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The Hawaiian Spas of Paradise
By: Ed Rampell
Posted: April 28, 2009, from the May 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
Traditional lomi lomi massage, a Hawaiian signature, is often performed with warmed stones, as it is at Waikiki Plantation Spa.
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Mentored by an indigenous massage practitioner, Granelli explains, “Lomi lomi is inspired by nature. Nalu is a wave, a very soothing motion. Makaha—named for beaches across Oahu with big waves—is a very fast motion with forearms and elbows going up and down the back, like you’re traveling up and down the body with big waves. The puhi—eel—glides on the lower back.”
Spa Olakino also includes facials, body treatments, more massage and a variety of other offerings on its spa menu, allowing clients an array of choices to experience, and a chance to take a time out to soak up the rejuvenating environment.
Ihilani Spa is located about 25 miles northwest of Honolulu, on Oahu’s spectacular Waianae Coast in the seaside Ko Olina complex’s Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa. Its exceptional treatments feature hydrotherapies, such as the Thalasso massage, which includes saltwater pumped in fresh from the ocean, vivid colors and essential oils. During this signature offering, clients are submerged in a high-tech tub contoured for the back and neck as 200 water and air jets rhythmically massage the body with warm water. Meanwhile, the room’s mood-enhancing lights change hues.
Throughout my Deluxe Thalasso Therapy treatment, priced at $75 and lasting for 25 minutes, spa technician Curtis Fowler would reappear, checking my progress and gently using a grand jet showerhead to spray and massage my hands and feet. Afterward, fresh water from 16 jets surrounding me in a needle shower rinsed the salt away.
Ihilani’s ample facilities also feature a eucalyptus steam room, overhead Vichy shower, 104°F Roman pool, 56°F cold plunge pool and other water facilities. All this hydrotherapy soothes stressed-out souls at the tranquil spa, where the facilities are divided by gender and other spa and salon services are also available, including a ti leaf wrap for sunburn, hula fitness lessons and well-stocked scrub bar.