COURTESY KAPALUA RESORT
This is the first of four bridges that will be part of the ropes challenge course when Kapalua Adventures Mountain Outpost opens on Jan. 7, 2008.
Kapalua gets a makeover full of luxury
Kapalua Resort, a 23,000-acre master-planned resort community in West Maui, will welcome the new year by unveiling its most extensive new developments since it opened nearly 30 years ago, and plans for much more.
About $500 million in construction and renovations are under way. When all the projects are completed by 2025, the cost of the renaissance will exceed $1 billion. Here's what you can expect:
The "New" Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, closed on July 2 to start a $130 million transformation, the largest in the history of the Ritz-Carlton Co.
» Place: Maui's northwest coast, 10 miles north of Lahaina, a 10-minute drive from Kapalua Airport
» Year opened: 1978
» Accommodations: The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua (www.ritzcarlton.com, 262-8440) and Kapalua Villas and Kapalua Luxury Homes (www.kapalua.com, 545-0018)
» Amenities: Two championship golf courses (the Bay and the Plantation, which is the home of the PGA Tour Mercedes-Benz Championship); Kapalua Golf Academy (with an 85,000-square-foot grass teeing area, an 18-hole putting course, a 3,500-square-foot learning center and PGA teaching professionals); Kapalua Tennis Garden (a 10-court tennis complex managed by Peter Burwash International); and three white-sand beaches (Oneloa Bay, D.T. Fleming Beach and Kapalua Bay)
» Call: (800) KAPALUA (527-2582)
» E-mail: email@example.com
» Web site: www.kapalua.com
» Call: 665-4386 on Maui, toll-free (877) 665-4386 from the other islands
» E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
» Web site: www.kapaluaadventures.com
The Residences at Kapalua Bay
The Ritz-Carlton Club, Kapalua Bay: (866) 545-8839, www.kapaluabay.com
When it reopens on Jan. 7, the luxurious AAA Five-Diamond property will have 338 renovated guest rooms and 107 new one- and two-bedroom wholly owned Residential Suites, prices for which range from $895,000 to $6 million (see www.livingkapalua.com).
Guests also will enjoy enhanced food-and-beverage outlets, including Kai Sushi, a new Japanese restaurant; a new children's pool and additional kids' activities; and upgrades to the Waihua Spa and Wellness Center, which has been expanded to two levels and 14,000 square feet.
Exuding a tropical ambience, the spa's interior design incorporates coconut and seashell accents; handsome wood flooring and wall treatments; rugs with tapa motifs; and Hawaiian-themed creations by local artists that reflect the healing nature of the islands.
All staff members will speak the Hawaiian language; therapies from Hawaii, Tahiti and the Marquesas Islands will be offered; and most of the treatment rooms will open to private gardens with outdoor showers. Two cabanas in the spa's garden have been built for couples' massages, and there will be a coed relaxation area along with separate men's and women's lounges.
By May the hotel will launch the Ambassadors of the Environment program, which will promote stewardship of Hawaii's fragile ecosystem. Age-appropriate activities for children, teens and adults include planting trees at the resort, doing reef and fish evaluations, and learning about humpback whales on excursions with a naturalist in winter months.
Kapalua Adventures will provide a host of exciting new eco-friendly activities, the first of which, Mountain Outpost, will open on Jan. 7.
Located on the slopes of the West Maui Mountains, Mountain Outpost promises thrills via two suspension bridges, a ropes challenge course, a climbing tower and eight dual-track ziplines (among the fastest and longest zipline systems in North America). Each component has been designed with minimal impact on Hawaii's fragile ecosystem in mind.
Guests will check in at the new 4,500-square-foot Kapalua Adventure Center, which houses a shop selling clothing and gear; a cafe serving fresh, healthy fare; a coffee bar specializing in Hawaiian coffees; and a multimedia information center staffed by concierges versed in the area's history, culture, flora, fauna, geology and geography.
Ten percent of Kapalua Adventures' profits will be earmarked for Maui Land & Pineapple Co.'s 9,881-acre Puu Kukui Watershed Preserve in the West Maui Mountains. The largest private preserve in Hawaii, it harbors 18 rare and endangered native plants.
In addition, 100 miles of hiking and biking trails will be completed by 2012. Use of all trails will be free and open to the public.
The first two trails, the Village Walking Trail and the Maunalei Arboretum Trail, opened in August. The scenic 3.5-mile Kapalua Coastal Trail from Kapalua Bay to Honolua Bay should be completed by the end of 2008.
COURTESY KAPALUA RESORT
The Residences at Kapalua Bay will open by April 2009 with luxury living for those who can afford to pay $3.9 million or more.
COURTESY KAPALUA RESORT
Kapalua Adventures also promises a thrilling ride via eight dual-track ziplines, among the longest system in North America.
Two luxury real estate developments managed by the Ritz-Carlton will open by April 2009 on the 24-acre oceanfront site of the former Kapalua Bay Hotel.
Comprising 84 wholly owned condominiums, the Residences at Kapalua Bay feature three- and four-bedroom floor plans ranging from 3,000 to 4,200 square feet. Prices start at $3.9 million.
The Ritz-Carlton Club, Kapalua Bay, offers 62 two- and three-bedroom residences running from 1,900 to 2,250 square feet. Prices begin at $300,000 for deeded one-12th fractional ownership interests.
Residents of both properties will receive golf and dining privileges at Kapalua Resort and access to a private beach club; a 25,000-square-foot spa; and a recreation area with a swimming pool, grill and bar.
The Village at Kapalua Resort: Forty acres in the heart of Kapalua have been designated for this pedestrian-friendly community of boutiques, restaurants, parks, walking paths and homes that blend elegant interiors with charming plantation-style exteriors.
Phase I of the Honolua Village Center restaurant and retail complex opened in fall 2006. Work on Phase II of the Center and the Pines condominiums will commence in mid-2008, followed by construction of the Makaoioi condominiums in 2009. The Village is slated for 2011 completion.
Kapalua Mauka: Meandering over 925 acres in the foothills of the West Maui Mountains, Kapalua Mauka will encompass luxury homes and condominiums; the Mauka Course, a members-only 18-hole golf course designed by golf course architect Tom Fazio; and a private 18,000-square-foot clubhouse and restaurant. Construction on Phase I will begin in 2008, with work continuing over the next 15 to 20 years.
Cheryl Chee Tsutsumi is a Honolulu-based free-lance writer and Society of American Travel Writers award winner.