The Ritz is a gorgeous hotel in this part of northwest Maui. The are has nice restaurants, shopping, and golf. The beaches provide great snorkeling.
A beautiful calm bay on the far northern tip of West Maui, Kapalua is one of my favorite places for a sunset swim. Though it might look like a private beach resort, by law anyone can use the public beach access parking lots and walk down to the shoreline for a dip. If you want to save money on hotels, check into the Kapalua Villas condos, which can be quite a good bargain.
Kapalua is gorgeous, and you'll find multi-million dollar homes and luxury resorts here. The only reason why I'm not giving it 5 stars is because it seems to be overcast and rain a lot more there than other parts of Maui. While the rainfall isn't usually for a long period of time, it is pretty consistent, except for during summer months.
Personally - this is my favorite resort area on Maui. Many people like Wailea better. Good for you. I love the classic white sand beaches and relaxed luxury feel of Kapalua's West Maui strip. Wailea on the East side has more of a honeymooners meet Paris Hilton vibe - its a little too LA for my tastes but trust me most people prefer that resort area. I'll take Kapalua + Lahaina everytime.