Updated: May 21, 2015
Ritz Carlton Kapalua Maui Reviews(For more photos of the Ritz and grounds and beaches, click here.)
One of the most expensive, fanciest places to stay on Maui is at the Kapalua Ritz-Carlton Resort. The hotel property sits 10 miles north of Lahaina on the northwestern side of Maui, about 30 miles from the Kahului Airport. This northern tip of the island tends to have weather that is windier and drizzlier than their competition closer to Lahaina or Kihei or Wailea (all further south along the western coast of Maui - see our Maui Map page for details). Keep that in mind, you may end up sitting wrapped in a towel by the tool as a wind-driven drizzle hits you during the afternoon. Of course, this is Hawaii, so the weather is generally warm and nice year round with plenty of sun -- just be warned that the weather is often better elsewhere on the island. The Ritz occupies a very scenic stretch of land here on a pineapple plantation - with 50 acres dedicated to the resort. They have 548 rooms and 58 suites available for guests, along with two golf courses, beautiful 3 level pool, spa, and direct access to several nice beaches. In general, Kapalua is a little quieter and calmer than an area like Kaanapali, and many people prefer this more tranquil and lush setting.
In this picture, north is to the left and south is to the right. The white beach at the far left is DT Fleming Beach (see below). The Ritz Carlton is located just up and to the right from the beach, in the grassy clearing. Lava rocks jut out into the sea, and then you get to Oneloa Beach which is lined by many Kapalua Bay Villas and Kapalua Golf Villas. Another rocky outcropping is in the center of the bottom edge of the picture, then we round the corner heading to the right and find two lovely half-moon shaped beaches, first is Kapalua Beach, and the furthest right is Napili Beach. Again you'll see lots of villas around Kapalua Bay, and there is currently (March 2007) a lot of construction going on around that beach, with several huge cranes working all day -- not a real relaxing place to hang out.
Ritz-Carlton Maui AmenitiesThere are a number of restaurants here, but the Banyan Tree is the real standout, recognized as a 4 Diamond rating from AAA (closed Sunday and Monday). There is also a Pool Bar and Cafe, The Terrace for buffet breakfast, Kai Sushi Bar, and The Beach House, shaded by 40 coconut palms. Like most Maui restaurants and ALL Ritz facilities, these dining options are not cheap. The Boutique Spa is also popular for those looking to unwind with a massage or other beauty treatment. Golfing at Kapalua Ritz Carlton is also available, with 36 holes of award winning courses. Keep in mind again the wind -- these are challenging courses. The Plantation Course hosts the PGA Mercedes Championships each January, featuring a Crenshaw designed par 73 course. This is the toughest course up here, and windy. Unless you brought your "A" game, consider playing another course. The Bay Course is an Arnold Palmer special, and its easier and costs less than the Plantation course (about $200 vs. $300 for greens fees).
Ritz Carlton Kapalua Beaches and PoolThe picture above shows you a view of the Ritz from the north, looking right into DT Fleming Beach (remember, the picture at the top of page shows this whole area). The main beach that fronts the hotel area of the Ritz grounds is D.T. Fleming Beach. A lava outcropping separates D.T. from the next beach down, Oneloa Beach, also known as Ironwoods Beach. There are a number of large trees along D.T. Fleming, offering plenty of morning and mid-afternoon shade if you are looking for that. There are picnic tables, lifeguards, and restrooms and showers here as well, making it a popular beach for locals and guests. As you can see, it is a short stroll down the hill to this beach. You can also take a golf cart down to the beach area (they will drive you, no charge). Remember, the afternoons here can be VERY windy. Here is a closer view of the beach area below the resort buildings..
Oneloa is a little further walk, but still only 5 minutes away. As you can see in the picture, the hotel itself is made up of two wings, the Honolua Wing (left side of pic) and the Napili Wing. Between the 2 wings is the pool area with a very nice 3 level pool and plenty of poolside space to relax. Service around the pool is what you would expect from a Ritz property, with everything clean and no problem getting a drink or snack served to you. The pool area can get kind of loud, especially with children present. And watch out for those comfortable looking cabanas around the pool - they will set you back almost $80 per day. Personally, when it comes to beaches, we like the 2 further south, Kapalua and Napili. You can drive or take a shuttle down to these beaches - too far to walk from the Ritz-Carlton Resort.
Ritz Carlton Kapalua Rooms and Rates and ReservationsThe main website for the Ritz is here. You can book rooms here, as well as all the normal travel websites like Expedia, Orbitz, etc. For a stay in June, we found prices ranging from $475 for an ocean view room with 1 King bed, to $942 for an oceanfront suite. December and January were all booked when we checked, but rooms in Feb. were listed at $675 for an Executive Suite to $2900 for the Ritz Carlton Suite (almost 2000sf, plus 1000sf of lanai space). You may find some bargain rooms out there for less than $350, but they are pretty tough to come by. There is an $18 per day resort fee charged to all rooms, and valet parking is another $18 per day if you want it, though there is also a nearby self-park free garage. Regular rooms here are about 450sf - not as big as some other luxury hotels here, but adequate. In general, if you are a Ritz lover, you will be happy here. We tend to lean towards the warmer weather a little further south, either in Kanaapali or Wailea, but you can't go wrong here -- if you can afford to stay at the Ritz Carlton, go for it.
For more pictures of the Ritz Carlton Maui follow this link.