A Five-Diamond Hotel Honoring the Beauty and Traditions of Hawaii

The sprawling magnitude of the Maui rainforest blankets the island, spiced with adventure and the promise of the unknown – it is landscape at its most wild, an untamed beast that hints at a world before people, before time. Slowly, as one meanders through the island, the tangled vines of the rainforest unhurriedly melt into the sumptuous velveteen carpet that is the grounds of the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua.

Nestled into 54 stunning acres of lush, verdant greenery is a rare jewel; a warm, inviting haven amidst a cacophony of nature. An oceanfront masterpiece with landscape that both awes and inspires, the hotel boasts the perfect balance of the pristinely preserved culture and natural beauty of Maui, and the modern luxuries and amenities to perfectly pamper their guests. From the moment Jason and I stepped foot through the arches leading up to the hotel, adorned with fragrant and colorful Leis and fruit-infused water in hand, we were immersed in a world that is filled with both wonder and relaxation. Ensconced within the mounds of fertile rolling hills and swaying palms, the view from the lobby looks down upon a variety of pools, tennis courts and lawn, ending in the crashing waves of the rustic Maui beaches. Peppered with fire pits, palapas and stunning purple flowers, the views are something to behold; a rare glimpse into perfection.

The resort offers up 463 rooms, suites and Club Level accommodations, featuring classic yet tasteful island-inspired décor. The colors echo the depths of the ocean and flora glimpsed through floor-to-ceiling windows; pale azure blues and subtle greens embrace the beachfront, as woven wood furniture hints at the natural backdrop of the slowly encroaching rainforest. Large marble bathrooms allow guests to indulge in the best luxury accessories, as Ritz-Carlton has a partnership with one of the oldest and most revered luxury goods houses in the world, Asprey. Holding a royal warrant and dating back to 1781, Asprey has always been synonymous with luxury and refinement, steeped in heritage but with an eye to the future. Having grown up in England, I am very familiar with the treasure that is Asprey, and it was a lovely surprise to find its wares across the world in Hawaii!

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This commitment to luxury is prevalent throughout the entire resort. Once again recognized with the AAA Five-Diamond designation for 2018, the property is one of the few of its caliber. The luxurious accents trickle down from the rooms to the Spa, featuring an array of body treatments inspired by ancient Hawaiian traditions, massages and facials, and a fitness center with cardio equipment and daily fitness classes so that you may “e malama kou kino,” which translates to “care for your body.” Two championship golf courses, The Bay Course and The Plantation Course, along with the award-winning instructions of the Kapalua Golf Academy, await any golf enthusiast. From there, we wandered down to the pools, where new, custom designed cabanas reflect color palates based on the indigenous flowers from the Hawaiian Islands, and are serviced by a personal cabana attendant, replete with a range of indulgences and amenities (including a framed photo of my baby poodle, Darling!)

The history and culture of the immense, natural island is embraced and honored by the hotel; in fact, the Ritz-Carlton proudly maintains the Honokahua Preservation Site, a recognized “wahi pana” (sacred site) that lies adjacent to the resort and serves as a destination where Native Hawaiians can gather to conduct ceremonies and protocol. With one of Hawaii’s largest nature preserves, with two marine sanctuaries, first time guests to Kapalua can immerse themselves in the true depth of Hawaiian culture, experiencing the wonder of the landscape and traditions surrounding them. One of the most stunning and relaxing ways to experience the majesty of Kapalua is to watch a spectacular sunset from the lobby lanai or witness the traditional Sunset Ceremony with a signature Mai Tai in hand. With award-winning restaurants featuring fresh, local ingredients from the resort’s sustainable organic garden, fresh seafood and Pacific cuisine, the resort’s dining experiences also reflect the diverse flavors of the island.  

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The juxtaposition of the property’s natural and effected elements is astounding; the scale and bounty of the unspoiled surrounding landscape; the vivid colors of the frothy ocean and deep blue, cloudless sky; the immaculately kept, lush green lawns; the delicate scattering of bright purple blooms. When coupled with an attentive and exuberant staff, lavish amenities, and decadent and delicious dining and mixology, the heady combination is nothing short of spectacular. The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, cozily and imperturbably nestled into a world of natural phenomenon and wonder, encircled by a rousing enormity of wildlife and thriving rainforest, is a serene and extraordinary property where one can sit back, relax and revel in all that nature, and luxury, can offer.