Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua: At 25, updates abound

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The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua recently unveiled upgrades to its poolside furnishings, landscaping and guestrooms.
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua recently unveiled upgrades to its poolside furnishings, landscaping and guestrooms.
As the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua celebrates its 25th anniversary, the luxury property is preparing for the final stages of a three-year revamp and unveiling its latest enhancements.


When the resort was purchased by a group of investors including Honolulu-based Trinity Investments in late 2016, it had recently wrapped up a $25 million renovation to its residences. The new owners kept the refresh going, pouring $30 million more into the resort, unveiling updates to the dining options, guestrooms and pool area in January.

The resort, comprising 463 guestrooms and 107 residential suites on Maui's north shore, last saw major renovations in 2008, and the multiyear project will conclude with redesigns to the property's signature restaurants.

Most recently, Philpotts & Associates Interior Design revamped the guestrooms in a modern motif featuring sand, azure blue and deep green tones.

"We wanted the rooms to be contemporary but reflect island luxury," said Mike Kass, general manager of the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua. "We wanted to reflect the sense of nature, calm and aloha that you feel being in Kapalua. We have floor-to-ceiling windows and maintain that connection to the outdoors."

Rooms are now equipped with 55-inch LCD TVs, enhanced high-speed internet and multiple outlets in bedside tables.

"The WiFi can handle 10 devices streaming simultaneously, so everyone in the family can watch a different Netflix show," Kass said.

In addition to the guestrooms, the poolside furnishings have also been refreshed. The resort's cultural adviser led the replanting and changes to the landscaping with a focus on featuring more native plants, such as hibiscus and puakenikeni and hala trees. Permanent palapas were added in addition to cloth umbrellas and chaise lounges around the 10,000-square-foot pool. The cabanas were redone with custom metal and wood frames and cushioned seating, while the plush cabana suites feature TVs, butler service and private refrigerators.

Kai Cafe, the grab-and-go coffee spot near the lobby, recently opened and features Honolulu Coffee along with sandwiches, wraps, salads and other light fare.

"I'm a fan of the Hawaiian latte, it has this custom-crafted syrup of coconut and macadamia … and the egg white burrito with green onion, avocado and Ezekiel sprouted-grain tortilla," Kass said. "That's a good breakfast right there to start the day and maybe go explore the beach."

New works by Maui artists have been added to the property, and the resort has also started commissioning a floral showpiece that is changed weekly, Kass said, an eye-catching display of tropical colors that has quickly become a popular spot for photos.

In coming months, the Ritz-Carlton will invest $2 million in a renovation of the breakfast restaurant, the Terrace, including a new buffet and lighting, according to Kass. Later in 2018, the Banyan Tree restaurant will also be redone with new covered, open-air seating and other additions.

"Those are the last two major projects," Kass said. "We should have all of the renovations wrapped up this year."

The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua is part of the 22,000-acre Kapalua Resort.

Standard room rates start at approximately $500. See www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/kapalua-maui.

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