A serene Maui getaway

199 Rooms / 132 Suites

When you want a respite from the hordes of tourists in Maui, head to The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua. Tucked inside the exclusive Kapalua Resort on the north shore, the waterfront hotel gives you unfettered access to its 54 verdant acres, Pacific views that stretch to Molokai island and the brand’s signature service, sans crowds.

As part of the 22,000-acre Kapalua Resort, the hotel provides access to one of the state’s largest nature preserves with two marine sanctuaries, two championship golf courses and Kapalua Golf Academy, miles of hiking trails and court play at the Kapalua Tennis Garden.

In the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel, soak up the rays from the stunning three-tier swimming pool or take cover under one of the palapas in the 20,000-square-foot sundeck. Indulge in Hawaiian therapies like the lomilomi massage in the spa or dine at one of the six onsite restaurants.

But whatever you choose to do, make sure to end the day at the Alaloa Lounge, where you can sit outside near a fire pit, watch the sun sink into the horizon, sip a Coconut Fever (vodka, coconut, lime, lemongrass syrup, tiki bitters) and catch Aloha E Ka La — the nightly Farewell to the Day Sunset Ritual includes the blowing of a conch shell and the banging of a sacred Hawaiian drum.

The Rooms

A subdued, sophisticated island vibe permeates the 199 rooms and 132 suites at the Maui hotel. It pops up in the dark wood furnishings, hardwood floors, locally inspired artwork and Hawaiian patterns in the throw pillows, curtains and rugs. Though the most Hawaiian feature may be the lanai, or balcony. Reserve a room overlooking the impressive free-form pool and the ocean beyond it so that you can wake up and take coffee on the lanai and take the scene in.

Of course, you’ll find all the requisite conveniences as well — flat-screen TVs, DVD players and Nespresso coffeemakers come standard in all rooms. They also have marble-covered bathrooms with separate tubs and shower stalls.

The Amenities

One of the best amenities at the luxury hotel greets you upon entering the warm, inviting dark-wood-paneled lobby. The missing back wall nicely frames the palm-tree-lined pool, luxe cabanas and the Pacific.

This view is central to The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua experience. Whether you dine on Maui-onion-crusted ahi in the farm-to-table Banyan Tree, fresh sashimi at Kai Sushi, the Ali’i (grass-fed beef, hamakua mushrooms, Swiss cheese and smoky chipotle aioli) at the Burger Shack, the breakfast buffet at The Terrace or lumpia (Filipino egg rolls stuffed with chicken, pickled carrot and cucumber) at the Alaloa Lounge, these vistas also come with the meal.

Another standout perk is the spa. The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Kapalua draws on Hawaiian traditions for inspired treatments like the Kapalua Castaway, an exfoliation with pineapple-papaya, honey-lavender or coconut oils, followed by a lomilomi massage. The 17,500-square-foot haven pampers with spa suites, grottos with heated whirlpools, eucalyptus steam rooms, dry cedar saunas and a coed alfresco relaxation lounge that’s great for couples.

Parents will appreciate that this is a family-friendly hotel. When kids aren’t playing in their own pool and water play area, the Ritz Kids program will keep them busy with everything from a session on sharks to a hike to learn about Hawaii’s volcanoes. (The Ambassadors of the Environment program lets adults in on the fun with activities like whale watching, snorkeling and hiking.)

The Location

A former pineapple plantation, Kapalua Resort is a luxury epicenter in Maui. As a guest at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, you’ll receive free transportation around the larger resort area, which includes the aforementioned golf courses (the Bay and Plantation courses) and marine sanctuaries, along with several nearby restaurants and bars, including Merriman's Kapalua, which serves regional cuisine and striking views from its lanai on the edge of Kapalua Bay; Taverna, a rustic, open-air Italian eatery; and The Wine Palette, a wine bar where you can sip and paint the Maui sunset.

Kapalua also hosts a bevvy of annual events, including Celebration of the Arts, Kapalua Wine & Food Festival, Wellness Week, XTERRA World Championship and PGA Tour Tournament of Champions.

DETAILS - Insider Information About This Hotel