Food Hotels North America Reviews

Hotels We Love: The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, Maui

We had the pleasure of being invited to the The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, Maui for their 3rd Annual Wellness Weekend! Having never been to Hawaii before, I was blown away by this mysterious yet beautiful piece of Maui.

1The moment we approached the property, the grounds took my breath away. The property is surrounded by majestic Cook pine trees, something I didn’t expect before coming to Maui (thinking palm trees) and there is surely no shortage of natural beauty here.

1aA magical Banyan tree stands tall in front of the lobby.

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The views reaching out far into the Pacific are stunning from almost every window in the resort.
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Light and airy hallways with artists casually painting beautiful masterpieces by the bay windows.
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The hotel also offers a tour of their organic garden, led by one of the resort chefs. The perfectly manicured garden has everything from herbs, fruits, vegetables, and wild flowers. The chefs pick the locally grown ingredients for select dishes served at the resort. The garden is located behind Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment center, where the resort’s resident pigs Loco & Moco live! Be sure to pay them a visit 🙂

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Plumeria flowers cover the grounds wherever you turn falling from the trees that surround the resort.

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I was lucky to have a little friend provide me with fresh ones on a daily basis! Thank you London!

7bCertainly no shortage of relaxation areas here!

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The three-tiered pool area is as luxurious as it is relaxing, complete with a poolside bar and it is open 24 hours.

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I spy travel and food writer extraordinaire, Krista Simmons!

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One of my favorite experiences at the resort was the “Aloha e ka la…farewell to the day” ceremony that took place each evening at 6:30 pm in the lobby. At sunset, a beautiful Hawaiian native would echo into a shell and summon the energies of the day to allow us to say mahalo (thank you) for such a wonderful day in Kapalua. The beat of the pahu (sacred Hawaiian drum) signified the heartbeat of the day’s light and a short oil (chant) put the day to rest. It’s surely not a moment to be missed!

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We experienced the hotel’s Alaloa Lounge where we sipped on Skinny Cocktails perfectly fit for Wellness Weekend! The lounge also offers an extensive menu of specialty cocktails, domestic and imported beers and appetizers and desserts. I loved the outdoor cozy couches and fireplaces. This is also the area where the Aloha e ka la ceremony happens.

Photo courtesy of Ritz Carlton

Photo courtesy of Ritz Carlton

Dinner at The Banyan Tree was quite the treat, highlighting locally sourced ingredients, including those form the hotel’s organic garden (see below).

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My favorite was the Hawaiian poke! Incredible flavor.
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The Terrace is where we had breakfast each morning and it offers a renowned plantation style buffet which is incredible, offering more options that you can count! The Terrace also offers an a la carte menu daily. The light and airy feel to the room with views of the pool and the Pacific makes for the perfect way to start a morning.

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For perfect beach views, The Beach House is where it’s at. Set on the beautiful DT Fleming Beach with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, the menu offers a variety of dishes inspired by local cuisine and you’ll be engulfed by over 40 full-grown (and very tall!) coconut palms!

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The white sand beach, although a bit windy, extends into a rocky cliff, making it the perfect place for photo ops and exploration.

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An interesting fact that I discovered while staying at this property was that when the resort began construction, they discovered ancient burial grounds along the shores. Thus, out of respect to the ancient Hawaiians, the area is walled off and the hotel is set back a bit up on the hill. We had the pleasure of learning more about the ancient Hawaiians and the lives they led by the property’s cultural advisor, Clifford Na’eole, as he educated us on the cultural roots and performed chants that echoed in the wind.

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We woke up bright and early for the E Ala E  (“Awaken”) West Maui Sunrise Hike through the Maunalei Arboretum. Perfectly secluded, we were the only hikers up there and we were guided by a well informed naturalist as we made our way into the native Pu’u Kukui Watershed, the area’s protected water source. Beware though! Puʻu Kukui is one of the wettest spots on Earth, so don’t forget to wear proper gear to protect yourself from the rain, mosquitos and muddy pathways.

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Last but not least, a short 20 minute car ride leads you to the town of Lahaina where you will find tons of shops, beaches, restaurants and more! Our first stop was at Aloha Mixed Plate, located right on the waterfront and the perfect spot for lunch! p.s. the coconut shrimp was to die for.

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For additional information or reservations, please visit The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua Maui

Hosted by The Ritz-Carlton | All words and opinions are my own.

 

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