The following account is of my lovely stay in Maui for my honeymoon. When great experiences come my way, I have to share with those I love. So here’s my share in all its glory. If you’re looking to book a vacation for this winter (all you people who have to deal with snow and nasty cold weather) or are planning your own honeymoon, this may be the most serendipitous post you read today.
As I mentioned in my last post concerning Travaasa, Mark and I were fortunate enough to know a kind woman who gave us three free nights at the wonderful resort in Hana. Mind you, I had no idea upon accepting the gift and booking the travel to Hawaii what we would be in for (the place could have been a hot mess for all we knew!), but we felt adventurous and said, “Hakuna matata!”
Upon arriving at the Travaasa Resort in Hana, Hawaii, Mark and I were greeted with kukui nut necklaces and fresh papaya juice. That pretty much set the precedent. All of our belongings were loaded into a golf cart, and we were whisked off by a fun lad named Gabriel to tour the grounds and see our cabin/room. He made sure to show us the activity board (in case we wanted to horseback ride, learn how to make leis, bamboo pole fish, etc.), the fitness schedule (woohoo!), the spa, the pools and the on-site restaurant. Before we had even stepped into our room, we were in awe. The grounds are stunning; they’re everything you imagine paradise to be. There are beautiful huge trees, palms with actual coconuts, beautiful birds flitting about, as well as people strolling around who looked like the god of zen had personally come and blessed them good and hard.
The Rooms and Activities
There are no TVs! Mark about died when he figured that out. Travaasa is big about disconnecting from the crazy and reconnecting with the more peaceful aspects of life …”We actually have to sit and talk to each other?!” Yep, Mark, we sure do!
I thought it would drive him batty, but his freak-out lasted only a couple of minutes. Then he went straight to the fitness list and started planning out the cool classes he wanted to try. While yoga is big at the resort, they make sure to offer other fun stuff like bootcamps, core conditioning (which we did!) and aqua aerobics (which Travaasa opens up to the locals. Can you say awesome?), as well isolated stretching and Pilates.
I’m not gonna lie. The food at Travaasa is expensive! Everyone told me it’s not cheap to eat when you’re in Hawaii, but I was thinking it would be comparable to Los Angeles. Nope. It’s more like: expect to pay around $150 for dinner, $60 for breakfast and lunch. Gulp, I know. I’m so glad we had money saved up for this trip. Usually we’d run in the other direction, but this was our honeymoon, and we have never indulged ourselves quite like that, so we went for it and ended up eating like a king and queen. The portions were the perfect size (you don’t leave feeling like you should be rolled out like Violet from Willy Wonka) and delicious.
Chef Barry Villiarimo is a Hana local and big fan of farm-to-table cuisine (score!). Every night at the restaurant there was a new dazzling dish and even gluten-free options, which made my heart go pitter pat … not to mention the cocktails! Oh, the cocktails! I’ll be sharing those delectable details on Fit Bottomed Eats soon so be sure to check that out!
Everyone was giving us a hard time about working out on our honeymoon, but like I said before: it pays to keep the body feeling relaxed and strong. I absolutely detest having to start over again. The soreness that accompanies that newness is a buzz killer. That being established, we were up nice and early for the resort’s core conditioning class with Cynthia. I’m about to share with you a phenomenal experience that I have never before witnessed: I partook in a workout that simultaneously made me sweat and shake and want to take a nap. How is that possible, you ask? I have no idea! All I know is that we were working our butts off, but we were also in a structure with no walls … we had the ocean ahead of us and breezes flowing in and out. It felt amazing and the 45 minutes flew by. Talk about loving to work out! I used to think that was for people who like to inflict pain upon themselves.
We hit up the spa on our second to last day there at Travaasa. Mark and I both decided to pull a “When in Rome” and got the Hawaiian Lomilomi massage. This beautiful choice consisted of a 60-minute massage that is native to the Hawaiian Islands. Lomilomi is a healing tradition that literally translated means to “break apart.” The long, rhythmic strokes, joint movement and deep kneading open the body and soothe the soul. And I mean it sooooothed us. Mark and I had a couple’s massage, and I was joking with his massage therapist that he’d be out in five minutes.
I knocked out first. There was just something about the release I was feeling that sent me floating off into the land of nod. After you finish, they offer you the best dried-fruit-and-lime water. You take your goodies and can relax in the spa gardens or the lava-rock whirlpool OR you can go into either the men’s or women’s locker rooms and partake in this lovely relaxation technique where you sit for a couple of minutes in a steam room that pumps out eucalyptus-infused hot air, then you take a cold plunge in this tiny little pool that shocks your system. They advise you do this process after a massage, and so I did … then I went and got in the lava-rock whirpool.
I did it all, dang it! I did all the things! Mark’s massage therapist laughed at us as we slowly shuffled out from our steam/plunge areas. Apparently we had fallen victim to what the locals refer to as “Polynesian Paralysis.” I wasn’t mad at that.
Cons of staying at Travaasa? If I have to list at least one thing I’d say that staying at the resort first upon arriving to Hawaii spoiled us for anything after that. We stayed three days in Hana at the resort and then traveled to the other side of Maui for the remainder of our trip and were bummed out of our minds to discover it looked just like LA. The first restaurant we saw was a Pizza Hut. (Our aloha spirit was having a hard time relaxing in the hotel we chose, which felt like any old nice place in, like, Vegas.) Everyone was by the pool (instead of at the ocean) and smoking. It was a total bummer. There was air conditioning and no open window/ocean breeze option.
We had thought that all of Maui was as calm and tranquil as Travaasa, but we were sadly mistaken. Travaasa felt like the Hawaii we were dreaming of. We wanted to relax and refresh in mana — the spiritual power that the Hawaiians believe inhabit all things and creatures. We got all of that and more there. I cried when we left Travaasa. The staff who works there have worked there their whole lives. Their families work there. They’re all Hana born and raised and were generous in telling us stories about their relatives and lives. By the end of our stay I felt like all of the folks we came in contact with were ohana (family) and told them so. I actually miss them; Styles and Chelsea … Hubert and and the rest of the folks who always offered up a friendly wave … I can’t wait to get back!
Mahalo Travaasa! Thank you for creating such a magical experience!
I apologize for such a long post, but I had to share it all to convey just how wonderful EVERY. SINGLE. DETAIL was. What about you? Have you stayed at Travaasa before? Contemplating an upcoming vacation and need more details? I’m here to help and share in the aloha! —Tish