After A Sweeping $100 Million Transformation, Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua Shines


If you’re headed to the island of Maui, you’ll have your choice of where to stay. There are the massive properties along Kaanapali Beach, complete with an almost Disney-esque assortment of chain restaurants, mega-hotels, and throngs of tourists. You’ve got the tony Wailea region on the island’s Southwest coast, known for its consistently sunny climate and calm waters. But for a stunning, coastal feel perched hundreds of feet into the cliffs, Kapalua is arguably the most visually breathtaking location where the ocean seems to stretch endlessly and a calm island breeze is never far off.

The iconic Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua, a stalwart property in the Kapalua enclave recently underwent a $100-million, resort-wide transformation. Now, guests returning year after year can enjoy an all-new lobby lanai with unobstructed views of Honokahua Bay, an exclusive club lounge, a reimagined multi-level pool experience, and a new premium room category debuting later this year called the Fire Lanai Collection, which highlights Maui’s indoor-meets-outdoor lifestyle with private patio living spaces and fire-pits.

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At a time when tourists are clamoring for a more authentic hotel experience, the property also welcomes Clifford Nae’ole, the resort’s first Hawaiian Cultural Advisor. On site, Nae’ole offers several Hawaiian cultural activities, including hula lessons, lei po’o (Hawaiian flower crown) making, lei ki kupe’e (flower wristlets) making, ukulele lessons, Hawaiian cordage, a garden tour, and a Sense of Place talk story.

The resort’s signature annual event is Celebration of the Arts, a two-day festival in April showcasing the people, art, and culture of the Hawaiian Islands, featuring more than 60 of the state’s most reputable artisans and cultural practitioners.

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In keeping with its reputation as a family friendly destination, complete with programming for adults and tots alike, The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua is now offering guests access to Ambassadors of the Environment, a program developed in partnership with world-renowned ocean explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau and his Ocean Futures Society. It is available at just six Ritz-Carlton locations worldwide. Highlights include:

  • Cities Under the Sea: Guided by Cousteau-trained naturalists, guests can learn about the inhabitants of Maui’s reefs and observe the interactions and connections beneath the surface with a guided snorkeling excursion at some of Cousteau’s favorite reefs on the island. Underneath the crystal blue waters, explorers will discover coral reefs bustling with life in an intricately connected city under the sea.
  • Mālama Hawaiʻi Project: With this volunteer project, guests will have the opportunity to give back to Hawaiʻi with a guided activity. From beach clean ups to invasive plant removal, guests can learn about sustainable practices while immersing themselves in the local ecosystem.
  • Coastal Hike and Tidepool Exploration: Explore the Alaloa Trail, the original ‘highway’ of Maui that dates back more than 500 years. After the scenic hike along the bays and ancient lava fields, guests will explore tidal pools and discover the various creatures that live beneath the surface.

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