When vacationing with little ones, there's something really nice about being able to have some of the comforts of home combined with the conveniences of a resort. That's the sweet spot occupied by the recently overhauled Residences at the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua on Maui.
During a January visit to the property with my husband and our then 6-month-old son, Niko, staying in one of the one-bedroom Residences offered several welcome family-friendly features, including a kitchen area complete with a double-burner stove, refrigerator, dishwasher, convection microwave, toaster, blender, coffeemaker and a high-top dining area. The kitchen was stocked with dishes, pots and pans and utensils, and requests for an electric kettle can be fulfilled.
For many families, including ours, being able to prepare some meals in the room can help with costs and tricky mealtime schedules. In our case, Niko goes to sleep by 8 p.m., so we could cook a nice dinner after that and relax in the laid-back living room on the L-shaped couch or on the balcony while he slept. We bought our groceries in nearby towns as well as at the Honolua Store, which is walking distance from the resort. The hotel offers an in-room shopping program for guests who want to order items in advance that will be stocked in the room upon their arrival.
The Ritz-Carlton’s Residences have a separate living area and a kitchen that is ideal for families.
The door that closes between the bedroom and the living area of the Residences is key for families with kids who go to bed earlier so that parents can still relax after the child's bedtime without having to tiptoe around in the dark. The complimentary laundry room for guests staying in the Residences was also a big plus. (Kids produce a shocking amount of laundry.)
Following a $25 million renovation that was completed in July, the one- and two-bedroom Residences were created with sleek, clean and contemporary interiors, making parents feel as though this is as much a vacation for them as it is for the tots. For adults looking to indulge or relax a bit more, there are several upscale dining venues throughout the property, an on-site spa and spa services (including poolside for those who would like to stay near the family) and a recently enhanced fitness center with updated equipment and daily classes.
But the Ritz definitely makes the littles feel welcome, too. After checking in, there was a welcome kit waiting for Niko with some baby-friendly toiletries, a couple of rubber duckies and a board book, all of which were sweetly tucked into a Ritz Kids mini-tote and were promptly put to use.
As per the tote, there is a bona fide Ritz Kids program at the resort, for ages 5 to 14, with nature-focused classes and activities available Mondays through Fridays through the Jean-Michel Cousteau Ambassadors of the Environment program. A kiddie pool with an adjacent playground as well as a private beach, which hosts the fun daytime eating venue Burger Shack, are all great options for families, as well.
The Burger Shack opened last year, and its decadent shakes and juicy burgers appeared to be a hit with kids and grown-ups alike. Connected families will also appreciate that the Ritz-Carlton has overhauled its wireless, high-speed internet, and all guestrooms and suites now allow up to five devices to stream simultaneously.
The kitchen comes complete with appliances and utensils, making it easier for families with children to prepare their own meals. Photo Credit: Michelle Baran
The centerpiece of the resort is the large, open and airy lobby area, where couples and families can hang out around fire pits or have a view of the ocean on the sprawling deck.
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua also hosts weekly cultural activities and has an activity center; offers on-site car-rental services, complimentary shuttle service throughout Kapalua, around-the-clock room and concierge service and valet and self-parking; and has a business center.
The 10,000-square-foot pool area recently received new lounge chairs and sunbeds (that were also popular with families with their partial shading for sun protection). The three-tiered swimming pool features family-friendly and adults-only swimming areas.
For guests who want added shade, amenities and personalized service, the hotel offers several cabana experiences, both at the beach and by the pool, ranging from $75 to $450 per day, including refreshments and in the case of the poolside cabana suites, a television, refrigerator, outlets and robes, among other perks.
Deluxe rooms at the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua start at $515 per night, double, and the Residences start at $820 per night. Additional information can be found at www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/kapalua-maui.