Maui Part One: Instant Relaxation at Kapalua Resort

Long before I embarked on my journey to Maui, I decided that meditation would be the theme of this trip. Beyond its obvious benefits, it was my way of zoning out the hype and taking in the island’s natural beauty.

We arrived at Kuhului early in the morning.  Lush mountains, fresh coconut stands, and ocean vistas accompanied us on the hour long drive along Hawaii Route 30.  We passed Lahaina, an old whaling town, and once the capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii, and Kaanapali, one of the most frequented resort towns on the island.  We arrived at Kapalua shortly thereafter.  A resort complex built along an exquisite stretch of Maui’s northwest coastline, Kapalua is home to the Ritz-Carlton, The Kapalua Villas, Maui, Plantation Golf Course (a PGA tour stop), private residences, a world class spa, and several of the islands acclaimed dining venues. We proceeded along the resort’s quiet main road, lined with greenery and tropical flowers, until we reached our private villa.  

We entered to find a comfortable, inviting living room, kitchen and dining room, before my gaze locked on the panoramic ocean view from the balcony - the vast pacific, interrupted only by neighboring islands Molokai and Lanai, was like an instant relaxation drug. I knew this is where we would spend most of the next two days.

The need for sustenance (and one of those famous Mai Tai’s), however, tore us away from our slice of paradise and we headed for nearby Pineapple Grill.  Set on a golf course, with tiki torch flames prancing in the foreground, we dined on ahi tacos, spring rolls, and mahi mahi. After a cocktail (or two) we promptly retreated to our haven.

We woke the next morning to the sound of gently crashing waves.  It was as if they were summoning us to shore.  A nearby trail seemed to lead to the beach, so we followed it and hoped for the best, excited by the thought of not knowing where we might end up. Not hiking enthusiasts by any means, we kept on our course and took in the breathtaking views as we ‘climbed’ over volcanic rock formations at the ocean’s edge. About an hour after our departure, beach bag and straw hat in hand, we arrived at Iron Horse Beach. No lawn chairs, no umbrellas, just fine white sand between our toes and the endless Pacific mere steps away. 

As I perused through a stack of magazines that had become a permanent fixture on my desk for months, the sun's rays grew stronger and we began to make our way to nearby Kapalua Spa.  It was as if we went from rugged beauty to organized bliss.  Separate areas for men and women each included an outdoor Jacuzzi with waterfall, lounge, cool rainfall area, eucalyptus steam room and sauna. The men’s lounge included a relaxation room with flat screen television, where my husband spent much of the afternoon.  At the center of the spa, a coed area with saline pool and Jacuzzi was surrounded by loungers sipping on pineapple water and snacking on spa cuisine. I lingered until it was time for my treatment.

My therapist, Rosy, soon arrived and led me through a garden path to a cabin made entirely of wood, with vaulted ceiling and carved details.  A wall of plantation shutters opened to reveal lush tropical landscape and my husband had already taken his place inside an oversized stone tub on the patio.  We would receive a Beer Bath, known to restore the skin and relieve muscles, using handcrafted ingredients from nearby Maui Brewing Company. Already filled with bubbles and water, Rosy added  grains and hops to the bath before I climbed in to soak.  She returned with a tray of Hawaiian sweet bread, two ice cold glasses, and a jug of artisan beer.  The next half hour was heavenly. And so was the massage that followed.

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