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Planning Your Trip

Radiantly beautiful Maui — Hawaii’s second largest island — is one of the world’s most sought-after locations. Offering sparkling beaches, gorgeous sunsets, locavore dining and eco adventures, the island has something for everyone. The only conundrum? You may start planning to extend your trip as soon as you arrive.


Famed for its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters and miles of hiking trails, Maui beckons visitors to experience the outdoors.


  • Pack swimwear, sunscreen, a sun hat, sunglasses, sandals and casual wear or a chic cover-up for long days at the beach. Bring a lightweight jacket as well as long pants (men) and one or two going-out dresses (women) for evening.
  • Bring running shoes for working out (along with your usual fitness attire) and hiking. Take along one dressier pair of shoes for any business meetings or evenings out.
  • Don’t forget to have your camera (even if it’s just your smartphone camera) with you for every photo op. A waterproof case keeps your valuables dry and lets you take underwater photos, too.


Let the spirit of Aloha guide you on a mellow coastal escape to Maui, nature’s playground.



  • Plan to wear your swimwear with sandals and a cover-up or casual wear to the beach. Bring plenty of sunscreen, water and your favorite reading material in your beach bag. You can rent neoprene/wetsuits and watersports gear at the beach.
  • If you’re traveling with little ones, consider gear such as kid-friendly sunscreen, swim diapers, beach toys, hats and rash guards. A lightweight beach tent provides a shady place to play or nap.
  • If you’ll be island-hopping, packing cubes are a great way to stay organized without having to unpack in every destination. A nylon laundry bag separates your clean and dirty clothes — you can throw a wet swimsuit into it, too.


Plan for a few scheduled day trips in advance; otherwise, you may just decide to never leave the beach.



  • A sunrise or sunset hike up Mount Haleakala, Maui’s amazing dormant volcano, is a must. Aside from sturdy walking shoes, you’ll need warm layers — socks, hat, scarf, fleece jacket and long pants.
  • Bring sun hats, sunscreen and sunglasses for hiking (such as to Maunalei Arboretum), ATV rides or a whale-watching boat ride.
  • Carry a backpack or cross-body bag to hold your daily essentials, including electronic devices and extra water, while keeping your hands free.
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Don't Forget:

For more than a thousand years, Hawaiian culture developed independently from outside influences. Spanning cultural, culinary, artistic and spiritual practices, its origins are in the Polynesian people who first voyaged to Hawaii. Learning about and respecting these diverse traditions, from traditional healing to the art of hula, is at the soul of any meaningful Hawaiian journey. A little advance research will deepen your understanding — though once you arrive, you’ll find a warm introduction to the islands’ traditions from the Ladies and Gentlemen of the resort, including the hotel’s cultural adviser, Clifford Nae’ole.

A Kapalua itinerary is almost impossibly forgiving. Simply lounging on the beach and gazing out at the horizon does wonders for the soul. But there are a few experiences you won’t want to miss.

Dining Reservations

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The Maui dining scene is as vibrant as they come, with top-notch local ingredients and traditions to draw from, and a bevy of chef-led establishments making waves. The latest buzz is around the newly reimagined Banyan Tree restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua featuring a talented new chef, Isabelle “Bella” Toland. Classic Hawaiian recipes are deconstructed and redesigned with a local twist using Mediterranean cooking techniques to develop a menu that will enliven your senses through the ways of the islands. Fresh seafood is the star of the show, with dishes like the locally caught Fisherman’s Choice and the signature Mahi Mahi.   

Spa Appointments

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Long famed for its ancient healing energy, Maui is rich with native botanicals and restorative traditions that inspire and inform its modern five-star spa experience. Waihua (pure water) is the defining theme of The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Kapalua, where spa-goers can enjoy both indoor and outdoor treatments — including in private “hale” rooms for two — incorporating Hawaiian herbs grown in the hotel’s own organic garden. Signature treatments incorporate local traditions such as Lomilomi massage and pohaku wela (hot stones) as well as advanced skin-care techniques and ESPA products.


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Take in Kapalua’s dreamy coastline and technicolor sunset from the shade and privacy of your own luxurious cabana. At The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua, guests choose from two distinctive offerings to accommodate their group: Oasis Day Bed, for three guests or a Poolside Cabana Suite, the ultimate luxury experience for up to eight guests that includes a dedicated cabana attendant, seasonal tropical fruit, refreshing tray-passed bites, a selection of magazines, unlimited water and soft drinks, house sparkling wine, a credenza with refrigerator, a flat-screen TV and more.


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Beyond surfing, sunning and sipping, there are two land activities worth planning in advance. The first is a hike in Haleakala National Park, to the lip of its famed volcanic crater. The summit offers spectacular views of the blazing sky at sunrise and sunset, though darkness yields its own treat: a glittering firmament of shooting stars. The second is a drive on Maui’s Hana Highway, the 52-mile, winding jungle road as famed for hairpin turns and one-lane bridges as for unforgettable scenery: lush plant life, deep gorges and valleys, gushing waterfalls, expansive ocean views. It might even inspire you, as it did Georgia O’Keeffe, to pick up a paintbrush in pure astonishment.

A vision of lush land, pristine beaches and crystal, blue water, Maui has a well-earned reputation as a destination for adventurers and relaxation seekers alike. From swimming under waterfalls and sailing past whales to enjoying farm-to-table fare and handcrafted cocktails, there’s truly a Maui for everyone. And at the heart of it all is The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua, a secluded island resort that exudes the Aloha spirt and captivates guests with thoughtful amenities. Whether it’s your first trip or your 50th, there’s always something new to discover on the Valley Isle.

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Eco Adventures

In a place where the land is the lure, it’s no surprise that Maui has a long history of environmental stewardship. The island is home to pristine beaches, awe-inspiring mountains and stunning waterfalls, as well as a strong farm-to-table food movement that inspires chefs to draw from the bounty of the land. Gain a deeper sense of connection to the natural wonders and cultural traditions of Hawaii at The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua.


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Island Adventures

On the western edge of Maui, a lush tropical oasis awaits. Visitors to Kapalua find welcoming shores and immense beauty, similar to what attracted the area’s first inhabitants. Hike through verdant rainforest, snorkel beneath the ocean’s shimmering surface, cycle down the face of a dormant volcano or simply relax on golden-sand beaches.




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Top Things To Do

From spas to snorkeling, discover the best things to do, eat, and see in Maui, Hawaii. If the world is your oyster then consider The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua in Maui your gleaming pearl. Perched on the shore of the Pacific, this Hawaiian resort is the epitome of paradise. Here, blogger Karina Reske answers the call of the ocean alongside explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau. 


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