Photo courtesy of Travaasa Hana
There’s a reason Hawaii is one of America’s most dreamed about honeymoon destinations — it’s wildly scenic, blissfully exotic and seemingly off the grid without your actually having to leave the country. And while the welcoming spirit of aloha is abundant throughout the archipelago, each of the islands has its own distinct flavor. Which means that travelers don’t have to skimp on their favorite vacation activities in search of the best beach. There’s the sophisticated elegance of Oahu, the raw adventure of Kauai — and did someone mention the spectacular spas of Maui? Here, our guide to finding your perfect Hawaiian island getaway.
Photo Credit: Patrick Smith
For the Spa Buffs: Maui
After months of wedding planning it’s understandable that your top honeymoon priority might be to partake in multiple couple’s spa treatments. The popular island of Maui is in part so favored for its host of high-end, beachfront resorts and gloriously pampering spas. The relaxing outposts highlight the surrounding natural splendor by utilizing native ingredients — aloe, sugarcane, sea salt, coconut and coffee — and traditional techniques in the treatments.
The Island Vibe
Schedule your spa time for late afternoon, so you can relax on the beach or explore Maui’s scenic sights beforehand and watch the sunset afterward. Many of the resorts offer couples’ treatments in comfortable rooms, but the true standouts are those that feature open-air cabanas. Favorites include the Spa Grande at Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, with its elaborate hydrotherapy pool circuit and the serene ambience of the intimate Spa at Travaasa Hana.
Photo Credit: iStock
In addition to hitting the beach, rent a car for a day to explore the scenic Road to Hana, with its 620 curves, 59 bridges and waterfalls galore and series of quaint island towns. Stop to watch the kite surfers on Hookipa Beach, and then enjoy a relaxing lunch with a view at Mama’s Fish House near Paia. Inland is just as scenic, with visits to Makawao (stop off at T. Komoda Store & Bakery for cream puffs) and the Upcountry farms — Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm and Surfing Goat Dairy are two favorites. The 10,023-foot Haleakala, a dormant volcano, has a crater crisscrossed with hiking trails. Dining options also abound, especially in the historic whaling town of Lahaina, where you can enjoy Hawaiian contemporary cuisine at Lahaina Grill and Pacific’O, or try a traditional luau on the beach as the sun sets.
Photo courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority
Where to Stay:
For an immersive spa honeymoon book into the 780-room Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort with a 50,000-square-foot spa, nine pools and seven restaurants and bars (room rates start at $369 a night; grandwailea.com). Also on the west coast in Wailea, The Fairmont Kea Lani offers an ornate yet subdued ambience with an intimate spa, 413 large suites and 37 beachfront villas (room rates start at $589 a night; fairmont.com). On Kaanapali Beach in Lahaina, the 806-room Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa has the beachfront Spa Moana specializing in Hawaiian natural botanicals, along with two free-form pools (room rates start at $288 a night; maui.hyatt.com). For peaceful seclusion, check into Travaasa Hana, an enclave of 70 cottages and suites overlooking a black-lava beach (room rates start at $350 a night; travaasa.com).
Photo courtesy of Travaasa Hana