7 Splendid Spas

Forget the furs and fancy cars. For our money, nothing is more luxurious than placing yourself in the hands of an expert massage therapist. In an endless quest to keep our readers informed, several of our colleagues gallantly volunteered to test some of the spa treatments around the island and report back. They’re still looking way too blissful.

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best Maui spas

Queen for a Day

At the Montage Kapalua Bay, I always try to arrive early to take full advantage of the spa’s playground. If time allows, I swim a few laps in the co-ed infinity pool, relax in a lounge chair and soak up a little sun therapy, and treat myself to poolside service — I recommend the smoothies. Then I retreat to the women’s-only section, slip into a luxurious terry robe, and let my slipper-shod feet carry me to the outdoor lava-rock hot tub. After a good soak, I cool off under a fresh rainwater shower, then finish with a sauna (or steam) and an indoor shower. Bliss!

I’ve come today for the Spa Montage ‘Awa & Cacao Cocoon (90 minutes, $295). My therapist, Janet, finds me sipping tea and enjoying a juicy orange in the waiting area. She leads me to a dimly lit treatment room where she ceremoniously offers me a coconut cup filled with earthy ‘awa, a mild narcotic (in this case, diluted with pineapple juice). ‘Awa is the main ingredient used throughout this special treatment. It represents the Hawaiian value of pono (goodness, righteousness). I sip the ‘awa, and we clap three times, as is the Hawaiian custom. Then Janet slathers me in a healing paste made with Hawaiian ginger, oats and sandalwood, which the creator of this treatment, Darrell Lapulapu, says represents the different peoples of Polynesia. Chocolate oil is also infused into the paste. Its purpose is to warm the body and make one feel pampered and delicious. That it does. (Do say yes when asked if you’d like to include your tummy.) Janet follows this by wrapping me in a warm blanket while the goodness soaks in, and treating me to a deliciously de-stressing foot, neck and scalp massage. After, I rinse off the paste in my private shower, return to the table, and Janet finishes my treatment with a Hawaiian lomi lomi massage, using a lovely pikake-scented lotion. It’s my favorite Hawaiian flower, similar to jasmine.

This may be the most luxuriously relaxing treatment I know of. I leave afloat, and my skin has never felt so moisturized and supple. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to feel utterly pampered, and particularly to the bride (or mother of the bride) who wants to completely let go, and come back with skin smooth as silk. —DHW

Spa Montage
Montage Kapalua Bay
1 Bay Drive, Kapalua
808-662-6600 | MontageHotels.com/Kapalua-Bay

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