Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua, Kapalua
Kapalua , Hawaii
Tel: 800 241 3333 (toll-free)
Tel: 808 669 6200
Concierge.com's insider take:
This 570-room resort reopened in December 2007 after a much-needed Hawaiian make-under. The $180 million renovation added a spa, refreshed the public spaces, and replaced the dated and out-of-place preppy guest-room decor with contemporary furnishings in simple dark wood, muted tropical prints, and some wacky lamps. The Banyan Tree restaurant has also been spruced up, and its menu of Pacific Rim dishes with a molecular-gastronomy twist puts it in the running for the title of Maui's top restaurant. The Ritz-Carlton's location in remote Kapalua—the community beyond Lahaina, Kaanapali, and Napili—is both the worst and best thing about it. (Kapalua is a 45-minute drive from the Kahului Airport, but a mere five minutes from the West Maui Airport, which serves inter-island flights only.) To occupy those who don't want to just lie on the beach, there are two 18-hole golf courses, a historic pineapple plantation, a 10,000-square-foot three-tiered pool (with a 20,000-square-foot sundeck), six tennis courts, and an adventure center with a two-mile-long series of zip lines. Lahaina and Kaanapali are close by, as is the famous surf break of Honolua Bay—not really a swimming spot, but if the surfers are out, it's a prime location for spectators.