Feeling like you need a little refresher course in how to relax? Are your shoulders feeling tense and you just don’t have any vacation time on the horizon? We have just the ticket for you, and it’s not an airline ticket to the mainland. It’s a spa-cation right here in Hawai‘i.
We promise that a weekend getaway to the Four Seasons Resort O‘ahu at Ko Olina will have you feeling rejuvenated in no time at all. While there are plenty hotel spas for residents and visitors to choose from, few offer the kind of service and super-luxury of the Four Seasons Resort brand. Residents of Ko Olina on O‘ahu’s west side already know that this master-planned enclave feels like a permanent vacation – wide avenues, great beaches, world-class golf and tennis, great restaurants, luxury retail, and four picture-perfect lagoons are just a few of the big draws to living here. If you live on O‘ahu, a weekend spent in Ko Olina feels like a real getaway from your daily grind. For those who are popping over from another island, Ko Olina offers a relaxing oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the city. While Honolulu is still accessible for shopping and nightlife, once you get to Ko Olina, you’re far away from the traffic congestion and the throngs of tourists in Waikiki.
At the recently renovated Four Seasons, which opened to critical acclaim in 2015, a zen decor and super luxurious surroundings will leave feeling pampered at every turn. Reimagined by DeReus Architects, the hotel has seamless integrations between indoor and outdoor spaces, with modern, clean lines and elegant furnishings and decor. The Naupaka Spa & Wellness Center is housed in a separate building, set off to the side of the main resort. The building boasts an impressive fitness center, a rooftop lap pool, and world-class tennis facility with five outdoor courts overlooking the ocean. The spa is equipped with a generously sized Jacuzzi and a cold plunge for alternating hot and cold baths, a proven way to increase circulation. There’s also a steam room and sauna and luxuriously appointed changing rooms. Lounge in your plush robe in the spa’s relaxation room after a morning of working out – it’s a quiet little oasis with both indoor and outdoor spaces for unwinding before or after your treatment. Snack on healthy dried fruit and nuts, herbal teas, and fruit-infused water as you flip through magazines and listen to the trade winds.
The spa has indoor and outdoor treatment rooms, 4 floors and 35,000 square feet to enjoy, along with a super luscious menu of sea-themed treatments to choose from, featuring high-quality products designed to rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul using natural ingredients. Deluxe facials are tailored to your skin type. We opted for the fully customized Pure Radiance facial, a gentle, soothing treatment that exfoliates, soothes, calms and moisturizes the skin using Sodashi organic products from Australia. Christine, our therapist, chose the products carefully and explained that they are made using enzymes, mineral clay, and aromatherapy so they’re incredibly gentle for your skin. Her expert facial massage technique throughout this 50-minutes treatment was incredibly soothing. By analyzing your skip type and issues, she provides some great recommendations for items to add to your skincare routine at home.
Our 80-minute, lilikoi lomilomi treatment began with a sea salt body polish using all natural Ola Hawaiian body products, produced on the Big Island. They’re made using local ingredients and the treatment includes three products all infused with lilikoi (passion fruit) for a heavenly scented, soothing trip into relaxation mode. The treatment includes a full-body scrub made from Maui cane sugar, coconut oil, and Hawaiian honey. The lomilomi massage is then completed with long, graceful strokes that are incredibly restorative. Lomilomi can be done with varying amounts of pressure and is a unique form of treatment passed down through Native Hawaiian healers. The relaxation comes from the gradual unwinding of your tense muscles as your body’s own relaxation response kicks in. Our therapist had learned her craft over 20 years under the tutelage of several Hawaiian Kumu, including Auntie Margaret. This treatment will leave your skin feeling smooth and hydrated and your muscles feeling like warm and soft like a fresh malasada. The sugar scrub’s scent will make you smell almost as tasty.
The Naupaka Spa & Wellness Center’s new director, Shawn Hallum, told us that about 30% of the spa’s clientele are O‘ahu residents and regulars who stop by for day treatments, and 70% are hotel guests, of which at least a few are Hawaii residents from across the state. Many are coming for wellness weekends replete with fitness activities, outdoor sports, and healthy eating. He is focused on integrating well-based programs across the resort, with the introduction of new spa-centered cuisine in January and an overall focus creating experiences tailored to each individual’s needs. He is developing a membership program for the beautiful spa space “so that locals can tie together pieces of the luxury resort experience that are meaningful for them. Spa membership will cater to residents and may include lunches, dinners, spa treatments, and fitness facility access – depending on the desired level of engagement for each individual”.
To enhance your spa-cation, we recommend you opt for a Saturday night stay so you can take advantage of the Four Seasons unbelievable Sunday morning brunch. Bring a healthy appetite so you can enjoy as many items as possible! There’s an outdoor barbecue serving up grilled tenderloin and lobster tails, a poke bar, prime rib and kālua pork, an oyster and crab station, a full array of desserts and salads, plus all kinds of breakfast options – eggs benedict, bacon and eggs, and the like. We decided to save the cheese and pastries for our next visit since we just couldn’t eat another bite. Did we mention the Bloody Mary bar and the delicious local coffee? It’s an incredibly indulgent brunch, all for just $65.
After brunch, you’ll want to set aside some time to lounge poolside or take a nap on the Four Season’s perfect little crescent of white sand. It’s a great place for kids as the protected cove is very calm and you can keep an eye on them (if you haven’t left them at home with a babysitter, that is). There are plenty of watersports available nearby if you’re feeling energetic – including stand-up paddleboarding, diving, surfing at Makaha Beach and more. Maybe a sunrise yoga session or a morning hike is more to your taste. Take a wander through the shops at the resort or take a stroll through Ko Olina to get a feel for this part of the island. If you haven’t yet considered this slice of O‘ahu real estate as a place to call home, it’s definitely a spot to check out. You’ll be glad you did and you’ll leave feeling more relaxed than you have in some time.