The Montage Kapalua Bay, a 24-acre resort on Maui’s north coast, recently completed a refresh of all 50 of its residence-style accommodations.
Overseen by Dallas-based interior and architectural design firm Wilson Associates, the decor draws inspiration from the Hawaiian word ahupuaa, meaning “from the mountains to the sea,” according to Roger Bright, who was appointed director of sales and marketing at the property in June.
Wilson Associates “is a world-class design firm,” Bright said. “They’ve done some amazing resorts and properties in Asia, the Middle East and around the world. And when we looked to bring someone in for this, we were looking for someone with a fresh eye, someone to evolve the decor while not distracting from the natural beauty of the surrounding area.”
The redesigned accommodations, which range from one to four bedrooms and are all equipped with private lanais and full kitchens, are inspired by the resort’s signature restaurant, Cane & Canoe, which incorporates wood scrollwork, woven textures and bright, vibrant floral touches in its decor.
“The focus was to tie together a little better the communal space, the area around our gourmet kitchen and the meeting area for each residence,” Bright said. “We added some artisan touches, some subtle Hawaiian design touches, like island-inspired prints, and brought in elements of nature for some bright touches. It mirrors the design at Cane & Canoe with the use of Hawaiian woods and with a general, understated luxury elegance. We want to feel like a second home for guests.”
The rooms are done in soft, neutral tones, representative of shades of sand, shells or stones, and every room features koa wood elements, custom-made throw pillows with island-inspired floral prints, contemporary chandeliers and Hawaiian works of art. The lanais have been refreshed with new punees, traditional Hawaiian daybeds.
Additionally, the WiFi network has been upgraded to ensure coverage throughout the resort, Bright said.
“When guests come into the rooms, they are impressed by the size,” Bright said. “I think we are very unique in how spacious the accommodations are — the largest is over 4,000 square feet. We have fantastic lanais with lounging areas and great furnishings. We’ve really enhanced the indoor and outdoor living spaces.”
The units range from 1,250 square feet to 4,050 square feet, and the property also includes the 5-acre Spa Montage, featuring 30,000 square feet of indoor space with 10 treatment rooms and 15,000 square feet of outdoor space, including 10 oceanview hales (houses). Kapalua Bay is also home to two championship golf courses, the Bay Course and the Plantation Course.
“The location in Kapalua is incredible. We’re next to a beautiful bay where you can swim. You can get pampered poolside and hang out at the Cliff House, our amazing spot on the cliffs overlooking the ocean, where we have the Champagne hale, and you can take in spectacular sunsets,” said Bright, a Honolulu native who came to the Montage Kapalua Bay earlier this year after four years as director of sales at the Kahala Hotel and Resort.
In 2014, Montage Hotels and Resorts purchased the property, then a timeshare known as the Ritz-Carlton Club and Residences at Kapalua Bay, and executed a $15 million renovation to convert it into 56 for-sale residences and a 50-room, all-suite hotel. The hotel’s one-bedroom Garden residences (up to four guests) start at $725 per night, and the four-bedroom Premier Oceanview penthouse (up to 10 guests) starts at $4,795 per night.
“We were looking to do a refresh rather than a big change, since the hotel is fairly new,” Bright said. “The new owners wanted to bring in more elements of Hawaii and change up the color palettes a bit. It’s also the 15th anniversary of the Montage brand, and so we felt it would be a good time to update the rooms. The theme is really about the casual elegance.”
In addition to the revamp of the accommodations, the resort has launched programming that encourages guests to take advantage of the fully equipped kitchens and ample social space. The Ohana Cooking Classes bring a member of the Montage Kapalua Bay food and beverage team to suites to teach a range of culinary skills, including a poke class, a tropical mixology class and a session on baking and food decorating.
“The classes are something that will evolve over time as the program grows and we see what guests enjoy the most and get the most out of,” Bright said. “I think there is more and more interest in learning about Hawaiian culture and the island cuisine, and these sort of interactive experiences are growing.”
The classes are suitable for couples, families and groups, Bright said, and can be customized according to the interests, abilities and dietary restrictions of the group. Participants can get an apron and chef’s hat as a memento, and instructors offer various styles of classes, from competitions to interactive classrooms to casual experiences.
Prices for a lunch course start at $1,695 for up to six participants, and each additional guest is $165 for up to 12 participants. Dinner classes starts at $1,995 for six participants, and each additional guest is $195 up to 12 participants.
The resort is also in the preliminary stages of a planned refresh of Cane & Canoe, Bright said, that will focus on the restaurant’s bar and lounge area.
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