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Where to live in Aloha!

One of the reasons why we chose to spend our vacation on the Hawaiian islands was because of our Maui experience, in July 2013.  We chose the same resort for our stay,  The Ritz Carlton Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii, for many reasons, but most importantly because we couldn’t imagine staying anywhere else.  With our tennis racquets in tow, we embarked on the last leg of our Hawaiian adventure. 

We flew from Honolulu, on Island Air to Maui.  As we waited for our flight in the Honolulu airport we noticed that Island Air also flew directly to Kapalua (next time we will fly to Kapalua direct, instead of Maui).  We took an Uber from the airport area to the resort (tip: Uber will not pick up at the airport,  we were picked up off airport property.  The Uber ride was around $45 in comparison to the taxi which will cost around $135 to $150).  The drive from Maui airport to Kapalua was a breathtaking coastline drive, around 45 minutes to an hour.   As a bonus, our Uber driver shared with us the great places to surf in the area and the different surfing trends in Maui.  We were dropped off at our resort, The Ritz Carlton, Kapalua.

We stayed on the club level of the Ritz Carlton, Kapalua with an Oceanview room.  The club lounge offered its own club concierge plus several offerings throughout the day (breakfast, lunch, snacks, beverages and dessert).  The concierge was very knowledgeable about the local restaurants, activities such as luaus (you have to experience a luau once – we did last visit, arranged through the Ritz Carlton Kapalua), golf (on property), other excursions such as helicopter tours and of course, where to play tennis!

We were excited to play tennis on one of the two tennis courts at the Ritz Carlton, Kapalua since during our last stay, the courts on property, were under construction.   We were told racquets and balls were available for our use; however, we brought our own and walked down the trail of the resort towards the ocean.  The tennis courts were nestled in the hill with the resort view on one side and the ocean view on the other, next to a pavilion.  If you continued to walk a short distance, down to the beach, the Burger Shack is known for their burgers and shakes, with oceanside seating in its coconut grove.   We played on the pristine tennis courts despite the October trade winds, our biggest opponent, with the ocean as our back drop.  We were in paradise.

When staying at the Ritz Carlton, Kapalua, guests have access to the Kapalua Golf Resort and Tennis Garden.  Shuttles are available to take guests to the many restaurants, golf or tennis.  We planned our next couple of days with semi – private lessons with the head pro.  We were also invited by the Kapalalua Tennis Garden staff to play in the daily organized mixed doubles that day.  We headed to the resorts pool after playing tennis.  On the way down to the pool, we passed the fitness center and spa.  The resort offered many classes including yoga and a resort hike.   After a leisurely time at the pool, we stopped at the spa to set up a spa appointment.

The resort’s spa was phenomenal.  The spa shop carried a large line of merchandise from yoga clothing to beauty supplies.  I found vitamin drops for my water bottle, to try out.  I thought it would be a great way to remember to take my vitamins.  I booked my massage which came with an complimentary foot treatment (perfect for my tennis feet).  The locker rooms had their own steam room, sauna, and its own relaxation room.  I loved how the relaxation room was set up with chaise lounges, separated by sheer curtains.  It was private yet open, with soft lighting.  The spa assistant provided me with a warm neck heated wrap, as I waited for my massage.  My massage was amazing!   Afterward, the therapist showed me to a coed outdoor lounge with its waterfall fountain.  It was a little bit of paradise in the spa.  The spa reception explained that if you did not book a spa treatment, daily spa use was $25.  The Ritz Carlton Kapalua Spa delivered an experience almost as rewarding as our time at the Kapalua Tennis Garden.

At the Kapalua Tennis Garden in Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii, we played tennis with the Head Tennis Professional, Nick Provenza.  Nick Provenza formerly was a Tennis Professional for the Four Seasons Resort in Orlando, Florida.    Nick challenged us from beginning to the end of each drill.  We had great takeaways from our time with Nick.   We were surprised after just hitting once with him that he could offer unique constructive advice.  It was difficult when it was time to return home from Maui, because tennis with Nick was that good, at the Kapalua Tennis Garden!

The advice that Nick gave me was:  when receiving serve from the Ad court side, I should take a couple of steps to the left.  He said, with a big forehand, by standing more to the left, I should be able to receive a lot more forehand opportunities.  If the server hits down the middle, I should still be able to return that ball, too!  I banked his good advice for my next match (and it worked!).   

The Kapalua Tennis Garden, offered many clinics daily,  for different levels to sign up, as well as daily organized double, round robins.  The Pro Shop was well stocked with anything you might need for tennis with friendly assistance to ensure all your tennis needs were met!  The Kapalua butterfly vibration dampener purchased from the Pro Shop was placed on my tennis racquets as a reminder of our exceptional experience. The symbol for Kapalua is a butterfly with a pineapple in the middle.  We were told that the butterfly stands for the transformation from agricultural land to resort and the pineapple stands for hospitality.  Our visit to Kapalua Tennis Garden epitomized the Kapalua symbol from beginning to end.    We only had two days at this great tennis facility, but we definitely had great tennis instruction and workouts.

After our workout, we had lunch at the club lounge (For those with avoid gluten, the club lounge offered many gluten free choices, including gluten free bread upon request).  We then hiked along the ocean trail near the resort (about 2 1/2 miles).  We chose a path to the Cliff house, a specialty restaurant perched on a cliff, with waves crashing below.  At the end of the rocky path, we ran into a large group of Hawaiian teenagers, as they dove from the cliff, into the ocean.  They bravely timed their dives with the waves as their friends watched and basked in the sun on the cliffs, high above the ocean.  After the tide became stronger, we continued to walk along the coastline while the waves broke against the rocks with awesome force.  We were in paradise, in the middle of the ocean.

At the end of each day, on the back balcony facing the ocean, at the Ritz Carlton, Kapalua, the slow rhythmic beat of the pahu drum brought out the Hawaiian Native, who chanted towards the sunset and blew into her conch shell as the sun set.  It was a beautiful way to be thankful for so many things.

Mahalo, Maui!  We were truly blessed to have had the opportunity to visit Maui, Hawaii.  From hiking alongside the ocean, playing tennis at the Kapalua Tennis Garden, the delicious epicurean offerings of the club lounge, relaxing Spa and awesome sunset serenade, The Ritz Carlton Kapalua as one of the the best places to live in Aloha!

I would be honored if you would share this review or like it!  Please share your comments or own experience!

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