STAYING IN THE LAP OF LUXURY (FAMILY STYLE)
When it comes to accommodations with components just right for families, Kapalua Resort has several that fit the bill. Making the entire resort accessible no matter which property guests choose is a complimentary, resort-wide shuttle service.
Fans of turndown service and club level lounges should check into the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua. Ideal for guests with little ones are the Residential Suites that range from 900 to 2,550 square feet. Each Residential Suite has its own kitchen with a microwave, refrigerator and dishwasher. Cribs are available upon request.
Those looking to circumvent having to prepare their own meals may prefer club level accommodations where guests have access to a lounge with culinary offerings available throughout the day including breakfast, light snacks, hors d’ oeuvres, beverages and dessert. When hankering for a meal out, six dining venues on property are there to serve (see dining section).
Beyond time on D.T. Fleming Beach, families can relax in a cabana at the resort’s three-tiered, swimming pool and nearby children’s pool. A high-tech fitness center is open 24 hours a day for those seeking to fit in a workout. Perhaps a more luxuriant use of time can be had at The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Kapalua, where elements of bamboo, river rock and taro leaves beginning a calming process that culminates with a spa treatment. One to try – the traditional lomilomi massage in a treatment room with its own private outdoor shower garden.
Right next-door are the Bay Villas. These condo/townhomes come with oceanfront, ocean view and fairway view options. The cream of the crop are the Gold Villas with their state-of-the-art appliances, fine linens, and granite countertops. All villas range from 1,200 to 2,400 square feet and feature private lanais, full kitchens and in-unit laundry areas. Cribs are available upon request. Those requiring a cool dip can board the shuttle for the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua’s swimming pool.
Families looking for a home away from home during their vacation getaway will find their hearts’ desire at Kapalua Resort’s newest offering, The Ritz-Carlton Club and Residences, Kapalua Bay. Indeed, this fractional ownership property is ideal for those who have fallen in love with Maui and plan regular sojourns back.
An open-air lobby greets guests, the structure of which “frames” a stunning view of the Pacific and outlying islands of Moloka‘i and Lāna‘i. Leading up to the ocean is another body of water, the resort’s 8,500-square-foot lagoon pool with waterfalls and bridges. Great for grown-ups needing to decompress are in-pool loungers for relaxing over cocktails from the pool bar.
Beyond the pool, little ones will clamor to spend time in the Discovery Room, a place set aside just for them with games and arts and crafts. At times when numerous children are in residence, structured activities supervised by instructors are available. On property, too, is the Kapalua Spa. A cutting-edge fitness center allows for fitting in workouts and a hidden away infinity pool provides adult quiet-time. Best of all, though, are treatment hales, where deep-tissue massages can be had along with views of the Pacific.
Before the pampering begins, first things first — checking into accommodations. VIP treatment begins with a dedicated concierge who’s happy to arrange everything from having the kitchen stocked with necessary groceries to reserving activities. After check-in, guests arrive to their front door via a private entryway. Inside, club residences range from 1,912 to 2,257 square feet with two or three-bedrooms in cheery colors. Cribs are available upon request. Also included is a gourmet kitchen with upscale appliances, among them, a wine fridge. Equally exciting is the unit’s own laundry area. The place for lounging is the great room with a dining area that spills onto an expansive lanai, another great spot for family meals with Pacific vistas.
Though the accommodations at Kapalua Resort make it easy to prepare family meals during a stay, the restaurants on property call for indulging in meals made with local, farm fresh fare. Six dining venues are located within the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua. Best for breakfast is The Terrace Restaurant. Return visits for dinner should be made for entrees like the Volcano Spiced Baby Back Ribs or Cilantro and Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi. Sushi lovers can make reservations at Kai Sushi for its 20 varieties of sushi and sashimi, as well as Japanese cuisine. Sophisticated romance by tiki light calls for a parental date night at The Banyan Tree. Here, bites of farm fresh contemporary cuisine can be shared such as the Grilled Lamb Loin or Chorizo Crusted Opah.
Proving that meals needn’t be a dressy affair is the Honolua Store. A short walk from the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, the plantation-style venue serves breakfast and lunch as well as selling sundries, t-shirts and groceries. The place to enjoy mixed plates and entrees like Teriyaki chicken, Kalua Pork and Baked Mahimahi is the wrap-around porch.
Fans of flavors will be in heaven at the resort’s other three restaurants with their diverse menus. The Pineapple Grill serves Contemporary Pacific Island Cuisine for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch with signature dishes from Maui native, Chef Ryan Luckey like Maui Gold Pineapple-Miso Marinated Wild King Salmon and Pistachio & Wasabi Pea Crusted Rare Ahi Steak. Hawaiian Mediterranean Cuisine highlights The Plantation House’s menu. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served with prime seating overlooking the Plantation Golf Course. A few dishes to try along with weekly specials direct from Kapalua Farm — Seared Pacific Prawns and Roasted Muscovy Duck. Pacfic Rim and Japanese specialties are the order of the day at Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar with everything from Hawaiian Moi Rolls and Roasted Japanese Jerk Chicken.
A stay in Hawai‘i is incomplete without partaking in Hawai‘i Regional Cuisine. Lucky for Kapalua visitors, a restaurant owned by of one of the movements founding members is right on property – Merriman’s Kapalua. The views from the restaurant are so enchanting, senses may initially be caught up in the atmosphere. Once entrees like Organic Kapalua Farms Beet and Red Wine Risotto or Butter Poached Keahole Lobster tastebuds definitely kick in. Not to be left out, kids have their own menu with dishes like Broiled Fresh Island Fish with Steamed Veggies and Mini Maui Cattle Cheeseburgers. After dinner, a firepit fronting the ocean calls. Even better, diners can take a moonlit walk on a path along the ocean.
AMBASSADORS OF THE ENVIRONMENT
With a passion as strong as his father’s, Jacques Cousteau, for the environment, Jean-Michel Cousteau has been working over 15 years with Dr. Richard Murphy, the Ocean Futures Society and Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company to bring the Ambassadors of the Environment (AOTE) program to the masses. “How can you protect what you don’t understand?” Cousteau says of one of the many reasons AOTE was created.
Kapalua is just one of three Ritz-Carlton resorts offering the Ambassadors of the Environment Program (AOTE). Others can be found at the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman and most recently, the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel. One reason the resorts work so well as hosts of the AOTE are their nature-made “laboratories” and seaside locations. Participants register for hands-on adventures led by naturalists such as sailing, underwater digital photography, hiking and gardening.
The program is available for ages four to adults (depending on location). As for youth who enroll in AOTE, Cousteau sees much promise. “We share our passion and concerns with young people in a very positive and constructive way,” he says. “When they leave AOTE, they know they have a job to do and we provide them with tools to do it, whether in school or at home.”
As for the fate of the planet, Cousteau says there’s more than hope, particularly when it comes to today’s youth. “They’re the ones who are going to carry the baton.”