Staying Local from a Food and Beverage Point of View

By Ian McPhee Hotel Manager, Ritz Carlton Kapalua | December 25, 2011

Over the years, Hoteliers have provided value to the luxury traveler via various amenities -- from thirsty bath robes and opulent spa escapes -- to bespoke mini-bars, personal butlers and the latest in technology at one’s fingertips. These however, have become industry standards at high end properties across the globe and for the guest whom the dollar amount is not a question, The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua augments world-renowned service with island-savvy and innovative approaches, offering both tangible and intangible added-value for our guests.

The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua remains an impactful, active community partner with the island of Maui and the Aloha State -- taking great pride in existing harmoniously with its breathtaking, natural surroundings. As a result in March, officials from the Department of Business Economic Development and Tourism, Department of Health and the state’s Chamber of Commerce named the renowned resort hotel one of only a few ‘Green Certified Businesses’ in Hawaii.

The islands of Hawaii are bountiful with fruits and vegetables, while also offering an abundance of fresh fish in its surrounding waters. From the top of the Big Island and Kona, to the mountain sides of Kula in Up Country, Maui – Executive Chef John Zaner has embraced staying local with our menu selection throughout the resort, an ethos subscribed to by the Ritz-Carlton brand as well.

Creative and Innovative - The Botanical Vegetable and Herb Gardens at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua

The Ritz-Carlton has taken the organic approach to cultivating herbs and vegetables that are featured throughout the resort’s dining outlets, creating a true ‘Garden-to-Table’ experience for our guests. Not only do these efforts support environmental preservation, but they also provide our guests a socially-conscious, delicious and healthy dining experience grown just steps from where the flavorful dishes are relished.


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Pumpkin seed crusted ahi sashimi

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Hotel Spa: Oasis Unplugged

The driving force in current hotel spa trends is the effort to manage unprecedented levels of stress experienced by their clients. Feeling increasingly overwhelmed by demanding careers and technology overload, people are craving places where they can go to momentarily escape the rigors of their daily lives. As a result, spas are positioning themselves as oases of unplugged human connection, where mindfulness and contemplation activities are becoming increasingly important. One leading hotel spa offers their clients the option to experience their treatments in total silence - no music, no talking, and no advice from the therapist - just pure unadulterated silence. Another leading hotel spa is working with a reputable medical clinic to develop a “digital detox” initiative, in which clients will be encouraged to unplug from their devices and engage in mindfulness activities to alleviate the stresses of excessive technology use. Similarly, other spas are counseling clients to resist allowing technology to monopolize their lives, and to engage in meditation and gratitude exercises in its place. The goal is to provide clients with a warm, inviting and tranquil sanctuary from the outside world, in addition to also providing genuine solutions for better sleep, proper nutrition, stress management and natural self-care. To accomplish this, some spas are incorporating a variety of new approaches - cryotherapy, Himalayan salt therapy and ayurveda treatments are becoming increasingly popular. Other spas are growing their own herbs and performing their treatments in lush outdoor gardens. Some spa therapists are being trained to assess a client's individual movement patterns to determine the most beneficial treatment specifically for them. The July issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these trends and developments and examine how some hotel spas are integrating them into their operations.