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For Me and My Man
By Jane Cassie
(For Travel Writers’ Tales)

There’s nothing better than getting away with the man in my life and, for the most part, we’re pretty compatible when it comes to travel. We usually agree on the destination and accommodation, but when it comes to the ‘spa thing,’ I stand (or lie) alone. Brent would rather be sweating over a treadmill than under hot rocks, and would take an Elliptical machine over a eucalyptus steam. Well, on this recent Maui sojourn, and visit to two top-notch spas, my skeptical hubby finally does an about face (and body) and becomes ‘lomilomi’ converted!

(1. Hana Highway carves through a Lush Rainforest)

For our first stay, we’re in search of total reprieve, which we find in the heavenly town of Hana. The highway that spans from Kahului to this eastern coast hamlet is not much wider than a country road. Within a two hour time frame, we veer around six hundred curves, creep over fifty one-lane bridges, and yield to countless on-comers. Our slender road loops through a feathery rainforest where we’re canopied by banyons, kissed by waterfalls, and welcomed by a pot of gold at the end of numerous rainbows.

Hana is steeped with just as much history as beauty. It was once home to a thriving sugar plantation and, after business dried up in 1943, the land was purchased by Paul Fagan, a highfalutin Californian.

“He not only established the present-day working ranch,” we’re informed, after finally reaching our destination resort, “but opened Hotel Hana-Maui. Welcome!” The friendly receptionist wears a purple orchid behind one ear and greets us with a fragrant lei and winning smile.

(2. Relaxing at our ranch cottage)

Asphalt walkways weave over the terrain like silver threads, and lace through the quaint community of 1,800 residents. They link up posh accommodations, chichi activities, dining options and amenities.

(3. sanctuary oozes peace and tranquility)

And just a short stroll away, is a sanctuary that oozes peace and tranquility. It overlooks Hana Bay, shares its aromatic essences with indigenous blossoms and goes by the name of Honua Spa. As well as a chilly cold plunge and lava rock whirlpool there are more than half a dozen treatment rooms. They offering everything from traditional Thai to locally-infused therapies and from behind one of the shoji-style screens I soon discover the true meaning of ecstasy! “How ‘bout joining me,” I comment to my dubious better-half when later reading about all the treatments for couples. “We could go for a little duo decadence.” Brent chuckles at the gesture, checks out the map for the gym, and politely passes.

(4. Brent checks out the gym)

(5. Golf courses Kapalua)

Our second and final Maui destination, is Kapalua, and home of the glitzy Ritz-Carlton. Five golf courses grace this area and a number of tees border the property’s expansive acreage. The surf plummets onto the other, and in between are enough posh amenities to appease any Maui castaway.

(6. Pools at the glitzy Ritz)

Brent does his daily jaunt while I stretch at Pilates and this time when it’s time for my whole meal pampering deal, his eyebrows raise with interest. “How ‘bout some partnership pleasure?” he says, with a chuckle. I can’t believe he’s going to concede. After witnessing my recent rewards of renewal my spa-skeptic husband is ready for some heavenly bliss!

(7. Partnership Bliss at the Ritz Carlton)

Over the next two hours, we succumb to Utopian joys while lying side by side. Two therapists work in synchronicity like a pair of well-versed musicians. And while personalizing the Rainforest Rhapsody to meet our specific needs, the harmony abounds. Erica’s hands are proficient but gentle and while being masked and lomilomi massaged I drift in and out of trance-land. I figure Brent must be headed to the same place. Moans of merriment and even the occasional snore erupt from his massage cot. We’re both swaddled in blankets like rectified mummies before another scrumptious application is applied. This time, the delectable aroma is coconut. After then being rubbed and rolled by our massage magicians we eventually resurrect smelling sweeter than a pair of honey bees. Although speechless and just wearing a dreamy gaze, Brent doesn’t have to respond. I can see he’s been transformed. And after our peppermint Pedicure the following morning, we board the plane where more truth is revealed. For light reading, I carry on a guide book of other Hawaiian Islands. Brent clutches his own choice of magazines. Among it is a copy of Healing Retreats.


Maui Visitors Bureau

PHOTOS by Brent and Jane Cassie


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