A tropical getaway is not complete without a session in a luxury spa. And Hawaiian resorts know how to package rest, relaxation and rejuvenation for your entire body.
I get a good vibe when any skin treatment begins at my feet, and once inside The Spa At Trump International Hotel, the welcome touch is perfection. On arrival peppermint, tea and chocolates are swiftly served, along with a heated wheat pack for my tired shoulders. Sitting upright, in the waiting area, is where your treatment begins, at your feet. Hot towels, infused with lemon grass essential oil accompany a foot, and then and massage, which certainly gets you in the mood for pampering. My therapist started by layering on cleanser and sweeping away the sunscreen build up with hot towels, while a vaporzone gently bubbled away steaming my face. After a quick inspection, my skin was indeed crying out for a brightening boost, which uses a three-step exfoliating, enzyme mask from Spanish skincare brand Natura Bisse. Expect a gentle tingling sensation as the powder to liquid formula sweeps away brown spots and dry skin. However, the glow you get from this step is proof that it’s the power punch in this skin service. After exfoliating, the Diamond Serum followed, and then the blissful shoulder massage. Before unfurling every knot in my neck and shoulders, a heated towel was placed under my neck and on my head. And it was at this point things got a bit fuzzy: I was out cold (and yes, I woke about 15 minutes later to the sound of my snoring). The final step, the Diamond Ice Lift Mask, rounded off this facial nicely, when accompanied by a heavenly scalp massage. Revived and energized, all thanks to the slick therapist, and tranquil surroundings; it was time for some exercise - shopping at Bloomingdales.
Spa At The Trump, Hawaiian Whitening and Brightening facial, allow 60 minutes, $175US.
As I sunk into a heated massage bed, my therapist knew instinctively what areas of my body needed work. Wedging her palms beneath my back. "Just close your eyes and breath," her instructions, were all I needed to hear as I started my healing journey. Lomi Lomi is the traditional massage of the Hawaiian islands, and one of the oldest forms of healing. Lomi Lomi simply means massage but to the Hawaiian people, it means much more than a rub down. Known as the 'loving hands' massage, before the treatment my therapist quietly said a blessing, asking for healing to take place - I was open to that. With a constant niggling pain in my neck and shoulders, I was hopeful for the relief.
With continuous, flowing strokes, using her palms and forearms, the pressure was firm, and it certainly did the job of getting the blood flowing. The spa itself is serene and dimly lit, and a holistic vibe is evident the moment you step inside. As far as expertise go, knowing exactly where to exert pressure and where to be gentle, is a skill only the most intuitive therapist has. At this spa, tired travellers will be reborn, with every need taken care of. Once I got my loose and now limber body off the bed, my strained neck felt better for weeks, and that combined with the simple stretch advice, my body has felt better ever since. All that was left for me to do was float downstairs for my Shellac mani - bliss. Lomi Lomi massage at Mandara Spa – Hilton Hawaiian Waikiki Beach Resort allow 90 minutes, $199 US and Mani, $60.
The moment you lay eyes on this outdoor spa, nestled in the tropical gardens of The Royal Hawaiian Hotel, you can understand why it's listed as one of the top 20 spas in the world by Condé Nast Traveller. The only outdoor spa in Honolulu, a cool scented towel and iced water awaits you on arrival, and because this was my second visit, I did not need to ponder the treatment menu. I had to revisit the tropical deep cleansing facial. It starts with a citrus inhalation, which is designed to have a detoxing effect on the entire body, after a week of cocktails by the pool my skin could do with that. The oil-based cleanser, also heavenly scented with tropical fruits, is pressed into skin, in a pulsing rhythm. Next, the polishing, with a grainy brightening scrub and the collagen cocoa butter mask follows. Each therapist is encouraged to customise the massage and steps of each treatment, while keeping with the five-star little touches, like a heated towel for under your neck, and chilled sweet guava juice after the treatment. The serenity of this open air facial, with white gauze curtains blowing in the warm tropical breeze, is an experience you should not miss if you visit Honolulu. I was reluctant to leave, but another cocktail beckoned me poolside. Tropical Facial, allow 50mintues $145 US.