In Kapalua, cocktail hour has traditionally been about a lone hula dancer, a slack-key guitar, and a classic mai tai: simple, quiet, and elegant. Several years ago its original resort, the Kapalua Bay Hotel, was razed and replaced with time-shares that never seemed to fit the setting. Now, Montage Hotels & Resorts is replacing the time-shares with a small hotel scheduled to open in early 2014. With just 50 suites, the Montage Kapalua Bay is poised to become one of—if not the—most luxurious resorts on Maui.
Back in the day, weddings were more like family reunions than island blow-outs, and the resort was a perfect spot for just-the-two-of-us elopements. And the new resort’s ultra-luxe suites—really the size of large apartments—will be ideal for small ceremonies on their massive lanais, or perhaps something a little grander beside the multi-tiered lagoon pool, with views of a Pacific bay where snorkelers share the waves with sea turtles.
Far from Maui’s T-shirt shops and hamburger joints, Kapalua sits on the island’s northwest shore; in addition to condos and residences, you’ll find a couple of golf courses, marine sanctuaries, and spectacular beaches.
Keep in mind
A lot of what’s planned is still under wraps, but if you want a preview, check out Montage’s other resorts—in Beverly Hills, Laguna Beach, and Deer Valley. They set themselves apart from the competition by striving for a true sense of place. If you’re scouting for a Hawaiian location that has roots in the past, an appreciation of island culture, restaurants that rely heavily on local bounty, and the kind of genuine hospitality that will have you weeping on the flight home, we think this may be the spot.