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THIS IS JUST TOO GOOD.You've just indulged in a body wrap of awapuhi root, long known for its curative power. Now you're led into Spa Moana's oceanfront relaxation room, where a huge, open window frames coconut palms and the curve of Lana'i. Your mine drifts on the sound of the waves. You relax deeply. In 30 short minutes, you have attained the essence of healing. You have let go. Welcome to the rejuvenating power of spas as only Hawai'i can offer it-the latest area of island life to be touched by the Hawaiian cultural renaissance. Traditional Hawaiian healing is an intensely spiritual practice, rooted in the natural world and handed down, over generations, to those deemed worthy of the gift. Manu of Maui's spas and resorts have taken a serious and reverent posture in embracing the philosophies and methods of traditional Hawaiian healing. Indeed, the echoes of our island's beloved kahuna la'au lapa'au are reaching an ever widening and most appreciative audience. Here are our recommendations to experience healing with a Hawaiian touch.

Pohaku therapy, using steamed lava stones, was brought to the Grand Wailea Resort by students of the late healer Uncle Kalua Kaiahua of Napili, who provided the spa with his trademark blue denim bags filled with the small, round stones that were initially used for the treatments.

The rich and complex art of Hawaiian lomilomi massage, as transmitted by master teacher Auntie Margaret Machado of Kona, is practiced at the Fairmont Kea Lani by two of her close students.

Once a month, Charles Kaupu lectures in Hawaiian healing as part of Hyatt Regency Maui's wellness program. And Lyons Naone, a longtime student of the late Papa Kawika Kaalakea, has given classes in Hawaiian healing at the Grand Wailea's Spa Grande, including a modified 'awa ceremony.

According to David Erlich, Spa Grande's director, the trend toward including Hawaiian elements in spa menus began five years age. For C.J. Arquette, Erlich's counterpart at Spa Kea Lani, the reason is simple. "Our guests want to experience Hawai'i."


NOTE: Due to the high volume of requests, your reservation and or request will be handled in the order received.



Spa Moana     Hyatt Regency Maui

Spa Moana is a pretty little place, elegantly decorated with orchids and Oriental art, and commanding a magnificent ocean vies. It's run by spa director Crystal Poe-Cabat-bat, a local girl, born on Kaua'i, who approaches the subject of Hawaiian healing with humility and respect.
"True Hawaiian healing is very spiritual," she says. "You've got to make sure it's pono, the right thing. At Spa Moana, we draw a distinction between Hawaiian healing as traditional healers practice it, and the Hawaiian touches a spa can offer its guests."
Touches like that awapuhi wrap, or the intriguing experience of Spa Moana's Ka'anapali Coffee Scrub: you ease into a long, padded tub, and the attendant gently exfoliates your skin with a Hawaiian salt and coffee combination make on Maui for this spa. It's hard not to laugh with delight when the Vichy shower bar begins to play over your body, six jets at once.
Or perhaps you'll try a detoxifying limu (seaweed) bath in a private room for couples, with a view of palm trees and the sky.
Spa Moana has also paid homage to another aspect of Hawaiian culture, asking Kumu Hula Cliff Ahue to name the treatment rooms. Bestowing a name is a significant process in Hawaiian culture. Hence, Ke Ola (life) for the massage rooms, Malie (peace) for facial rooms, and for the spa's motto, "Loa'a ke ola i halau a ola." "Life is obtained in the house of life."


Spa Grande     Grand Wailea Resort  

Every several months, the new massage therapists at the Grand Wailea's Spa Grande gather quietly before sunrise at a beach near LaPerouse for a traditional Hawaiian ceremony called kapukai. It's a remarkable sight: employees of Maui's most luxurious resort asking the spirit of the Hawaiian 'aina (land) to bless their work.
Led by Mahealani Ventura-Oliva and Marla Teves, the therapists bathe in the ocean, then sip 'awa tea from a coconut bowl and set their intention to wisely use the flat, round stones called 'iili'ili pohaku  in their treatments. Then, along the coast nearby, they gather the stones that speak to them. Stones that re large enough to fill the hand, small enough to slip between the toes, supple enough to be warned in a steamer, dipped in olive and avocado oils, and rubbed in long, powerful strokes over the body. Over your lucky body.
They will be used in the Pohaku Massage and the Hawaiian Pohaku Facial, where the smooth, steamed stones carry warmth deep into the tissues, along with a bit of Hawaiian mana (spiritual energy). "They are powerful," says massage therapist Rollene Billings. "After all, this is Maui."
Massage therapist Sara Rose carefully brings her stones to the sea for cleansing after several treatments, and know that, in traditional Hawaiian fashion, they are to be returned to the sea after their work is done. Lead esthetician Peggy Horm has a special relationship to her stones as well, like the small triangular one she places on the heart. Lyons Naone eve devised a special chant to be performed before pohaku sessions.
This was a remarkable gift, considering how sacred chanting is to traditional Hawaiians. (Because it's sacred, and in deference to guests of diverse cultural backgrounds, most of Spa Grande's massage therapists only perform the chat if it's requested.)
Hawaiian healing herbs are also being incorporated into the spa's water therapies, and a new semiprivate tropical bath has just been added. In a corner of Spa Grande's incomparable Terme Wailea Hydrotherapy Circuit, with its mineral baths, hot and cold plunges, showers and pools that are the envy of the spa world, you immerse yourself in a bath into which an attendant pours coconut milk from a silver pitcher, followed by a sprinkling of orchids and plumerias. Your skin is already supple from a coconut-sugar scrub, and then someone begins to massage your scalp. You drift on the sound of water splashing in the fountains...


Spa Kea Lani     Fairmont Kea Lani Resort

Spa Kea Lani is a spa as boutique, a little jewel of green marble and polished wood with treatment rooms down curved hallways. It's physically intimate and inward-turning, not just in architectural design but in guiding principle. The emphasis here is on giving guests lingering attention. "We have the time to spend with you," says spa director C.J. Arquette.
Arquette prides herself on Kea Lani's stellar collection of massage therapists, six of whom are teachers at local massage schools. Pohaku therapy is taken seriously here. The staff have gathered their stones from places on Maui as diverse as Hana, Kaupo, and Iao Valley.
"Stones are medicine,'says massage therapist Reisae Young. "There's a life force in them.'
But where Spa Kea Lani excels is in the traditional Hawaiian art of lomilomi massage. In the hands of Deborah George, as master at a young age, this form of healing practiced by kahuna of old lives on. George's stories of working with the great auntie Margaret Mahado, of Kealakekua on the Big Island, inspire "chicken skin"- like the time Auntie Margaret lifted a tumor out of George's breast in a blinding flash of pain and silvery light. "In that instant, it was gone," George said. "There's no rational scientific explanation for the power of huna, the power that heals."
Over the years, George has learned lomi iwi, the ancient art of bone setting, and lomi lua, energy medicine for deeper ailments. In her hands lomilomi is not just a rhythmic kneading of the body. It is a hula, the breath of life, a finely tuned system of detailed knowledge and secret lore.
Of course, one can't expect transformation from a 55-minute massage at a resort hotel. Or can one? "E, lomilomi, ea, ea." "Lomilomi is life."


Mandara Spa     Outrigger Wailea Resort

Mandara Spa is the newest spa on Maui, opened last December in a leafy corner of the Outrigger Wailea Resort. A native Hawaiian herb garden is planted in front of the renovated hotel rooms that house the spa, the latest exponent of a large Indonesian spa chain.
Instead of the architectural grandeur of some of Maui's other spas, Mandara offers a very intimate, highly refined aesthetic experience based on the beauty of small things. You are ushered into a suite, and there you will stay. "This is your room," explains massage therapist Jerry Zisko.
While Hawaiian treatments make up a third of the spa's offerings- the Hawaiian Tropical Flower Bath, the Hawaiian Coconut Scrub, lomilomi and pohaku massage- Mandara's uniqueness is in its Indonesian and Asian elements. The Mandara Massage features two massage therapists working in tandem on your body with moves borrowed from Thai, Balinese, and Hawaiian lomilomi massage.
"I was told it should proceed at the pace of a royal elephant," Zisko says. "We work to set up a rhythm in the physiology that allows the quest to naturally experience a deeper sense of self. That's where true healing takes place, on the level of self."
A centerpiece of the Mandara Spa experience is the Mandara Foot Bath. You're served a pot of Indonesian black tea, and then your feet are lifted into a shining copper bowl filled with water and rose petals, gently scrubbed with peppermint soap, and smoothed with a star-shaped pumice, a gift to take home. You sit like royalty in a carved Indonesian chair, while Balinese gamelan and flute music trills in the background. This is the traditional Indonesian way of greeting honored guests, and you have become one.




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