Archive for the ‘hawaii hotels’ Category

Maui Wowie… Yoga-Style, Brah

The grounds of Lumeria Maui

The grounds of Lumeria Maui

We’re a little obsessed with yoga retreats… we know, we know. And, since we’re also Kama’aina (local Hawaiian, bradah), we wanted to share Lumeria Mauis latest. Lumeria Maui is Hawaii’s newest luxury retreat for yoga, well-being, and personal growth, if you must know, and they’re presenting Symphony Of The Senses with four retreats in 2013.  These retreats integrate yoga, music, movement, sensory awareness, nature, and gourmet organic cuisine (check!)  in, as they say, “a nurturing, supportive, holistic, and vibrantly energetic environment.” Certified Anusara teacher, Skeeter Tichnor, plans to facilitate the movement of energy in participants’ bodies through the practice of yoga.

The goal?

To guide attendees in accessing and experiencing beauty, peace and compassionate awareness. As a leading innovator of contemporary healing and transformational music, Peter Kater will also provide the soundscape to a deeper experience of our emotional bodies and a heightened awareness of our essential selves with music created specifically for these retreats.

A room at Lumeria

A room at Lumeria

The first retreat will consist of a four night and five day stay from April 27 – May 1, 2013 and starts at $1,500 per person based on double occupancy.  In addition to the retreat, this package includes three meals per day at Harvest Café as well as all classes, sessions, and on-property activities. The second immersion is a five night and six day retreat from July 20 – 25, 2013, which starts at $1,700 per person based on double occupancy. Dates and details on the last two Symphony of the Senses retreats are soon to be announced on Lumeria Maui’s website.

Lumeria encompasses six ocean- and mountain-view acres between the seaside village of Paia and the upcountry paniolo (that’s “cowboy”, for all you city slickers) town of Makawao. In addition to its 24 luxury guest accommodations, the retreat also features a spacious yoga studio, 900-square-foot outdoor yoga platform and 8,000-square-foot lower terrace suited for group activities. The Harvest Café serves breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week with menus featuring local, organically grown produce.

Relaxing at Lumeria. Not too shabby, eh?

Relaxing at Lumeria. Not too shabby, eh?

Daily instruction in yoga and meditation are included with accommodations. Further education is made available through customized programs in therapeutic healing arts, water sports, personal growth and transformation, and the history and practices of indigenous Hawaiian culture. Located just 2.5 miles from the Maui’s famed North Shore, Lumeria Maui’s adventure experiences include surfing, kite-surfing, stand up paddle board and windsurfing sessions, all led by world-class athletes and instructors.

The property is a restored historic site, originally constructed in 1909, and features classic Hawaii-style neo-colonial fusion architecture. We love. In light of its adaptive reuse, the project is also listed in the National Registry of Historical Places, and was an honored recipient of a 2012 Preservation Award from the Historic Hawaii Foundation.

Now that’s da kine.

Secret Spots of Oahu’s Fabled North Shore

Stephen Koehne, Sean Moody, Aamion Goodwin, and Mark Healey. Photo: Kelli Bullock

Stephen Koehne, Sean Moody, Aamion Goodwin, and Mark Healey. Photo: Kelli Bullock

Turtle Bay Resort’s new “Play Lists” helps guests better experience Oahu’s fabled North Shore. Each list is authored by a hand selected North Shore luminary who lives the “The Life” to its fullest and details the many inspirational ways to play along one of the world’s most fabled coastlines. Authored by Jodi Wilmott, veteran surf and watersports communications professional, Jodi’s life has revolved around the ocean since day one. Born in South Africa to a young Australian couple who were on an “Endless Summer” surfari, she moved with her parents to Oahu at the age of three. They lived with the Hawaiian family of Eddie and Clyde Aikau, who were only just starting to make their names in surfing. After traveling the globe for another decade, Jodi settled back in Hawaii permanently in 1998, taking up as communications director for international ocean sport events like the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, the Quicksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau, the Molokai to Oahu paddleboard and outrigger canoe races, sailing regattas and distance ocean swims.

Jodi lives in the country area of Waialua on the North Shore with her husband and three young boys. She hosts iconic guests each week at Talk Story (Surfer, The Bar) to share and preserve the many wonderful and inspirational stories that are tied to this iconic stretch of ocean on Oahu’s North Shore. In her time off, Jodi loves to surf at Laniakea, Jocko’s, remote breaks near Ka’ena Point, and at Turtle Bay.

Waimea Valley

Waimea Valley

With further ado, here is Jodi’s Play List of Things to Do:

  • Waimea Valley is one of those places where you feel like you can truly exhale, wind down, and get back in touch with all that is good in the world. The expansiveness and beauty of nature has been retained here and it feels like stepping back in time to a day when the early Hawaiians lived in harmony with their environment. My kids love it here as much as I do. Take a walk, relax and read a book on the valley lawn, take a dive in the waterfall. You will leave rejuvenated.
  • Ka’ena Point takes you far away from life’s business. Pack a good sized bottle of ice cold water and a light brunch and drive to the far west end of Farrington Highway, beyond Haleiwa and Mokuleia. There are deserted white sand beaches and aqua waters to find during summer. In the winter, enjoy the massive, crashing surf from the safety of high sand. You can also take the walking trail at the end of the road and gently explore the shoreline. Caution: no lifeguards on this stretch of coastline and it also gets very hot, so get an early start, drink plenty of water, keep a cell phone on you, and stay within your comfort zone for real enjoyment.
  • Dillingham airfield offers amazing glider flights over the North Shore and Oahu’s West Side. Soar like a bird without the sound of an airplane engine and savor the greens, blues and earthy tones of the region, not to mention the spectacular mountain range and ocean views. Get lost in your thoughts and the gorgeous scenery!
  • If you’ve got small children, Shark’s Cove is a natural wonderland. It’s so easy for a kid to be content here and a few small items will make it extra fun: sunscreen and a hat, reef walkers, snorkel and mask, even a small bodyboard to float around on. There are pools of varying depths and plenty of living sea creatures to explore. Get an early start on it to get a parking spot and skip the midday heat. Or, enjoy it late before the sun goes down – there’s an excellent sunset view from here, too.
  • 21 Degrees – this is where my husband and I go for a romantic dinner of superb quality and the island’s best lychee martini!! I love their food and wine paired with the ambiance and view at sunset. It’s the highest quality menu on the North Shore, for sure, and one of the best restaurants in the Islands.
  • Coffee Gallery, in the Haleiwa Marketplace, is where a local’s day begins… or ends! Fresh, fresh, fresh coffee, locally grown, with an incredible selection of one-of-a-kind sweet and savory treats. I love their creamy lattes and the staff pays special attention to making every cup enjoyable. Excellent!!
  • Kahuku Superette and the Fiji Market are just a short drive to the east from Turtle Bay, but are a local favorite. These mom-and-pop stores are like a trip back in time and we’re so fortunate to still have them on the North Shore. Kahuku Superette has the freshest and tastiest poke on the island, and various other Hawaiian delicacies. Fiji Market offers meat pies and sausage rolls among many other things, and is a favorite of expat Australians, New Zealanders and Fijians.
  • The Talk Story speaker series at Turtle Bay Resort’s <Surfer, The Bar>…is my ultimate fave…OK, OK, full disclosure…I am the host!  But, each week I am treated to exceptional stories from iconic surf and ocean-related personalities. Whether the speakers are world champion surfers, best-selling authors, oceanographers, cinematographers and photographers, or big wave riders and legitimate North Shore legends, Talk Story is a human experience you won’t find anywhere else on the planet.
  • Laniakea will forever be my favorite surf spot in the world. Suited more for intermediate and advanced surfers, this is one of the best waves in Hawaii and many surfing greats have had their day at ‘Lani’s’. I may never surf as well as them, but riding a wave is a relative experience; if you’re comfortable with the conditions, you can have the greatest wave of your life – whether it’s 2-feet or 20-feet.

Check out Turtle Bay Resort for more Play Lists.

Maui, Hawaii: Eco-Travel with the Fairmont Kea Lani

Feel like staying closer to home, but need a tropical ‘feel good’ getaway? We love the Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea, Maui. Huge comfortable rooms, an exotic all-white mediterranean design, not too many kids (but just enough for families), and delicious restaurants right onsite. There’s a reason why they named it “Kea Lani” since it means “Heavenly Whiteness.” Their new organic restaurant, Ko, where 100% of its fish are from sustainable fisheries and their island classic, Nick’s Fish Market, make it a solid go-to getaway for in-the-know Maui eco (yet chic-o) vacationers.

We like them because they’re giving back in an interesting way. Through their Recycling Cents program, they donate their HI-5 recyclables to local non-profit charities, raising, to date, over $20,000. One school group used the funds to build an electric car and, in addition to that mad giving, the hotel donates bath amenities to the women’s shelter on Maui and hosts a Mother’s Day and Christmas dinner. If that’s not enough… the hotel’s Director of Engineering goes to the shelter once a month to fix things like door locks and plumbing. With nearly 50 environmental programs going on at the hotel (and others in the Fairmont portfolio), their latest initiative, converting to the just-on-the-market Eco-Mode Thermostat, is connected to the hotel’s database and automatically turns on when a guest checks in and shuts off when a guest checks out. The motion detectors scan the room for movement and, if there is no motion detected, the thermostat automatically adjusts the temperature 5 degrees higher than either the default setting, or the temperature the guest set. The thermostat also shuts off when doors to the lanai are opened, monitors humidity, and allows the hotel to ensure all air conditioning units are in good working order. Installing the eco-MODE thermostat is yet another progressive initiative emphasizing The Fairmont Kea Lani’s dedication to waste reduction, energy management, and water conservation.

So we say… heavenly whiteness, in more way than one, in the house.

Rates from $340/night.

Maui, Green Travel: Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment

Take one of the most beautiful hotels in the Hawaiian islands, the always impeccable Ritz-Carlton service, a $180 million transformation, and a partnership with renowned diplomat for the environment, Jean-Michel Cousteau, and you have… the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua’s Ambassadors of the Environment program!

We can’t ever say enough about the Ritz. They just know how to do it right, down to the five food and beverage presentations of their Club Level, unmatched service with a smile, and now a program benefiting our most beloved resource… the ocean.

Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment program at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, Maui (and other select Ritz destinations worldwide) offers everything from underwater photography sessions at Kapalua Bay to seasonal whale-watching excursions paired with Trilogy, as well as hikes in the Kapalua Arboretum. The best part? All activities are led by trained naturalists with degrees in the sciences. I visited in February and had an amazing time playing tennis with my husband, enjoying their stunning spa (complete with a private co-ed hot tub), nibbling delectable cuisine on the Club Level (not to be missed if you’re staying at the Ritz), and alas… taking part in the Ambassadors of the Environment program.

Before our guide, Iokepa Naeole, took us on a memorable hike throughout the Kapalua Arboretum, he sang a moving Hawaiian prayer, thanking the environment for allowing us to appreciate her beauty and enter her honorable rainforest. When he sang, it seemed as if everything suddenly went still. The wind, the birds, and the trees. Once inside, Naole informed us about the culture, native endemic species and invasive species, but my favorite part of the hike was swinging from a branch like Tarzan while Naeole picked fruits for us to eat along the way.
The program certainly lived up to it’s goal: inspiring Ritz guests to live a more sustainable life with a greater understanding of the relationships between land to sea, humans to nature, people to people, and present to future. To that end, the center’s furniture is made with completely recycled materials like Marmeloum and tables made of reclaimed shredded U.S. currency and sunflower hull and straw. Using only CFL and LED lights, they also have dual-flush toilets and coreless toilet paper, 100% Recycled and biodegradable non-bleached paper towels, sustainable bamboo floors, reusable containers for beverages, and all single use products (cups, utensils, etc.) are made from non-GMO corn, potato or sugar cane that are biodegradable and compostable.

If that’s not impressive enough, they get their drinking water from one of the most space-age devices I’ve ever come across – an atmospheric water generator (AWG) which converts ambient atmospheric water vapor into potable water. It extracts, filters, treats and purifies water all from the air we breathe! I was so impressed with their eco-friendly earth-conscious tips that as soon as I’m in one place long enough, I’m saving up for that handy water vapor machine.  So we say, get on that first flight to Maui and be sure to follow up your visit by joining Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society (OFS), a non-profit that explores our global ocean, inspiring and educating people to act responsibly for its protection, documenting the critical connection between humanity and nature, and celebrating the ocean’s vital importance to the survival of life on our planet.

The ocean can’t wait!

Aromatic Journeys: Awaken Your Senses

Stroll past two sparkling white Rolls Royce Phantoms through the sliding glass doors into paradise. Inlakesh. That’s how the staff of this ultra-chic Cancun resort greets you. In Mayan it means, “We are different faces of each other.” And this is what it means to ‘Feel AQUA.’ At peace and one with the environment. From the custom aromatic oils pumped throughout the hotel to Watsu treatments, Ashtanga Yoga, Regional Cooking Classes and your choice of two superb restaurants, Siete and MB, home to James Beard Winner, Michelle Bernstein’s stellar boite…

This certainly ain’t your parents run-of-the-mill Cancun resort. Think the W’s modish elegance meets Ritz-Carlton’s flawless service. Fans include the likes of Paris Hilton, Kim Cattrall, and… me. When they say awaken your senses, they truly mean it. Right down to a nightly choice, delivered straight to your room, of six aromatic oils blended specifically for the hotel.

Intoxicating, sensual, and unique. Just like you. Sure, anyone who’s anyone knows about the Four Seasons Resort Maui, but do they also know about their brand-spankin’ new demi-blending scent analysis? Through a discussion with your mélanger, along with an in-depth computerized test, personalized perfume sessions target elements of your personality and aspects of your health that directly affect the scents – and senses – you’re drawn to. Ajne Rare & Precious, the expert all-natural and organic essential oil perfumerie out of Carmel, California, is run by husband and wife duo, Jane Hendler and Rex Rombach, and Handler personally trains each mélanger at the Four Seasons Resort Maui to guide you during your prêt-à-porter fragrance consultation.
Hendler is one of the few accredited Certified Master Essential Oil Therapists in the nation and has been called the ‘Star Perfumer’ by US Weekly. Some of her clients have included Jessica Biel, Reese Witherspoon, Alanis Morrisette and Rob Lowe. In addition to owning their own lavender farm in Carmel Valley, Jane and Rex work with small growers from around the world to obtain the organic and sustainably-harvested fruit, flower, leaf, grass, wood, lichen, fungi and spice oils that Jane transforms into parfum, lotions and skin care preparations in her Carmel laboratory boutique. Hand-blending each formula to a customer’s specific needs, Handler also developed a signature scent for Four Seasons Resort Maui, Palena`ole, available at the Spa’s retail.

Custom blend and consultation from $250

So bring the sweet smell of vacation home with you.
Feel like a guided aromatic meditation? Might we recommend a personal aromatherapy session with Renate, the on-site Artist-in-Residence, at the Ojai Valley Inn’s Artist Cottage and Apothecary? This German beauty will guide your senses through a holistic journey of self-discovery in a variety of media, whether it’s pottery, painting, drawing, wreath-making, or, my personal favorite, scent. Allow for time alone or share the experience with your family and friends. I had the pleasure of being guided through an afternoon of aromatic self-discovery with my husband – who just happened to develop my current favorite anointment he lovingly called ‘Orchard Floor.’ It was the perfect experience to end a perfect birthday weekend. Each scent is composed of essential therapeutic oils which you can also introduce into lotions, gels and creams that will carry your own name. Also worth mentioning… The Personal Mandala class, another Signature Ojai Experience, recommended at times of transition or when seeking clarity. Quiet and introspective, with insightful feedback from your instructor, these sessions reveal a deeper meaning to what lies on the paper.

From $150

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