Seaside Splendor

A Kapalua estate proves that contemporary luxury and nature don't have to be mutually exclusive.


Story by Sarah Ruppenthal | Photography by Travis Rowan/ Living Maui Media

If ever there were a home that could give new meaning to the term “beach house,” this is it.

Set on a rocky point overlooking Kapalua Bay, Craig Ramsey’s ultra-luxurious residence has eight bedrooms, eight-and-a-half bathrooms, four guest suites with private lānai, caretaker’s quarters, and an infinity pool.

And on occasion, it has things that go bump in the night.

The infinity-edge pool creates a natural focal point between the house and the deep blue sea. At night, warm light streaming through the home’s expanse of glass illuminates the grounds.

On a cool winter evening five years ago, Craig was startled awake by thunderous  banging. He grabbed a flashlight and dashed outside, following the sound to the edge of the craggy cliff. In the rippling waters below, a humpback whale was giving birth to a calf under the moonlit sky. “It is one of the best memories of my life,” he says. (To his delight, mother and baby lingered offshore for two weeks afterward.)

Craig purchased the property in 2000. A San Francisco resident and founder of the cloud-software company Vlocity, he had spent fruitless months looking for the right home along Maui’s south shore. Then his realtor took him to see an estate for sale within Kapalua Resort—one of only eight oceanfront properties along this coast, and one of three on a private point there. Its original owner intended the home as a retreat, and took design cues from the Manele Bay Hotel (now the Four Seasons Resort Lāna‘i). To Craig, the 6,645-square-foot home certainly felt like a private resort: There were three wings connected by a large central courtyard, a separate wing of guest suites, columned porches, covered walkways, and a pair of stone lions standing guard at the entrance.

An avid sailor, kayaker, and swimmer, Craig was instantly captivated by the home’s proximity to the ocean and its 270-degree coastal views. “It was so much better than anything I’d seen,” he says. He was also charmed by some not-so-run-of-the-mill features, including a small, solar-powered lighthouse perched on one end of the property. Left behind by a previous owner—the U.S. Coast Guard—it had been moved from its original location to make room for the construction of the home in 1996. Another: earthen burrows dotting the cliffside. Built before changes in zoning, the estate is located within a conservation area that is a nesting habitat for the ‘ua‘u kani, or wedge-tailed shearwater.



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