If you’re staying in West Maui, don’t neglect the welcoming, refined experience at Kapalua Spa, World Luxury Spa’s 2012 Winner of Best Luxury Destination Spa in USA. Kapalua has all of the trappings of a fine spa: many options for a heat, cold, rest circuit, an assortment of beauty and relaxation services, fine locker room toiletries, a café, and a state-of-the-art fitness facility that includes the elite Kinesis machine.
My last experience at a destination spa was a Nordic one in Quebec last Winter. You can imagine the difference between that and a Hawaiian facility. It was a nice shift not shivering between stations. After enjoying the Maui views, sounds of some of the island’s avian natives, and a healthy dose of sauna and cascading waterfall hot tub, I went for my lomi lomi massage.
Joyce, a calming Brazilian, started my traditional Hawaiian massage with a ceremony involving kava, a local plant (‘awa, in Hawaiian). Kava ceremonies are a cultural tradition throughout Oceania. Joyce had me hold a coconut shell with both hands to drink the kava, then clap twice before we commenced with the lomi lomi. Lomi lomi goes beyond just hands, using forearms and elbows, a style passed down from Hawaiian mother to daughter over generations. The massage itself took place in a hale (wooden hut), open to nature’s elements. When I had arrived, I had gotten to choose a scent for the treatment, so Golden Pineapple was rubbed into my skin over the duration. No one wants a massage to end, but the time in the hale after allowed me a rare opportunity to feel relaxed enough to commune with Maui. The sun already set, I stayed as long as I could at Kapalua before smiling my way to dinner.
The staff at Kapalua was universally gracious and friendly. The entirety of the property was immaculate. If you like spas, it’s impossible to be let down by this one.
Roni Weiss is Author of roniweiss.com.