After spending a week on Kauai, I already felt relaxed and rejuvenated. I lounged on the beach, bought and ate fresh fruit (chicos, mountain apples and sweet peas) at the Hanalei Farmers Market (Tuesdays @ 2:00) and chatted with locals, whose demeanors convey a “chill” attitude. Even meeting a woman named Ku’uipo (Sweetheart) who made a fresh plumeria lei for me and a windsurfer named Chester who shared his wisdom as a beekeeper on the island, all gave me a perspective of calm and inspiration.
What a serene and sweet island – the lush environment and joyful people and yet despite my hesitation of getting back to reality, I was even more delighted to spend my last day on Kauai at Halele’a Spa at St. Regis in Princeville, the Northern part of the island.
Although relaxed in my mind and spirit, I arrived wind-blown, a bit sun-burned and dehydrated. I was taken aback simply by arriving to St. Regis; the resort sits on the edge of a cliff overlooking the turquoise-blue waters and I was welcomed with its open-air and sophisticated architecture and atmosphere. It appeared that there was a pleasant rainfall at the entrance of the spa, but it was a crystal, lighting fixture with tear-drop shaped glass which greeted me and got my attention. A meeting of friendly faces walked me through the spa; I noticed instantly the feeling of health and well-being.
I indulged in the Halele’a Signature Treatment – Voyage from the Sea 4 Hands Lomi Lomi Massage and Facial, a 90-minute treatment. As if one practitioner isn’t divine enough, this treatment entails two practitioners – that’s four hands instead of two; that detail alone equals bliss. The treatment started with a scalp treatment using oil and seaweed extract, perfect for wind-blown, dry, sun-damaged hair. By the end of the treatment, my hair was silky soft … softer even than when I started my vacation.
The voyage continued with the Lomi Lomi massage done by both practitioners; Lomi Lomi is a traditional Hawaiian massage in which the therapist uses the forearms to massage as well as their hands. It’s difficult to find words to describe this sensation (yes, you should just fly to Kauai and see for yourself), but it’s a more “complete” and deeper massage healing than just Swedish. And to have four hands instead of two gave me a sense of ultimate relaxation. Along with detoxifying seaweed extracts, aromatherapy was incorporated in the massage oil – clove and patchouli oils gave an invigorating and conditioning lift to my senses and skin. One therapist continued with massage and reflexology for healing and relaxation; I could tell also that the pressure points and knots from sleeping on the plane were being addressed by the therapist intentionally. At the same time, the other therapist (the esthetician), incorporated a facial using an organic seaweed line – Voya—from Ireland.
Seaweed on the skin is healing, hydrating and detoxifying, which after a week of sun splurging, I could certainly use. The facial cleanse and massage was both thorough and refreshing to my parched skin. The technique and intention of each therapist was noticed and felt by my relaxed muscles and supple, newly hydrated skin.
After the treatment, I indulged in just “being” in the lounge area with a cup of detoxifying tea offered by the therapists as part of the treatment. I was replenished completely; 90 minutes went by fast…just as fast as my short vacation on Kauai, but it did leave me with the knowing “I must return soon and complete my vacation with the Voyage at Hanele’a Spa.”
Halele’a Spa, St. Regis Princeville, Kauai
By Melissa Mellott, M.Ed., L.E., Spa Defined, www.spadefined.com