The newest updates at the Montage Kapalua Bay take an already superior property to new hedonistic levels.
It was late spring, and I was eager to visit the Montage Kapalua Bay for the first time. Living in busy Honolulu, just the act of landing in Kahului airport, with its quaint open-air thatched hut feel, is a respite from the bustling “town” life we have back in O‘ahu (and, mind you, I find myself chuckling as I write this because I never thought for the 23 years I lived in New York City that I would ever characterize Honolulu this way). But, alas, living in the tropics full time changes your perspective on everything, and I was about to discover what a truly bucolic getaway the 24-acre beachfront property really is.
Now housing intimate events, Kapalua’s Cliff House was once part of the historic Honolua Plantation
Kapalua Bay itself is forever breathtaking. The winding road that takes you down to the resorts, flanked by the impeccably manicured Bay Course at Kapalua Golf, provides for an idyllic and sensationally scenic drive; the bay seems to literally spill out from underneath you as you see Molokai looming in the distance. In the tranquil lobby, the ocean is directly in view, and, instead of chatter, you hear tropical breezes gently caressing coconut tree leaves. A picturesque set of buildings houses 50 one- to four-bedroom suites, and, though vast, there is an overwhelming feeling of serenity. How wonderful to be so silent.
To celebrate its fifth anniversary, the resort conducted updates in March 2018 to every residence to curate an even more elevated luxury experience. Resultingly, the suites have a supremely manicured feel. Kitchens are slick and modern, yet easy to navigate and equipped with high- end appliances, gadgets and finishings. New artwork (picture a koa cutout wall decoration of the island chain) is both current and sophisticated, yet still rooted in Hawaiian culture appropriately.
There are pools seemingly everywhere—pictured here is the more secluded infinity pool area, available only to resort guests
I had taken my family and was happy to discover that this was a gem of a place to bring loved ones for a tranquil getaway. A three-tired multilagoon pool with waterfalls was an excellent place to bring a little one and enjoy time in the water without managing crowds.
The stellar 30,000-square-foot Spa Montage has a new must-try selection: The Masterpiece Facial (using Swiss Valmont skincare), which incorporates six masks, including a complete collagen treatment for the face, neck, décolleté and eyes. My face felt 10 years younger and had an actual glow.
A plunge pool at the Spa Montage.
And if you haven’t experienced Kapalua Golf yet, you must. It is widely considered by the golf cognoscenti as the best golf course in Hawai‘i, and the Plantation Course (closed this year for renovations) is home to the PGA TOUR’s Sentry Tournament of Champions. The Bay Course is also positively divine and rich in history. Greg Norman had his first American win at this course, and housing the only over- the-ocean hole on 17 in Maui, the scenery is nothing less than commanding.
Lush gardens are ubiquitous around the sprawling property
When needing to nosh, check out the fully updated options at Cane & Canoe (my favorite was the bone-in Kansas City strip), and the shrimp cocktail at the new, more casual eatery, is to die for.