Welcome to our new format for family-friendly hotel reviews! Here we are giving you the family-friendly basics—why, where, what, how much and a few other essential bits of info. We'll be compiling as many of these as we can, but we'd also love for YOU, yes, you to submit your own reviews. So drop us a line. We can't wait to read your stuff! Love, T+G.
Why We Chose It: Our family has been to Maui plenty of times, but we always end up staying in Wailea which has a slew of family-friendly resorts. Yet this summer after spending a few hectic fun-filled days at the Grand Wailea, we wanted to see a different side of Maui. The Ritz-Carlton came highly recommended and given how keiki-friendly it is, there was no hesitation for us to book it.
The Location: Kapalua is on the north west part of Maui, past the "big" city of Lahaina, bordered by the West Maui Rainforest and some stunning beaches and marine preserves. The Ritz-Carlton itself is located within the Kapalua development where the new Montage resort also resides, along with the Kapalua Villas.
The island looks different from here. It's less congested and calmer, although it can be windier at times. And once you get beyond the main areas of the resort, this spot of the island feels almost isolated. Which is just the vibe we were going for after coming from Wailea. For what it's worth, The Ritz-Carlton is also responsible for maintaining the Honokahua Preservation Site, a recognized “wahi pana” (sacred site) in front of the resort where Native Hawaiians often hold traditional ceremonies.
The Amenities: Our one-bedroom suite came with a large kitchenette with a dishwasher, microwave, small fridge, and plenty of utensils. The sitting area was separated from the master bedroom by a door, and the sectional sofa transformed into a great bed for the girls (ages 7 and 5 at the time.) A pack n' play was brought up for the baby with adorable toiletries and amenities. Ultimately, we ended up putting him in the walk-in closet because he's the type of kid that needs to sleep in total darkness. But that's what so great about this room! It fits everyone.
Another perk to this room was the long balcony that overlooked the pool and parts of the ocean. The balcony walls were solid walls and high enough for us not to worry about the baby walking outside. And the bathrooms are heavenly for families. There's a shower and a bathtub, stocked with Asprey toiletries, and the toilet has its own door. Lol.
The Rest of the Hotel: Being a Ritz-Carlton, this hotel has a Ritz-Carlton Club Level and the Club Lounge, where you can get a light breakfast and snacks/drinks throughout the day, is so worth the money when traveling with children. That said, there are some restaurants on-site you won't want to miss like the Ulana restaurant's breakfast buffet and the Burger Shack down near the beach. It was a bit windy and rainy during our stay (Hurricane Hector was coming through), but we managed some quality time at the pool deck which is a tri-level affair with the top pool reserved for adults.
The poolside cabanas are a splurge we recommend making, not just because they are so chic and gorgeous, but because they are rather large with flat-screen TVs and stocked mini-fridges. If you've got small children, you'll really appreciate this pool deck because just beyond the little baby pool is a full-on play structure. It's incredible. Just be sure to reserve your cabana near this.
There's so much more offered at this resort that we didn't even get to explore like the spa, the golf, and other off-resort activities but just know that if there's something you want to do, you can do it from here.
The Kids Club: Getting some info about the Ritz Kids club was a little confusing when we checked-in, but later we learned that there are two daily sessions in the Ritz Kids clubhouse which is of course, part of the Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment (as all Ritz Kids programs are.) The sessions are offered in the morning and the afternoon with a break for lunch. The clubhouse is super cool but the activities are even cooler. There is an extra cost and it is expensive, about $85 a child.
Bonus Tips: Just beyond the grounds of the Ritz-Carlton is the Honolua Market where you can stock up on snacks and food and any other items that you might need during your stay, but for which you don't want to pay resort prices.
The Rates: Room rates start around $720 a night in mid-January but will obviously be much more during peak season. A one-bedroom suite like this one is going for $940 a night. Club Level Rooms are often about $150-$200 more. There is also a $35 daily resort fee.
*Disclosure: We stayed at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua for two nights on a travel agent rate. All other on-property expenses were paid by us.
If you're interested in booking the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua for your next family vacation, let me know!