The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua

Cool Breezes, Picturesque Views

Set on a windswept hill, The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua is situated on a 23,000-acre resort with a pineapple plantation. Cool breezes and picturesque ocean views blend with a sense of well-being and space — a rare treat, given that Maui is traditionally known for its crowded vacation stays.

Having undergone a $180 million transformation in January 2008 — the biggest, most expensive and quickest renovation The Ritz-Carlton has ever undertaken — The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua now boasts 463 guest rooms including 107 residential suites, a 17,500-square-foot spa and fitness center, two championship golf courses and seven luxury poolside cabanas, which come complete with cabana attendants, iPod docking stations, electronic safes, cell phone outlets and flat screen TV monitors with wireless headphones.

Along with the amazing new amenities, The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua also offers a traditional Hawaiian experience with its complimentary "Sense of Place" program. Created and designed by the hotel's Cultural Advisor Clifford Nae’ole, the program will give you a greater understanding of Hawaii's rich cultural heritage with a documentary film, a walking tour to the border of the Honokahua Preservation Site and a "talking story" series, bringing in experts in various areas of Hawaiian history and culture to share their knowledge.

If you want to further indulge in Hawaii's bounty, you can learn about the surrounding tropical beauty at Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ambassadors of the Environment center. Kids and adults alike are welcome to partake in educational courses and excursions led by expert naturalists who teach about such topics as sea turtles, coral reefs, humpback whales, navigational star systems and underwater photography. When class is over, make sure to stop by the organically managed gardens located behind the center and survey the several varieties of fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables that are harvested daily for the hotel's restaurants.

Once steeped in local lore and insider knowledge, you're bound to appreciate your accommodations that much more. With every room sporting its own spacious lanai (balcony), it's impossible to not feel relaxed and refreshed as you take in your ocean views, soak in your marble bath and admire the Hawaiian-inspired artwork on your walls.

For recreation, you can work up a sweat at either the Arnold Palmer and Francis Duane Bay golf course or the Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore Plantation golf course before heading back to the superb spa for some much needed R&R. You'll find yourself at one with nature in the spa, whose natural colors reflect the upland forest landscape. And while you're deciding between the Organic Raw Earth Hydrating Pedicure and the Customized Organic Facial, your children will be well taken care of at the Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ambassadors of the Environment children's program. Unwind worry free, knowing they're off on a wild water day learning about tropical reef fish or a super sports day experiencing traditional Hawaiian outdoor games, such as Moa Pahe'e (dart sliding).

Once you've worked up a hearty appetite participating in one of the many activities The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua has to offer, you will appreciate the resort's six different dining facilities. At Kai Sushi you can enjoy sushi rolls, sashimi or sizzling Japanese appetizers overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

It's no surprise that you may want to make this sanctuary your home away from home, an opportunity made possible by the 84 private ownership residences. Set on a 24-acre oceanfront promontory within the resort itself, these high-end homes provide everything from a personal concierge and 24-hour security to access to all amenities, including the golf courses and the spa.

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The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua

1 Ritz-Carlton Dr. (Office Rd.) Kapalua HI 96761 U.S.

Breezy oceanfront sophistication in a serene setting.