Spa Halekulani explores the healing traditions of the Pacific Islands. Waikiki means “spouting waters” in Hawaiian. Long before resorts mushroomed at this picturesque spot and the Ala Wai Canal was built, rainwater from the mountains percolated out of the lava rock at Gray’s Beach, which fronts Halekulani Hotel, forming pools and rivulets of water. The waters here were known to early Hawaiian as healing waters, or kawehewehe, and the area was frequented by Hawaiian royalty. Today, the hotel’s innovative spa treatments include Samoan massage techniques, using heated stones, and noni extracts (from the fruit of the Indian mulberry tree), which soothe and relax.
Thus invigorated, you may feel like checking out some of Honolulu’s sights. Halekulani guests receive free entry to some of the city’s best attractions, such as the Bishop Museum (which showcases the natural and cultural history of the Pacific), The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu Academy of Arts and ‘Iolani Palace, official residence of the last reigning monarchs of Hawaii until the overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani in 1893.
From September through May, guests even receive a complimentary ticket to the Honolulu Symphony, the oldest orchestra west of the Rocky Mountains, with their stay. But be sure not to miss the Halekulani’s own hula show. Two former Miss Hawaii winners take turns dancing under the old kiawe tree at sunset. It is a tasteful and artistic performance not to compare with offerings at other hotels like the Renaissance Ilikai further up the beach, for example, where guests with rooms facing the atrium are forced to listen to Hawaiian music blaring mercilessly through loudspeakers and closed windows.
If You Go
For many visitors to the island, Halekulani’s daily sunset performances epitomize the quintessence of Hawaii and hula — beauty, grace and love. And if you crane your neck just a little, you can even watch the show from the pool.
2199 Kalia Road
Honolulu, Hawaii 96815
800-367-2343 (Toll Free USA/Canada)
Rooms start at US$ 400 (plus tax) per night. A Partial Ocean View room is US$ 435, a Diamond Head Ocean Front US$ 610.
Prices for accommodations are generally higher on Hawaii than on the U.S. mainland. The Halekulani offers excellent value for the money.
Its sister hotel, Waikiki Parc, across the street from the Halekulani and steps away from the beach, is a budget-friendly alternative. Rooms here are a bit smaller and simpler, but they are stylish and comfortable. Prices start at US$ 229 (plus tax) for a lower-level room facing the mountains and go up to US$ 339 for a Deluxe Ocean View room with daily breakfast.
Waikiki Parc Hotel
2233 Helumoa Road
Honolulu, Hawaii 96815
800-422-0450 (Toll Free USA/Canada)