanapali and Waimea the beach is literally a sun tan lotion bottle throw from the pool. For some that may be important. However, to classify the beach as being a "good distance" from the Ritz is misleading and speaks more towards someone's laziness. It is a two minute walk down a widing path that takes you past the sacred burial grounds they discovered when building the hotel. At the beach, there is another restaurant and bar. Moreover, for those who simply refuse to walk more than 10 feet on vacation there are stretch golf carts running almost continuously offering rides.

The lobby was great in the evenings, and has hotel caliber musicians. I am not sure what some people expect, Sting performing at night while a dozen or so people sip 7 dollar beers and lava flows? The sushi bar is a tad expensive, but the excellent Sansei restaurant is located in Kapaula so make the 30 second drive down the road and enjoy the rolls there.

On to location. Any one that thinks Kapalua is too far from everywhere, either visited from a town of 2000 people where nothing is further than the Walmart 2 minutes down County Line Road or should have ... oh I don't know looked at a map before visiting Maui. Yes, it is up from Kaanapali but in Island terms that means 5 minutes. Out of curiousity we timed each of our trips into Lahaina from the Hotel, average time was 12 minutes. If you can't spend 12 minutes in a car with the person you are vacationing with than maybe you have other issues to resolve prior to taking a vacation.

The nice thing about being a little bit further away is the spaciousness of the resort. We went to Waimea and last time we stayed in Kaanapali and those places are excellent, maybe even preferable to many people. But the resorts are literally stacked right next to one another. Any green space surrounding a pool is covered in lawn chairs and lounges. The Ritz just felt like you had more space to yourself, there is hardly anyone ever next to you at the pool unless you wanted them to be (12 minute car complainers could swim and sun in isolation if they want). Plus, with the beach being down the path you don't get a bunch of on-lookers passing through because remember the beaches in front of the hotels are open to the public there is not some imaginary line.

Obviously, weather is a concern depending on when you travel. If you are going during Maui's wet season (check a website this is easy to find) than maybe go a little South of Kapalua. If you are going in the summer there is little concern. Last point, I promise. The individual complaining about the age group at the Ritz. My wife and I are in our late 20's and thought there a wide age range of people at the resort. However, what did you expect when you chose to stay a Ritz Carlton, the same early 20 something crowd you encountered at the Best Western in Daytona during your senior year Spring Break. The Ritz is expensive, typically people of middle age tend to have the income to be able to stay at such a resort.

All in all, take all the 1 star ratings of the Ritz with a grain of salt. I am not saying their complaints are not real, but they are certainly not reflective of what 90 percent of Ritz guests experience. There are those who are never satisfied and cannot wait to tell someone about it.

Enjoy your trip

18 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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
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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