The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua recently announced the final phase of a $100 million resort-wide transformation including new guestrooms, dining experiences, and public spaces that is set to be unveiled by the end of 2022. Situated across 54 acres of pristine, wide-open space overlooking Honokahua Bay, The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua is a sanctuary for guests seeking a restorative, luxurious escape.
“The driving force behind this project is providing our guests with an unrivaled experience that can only be found in Kapalua,” said Andrew Rogers, general manager at The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua. “This transformation brings new beauty and new energy to our surrounding environment as the entire resort celebrates our unique sense of place. Our team of talented Hawaiʻi-based architects, designers and builders worked closely with our longtime cultural advisor Clifford Naeʻole to achieve our vision for the future of the resort as a luxury destination.”
Highlights of the extensive and thoughtful property-wide transformation include:
Upon arriving at The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua, guests will be welcomed by bright and colorful native flora and fauna that flow into the all-new lobby lanai featuring unobstructed views of Honokahua Bay. The infinity-edge lanai is equally breathtaking as it is meaningful, honoring Hawaiian culture and telling the story of Kapalua. The hand-carved wooden kapa panels adorning the space symbolize the six bays surrounding the resort that were favorites of the Hawaiian chiefs. The distinct lighting fixtures are inspired by ancient fishing traps, which were designed to catch fish for royalty. With multiple seating areas, complete with firepits, the lanai offers a lively and inviting atmosphere from sunrise to sunset.
“The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua is a special place for our guests just as Kapalua once was for the great Hawaiian chiefs,” said Clifford Naeʻole, Hawaiian cultural advisor at The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua. “Each element, no matter how big or small, has important significance in Hawaiian culture and we hope that our guests will enjoy them for both their beauty and meaning.”
Further elevating the guest experience, the resort will open The Ritz-Carlton Club® Lounge at the Anuenue Room in July. This new Club Lounge offers a private indoor-outdoor weather protected destination for guests with club access to savor a rainbow and taste the flavors of Maui. The space offers a dedicated concierge and a well-appointed, relaxed lounge environment where guests can enjoy five food and beverage presentations daily. Culinary offerings include breakfast, light snacks, hors d’oeuvres, beverages and sweets – many reflecting the cuisine of the Hawaiian Islands. Unique to the space and exclusively for club guests, Club Lounge programming will include cocktail classes, cooking demonstrations, lei making, and exclusive musical performances by Hawaiian artists.
Embracing Maui’s natural beauty and rich cultural heritage, the new guest rooms, suites, and residences, all with private terraces, feature delicate sand tones and custom wood finishes, evoking a feeling of calm and serenity. Azure blue and deep green accents echo the captivating hues of the sparkling ocean and lush flora while floor-to-ceiling windows welcome the island environment inside creating a unique sense of place found nowhere else. Designed by Philpotts & Associates, known for their expertise in Hawaiian culture and design, the room interiors infuse The Ritz-Carlton sophistication with a Hawaiian sense of place. The aesthetic continues into the hallways with rich, dark wood finishes and pops of color from the tropical-inspired carpeting.
For guests looking to experience the beauty and wonder of Kapalua in an even more private setting, the Resort will debut The Fire Lanai Collection, a new premium room category in November. Located on the ground floor of the Nāpili Tower, each room will feature extended lanais with a shade trellis, a hammock, sun deck, and fire pit complete with a special menu to make one’s own tropical twist on s’mores, inviting guests to enjoy Maui indoor-outdoor living at its best.
A centerpiece of the sprawling open-air resort is the expansive 10,000-square-foot reimagined pool experience. Inspired by a famous natural lava rock formation in front of the resort at Makaluapuna Point, the resort’s three zero edge pools connected by cascading waterfalls, form a fleur-de-lis and are surrounded by lush tropical florals. The natural inspiration is meant to extend the beach feel from the shore onto the property. Each individual pool features in-water lounges, allowing guests to relax while keeping cool in addition to ample seating options around each one.
For those individuals looking for an even more luxurious and private experience, the resort recently debuted seven custom designed luxury cabanas and oasis beds. The new cabanas, with seating for up to eight guests, in hues of blues and green are inspired by the indigenous flowers and the natural beauty surrounding the property. Luxury cabana guests are well cared for by a personal cabana attendant and have access to a range of indulgences including a tropical fruit plate with house-made banana bread, sunscreen, unlimited water and soft drinks, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth speaker, flat screen TV, credenza with refrigerator, ceiling fan, and robes.
With panoramic views of Honokahua Bay and surrounded by walls of cascading orchids, Banyan Tree restaurant is a one-of-a-kind dining destination. The name honors the iconic banyan tree found throughout Hawaiʻi, known as a gathering place for families to enjoy a meal. Guests can indulge in a vibrant ever-changing menu rooted in coastal cuisine, inviting them on a journey to discover the island’s most unique and sustainable ingredients from local purveyors. On the restaurant’s enchanted patio, guests can dine under the stars or sip a signature cocktail such as the Banyan Tree Mai Tai next to a firepit.
As part of the extensive transformation, the resort redesigned Ulana Terrace, the breakfast restaurant overlooking the gardens, pool and ocean. Meaning “to weave,” the bright and airy restaurant, with pitched ceilings, woven accents and warm woods, offers an extensive selection of traditional and local breakfast favorites, and a sumptuous breakfast buffet each morning. Highlights include the Kapalua loco moco, breakfast ramen, and banana macadamia nut pancakes.
In the morning, guests can enjoy house-made pastries and a quick bite from Kai Café, the resort’s gourmet coffee shop, while relishing in the warm Kapalua breeze and catching a glimpse of a whale dancing in the bay.
As the sun sets and firepits are lit, the lobby lanai and Alaloa Lounge comes to life with live entertainment, including the time-honored Hawaiian sunset ceremony. Featuring high ceilings, dark wood, and rope accents, the lounge is inspired by a Hawaiian voyaging canoe, a symbol of greeting guests who have traveled a long way. Here, guests can relax and reflect on a day in paradise over eye-catching cocktails and light fare, including a dedicated sushi bar.
Just steps away from the pools, the new ‘Olu Café is the ideal alfresco lunch destination, featuring hand-crafted cocktails, pūpū, salads, and sandwiches. For guests looking to remain in the sun poolside, all orders can be delivered right to their cabana or lounge chair.
“With the support of our owner, Blackstone, The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua is making impactful investments to reduce our impact and preserve Maui’s precious natural resources for future generations,” Rogers said. “When completed next year, new solar canopies in the parking lot will generate half of our current demand for power at the resort.”
Sustainability initiatives include reducing water consumption, new waste diversion efforts, providing all guests with complimentary reusable water bottles, installing filling stations throughout the property and replacing all elevators with new, more energy-efficient models.
The hotel is an active supporter of the local community and established the Mauka (mountain) to Makai (ocean) Preservation of Place Project that benefits two nonprofit organizations: the Pu’u Kukui Watershed, Hawaiʻi’s largest private nature preserve and home to rare and endangered flora and fauna; and Hui O Wa’a Kaulua, Maui’s voyaging canoe society, which promotes the practice and education of Hawaiʻi’s canoe-building, wayfinding and voyaging arts traditions.
The resort is one of only six Ritz-Carlton hotels in the world to offer Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment. The program offers eco-tours for all ages, from snorkeling to coastal walks to electric bicycle tours, to learn about the environment and leave with an appreciation and respect for nature. A weekly Mālama Hawai’i volunteer project (mālama means “to care for”) offers guests an opportunity to leave Maui a better place by participating in a beach cleanup or invasive species plant removal.
PRIVATE EVENTS & MEETING SPACES
For guests looking to host a celebration, the hotel has transformed the Aloha Garden Pavilion, one of the only indoor-outdoor event venues on Maui. Designed to reflect the soul of a Hawaiian voyaging canoe, one will notice key seafaring elements including the boat’s ribs and gunnels, lashed together with ropes that represent unity. The Aloha Garden Pavilion will feature a new interior with state-of-the-art A/V, furniture, bi-folding glass doors opening onto a garden with terrazzo-paved walkway, two fire pits, and new trellis with glass canopies.