Category Archives: spa & wellness

A New Year’s Tradition: Letters to the Universe

When one door closes, another opens. Or something like that, right?

I feel the same way about the changing of the calendar from one year to the next. It’s a perfect time for starting fresh! New Year’s Day has grown to be my favorite holiday of the year.

IMG_2930.JPG

Growing up, I remember my grandmother starting the water boiling for everyone to take a shot of hot sake once we watched the ball drop in Times Square in NYC. (To this day, I still can’t stand hot sake and will only take mine cold.) In my 20’s, I loved it for the parties the night before – getting all dolled up and celebrating with my friends, maybe even searching for a tall, dark and handsome stranger to kiss at midnight. These days, I tend to celebrate in a quieter way. To be honest, I think I didn’t even make it to midnight the past three years or so. (Sorry, not sorry!)

Part of the reason that I’m usually at home celebrating New Year’s Eve these days is that I truly look forward to getting up early to greet the first sunrise of the year at Sandy Beach with my friends. We’ve created a bit of a tradition and it always helps me to look back at the year that’s passing and to bring a fresh energy to the year that’s ahead. It’s grown to be such a fun and meaningful way to ring in the new year and I always love hearing when other people have joined in and found a way to participate as well, or put their own spin on ours.

In 2008 (video above), my word was EXPLORE and it was especially meaningful getting together with my friends as on January 8th that year, Jess and I set off on our adventure through SE Asia and the Pacific. That year I traveled until I couldn’t any longer, eventually passing through 17 countries!

Continue reading

Kamaaina Deals at Travaasa Hana with Mokulele Airlines

This week, Mokulele Airlines made the the first of its twice-daily roundtrip flights between Kahului Airport and Hana, Maui. Flights start at $59 each way and should be booked well in advance – yes, this is a tiny plane to make the short 20 minute trip to Hana.

This is GREAT news for Kama’aina! While the famous Road to Hana is beautiful and well worth the drive, it still takes at least a couple of hours each way, making it a bit of a deterrent to many who have just a weekend or a few days to stay on-island. So a low-cost daily flight is the perfect answer.

Sea Ranch Cottages at Travaasa Hana (photo courtesy of Travaasa Hana)

>> To sweeten the deal even further, Travaasa Hana is currently offering these Kama’aina Packages only for Hawaii residents:

“Garden Suite Getaway” Package, $295/night

The delightful “Garden Suite Getaway” package includes accommodations in a low-rise bungalow Garden Suite; roundtrip air from Kahului Airport (OGG) to Hana Airport (HNM) on Mokulele Airlines for two (valued at $240); ground transportation to and from the Hana Airport; $25 per person spa credit; $25 per person private activity credit; and $50 food and beverage credit. Based on double occupancy; excluding taxes and service charges. Two-night minimum stay required. Certain restrictions and blackout dates apply. Proof of Hawaii residency is required at check-in.

“Sea Ranch Romance” Package, $395/night

For the ultimate romantic escape, experience Travaasa Hana with the “Sea Ranch Romance” package. This seductive offer includes accommodations in a plantation-style, ocean view Sea Ranch Cottage with a private lanai; roundtrip air from Kahului Airport (OGG) to Hana Airport (HNM) on Mokulele Airlines for two (valued at $240); ground transportation to and from the Hana Airport; $25 per person spa credit; $25 per person private activity credit; and $50 food and beverage credit. Based on double occupancy; excluding taxes and service charges. Two-night minimum stay required. Must be 16 years or older to stay in Sea Ranch Cottage. Certain restrictions and blackout dates apply. Proof of Hawaii residency is required at check-in.

>>To book, visit www.travaasa.com/hana and enter rate code KAMAAINA, or call Travaasa Hana, Maui directly at (808) 248-8211.

>> Looking for hotel or other Kama’aina deals? Visit our Kama’aina Travel Deals page.
>> For the most recent posts on specific kama’aina deals, click here.
>> For more on MAUI, click here.

Things to Do in Honolulu: Spa Day at the Hilton Hawaiian Village

One of the benefits of living near the resorts and hotels of Waikiki is that we’ve got world-class spa facilities available to us when we’re up for a splurge. A great way to treat yourself is to book a spa treatment at the Mandara Spa at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

The Mandara Spa Experience

Check in is on the fourth floor of the Kalia Tower of the Hilton Hawaiian Village, and once you arrive you’ll be led on a tour of the facilities, including the lounge areas. Before my treatment, I spent some time in the fitness room (a small gym with cardio equipment, free weights, and room for stretching) and then read out by the pool for a bit. On my way back to the women’s lounge, there were complimentary cups of fresh fruit and chilled ice water, and I couldn’t help grabbing one with a smile as I felt the relaxation sinking in – it truly felt like I was on vacation.

Loved the little touches, like fresh fruit cups on the way to the lounge.


Continue reading