What would Hawaii be without volcanoes, beaches, hula skirts, and a world-class spa? Welcome to the Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa. This 780-room hotel, on the southwestern shore of Maui, opened its 50,000-square-foot Spa Grande in 1989. The spa has become known for its blending of Hawaiian and ancient Eastern healing and relaxation techniques with European rejuvenation therapies. The signature Terme Wailea Hydrotherapy Circuit—a selection of international water therapies— forms the basis of all the treatments here. The circuit begins with a brief shower, followed by a soak in the Roman tub. Then guests are invited to use the steam, sauna, and cold plunge pool. A loofah scrub is next, followed by a cascading waterfall shower. Then come specialty baths, with a choice of moor mud, aromatherapy, tropical enzyme, limu (seaweed), or mineral salt. The final step is the Swiss jet shower. If you arrived feeling jet-lagged, this water treatment is a perfect antidote.
The spa facilities are divided into the wet and dry areas, and both are accentuated with inlaid Italian marble, original artwork, Venetian chandeliers, and mahogany millwork. The spa’s interiors harmonize beautifully with the resort’s $30 million art collection, which includes original works by Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol.
Thirteen types of massage are offered, so if you don’t want to try the Lomi Pohaku (a thermal massage using smooth steamed lava stones to massage avocado and olive oil into your skin), there is always the Hawaian Lomi Lomi Wela Pohaku, a total body massage that incorporates heated lava pebbles in a small denim bag. The less adventurous can choose from ten varieties of Swedish massage and aromatherapy facials.
For those who overdose on the irresistible Maui sun, the spa offers an aloe mud wrap, using a bland of natural aloe vera gel and herbal mud to cool the skin. The spa’s color light therapy is a combination of colored light, warmth, music, and natural aromatherapy to soothe the body and mind. Couples will enjoy the abhyanga-pizichili, a two-step treatment that includes a massage by two therapists and a moisturizing warm oil treatment. It is advisable to make spa appointments in advance.
Pampering aside, there are squash and racquetball courts and cardiovascular and strength-training facilities. Fitness services include one-on-one instruction. And if you aren’t interested in a conventional stretch class on boxercise, try the hula class for an overall workout!
The spa’s juice bar offers smoothies and energy drinks. Spa cuisine is served in the Bistro Molokini an open-air cafe.
This resort attracts major conferences and is a popular venue for weddings and romantic getaways. Guests can also stay at the Napua Tower, a small hotel within the resort that offers exclusive access to a private lounge serving complimentary continental breakfasts and evening hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. Children aged five to twelve can enjoy the resort’s Camp Grande.
Accommodations: 780 guest rooms, including sixty suites. Napua Tower is a one-hundred-room exclusive small hotel within the resort. Accommodations are spacious, surrounded by six gardens with sculptures and tropical flowers.
Meals: At the Humu Humu restaurant, a cluster of thatched-roof Polynesian huts, guests are able to “catch” their own lobster; Kincha is a creative Japanese restaurant; the Grand Dining Room serves a breakfast buffet and a la carte; Bistro Molokini is an open-air cafe with an exhibition kitchen; Cafe Kula offers casual terrace dining.
Facilities: Tsunami, a high-tech nightclub; Camp Grande for children; seaside chapel for weddings; the Canyon Activity Pool (nine separate pools, a baby beach, waterslides, waterfalls, caves, rapids, and grottoes); three 18-hole golf courses; an eleven-court tennis complex; meeting facilities; shops.
Services & Special Programs: Scuba diving lessons; business center; wedding services and packages; cruises on the resort’s 60-foot catamaran for picnics, snorkeling. Winter whale-watching cruises.
Getting There: Twenty-minute drive from Kahului Airport;Maui is a twenty-minute flight from Honolulu.
What’s Nearby: Wailea Beach; Lahaina; all island attractions.