Kapalua Ziplines features 2 miles of side-by-side soaring. // © 2015 Kapalua Ziplines
Feature image (above): Pine-lined roads invite outdoor exploration at Kapalua Resort. // © 2015 The Kapalua Villas Maui
When a client recently contacted travel agent Lorene Romero about booking a 50th anniversary trip, she immediately recommended Kapalua Resort on Maui.
“My client and his wife are very active,” said Romero, owner of Sharp Tongued Consulting in Windsor, Calif. “They play golf, and they are comfortable in their retirement. They are the perfect candidates for Kapalua.”
With its pine-lined roads and cool breezes, the 22,000-acre master-planned resort stands apart from other Maui destinations with its sense of peace and quiet, Romero says.
“But it still has all the amenities a high-end traveler would expect,” she said. “The accommodations are superb, and there are great restaurants. The snorkeling is fantastic, the ziplining is thrilling and the golf courses are world-class.”
The northernmost destination resort on Maui, Kapalua has always marched to the beat of its own drum. It continues to do so with its unique accommodations, dining, activities and annual celebrations that give it a real sense of community.
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua stays current for its discerning clients. Most recently, the resort enhanced its guestrooms with signature mattresses, Nespresso coffee machines, 55-inch televisions and new credenzas. It also updated its wireless Internet to accommodate up to 10 streaming devices per room. Returning guests will notice new poolside palapas and upgrades to the lobby lounge and bar, as well.
Montage Kapalua Bay, which opened June 2014, has brought further attention to the destination with its high-end suites and amenities. The oceanfront property lavishes guests with its one- to four-bedroom accommodations, three-tiered pool, upscale spa and modern Hawaiian-Asian cuisine.
The Kapalua Villas Maui, managed by Outrigger Resorts, remains popular with families. Its one-, two- and three-bedroom condos feature kitchens, washer/dryers and private lanais. Outrigger Expert Agents earn 25 reward points for every room night at the 144-unit property. Arriving guests get a free welcome amenity in their travel agent’s name.
The Ritz-Carlton has reopened its alfresco Banyan Tree restaurant following a $500,000 renovation. Its refreshed menu features farm-to-fork dishes and garden-to-glass cocktails highlighting local ingredients, including those from the hotel’s organic garden.
Sundays at 5 p.m., Montage Kapalua Bay presents wine tastings, with themes varying each week. The resort’s sommelier leads guests through a sampling of varietals and small bites from its signature restaurant, Cane & Canoe.
Among the area’s other standout restaurants are Merriman’s Kapalua, Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar, Pineapple Grill and The Plantation House Restaurant. Honolua Store fills the need for casual, moderately priced fare such as sandwiches, wraps, burgers, fried chicken, salads and pizzas.
Kapalua scores a hole-in-one with its golf courses. Opened in 1975, Bay Course recently went through a multimillion-dollar renovation. The newer Plantation Course — host of the PGA Tour’s annual Hyundai Tournament of Champions — recently ranked high on Golfweek’s list of 2015 Best Resort Courses.
Kapalua Tennis Garden has its own allure with 10 Plexipave courts, including four that are lit for night play. Clients of all strokes can join in on scheduled tournaments and hone their skills with lessons by tennis professionals.
Kapalua Ziplines invites thrill-seekers to soar side-by-side on 2 miles of parallel lines. On its most popular offering, a seven-line tour, guests traverse Hawaii’s longest and tallest suspension bridge and glide above the West Maui Mountains. During summer months, clients can sign up for a sunset tour.
Each spring, Kapalua presents Celebration of the Arts, a gathering of Hawaii’s most reputable artisans, educators, cultural practitioners and entertainers. A standout from The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua for the past 23 years, it regales guests with hands-on art, demonstrations, films, panels, music, dance and an elaborate luau.
Summertime brings the Kapalua Wine & Food Festival, celebrating its 34th year this June 11 through 14. It’s a delicious mix of wine tastings, cooking classes, gourmet product samplings and evening parties. At the culminating outdoor Seafood Festival, Maui’s top chefs showcase culinary creations as distinctive as the destination itself.