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“The Halale'a Spa Experience at the Princeville, Kauai was WORTH EVERY PENNY!”
Review of Halele'a Spa

Halele'a Spa
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Owner description: This magnificent place was noted in Hawaiian chant and hula for its ethereal beauty and rejuvenating qualities. The Halele'a Spa at The St. Regis Princeville Resort is the namesake of this revered moku that encompassed the land from mountains to sea. The island of Kaua'i was known for abundant water sources, both “wai” (fresh) and “kai” (sea), that were used to promote health and well-being. Traditional Hawaiian medicine also included the use of water related resources that were found in the moku of Halele'a. Following these ancient traditions, the Halele'a Spa creates a memorable spa experience with the highest level of personalization in mind. Carefully crafted treatments combine Hawaiian healing rituals with western techniques. Fresh island botanicals and resources from the sea blend seamlessly to promote a rejuvenating experience. The Halele'a Spa incorporates the Hawaiian healing properties of the indigenous plants and the essence of our island home. The potent minerals and trace elements from the ocean aid in rejuvenation as guests are “renewed” through exotic spa treatments. The Halele'a Spa staff will embrace and nurture every guest of the joyful house. The Halele'a Spa honors the magical waterfalls of Hanalei through its many water inspired features. Allow ample time for a pre-treatment sensory journey starting with quiet time in our steam room infused with aromatic tropical essence. Become invigorated in our signature cascading waterfall showers with an overhead deluge and several body sprays. Emerge refreshed and renewed, and rest in the tranquil relaxation lounge, featuring wall to wall waterfalls and guardianship from the statue of the Hawaiian goddess, Hina lau limu kala, skilled in the medicines of the sea.
Reviewed February 23, 2011

People often talk to me about their massage experiences with other therapists or in other places. When they mention getting a treatment at a hotel spa, they often wince at the prices…they can’t believe those therapists are getting so much money...

I explain that generally spa therapists are only getting a pretty small percentage of the total service price (usually around $20-$25 an hour, plus tip), and that “you’re paying for the amenities.”

And it’s true. All those clean towels, the endless supply of hot water, the beautiful furniture and facilities, and the staff it takes to maintain and support your luxuriating experience doesn’t come cheap.

Many of us figure we can get three “regular” massages in a clinic for the price of one spa experience. So we opt for those instead. And that’s probably why I haven’t had a “luxuriating experience” in a hotel spa since seven or eight years ago when my sister and I had a spa day at the MGM spa on a trip to Vegas.

Until today…


I just got a hot stone massage at the Halale’a Spa at the St. Regis in Princeville, Kauai. Halale'a is--fittingly--Hawaiian for "House of Joy." The spa is so named because the land on which the St. Regis is built was known as Halale'a in ancient times.

From the moment I walked in, the entire spa experience was exquisite, and yes...deliriously joyful! Walk through it with me:

Arrive an hour early—there are “amenities” to experience. Walk in and be greeted by the kind receptionist.

Get led back to the women’s lounge to get your locker, already stocked with a robe, towel, hangers and a secure space for your personal belongings. What’s your size…you’ll need your spa slippers!

Head to the sauna and take that awesome book called “Love is the Killer App: How to Win Business and Influence Friends” that you’ve been wanting to read for about a year. It can’t be a coincidence that you’re reading a book about taking care of people and “giving them the love” in business when you are in a space where you are feeling totally taken care of and are totally “feeling the love.”

Go from sauna to steam room. Steam it up. Aaaaaahhhhhh! Call yourself crazy but it seems like you can actually feel your toxins pouring out of you.

Drink a bottle of Hawaiian Springs water…come on, it’s right there waiting for you and you’ve just lost a lot of water in your sauna and steam extravaganza.

Take a shower in the one the receptionist recommended, the one with shower heads on all sides, and water raining from the ceiling as well.

Enjoy the smell of the shampoo, conditioner, body wash and shave cream…doesn’t the rich, scented shave cream make shaving your legs a delight?

Put on your Halale’a Spa signature bath robe. So soft and yet so cozy.

You’ve got time. Slide into the women’s lounge waiting area and keep pouring over that book. The love is really flowing now—you and the author are one.

But wait, you’re at a fancy hotel spa…don’t go without the flavored water in the lounge. Today we have orange slices in the water…ah, you needed that vitamin C…the real stuff is so much better than a supplement pill.

“You must be Ms. Nino (or Mrs.________ or Mr._______, fill in your name here!)” your therapist says softly…she knows all about “inside voices” and she’s not even a Kindergarten teacher!

Follow her to the treatment room. Don’t worry, there’s a heating pad on the table…she notices you look a little chilled and assures you that she’s turned the heating pad on.

Get excited…it’s a hot stone massage…your favorite kind! Feel how the heat from the stones sinks into your skin, first superficially and then at a very deep level. Say “ta-ta” to tension…it’s heading South.

Sense the warmth and the weight of the smooth basalt stones sliding over your skin. Feel the stones as they apply taro butter cream with maile accents over the terrain of your tired muscles.

Watch your thoughts slowly walk out the door…you are in the zone. You are thanking your body for the work that it has done for you these past…well, all your life. “Here you go body…it’s all about you today. Thoughts, be gone!”

Marvel at the therapist’s skill. She has really smooth transitions. Has she read Thomas Meyer’s "Anatomy Trains"? And that one move, where she went from the soles of your feet up the legs, glutes, back, shoulder, down the arm to the hand, and then backtracking back home to the foot…that was spectacular! Talk about fluidity of movement! Talk about honoring the fascia lines…OK, she has definitely learned about Anatomy Trains.

Know that it’s coming to an end soon, but you’re OK with it. It was so good and think about how many hugely deep breaths you’ve taken over the course of the last hour. That’s enough oxygen to go scuba diving for hours. Your cells are thanking you.

Thank her. Tell her she has excellent skill. Because she does. And it feels good to be reminded.

Shower it up once more. Take a few final cavernously deep breaths. Listen after you turn off the water. You can hear another spa-goer let out a pleasantly deep-breathed sigh as well. People are happy here. They have found a relief that they’ve been looking for.

Time to go. Say goodbye to the nice robe. It’s been nice wearing you, but my time here is through.

Pay up…tip big…and know, those “amenities”…they were worth every penny!

I got back to my hotel room and was exchanging emails with a beloved client. I mentioned that I’d just gotten a massage and “it was heavenly.” She replied, “It couldn't have been better than yours and probably twice the price.”

It was more than twice the price. And yet, I’m still--OUT LOUD--promoting my competition.

Because every once in a while, ladies and gents, the full-blown hotel spa experience is just what the doctor ordered…so so so relaxing.

It can end up being one of those times when you just feel totally and completely “taken care of” and particularly, as adults, those moments are few and far between.

At the end of the day, your wellness practitioner is supposed to help you take great care of yourself. Sometimes, it may come in the form of a pricey hotel spa experience. And when it does, be assured that if I’m your wellness practitioner, I will say, “More power to ya’, Sister (or Bro)!”

6  Thank NancyInHawaii
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 15, 2010

We had a couples massage and I had a manicure. The massage was very nice and the manicure was lacking a lot. The lady was very nice but they had NO colors (no black or dark reds). I hear it's because they focus more on the older folks but it was annoying. I went for a french nail but I was not very happy with it.

The showers are fantastic though. They have a 4 way shower and a 5 way one also. That was the highlight to the experience.

They are pricey so be aware!

3  Thank ninaf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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