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Escape to a Hawaii Spa for Serious Pampering
Hale Hoola Spa in Volcano
Address: 11-3913 7th St., Mauna Loa Estates, Volcano, HI
Those staying in Volcano or Hilo now have quick and easy access to the body treatments, massages, and facials available at the resort spas on the other side of the island—and at far more reasonable prices. Hale Hoola's menu includes more local ingredients and traditional Hawaiian treatments than any other spa on the island, including a handful of very traditional Hawaiian massages, such as lomi hula, which is lomi lomi massage choreographed to hula music; laau hamo, which blends lomi lomi with traditional Hawaiian healing herbs and plant extracts; and Popokapai, which is a divine blend of hot stone massage and laau hamo that incorporates lomi lomi massage with warm compresses filled with healing herbs. Facials and body scrubs incorporate the usual suspects—ginger, coconut, and macadamia nut—but also some unexpected surprises such as taro, locally grown vanilla, and volcanic clay that works wonders in the form of a facial mask.
Kalona Salon & Spa at the Outrigger Keauhou Beach Resort
Address: 78-6740 Alii Dr., Kailua-Kona, HI
Phone: 808/322-3441; 800/462-6262
This spa is a great place to get a massage or body treatment for much less than you'd likely pay at the big resorts. Though not quite as nice as the bigger facilities, it's simple and clean, on the ocean, and staffed with well-trained therapists. The spa offers facials using its own line of products made from island ingredients. Be careful if you have sensitive skin.
Mamalahoa Hot Tubs and Massage
Address: Kealakekua, south of Kailua-Kona, HI
Tucked into a residential neighborhood above Kealakekua, this little gem is a welcome alternative to the large resort spas. Soaking tubs are made of the finest quality wood, tropical plants and flowers abound, and each tub is enclosed in its own little gazebo, with portholes in the roof for your stargazing pleasure. Tastefully laid out and run, there's no seedy "hot tub party" vibe here, just a pleasant soak followed by, if you like, an hour-long massage. Mamalahoa offers lomi lomi, Swedish, deep tissue, and a Hawaiian hot stone massage performed with lava rocks collected from around the island. In addition to its secret hideaway ambience, Mamalahoa's prices are lower than any other spa on the island.
Open: By appointment only. Open Wed.-Sat. noon-8PM
Mauna Lani Spa
Address: Mauna Lani Resort, 68-1400 Mauna Lani Dr., Kohala Coast, HI
If you're looking for a one-of-a-kind experience, this is your destination. Most treatments take place in outdoor, bamboo-floor hales (houses) surrounded by lava rock. Incredible therapists offer a mix of the old standbys (lomi lomi massage, moisturizing facials) and innovative treatments, many of which are heavily influenced by ancient traditions and incorporate local products. One exfoliating body treatment is self-administered in one of the outdoor saunas—a great choice for people who aren't too keen on therapists seeing them in their birthday suits. Watsu therapy takes place in an amazing pool filled and heated by the adjacent lava tube, with help from solar panels overhead. Meant to re-create the feeling of being in a womb, the hour-long therapy is essentially an underwater massage. You feel totally weightless, thanks to some artfully applied weights and the buoyancy of the warm salt water. It's a great treatment for people with disabilities that keep them from enjoying a traditional massage. The aesthetic treatments on the menu incorporate high-end products from Epicuran and Emminence, so a facial will have a real and lasting therapeutic effect on your skin. The spa also offers a full regimen of fitness and yoga classes, as well as more mainland-style procedures like Botox and Restylane injections.
Spa Without Walls at the Fairmont Orchid Hawaii
Address: Fairmont Orchid Hawaii, 1 N. Kaniku Dr., Kohala Coast, HI
This is possibly the best massage spa on the island, partially due to its setting—massage tables face either the ocean or a waterfall. Though most people will probably opt for the ocean, both settings are absolutely peaceful. There are other great treatments as well, including facials, fragrant herbal wraps, and coffee and vanilla scrubs, but the massages are the best thing going.
Alexander Day Spa & Salon at the Kauai Marriott
Address: Kauai Marriott Resort & Beach Club, 3610 Rice St., Lihue, HI
This sister spa of Alexander Simson's Beverly Hills spa focuses on body care rather than exercise, so don't expect any fitness equipment or exercise classes. Tucked away in the back corner of the Marriott, the spa has a bit of the stilted formality found in the rest of the resort, but it is otherwise a sunny, pleasant facility. Massages are available in treatment rooms and on the beach, although the beach locale isn't as private as you might imagine. The spa offers a couple of unusual treatments not found elsewhere: oxygen inhalation therapy and Thai massage. Wedding-day and custom spa packages can be arranged. The spa's therapists also offer massages in poolside cabanas at Marriott's Waiohai Beach Club in Poipu, but there are no facilities (showers, steam, and so forth).
Address: Hyatt Regency Kauai Resort and Spa, 1571 Poipu Rd., Poipu, HI
This luxurious facility is far and away the best on Kauai, setting a standard that no other spa has been able to meet. It has all the equipment and services you expect from a top resort spa, along with a pleasant, professional staff. Best of all, it has indoor and outdoor areas that capitalize on the tropical locale and balmy weather, further distinguishing it from the Marriott and Princeville spas. Its 46,500-square-foot space includes the new Garden Treatment Village, an open-air courtyard with private thatched-roof huts, each featuring a relaxation area, misters, and open-air shower in a tropical setting. At the Kupono Café, you can relax and enjoy a healthful breakfast, lunch, or smoothie. Ancient Hawaiian remedies and local ingredients are featured in many of the treatments, such as a red-dirt clay wrap, coconut-mango facial, and a body brush scrub that polishes your skin with a mix of ground coffee, orange peel, and vanilla bean. The open-air lava-rock showers are wonderful, introducing many guests to the delightful island practice of showering outdoors. The spa, which includes a full-service salon, adjoins the Hyatt's legendary swimming pool.
Angeline's Muolaulani Wellness Center
It doesn't get more authentic than this. In the mid-'80s Aunty Angeline Locey opened her Anahola home to offer traditional Hawaiian healing practices. Now her son and granddaughter carry on the tradition. There's a two-hour treatment ($140) that starts with a steam, followed by a sea-salt-and-clay body scrub and a two-person massage. The real treat, however, is relaxing on Aunty's open-air garden deck. Hot-stone lomi is also available. Aunty's mission is to promote a healthy body image; as such, au naturel is the accepted way here, so if you're nudity-shy, this may not be the place for you. On second thought, Aunty would say it most definitely is. Muolaulani translates to "a place for young buds to bloom."
Hanalei Day Spa
Address: Hanalei Colony Resort, Rte. 560, 6 mi past Hanalei, HI
As you travel beyond tony Princeville, life slows down. The single-lane bridges may be one reason. Another is the Hanalei Day Spa (opened in 2004), an open-air, thatched-roof, Hawaiian-style hut nestled just off the beach on the grounds of Hanalei Colony Resort in Haena. Though this no-frills day spa offers facials, waxing, wraps, scrubs, and the like, its specialty is massage: Ayurveda, Zen shiatsu, Swedish, and even a baby massage (and lesson for Mom, to boot). On Tuesday and Thursday, owner Darci Frankel teaches yoga, a discipline she started as a young child living in south Florida. That practice led her to start the Ayurveda Center of Hawaii, which operates out of the spa and offers an ancient Indian cleansing and rejuvenation program known as Pancha Karma. Think multiday wellness retreat.
A Hideaway Spa
Address: Waimea Plantation Cottages, 9400 Kaumualii Hwy., Waimea, HI
This is the only full-service day spa on the laid-back West Side. It's in one of the restored plantation cottages that make up the guest quarters at Waimea Plantation Cottages, creating a cozy and comfortable setting you won't find elsewhere. The overall feel is relaxed, casual, and friendly, as you'd expect in this quiet country town. The staff is informal, yet thoroughly professional. Try the kava kava ginger wrap followed by the lomi iliili—hot stone massage. Ooh la la.
Princeville Health Club & Spa
Address: Prince Golf Course clubhouse, 53-900 Kuhio Hwy., Princeville, HI
Inspiring views of mountains, sea, and sky provide a lovely distraction in the gym area of this spa, which is well equipped but small and often overly air-conditioned. The treatment area is functional but lacks charm and personality. Luckily the gorgeous setting helps make up for it. This is the only facility of this kind on the North Shore, so it's well used, and the generally well-heeled clientele pays attention to their gym attire. It's in the clubhouse at the Prince Golf Course, several miles from the Princeville Hotel. A room in the hotel or round of golf at a Princeville course entitles you to reduced admission to the spa; otherwise it's $20 for a day pass.
Tri Health Ayurveda Spa
The goal of this spa isn't a onetime massage for momentary bliss, although relaxation is a key ingredient. Rather, this spa's focus is a multiweek, multitreatment, intensive program designed to eliminate toxins stored in the body and increase the flow and energy of all systems. Treatments are designed around the ancient Ayurvedic tradition of heat to open the pores, oil to deliver nutrients to tissues and nerve endings, and massage (by two therapists working in synchronized movement) to accelerate circulation. Note: Because the massage strokes are long and can run the length of the body, there is no draping involved. Ayurvedic doctors, food, and treatments are available, as is lodging in the 10-bedroom retreat facility, on 25 acres hidden by design for privacy—hence, no glaring signs. Single sessions are available.
Heavenly Spa at the Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas
Address: Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas, 6 Kai Ala Dr., Kaanapali, HI, 96761
Find tranquillity at this stellar and fairly new (opened in May 2008) spa near Kaanapali's Airport Beach. The decor is modern and Asian-inspired, and treatments incorporate Hawaiian elements. Try the Lilikoi Fruit Melody, which infuses the fruit in a gentle body exfoliation, luxurious body wrap, and an uplifting oil massage. Couples can opt for tandem lomilomi massages (traditional Hawaiian massage involving powerful strokes down the length of the body), all in the privacy of a beautiful tropical suite. Although access to the gym next door is reserved for resort guests only, other amenities such as the steam room and nail salon more than suffice. A little basket hangs on each doorknob, in which guests are asked to place all worries before entering the treatment room.
Honua Spa at Hotel Hana-Maui
Address: Hotel Hana-Maui, 5031 Hana Hwy., Hana, HI, 96713
A bamboo gate opens into an outdoor sanctuary with a lava-rock basking pool and hot tub; at first glimpse this spa seems to have been organically grown, not built. The decor here can hardly be called decor—it's an abundant, living garden. Taro varieties, orchids, and ferns still wet from Hana's frequent downpours nourish the spirit as you rest with a cup of jasmine tea, or take an invigorating dip in the plunge pool. Signature aromatherapy treatments utilize Honua, the spa's own sumptuous blend of sandalwood, coconut, ginger, and vanilla orchid essences. The Hana Wellness package is a blissful eight hours of treatments, which can be shared between the family, or enjoyed alone.
Spa Grande, Grand Wailea Resort
Address: 3850 Wailea Alanui Dr., Wailea, HI, 96753
Phone: 808/875-1234; 800/888-6100
Built to satisfy an indulgent Japanese billionaire, this 50,000-square-foot spa makes others seem like well-appointed closets. Slathered in honey and wrapped up in the steam room (if you go for the Alii honey steam wrap), you'll feel like royalty. All treatments include a loofah scrub and a trip to the termé, a hydrotherapy circuit including a Roman Jacuzzi, furo bath, plunge pool, powerful waterfall and Swiss jet showers, and five therapeutic baths. (Soak for 10 minutes in the moor mud to relieve sunburn or jellyfish stings.) To fully enjoy the baths, plan to arrive an hour before your treatment. Free with treatments, the termé is also available separately for $55 for two hours. At times—especially during the holidays—this wonderland can be crowded.
Spa Moana, Hyatt Regency Maui
Address: 200 Nohea Kai Dr., Lahaina, HI, 96761
Phone: 808/661-1234; 800/233-1234
Spa Moana's oceanfront salon has a million-dollar view. It's a perfect place to beautify before your wedding or special anniversary, and it's a convenient beach stroll from its adjacent parking lot. An older facility, it's spacious and well-appointed, offering traditional Swedish and Thai massage, Reiki, and shiatsu, in addition to numerous innovative treatments such as the hydrating vitamin C facial for sun lovers, invigorating Kaanapali coffee salt scrub, and the immune-boosting Alii Royal Experience, a papaya-pineapple-grapeseed scrub and propolis lotion rub combined with a facial and kukui nut oil scalp massage. For body treatments, the oceanfront rooms are a tad too warm—request one in back.
Waihua Spa, Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua
Address: 1 Ritz-Carlton Dr., Kapalua, HI, 96761 | Map It
Phone: 808/669-6200; 800/262-8440
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This gorgeous 17,500-square-foot spa reopened as part of the hotel's recent renovation. Enter this blissful maze where floor-to-ceiling riverbed stones lead to serene treatment rooms, couples' hales(cabanas), and a wet grotto with a Jacuzzi, dry sauna, and steam rooms. With cucumber water in hand, hang out in the co-ed waiting area, where sliding glass doors open to a whirlpool overlooking a taro patch garden. Get any rough skin exfoliated with a pineapple papaya scrub; then wash it off in a private outdoor shower garden before indulging in a traditional lomilomi massage (traditional Hawaiian massage involving powerful strokes down the length of the body). The spa's caviar of beauty treatments uses advanced oxygen technology to tighten mature skin. Attention fitness junkies: personal TVs are attached to the state-of-the-art cardiovascular machines in the ocean-view fitness center.
Ampy's European Facials and Body Spa
Address: 1441 Kapiolani Blvd., Suite 377, Ala Moana, HI
This 30-year-old spa has kept its prices reasonable over the years thanks to their "no frills" way of doing business. All of Ampy's facials are 75 minutes, and the spa has become famous for custom aromatherapy treatments. Call at least a week in advance because the appointment book fills up quickly here. It's in the Ala Moana Building, adjacent to the Ala Moana Shopping Center.
Aveda Salon and Spa
Address: Ala Moana Shopping Center, 3rd fl., 1450 Ala Moana Blvd., Ala Moana, HI
Aveda offers hydrotherm massage, where water-filled cushions cradle your body as a therapist works out your body's kinks. This spa has everything from Vichy showers to hydrotherapy rooms to customized aromatherapy. Ladies, they'll even touch-up your makeup for free before you leave.
Hawaiian Rainforest Salon and Spa
Address: Pacific Beach Hotel, 5th fl., 2490 Kalakaua Ave., Waikiki, HI
The most popular treatment at this spa uses pressure and heat from natural Hawaiian lava rocks to massage your pain away. They also have Vichy showers, aromatherapy whirlpool baths, a Korean-style Akasuri body polish, and a wide selection of packages. If you're sleepy from the long flight, try the jet-lag remedy, a 25-minute treatment that includes a neck massage and scalp rub.
Serenity Spa Hawaii
Address: Outrigger Reef on the Beach, 2169 Kalia Rd., Waikiki, HI
Want to jump start your "just back from Hawaii" tan without burning to a crisp? Consider the Golden Touch tanning massage, which combines a massage with tan accelerators, sunscreen, and scented oils. Only steps off the beach, this day spa provides aromatherapy treatments, massages, and facials. You can mix and match treatments from the menu to create a specialized package.
The Spa Luana at Turtle Bay Resort
Address: Turtle Bay Resort, 57-091 Kamehameha Hwy., North Shore, HI
Luxuriate at the ocean's edge in this serene spa. Don't miss the tropical Pineapple Pedicure ($65), administered outdoors overlooking the North Shore. Tired feet soak in a bamboo bowl filled with coconut milk before the pampering really begins with Hawaiian algae salt, Island bee honey, kukui nut oil, and crushed pineapple. There are private spa suites, an outdoor treatment cabana that overlooks the surf, an outdoor exercise studio, and a lounge area and juice bar.
Spa Suites at The Kahala
Address: The Kahala, 5000 Kahala Ave., Kahala, HI
A footbath begins the pampering process at the elegant yet homey Kahala property favored by celebrities and U.S. Presidents. The new spa suites feature wooden floors, handmade Hawaiian quilts, Kohler infinity-edged whirlpool tubs, private vanity areas, and private gardens in which to relax after treatments with lemongrass-pikake tea. Custom-designed treatments merge Hawaiian, Asian, and traditional therapies.