Spa Luana – Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu, Hawaii
Spa Luana – Turtle Bay Resort
Close your eyes and listen … the pounding of waves is probably the first thing you’ll notice. Now, open your eyes and look out at the ocean. That’s easy to do, as the resort faces Turtle Bay on one side and Kulilima Cove on the other, which has a protected beach with a swimming and snorkel area.
If you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki, take the drive to the other side of heaven. 5 1/2 miles of pristine beaches and 12 miles of ocean trails for strolls along the ocean, await you on 880 acres. If you take a stroll along the bay, you will probably have the opportunity to see the many turtles that make their home here. There are seven color-coded trails to follow.
There is something for everyone here. Tennis (10 courts), two championship golf courses (36 holes of Arnold Palmer and George Fazio Courses), horse-back riding stables (a wide variety of choices for beginners to advanced riders, including evening and horse-drawn carriage rides). They also have helicopter tours right on site, and much more!
The property can accommodate groups of up to 1,000 for meetings and has hosted concerts of up to 5,000. There was a wedding gong on during my stay and besides seeing guests all dressed up in their “Hawaii best”, one wouldn’t even know it was going on.
While I was working out in the fitness center, I was speaking with a nice gal. She was working out while her husband was taking advantage of the surfing school that they have on property. That makes sense as this is where the surfers live. Turtle Bay Resort is surrounded by little surfing towns, which lends to the very casual atmosphere at the resort. My new friend then left her work-out to join the yoga class, which was starting just outside on the patio. Another lady that I spoke with said that she and her family have been coming back to the resort every year since her two boys were young. One had just graduated from Cordon Bleu School and had even chosen to do his internship here.
The Turtle Bay Resort went through a $60 million renovation of the property. The rooms are spacious (ranging from 478 to 2000 square feet in size) and they also have cottages set away from the main hotel. They have Kallista (deep-soak) tubs, and you can enjoy your own exclusive butler (ho’okipa) service. Rub elbows with the locals as they make their way to the restaurants and partake in the yoga classes, golf and other activities at the resort. It lends itself to a very friendly atmosphere. If you like spinach and bacon, go to Lei Lei’s, their casual golf club dining restaurant and get their spinach salad with warm bacon dressing (it’s great, and loaded with bacon pieces!) and poke (marinated raw ahi tuna). Their poke is very popular, so get there early to get yours.
THE SPA LUANA
Spa Luana takes its meaning from the spirit of relaxation. ancient practices of healing and relaxation that incorporate mind, body and spirit. The Na Ho’ola’s (many healers) used Hawaiian plants, fruits, flowers, and the natural healing properties from the Honua (earth) and the Moana (ocean) to care for the islanders. Experience the collection of Hawaiian indigenous spa treatments that reflect the spirit of Malama (to care, serve and honor).
I arrived at the hotel after a long day in airports and airplanes, and then the 45-minute drive to the hotel. The drive is easy and easy on the eyes, as there are pineapple plantations (Dole) and many other farms and greenery. I checked in, opened the lanai (balcony) and heard beautiful island music playing. There was a function being held outside of my room, but if I hadn’t looked over, I would never have known they were all there, enjoying their early dinner. I just got to enjoy the relaxing music that was filling the air. I then headed down to the spa to get the last treatment of the day.
Hawaiian Ti-Leave Body Wrap
I was greeted by my therapist, Sonia and led to the wet therapy room. I laid down on the treatment bed and she spread an application of fresh coconut pulp all over my body and then followed it by patting my body with a warm pure kukui nut oil. She then wrapped me in a cocoon of ti-leaves on my underside and mylar wrap over my body. During the relaxation period, she placed soothing ti-leafs, held on with small cooled stones eye pillows, and an aromatic essential oil of your choice. During the wrap, Sonia rubbed my head and neck with her great, strong hands, and then massaged my feet. Once complete, she then rinsed my body down with a long overhead Vichy Rain Shower bar. After the rinse, she rolled the sheets and towels out from under me, to provide a clean surface to work from so that she could then apply a natural body moisturizer made with pure, hydrating Aloe Vera gel and coconut juice. She recommended that I let it soak into my body overnight. This treatment alternated from cool to warm and then cool again. They say that this treatment is meant to cool burned skin, prevents peeling and is the ideal spa treatment for those who spent a little too much time in the sun.
Spa massage treatments range from hot stone therapy to Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massages. The Lomi-Lomi originally known as lomi ka’ ala hoku, “massage journey to the stars”, is an ancient Hawaiian Massage system. It has been passed down from one generation to the next. Native Hawaiians believed that all nature is replete with the same energy or spirit which they called aloha ‘aina. This system of massage was kept secret from the West until the 1970’s.
It is meant to revive the body, to move blood and lymph, release muscle spasms, and facilitate waste product removal from muscle and connective tissue. The concepts of unconditional love, grace, beauty and spirituality are inherent in Lomi.
The most distinctive movement of Lomi is a kneading motion done toward the heart. However, a full range of massage strokes are also used. Special attention is paid to the na ‘au, the lower abdomen, which ancient Hawaiian philosophy considers the center of all emotion and power.
The practitioner will predominantly use the soft part of the forearm coupled with a dancing motion to create the long, gliding strokes intrinsic to Lomi. Finger tips, hands, knuckles and elbow may also be used.
I spoke with two different women who had this massage and both were extremely relaxed and pleased with their treatments.
For lack of time, I was not able to experience this luxurious treatment, but I was able to speak with a lady having it done.
First, this treatment is performed out on the patio, facing the pounding waves. This was also just before sunset so the atmosphere was enhanced by the sun setting. She said that she was loving the total experience and her pedicurist was a delightful young lady, also.
A truly pampering tropical foot treatment that began with a warmed coconut milk footbath soak, filled with fresh orchids, followed by a Hawaiian Sea Salt exfoliation and lava rock buff. Next her feet were wrapped with a mask of crushed pineapple and island honey for deep conditioning. During that period, she enjoyed a soothing kukui nut oil hand massage. Then she had an invigorating foot massage, and ended with a moisturizing application of kukui oil.
The locker room and spa itself is small, with a steam room, a couple of showers and limited amenities, but the trip to your room is short. They even have a spa floor, on the second floor above the spa. The elevator misses the ground floor traffic, so you won’t be running into lobby guests. For larger groups, they convert suites into treatment rooms. Guests can enjoy the sound of the waves from these private suites. The Jacuzzi is located just outside the spa doors
The sitting area was very well lit, with only one large comfy chair and another two-person backless bench.
All in all, everyone that I spoke with truly enjoyed the property and the spa. If you’re looking to get away from it all and relax, on Oahu, this is the place.
Review by: Sherrie Strausfogel “Hawaii’s Spa Experience”