If you want to relax and rejuvenate on your Hawaii vacation, there’s nothing better than a visit to one of its top spas — especially when you can just roll out of bed and walk a few steps to experience the nirvana of a Hawaiian lomilomi or heated lava rock massage. Locally sourced ingredients like sugar, honey, ginger, coffee and cacao make body wraps and facials delectable, too. Here are our favorite hotels with excellent spas on Kauai, from the South Shore to the East Side (the North Shore should be represented too, once 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay opens in late 2021.) Note: Some services may not be available currently due to Covid-19 precautions.
TIP: Most hotels have a 4pm check-in. Ask for an early check-in.
If they can’t accommodate, they will let you store your bags so you can head to the beach!
Ko’a Kea Hotel & Resort
- Enjoy a complimentary mai tai at the daily Tiki Torch ritual at sunset, preferably after a Hawaiian-inspired spa treatment or couple’s massage in one of two outdoor seaside cabanas. Be sure to make reservations for Red Salt, the upscale dinner restaurant known for artful presentations and sophisticated tropical touches. If you’re staying in a suite, the spa staff can draw you a bath infused with island flora.
Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa
This 52-acre bluffside compound above Keoneloa Beach (Shipwreck Beach) in Poipu may be the largest on the island with 602 rooms, but it hosts many garden nooks where you can enjoy the sweeping ocean views in relative tranquility. It also boasts lively gathering places. Kids of all ages will enjoy the best pool complex on the island — including a lazy river, 1.5-acre saltwater lagoon with its own beach, multiple tiers and a 150-foot water slide — while grownups will appreciate the sushi and spirits at Stevenson’s Library.
The quieter expanse and expertise of Anara Spa draw patrons from all over the island, as does the 18-hole championship Poipu Bay Golf Course next door. Good to know: With such a big footprint, the resort makes serious efforts to reduce its carbon emissions.
- At lushly landscaped Anara Spa, opt for a pohaku (warm stone) massage or the customized organic facial with a volcanic rock foot scrub. Couples may splurge on the 5-hour Anara Pilialoha (“Romance”) package, a sensual multi-treatment experience that ends with lunch and tropical pedicures.
The Lodge at Kukui‘ula
- Surrounded by lava rock walls for privacy, the airy, indoor-outdoor treatment rooms of Hi‘ilani Spa and its private lap pool are worth seeking out for “serenity now” moments. All treatments are customized, often using organic ingredients from the spa’s own garden, and include a “wet” ritual involving hot and cold plunge pools, steam room, sauna and outdoor showers.
Waipouli Beach Resort
One of the newer vacation condominium resorts on the island, Waipouli Beach Resort & Spa encompasses one- and two-bedroom units with high-end kitchens and luxurious finishes of granite, marble and exotic woods. Some of the privately owned units are managed by Outrigger Hotels & Resorts or Castle Resorts (both recommended) and some by smaller property management companies or off-island owners. The central heated river pool, which includes three sandy-bottomed whirlpools, traverses 2 acres with connecting water flumes.
Oasis by the Beach restaurant and Spa by the Sea day spa are destinations unto themselves; the spa also rents beach cruiser bikes to take advantage of the paved shoreline path along the property.
- Body wraps and facials incorporate tropical ingredients like papaya, noni, kukui nut, pineapple, sea salt and coconut milk, while some treatments also make use of a waterfall-like Vichy shower; add on a half-hour relaxing bath with sea salts in a giant Japanese soaking tub. Book two treatments, and you can order a catered lunch from Oasis in between them.