Named for its dramatic lava peninsulas, Kapalua is one of Hawaii's premier resort areas.
Its shoreline is lined with five bays and three white-sand beaches, one of which has been designated "1991's Best Beach in America" by "Dr. Beach" Stephen P. Leatherman in his annual survey.
Kapalua loosely translates to "arms embracing the sea," and it is so welcoming that monk seals often visit its shores.
Situated on Maui's scenic northwest coast at the foot of the verdant Kahalawai, or West Maui Mountains, Kapalua is a 1,650-acre destination resort set amidst 23,000 acres of privately owned pineapple plantation.
The luxury resort and master-planned community features a rare native rainforest, a protected marine life conservation district, an ancient Hawaiian burial ground, and golf courses that double as wildlife sanctuaries.
In the 1800's, it was known as the Honolua Ranch and later became the Honolua Plantation when Kapalua's acres of grassy slopes were converted to geometric patterns of silver-blue pineapple fields.
Throughout the resort, historic Cook pines add a striking silhouette to hidden pathways and mountain vistas.
Adorning the property are many varieties of flowers and trees, planted generations ago, ranging from breadfruit, lychee and mango to flowering ginger and ti leaf plants.
In this magnificent landscape appear historic sites, such as the Honolua Store, churches, and plantation homes, which recall in poignant detail the cultural development of Kapalua.
The resort area features two world class resort accommodations. The Kapalua Villas are the only Maui condominium rentals with Kapalua golf and resort privileges.
The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua Resort is a 463-room resort offering stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the island of Molokai. The resort recently completed an extensive $180 million transformation.
Guests at the resort create their own mix of leisure at their own chosen pace. Kapalua's restaurants are varied and renowned, attracting diners from all over the island - and the world.
Other choices include two award-winning tennis complexes, walking and jogging paths, scuba, kayaking, sailing and snorkeling, three white-sand beaches, and shopping in more than 20 boutiques and galleries.
Kapalua features three championship golf courses, each one a challenge in a setting of staggering natural beauty. All three courses have been declared Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuaries by the Audubon Society of New York, due to their environmental efforts to conserve water, reduce chemicals and protect the native species.
Each January, The Plantation course is the home of the Mercedes Championships.
Kapalua Wine & Food Symposium:
The resort has assumed a role of leadership in bringing the finer things of life to Maui with its annual Kapalua Wine & Food Symposium, an event that draws the world's top vintners, chefs, and food and wine experts.
Along with the growing numbers of people who appreciate good food and fine wine, these culinary leaders celebrate the creative edge of their fields with tastings, seminars, and gala dinners and demonstrations.
One of the "World's Best Places to Stay":
Named on Condé Nast Traveler's 2004 Gold List as one of the "World's Best Places to Stay," this property offers fine dining, championship golf courses tennis complexes and low-rise accommodations that embrace Maui's finest beach.
It's hard to remember that all this happens on a tropical island at a resort surrounded by a pineapple plantation, just a few miles from a little Hawaiian village where people farm, raise pigs and pound their taro into poi.