Updated 11.24.2018: Romantic accommodations in a quiet, scenic setting with unassuming personal service is my kind of luxury travel experience. And that’s exactly what I found when the Maui Visitor’s Bureau invited me to stay at Montage Kapalua Bay.
Although I’ve traveled to Maui twice before, this was my first time venturing to the Kapalua area. What I discovered was a corner of Maui with a low-key, upscale vibe. Just the way I like my tropical vacations.
It’s the little things that stand out for me when I think of my stay at Montage Kapalua Bay. Sure, it’s a gorgeous property offering 50 luxury suites (available in two and three bedroom units) with the largest balconies that I’ve ever seen. But it was the anticipation of my every need that impressed me the most.
Service with a smile (and they know my name)
Anticipating guests’ needs is a hallmark of exemplary personal service. At Montage Kapalua Bay, it was as if the staff knew what I wanted before I did. Let me give you a few examples:
- After the valet service parked my car for the first time, the attendant called me by name, as did the rest of the Montage staff during my entire stay.
- Each time I got in my car, the valet handed me the seatbelt in an unspoken reminder to drive safely. And there was a chilled bottle of water waiting in the cup holder.
- At turndown service, a bottle of water was placed on the nightstand next to the bed, along with a sweet treat. And a few strategic lights were turned on throughout the suite plus privacy drapes were drawn.
- The coffeemaker was cleaned (I used it several times a day) and ready for the next use. I’m not sure where the housekeeping staff was hiding but that coffeemaker was always clean and waiting.
- When I asked at Cane and Canoe (the main restaurant) if they served half portions of eggs benedict, the reply was, “This is Montage, we’ll do anything you want.”
Although it was tempting to hang out in my three-bedroom suite—the well-equipped kitchen with wine cooler and Sub-Zero refrigerator was so gorgeous that it tempted me to actually cook—the pool and grounds kept calling my name. The pool, appropriately named Sunset Pool, tumbles down a hill toward the Pacific in a series of pools and alcoves. I had no problem getting away from it all in an out-of-the-way spot to relax on a lounge chair by the water. In fact, I’m not sure I could have exhausted all of the hidden spots by the pool during a week’s stay.
For privacy, quiet and views of Kapalua Bay Beach, walk on over to the pool at the Beach Club. On my two visits, I was the only one there.
And kudos to the landscape architect. Walking on the many paths that wind through Montage Kapalua Bay, trees and shrubs towered over me, shielding the view of buildings while making me feel as if I was truly taking a walk in nature.
Relaxation at the beach and the spa
With a location that fronts Montage Kapalua Bay, it’s not hard to find relaxation whether walking along the path in front of the resort or pulling up a couple of lounge chairs to enjoy Kapalua Bay Beach. Like all of the beaches in Hawaii, this one is open to the public. But you’re enjoying one of the world’s best beaches—ask Dr. Beach—known for easy snorkeling, colorful reef fish, calm waters and dramatic sunsets.
For deeper relaxation, book a lomi lomi massage at Spa Montage, that’s what I did. As I listened to the soothing sounds of a trickling water feature outside the private massage hut, my travel stress melted away under the therapist’s rhythmic massage strokes.
Families will appreciate the spa services offered for teens and children. And a fitness center provides equipment and classes to keep you healthy and fit. Next time, I’m booking an ocean front exercise class.
Fine Dining with a Casual Flair
What could be better than watching a vibrant sunset while enjoying a dinner sourced from local ingredients? That’s what I found at Cane and Canoe, Montage Kapalua Bay’s fine dining restaurant. Seating spills out onto a terrace in a seamless mix of outdoor/indoor dining, while menu choices blend Hawaii’s varied cultural delicacies into tasty, contemporary versions of old favorites. I recommend the tuna tempura.
Other dining venues include: Sunset Patio for casual dining (does not serve dinner), Mahana Market for limited takeout, Spa Montage (lunch and breakfast), the Beach House (lunch and cocktails) or cook in your suite’s kitchen (room service is also available).
More than a Nod to the Past
Montage is located on the site of Kapalua’s original hotel, The Kapalua Bay Hotel. I felt a sense of history the moment I stepped into the lobby overlooking Sunset Pool. Perhaps it was the lei a greeter placed around my neck or landscaped grounds that have an “I’ve been here a long time” feeling.
But Montage Kapalua Bay goes a step further in honoring the past. Sila, the Cultural Ambassador, “talks story” with guests relating tales of her childhood growing up on a local pineapple plantation owned by Maui Land and Pineapple Co. She remembers playing on the grounds that are now Montage Kapalua Bay. And she’ll teach you how to make a lei using flowers from the property.
With large living accommodations and Paintbox, a program for children, Montage Kapalua Bay is a smart choice for multigenerational vacations.
Have you stayed at Montage Kapalua Bay? What was your experience like? I spent my entire stay at Montage Kapalua Bay thinking, “I’ve got to bring Alan back.” But the large suites would also be fun for a girlfriend’s getaway or even a couples trip to Maui. Sharing the cost would be a smart way to experience luxury Montage-style.
Alan and I will be staying at another Montage Hotel—the one in Beverly Hills—during a gala event to celebrate our 64-day Silversea Silver Spirit voyage in the South Pacific. Will Alan be blown away by Montage’s personal service? We’ll soon find out.
Disclosure: VisitMaui and Montage Kapalua Bay provided this travel experience. The opinions are strictly my own.