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“A most disapointing experience”

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The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Kapalua
Certificate of Excellence
A TripAdvisor Member
“A most disapointing experience”
Reviewed August 24, 2004

I find it incredible to have to write the following, but here is an account of what happened to us during our trip there. After spending 6 days at the Kea Lani, I thought what better way to cap off the vacation than 4 days at the Ritz?..( we had never stayed on that side of the island..so we book dinner at the Plantation, tee times and up the coast we go....

We arrived at the hotel and were met by the bellman, unloaded the car and proceeded to check in. When we arrived at the front desk we were met by a fairly unhappy young clerk, no smile, aloha, not even a hello...I gave her our name (we had reserved 2 ocean front suites) and waited while she typed into the computer for around 5 minutes and finally annouced that "Your rooms will not be ready until 7pm, just leave your bags with the bellman and stop by later tonite to get into your room" It was around 1pm at the time. I told her that this was not the type of service I had anticpated but Ok..would it be possible to have the same courtesy afforded to us when we checked out? Absolutley NOT! Late check out is not available that day as we are fully booked???? So we should amuse ourselves for 6 hours while we wait for the room...

Meanwhile at least 4 other guests were occupying the desk as well complaining about the view, rooms, hotel service charges etc...

I then asked to speak with the manager....20 minutes later.... she returns and states "great news! we found you a room...Is it deluxe ocean front? I ask, You'll like the room she says, I ask the question 3 more times, recieved the same responce. Not good at all...

I capitulate as any room is fine at the moment because spending any more time at the desk would obviously not be productive...

We arrive at the room...overlooking the golf course, not the ocean (never heard the clerk say anything about a room charge adjustment)... and low and behold..the room is surprise ...filthy...chocloate milk stains on the carpet, shoe polish stains all over the floor, looked like a crime scene out of CSI..The bellman to his credit was astonished as we were...but by that time I was beyond unhappy, picked up the phone, called the front desk and checked out..

Well, NOW the manager is finally interested...after explaining my disapointment with the check in process, room availability and then the room we recieved, he starts to negotiate! What can I do to make it up to you?... I explain to him that I am beyond negotiation and I would expect him to be proactive in offering a concession...for goodness sakes this is a Ritz Carlton...do the right thing, offer a spa treatment, dinner, find our two ocean front rooms, book a tee time...nothing but the question "what can I do to make it right?" I finally told him to call the Kea Lani and get me back in there (he never did call back with a status on that request).

For a marquee property in a marquee location the whole situation was exceptionally disapointing, unprofessionally handled and candidly not reflective of the other Ritz Carltons we have stayed at globally....thankfully the Kea Lani was able to accomidate us...

I would avoid this property and either go to the Four Seasons or the Kea Lani, competitive properties, who get it when it comes to a low stress check in, friendly, happy to see you, thanks for coming, sorry to see we disapointed you..here is what we are doing to make it right attitude that complements the level of service expectation.

  • Stayed June 2004
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
12 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Charleston, SC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed August 22, 2004

The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua is perhaps one of the most gorgeous resorts I have ever had the pleasure of visiting. One would expect outstanding service, amenities, food, and accomodations at a 5-star resort; and this resort not only met, but exceeded all of my expectations.

The last time I checked, which was today, the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua was still rated 5 stars. I wonder if the complainers in some of these reviews know exactly what discriminating travelers like myself enjoy? Obviously those who rate the hotel know what they are talking about.

In my opinion, this is the best Ritz-Carlton in the world! It is located in the best place (Maui), near the most private beach (Kapalua), and employs a friendly staff which goes beyond their call of duty. This hotel is a complete universe, a place where I was able to happily sit by the ocean with a book all day one day, relax on my lanai enjoying the view another day, and rejuvinate by the pool eating fresh pineapple another day.

The Ritz is located on a knoll, in a spectacular setting between the rainforest and the sea. The 5-minute stroll from the pool down the path to the beach with the refreshing breeze blissfully blowing on your back is truly an invigorating awakening of the senses. Somewhere during that walk, even the most stressed-out traveler should come upon the realization that this is paradise! This is the way life should be!

When it rains, and it will (remember you are next to a rainforest), that is the perfect excuse to enjoy a relaxing afteroon nap in your room or suite. The sun will come out again soon. I found my suite to be up to par with the usual Ritz standard, complete with marble baths, separate showers, private lanais, and a decadently comfortable bed. There were 3 televisions in my suite, but I never once turned them on. I preferred enjoying the ocean vistas!

Finally, I must say that hospitality is the keynote at this elegant, yet non-imposing plantation-style resort. I found exemplary service topped off with good old-fashioned Hawaiian aloha!

If this doesn't sound like your type of resort, please stay elsewhere. That will leave even more privacy for those of us who know how to enjoy the finer things in life. In my opinion, the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua is a Maui Wowie!

  • Stayed August 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
15 Thank SCHawaiiTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed August 18, 2004

We spent seven nights at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, and were absolutely blown away with every single aspect of our stay. The staff is incredibly friendly, totally accommodating, and willing to do almost anything you request (within reason). The hotel is beautiful, massive (yet the common areas are scaled in such a way so you don't feel lost in space). The beach access is just a short walk, and nowhere near the trek some make it out to be. Besides, the beach is well worth it: quite, clean, and with plenty of open space. The food is excellent, presentation in the restaurants is first class, and the views are picture-perfect. The rooms (we had a suite and a standard room) were both clean, and well furnished (the beds are great). If you golf, the three courses that surround the hotel are breathtaking... The concierge was able to get me on the courses last minute with no trouble. Ignore all the complaints about the wind. Most of Maui is windy, and the parts that are not, are muggy at best.

All in all, if you want a fantastic resort, with a great location, excellent service, and privacy you have to check out the Ritz. It is an expensive hotel, so if you are not willing to ignore the prices for the food and services, then I suggest you stay somewhere else. Aloha!

8 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed August 18, 2004

We spent the first 5 days of our honeymoon at the Ritz, and I would certainly go back. Some of these reviews are ridiculous, people need to get off their high horses. To complain that the beach is a 10 min walk from the hotel??? Ridiculous. That the food trays were in the hallway too long? That the gym was a joke? That the pool is too small? That the plants smell? Come on. The staff bent over backwards for us, the breakfast was amazing, the pool area was beautiful, the beach was nice. Yes - the food was pricey, just like the rest of Maui. The room was clean, the towels and robes were plush, the verhanda was spacious and we had a great view. The staff was courtious and professional.

6 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed August 17, 2004

I stayed at the Ritz Kapalua in September 2003, which was my second visit to the Ritz, and kabillionth time to Maui. After reading some of the recent reviews here, I had to post my own. I've relied on TripAdvisor reviews for the past year in making my travel choices, and haven't been steered wrong yet. I'm a very discriminating traveler - I look for 5 star resorts, and I expect high quality service and excellent food. The Ritz seemed an easy choice because you can count on consistent good service and beautiful surroundings. We love Kapalua because of the peace and quiet, great golf, and less-touristy feel than Wailea. Yes, it tends to be suffer from wind and rain more than Wailea, but every time we've gone in September/October, it's been lovely. This visit, the service at the Ritz was so fantastic. I had decided to take my mom on her first tropical vacation ever, and booked an ocean view room. Before leaving, I sent an email to the concierge, asking if they would try to secure us a really nice view, because (a) this was mom's first ever trip to an island, and (b) she had recently been diagnosed with a terrible illness... and I wanted to make the trip very special for her. When we checked in, we were shown to our room, which turned out had been upgraded to a full ocean view SUITE thanks to the lovely lady at the concierge desk! Plus, a gorgeous flower arrangement and a welcome basket of Hawaiian goodies. Talk about being impressed! We were overwhelmed. That kind of over-the-top service is amazing. The rest of our stay was also fabulous: service and food, both excellent. Yes, the food is expensive, but no more so than at the Kea Lani or Four Seasons. You just expect it, at a 5 star.

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

We recently stayed three nights at the Ritz Kapalua...and were both surprised and disappointed at how bad this hotel was. We are big fans of the Ritz...specifically Half Moon Bay and San Francisco, but this hotel was nothing like those two. The service was horrible...the food - horrible...and the room -dirty. The sheets had crept up during the night so I got a full view of the mattress pad which was filthy. I was shocked. Room service trays would remain in the hallways all day...and the waiters in the "most upscale" restaurant didn't understand how to serve a bottle of red wine. Overall, this hotel is not worth the time or money. We're big fans of the Four Seasons Maui and plan to go back.

2 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed August 11, 2004

My now-husband and I decided that we wanted to get married on a beach in Maui, and decided to try a 5-star resort in celebration of our marriage. We looked at the reviews here and I was apprehensive, but was pleasantly surprised when I arrived at the resort. We were 'leid' upon arrival, and were installed in our 'ocean-view' ground-level room. We didn't like the room, so I asked the front desk if we could be moved and was told that they would change our room the next day while we were out and moved our baggage as well. I also mentioned in passing that we'd be getting married in a few days. Our new room was much better (6th floor, better view of the ocean), and the day we got married, room service showed up with chocolate-dipped strawberries and a bottle of champange, compliments of the Ritz! We had the breakfast buffet included with our stay--well worth it, as it would have been about $30 each if not included. The food was good, but there are birds everywhere that the staff seems to ignore, so just watch your plates. We didn't eat at the hotel, but you need to plan a bit as the resort is remote, or you'll be stuck with the food at the Ritz--good food, but expensive. Rent a car! There are really nice restaurants in Maui, but you need to be able to get to them. The parking area isn't well marked--we ended up valet parking ($15/day) the first night b/c we didn't realize that the sign that says "valet parking only" is at the entrance of valet, employee, and guest parking.
The grouds are beautiful, the pool is nice, the gym is top-rate--personal flat-screen tvs for all cardio, full nautilus, steam room, sauna...towels and water plentiful, as also at the pool and the beach. Speaking of the beach, there is a bit of a walk--five minutes tops, and if you don't want to walk, the staff is happy to take you up in a cart. All in all, the stay was very good. Someone mentioned that not every room got a newspaper. Well, newspapers (the Wall Street Journal) were available in the hallways. Maybe they didn't want to waste newspapers by deliverying them to every door, especially since there were a lot of non-English speaking guests there. They were easily available to anyone who wanted one. The resort wasn't perfect, but the staff's willingness to rectify any problems was what impressed me. And the twice-daily housekeeping services.

2 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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