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“Meh- it was okay” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua

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The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Kapalua
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Meh- it was okay”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 29, 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 They looked really cheesy and outdated - with bamboo and wicker furniture and really old television and alarm clock.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.

3 Thank igotoou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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New York
Level Contributor
21 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 18, 2004

After reading some of the mixed Ritz Kapalua reviews, we figured, “How bad can a Ritz be?” and decided to go ahead and stay there. We were at the Ritz in St. Thomas last December and the Four Seasons Kona last May and had great vacations at both.

Upon arrival at 8pm, we were greeted with leis and offered fruit juice and iced cold wash cloths while checking in—so far, up to Ritz standards. The lobby was nice looking, but dreary and dated. We were accompanied to our room and first got the sense of the “mustiness” that other reviewers had mentioned while walking through the long hallway from the lobby.

We had reserved a deluxe ocean view room. The room was not overly large, but not small either. It was certainly musty, worn looking, and its furnishings, TV, and alarm clock appeared not to have been changed in 15 years. After the bellman left, further inspection found discolored carpeting, a reading lamp shade that was hanging to the side and wouldn’t stay straight, and an ironing board cover that was stained and worn. Not a flower or plant was to be found. The only living plant life in the room was visible mold along the bottom and peep hole of the door to the room.

We were tired after traveling all day and ordered room service and were prepared for the expected Ritz steep prices. We ordered two appetizers and one club sandwich to share—nothing to drink. The bill total came to $62.98 for a shrimp appetizer that included 3 shrimp, a pot sticker appetizer that included 3 pot stickers, and one club sandwich. The total included 4% tax, 18% gratuity, and $5 room service fee. That $62.98 did not even buy us a flower on the room service table or any offer from the delivery person to set up the chairs around the table. I supposed a flower on the tray or the offer to set the chairs up around the table would have cost extra.

There is no coffee maker in the room. Included in the $15 per day “resort fee” is “free coffee” served in the lobby area which is subject to a “suggested” dress code. The resort fee also includes use of the gym. For that “privilege”, you get to work out in a makeshift exercise room that has been set up in a conference room while the gym and spa are being renovated.

Considering all the above and more, we decided that we did not want to spend another night in a place like that and switched to a hotel in Kaanapali the next day. Ritz corporate should take its name off that property, or, close the place down, strip it down, and renovate it.

You never know what to believe when reading these reviews. In this case, the previous negative reviews for this Ritz property were right on target. Although we rated this hotel "terrible", we must point out that the staff was terrific-professional, friendly, and courteous.

  • Stayed November 2004
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8 Thank StevoL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 10, 2004

My sister & I stayed at the Ritz Carlton for a week (girls' getaway). We had a suite, loved the bathrooms. Maid service was impeccable, seemed to anticipate every need. I cannot say enough about the customer service. Everyone was so polite and friendly. I fully expected to be intimidated by the staff, but they were so nice! When my Sis mentioned to the bellman in passing that the Plumeria was my favorite flower, he CLIMBED A TREE and brought me one, placed it behind my ear. I have my own business, and that is how I want my employees to treat the customers. Everyone, from the front desk to the waiters, to the attendants at the beach, was so friendly and helpful. The only thing that keeps this post from a 5-star review was the parking valets. They seemed very cursory and were driving recklessly with the cars. After the first day, we parked our own. But all-in-all, we had a wonderful time. Contrary to earlier postings, did not notice ANY smells or bugs...everything was spotless. (Of course, we were not looking for a "free" room, either.) The breakfast was wonderful! Every hotel should have this standard of service. We took the Road to Hana. No matter what anyone says, it was worth it! You must do this!! Oh, do I want to go back, & take my hubby this time...still dreaming about that beautiful beach and the Lava Flows at the bar!

2 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hillsborough, NJ
Level Contributor
132 reviews
70 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 629 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 8, 2004

Stayed at the Ritz for a week this past May and let me tell you that for the price, there are at least six better hotels that are nicer and in better locations than the Ritz.

For starters, believe everything you here about this hotel being in a bad location. It rains here… a lot! I saw the reviews before I went and thought to myself, “I’ve been to Maui two others times and it never rained”. Well it still didn’t rain in the other locations I stayed at even on this trip ( Kaanapali beach and Wailea), but boy did it ever rain in Kapalau where the Ritz is located. Everyday there was more rain and wind than there was sun. And from what I’ve come to learn, this is pretty much par for the course on this part of the island.

Even discounting the poor weather conditions, this Ritz does not come close to living up to the expected Ritz standards. Average rooms that look as though they have not been updated since the hotel opened well over ten years ago. The spa was a complete joke with broken equipment, worn out carpeting and even worse, poor service. My wife made a massage appointment two days in advance and when she showed up they said they had overbooked and couldn’t honor her appointment. They did offer to reschedule but since we were leaving the next day, she was, to quote the receptionist, “out of luck”.

Pool area was just O.K. (you’ll find much better at the Hyatt, Four Seasons, Grand Wailea and of course, the Fairmont). Even the Marriott on Kaanapali is nicer than this Ritz, though more crowded with kids and families.

Beach was another big disappointment. If you’re looking for a beach front hotel, definitely do not stay here. Kaanapali or Wailea is your best bet.

You spend enough (probably more than you should) when traveling to Hawaii. Staying at the Ritz will have you paying a lot and getting very little.

  • Stayed May 2004
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16 Thank HeyMan76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 3, 2004

We had a great time at the Ritz, I do not understand why this hotel has gotten so many bad reviews. My husband and I stayed at the Ritz during 10/21/04-10/26/04. We were to be married in Maui and decided on staying at the Ritz despite all of the bad reviews. From the time we arrived, we were welcomed with many friendly faces, one of the bellboys drew us a map of the island with all of the must-see spots (since it was our first time in Maui). The woman at that checked us in, Amanda, was very nice and did everything in her power to upgrade us to a suite. The Concierge sent us complimentary strawberries, champagne, and a Ritz Carlton gift because they somehow found out we were getting married in Maui. My husband made friends with some of the employees, (Hi Ken). We had a great time and will return next year. The only downside is that the hotel is a little pricey, but it is a very, very beautiful hotel and highly recommended!

3 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Long Island, NY
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 26, 2004

We stayed at the Ritz Carlton, Kapalua Bay Resort for our honeymoon and it was terrible. We booked the resort expecting to enjoy a five-star hotel in Maui. This certainly was not the case, especially when compared to our experience at the other five-star hotels we stayed at on Hawaii and Oahu.
From the moment we arrived, we knew we wanted to leave. We had to remove our own bags from our rental car since the young woman who was working at the bellhop desk could not lift them herself. Inside, we were not greeted as we had been when we arrived at the other hotels we had visited with flower leis and cool drinks. While checking in, we were not placed in the same room category as we had reserved. We were told the only room ready was one with a partial ocean view. What initially appeared to be an upgrade, was in fact a pool view room with a huge palm tree obstructing any view of the ocean. We were given the keys and told to walk down the hallway and find it ourselves. We were not offered any tour of the resort, explanation of amenities or services, nor the breakfast that was included in our rate, or locations of the various facilities. In fact, there was a whole hallway full of shops that we stumbled upon before we checked out that we never knew of. To add insult to injury, during our stay we watched as other guests were greeted with such amenities and shown to their rooms by hotel staff.
While the property at the Ritz Carlton is aesthetically pleasing, it certainly leaves a lot to be desired in every other department. The room had a musty odor that resembled dirty socks and urine and overall was generally was dirty. The housekeeper did not change or even pick up our robes off the floor during our entire stay. The sheets were not changed. Those are just complaints related to the condition of our room.
While at breakfast the first morning, I was given a "wake up call" by pouring clumpy sour milk into my coffee. Trying to relax at the pool was impossible. There are no umbrellas to shade guests from the intense Hawaiian sun. In order to sit in a cabana, you need to rent it for more than $75 a day. While at the pool one day, a rude waiter insisted that we moved seats while he was ordering our drinks despite us being the only people sitting in the particular location for forty minutes while waiting for him to return. We even overheard him bad mouthing us to other guests.
Our bed was broken and worn out. There was a big gully on one side. After complaining about the bed, we returned one night to find an alleged "new mattress," which was curiously covered with down feathers. The bed linens were thrown in a ball on top of our luggage. We were quite surprised to see that the room had been left in that condition, if only to somehow prove to us that the mattress had been changed.
At least we did not see any roaches, maybe they don't like musty odors and clumpy sour milk.

9 Thank jja347
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 25, 2004

We stayed at the Ritz on Maui Oct. 16-19 for $260 a night. Now that is a great deal for Maui. I will keep going to Maui in October if they offer that rate forever. We were fortunate because they upgraded us to Ritz Club Level. It includes a huge 475 sq ft room with ocean view. You have access to 8th floor lounge that includes 5 food presentation (Ritz quality food) and all the drinks you can think of with typical Ritz service. This was first class service and a real treat for us. We really appreciate the gesture, because they didn't have to do that for us. Thanks Ritz..

The rooms did smell a bit moldy, but thats because we are on an island where the humidity is inescapable. The only time I saw cockroaches was out of my airconditioner in my car. Typical island environment. But if I saw cockroaches at the Ritz I would complain, but I'm sure they would take care it, Ritz style. ......World class customer service .

  • Stayed January 2005, traveled on business
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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-Carlton Lahaina
Ritz Lahaina
Lahaina Ritz-Carlton
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua Maui

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