The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua Officially Reopens

$160 million transformation finalized in January

By: Dawna Robertson

Well worth the wait, The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua has reopened following an extensive $160 million transformation. Providing a dramatic new appearance and amenities to further enhance the guest experience, the fresh design incorporates an authentic Hawaiian sense of place which is evident from the moment guests arrive at the lobby with its native Hawaiian artwork, koa-wood panels and lava-stone bar.

The resort reinvents itself with an interior design concept that reflects the area’s vibrant colors of the lush mountains, natural rainforests and ocean. All 463 guestrooms and suites now feature all-new furnishings, travertine bathrooms, dark-wood floors, area rug designs with kukui florals and Hawaiian print artwork framed with koa wood. Guestrooms also offer the latest technology, including LCD flat-screen televisions, iPod docking stations, DVD players and wireless Internet access.

The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua has also focused on food and beverage, with several newly designed restaurants interpreting aspects of Maui’s spectacular geography and history. The hotel’s signature Banyan Tree restaurant has a new destination outdoor bar and lounge with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. Its innovative menu was created by Chef de Cuisine Jojo Vasquez.

Inspired by the story of the native Hawaiians’ arrival across the ocean, Kai Sushi offers the freshest in Japanese cuisine. The Terrace restaurant features a plantation-inspired design enhanced by an expanded lanai enclosed in glass to reinforce the connection with the landscape.

“All of our menus are new, and we’ve added spa cuisine and vegetarian options to better accommodate our spa guests or those with particular dietary requests,” said Tom Donovan, general manager.

For relaxing cocktails, the Alaloa Lounge has a black lava-stone wall forming a back bar with a brilliant red ribbon of light inspired by the long path from the mountains to the sea. The illuminated onyx bar with carved wood details and hand-blown glass pendants sets a warm glow in the lobby.

This multi-faceted transformation also provided upgraded amenities to the signature 10,000-square-foot, three-tiered pool, including a new children’s pool and enlarged cabanas with the latest technology. Open 24 hours daily, the resort’s new fitness center features dramatic views of the Pacific Ocean with the latest state-of-the-art equipment. Plans also call for an Environmental Education Center by mid-year.

What promises to be a highlight, however, is the new Ritz-Carlton Spa that’s set to open in May. The design scheme will draw from the concept of Waihua, which the ancient Hawaiians believed was the most pure form of water, captured by the leaves of the taro plant. The 17,500-square-foot facility will have 15 treatment rooms, including two outdoor couples’ cabanas, plus steam rooms, saunas and hot tubs with private and co-ed relaxation areas.

“I’m very excited about the new spa, as we’ll have treatment rooms opening to private shower gardens, authentic Hawaiian design elements, outdoor couples cabanas and a range of new spa treatments,” Donovan said. “The size of the spa will double from that of the former boutique spa to better serve our guests.”

The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua is an AAA Five-Diamond oceanfront property located on 54 acres of Maui’s lush northwest shore. It is part of the 23,000-acre master-planned Kapalua Resort, home to the PGA Tour’s Mercedes-Benz Championship. The resort is renowned for its world-class golf courses, award-winning tennis facility, white sandy beaches and myriad restaurants and shops.

To celebrate its reopening, The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua is extending an Island Paradise Package that’s available March 1-31, May 1-June 30 and Aug. 13-Oct. 31. With a minimum six-night stay required, the plan includes the sixth-night free and a $250 food and beverage credit for any of the hotel’s six restaurants or in-room service. Room rates are from $599 nightly, with suites from $759. Commissionable at 10 percent, the package is based upon availability and is exclusive of tax, gratuity and $20 daily resort fee.