Kapalua, Maui: Ditch the Kids
While you’re perfecting your swing at one of two championship 18-hole golf courses and your other half is slathered in Hawaiian botanicals at the 17,500-square-foot spa at the superluxe Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, the kids are off playing island explorer in the hotel’s Ambassadors of the Environment program. Developed in 2008 by Jean-Michel Cousteau, the program is part summer camp, part science lab. “We expect everyone, by learning more about our natural world and their place within it, to return to their communities as environmental stewards,” according to Cousteau. But your kids don’t need to know that. Instead, tell them they’ll be learning to snorkel and take underwater photos, build volcanoes (that erupt) on the beach, and construct tiki huts like native Hawaiians once did. If a date night is in order (sushi and sake at Kai Sushi; fresh catch and cocktails at the Banyan Tree), there are after-dark sessions where kids, armed with glow necklaces and flashlights, set off on a spooky nocturnal hike or learn to read the constellations. Of course, if you start to miss your children, there’s a host of other Ambassador activities, such as humpback whale–watching expeditions and sunrise hikes to the Maunalei Arboretum, which parents can join — that is, if the kids let you. At the end of the day, the family reconvenes at base camp, anything from a terraced guest room that sleeps four (from $399) to a 1,950-square-foot, ocean-facing two-bedroom suite (from $789).
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