ALOHA:

One of the leitmotifs for us at HILuxury magazine is that even very good things can get better – including the good life, however you may define it.

And that’s certainly the case with this second issue of HILuxury. We’ve heard some very complimentary comments about the premiere issue – thank you very much – but we’re also working to make Hawaii’s No. 1 luxury magazine even better.

While attending the recent Kapalua Wine & Food Festival on Maui, I encountered two vivid examples of good getting better.

The festival, in my book the greatest annual event in Hawaii, happened at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, which closed the morning after the festival ended for five months of intensive refurbishing. It was a bit surreal watching crews stacking up pool chairs and hauling them away on forklifts, and on the way to check out seeing plastic bins in hallways filled with old pillows and ironing boards. Crews will be working 24/7 to have the Ritz ready for the PGA Tour’s season-opening Mercedes Championships during the first week in January. Changes include doubling the size of the spa. The Ritz Carlton is as good a hotel as there is in Hawaii, and yet here it was, shutting down to get even better – at a cost of $121 million.

During an afternoon wine tasting of eight very different Pinot Noirs, I asked the assembled master sommeliers a question, referencing a talk at Kapalua in the late 1980s by the legendary Robert Mondavi, on Oregon Pinots. Mr. Mondavi said a great Pinot Noir should have a little bit of barnyard in it, and I was not getting any barnyard in the eight wines. The reply I received is that both the quality of grapes and winemaking have improved in 20 years. Those were darn good wines we tasted with Mr. Mondavi two decades ago, but these were far more diverse, and better.

That’s always our goal.