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Romancing the Spa

Health, wellness and relaxation for your pampering pleasure.

February 11, 2010
Paul Janes-Brown

Since we live in paradise, we are almost inured to opulence and beauty, but when one steps through the tall, frosted glass doors of the Spa at Four Seasons Resort Maui, one is transported to a new luxury level. The fragrance in the air, the soft strings and harps providing subtle background sounds and the attentive staff all conspire to please.

The menu of treatments is the most extensive I have ever seen. Besides all the wraps, rubs and salon treatments common to other spas, the Four Seasons Resort Maui offers an array of wellness treatments—from acupuncture to Zen Taro, which I am told, “does not predict the future, nor does it ‘repair’ the past. It is about the power of now.”

Have you ever experienced a massage on a flotation bed? The Spa’s secluded treatment suite is designed for couples. It’s a romantic and energizing experience like none other. Equipped with a private steam shower and whirlpool, it is the perfect way to begin a spa day.

Article Photos

The Spa at Four Seasons Resort Maui in Wailea offers couples an intimate spa experience.

You enjoy Hawai‘i for it’s fabulous climate—and the Four Seasons knows that. The hotel commissioned Uncle Francis Palani Sinenci of Hāna, a skilled builder in the Hawaiian tradition, to guide the creation of three authentic hale hau. These hale are traditional structures built with “ohia” posts, thatching, and tied with cord.

Clearly, Uncle Francis shared his mana‘o and expertise. The result is a truly magnificent healing setting. Nestled among the nuapaka hedges, the three hale are perched on a ridge above the beach. The unparalleled panorama reminds you what experiencing paradise is truly all about.

Attention to detail is what sets the Spa at the Four Seasons apart from others. When a massage treatment begins at most spas, the therapist leaves the room while you lie face down on the table, trying reach behind back to pull the sheet over you. Then the therapist knocks on the door and asks if you are ready.

At the Four Seasons, the therapist remains in the room and raises the sheet above her head to block her vision. This simple technique preserves the client’s modesty and alleviates the awkwardness of covering yourself. A small thing, but all the small things they do here cumulate in a perfect experience.

Their signature massage is “The Mele Wailea” or Song of Wailea.” Spa Director Patricia Makozak told me they devised it themselves. It is their most popular treatment—and I know why.

The hale is the perfect place for this treatment. The long, slow strokes of the therapist match the rhythm of the sea below the hale. The therapist starts on the back using coconut lemongrass oil with forearm strokes to work the knots and smooth the muscles. Once the back has been thoroughly satisfied, the therapist moves to the other areas.

The therapist constantly checks in throughout the treatment to be certain the pressure is appropriate.

One can add “Treatment Enhancements” onto any massage. These include an additional 15 minutes of scalp treatment, lower back therapy and foot treatment.

The foot treatment begins with a vigorous scrub, and then the application of lotion followed by a hot towel wrap. There are three varieties, and I chose the coconut lemongrass in keeping with the massage oil used. My feet have never been happier.

My guest chose reflexology. The therapist relieved the discomfort in her feet.

A spa is only as good as its staff, and the Spa at Four Seasons Maui prides itself on their experienced staff. They don’t look at a prospective therapist’s resumé unless he or she has four or more years of experience. My magician masseuse, Lynne, has been a therapist for 22 years—17 of which with the Four Seasons.

One of the things she loves best about the job is the company’s commitment to staff development and training. She feels she has been given a great growth opportunity, and we, the pampered public, are the beneficiaries of that knowledge and training.

With Valentine’s Day nearing, look no further. Buy her a spa day, or better yet, join her for a romantic couples’ experience.

 
 

 

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