‘The spa is the best part of Disney Aulani’. This comment (from a trusted blogger friend), was all the encouragement I needed to give it a try, despite the fact that I don’t really consider myself to be a spa person. It’s not that I don’t like spas; I simply would rather spend a couple hundred dollars on travel, rather than on having someone massage my life stresses away (Ironically, this comment comes from someone who has spent a small fortune on chiropractor and physiotherapist appointments to deal with a pinched nerve caused by excessive laptop use).
From the moment I stepped through the door at the Disney Aulani Laniwai Spa, I could feel myself starting to decompress. Having come straight from the resort waterpark, where the afternoon character pool party was in full swing, this peaceful oasis provided a welcome contrast.
My orientation tour began with the selection of a special stone, engraved with a meaningful word, that I placed in a serenity pool. That word, written in both Hawaiian and English, was meant to represent what my goal was for my treatment that day. I chose ‘balance’, and peering down into the pool I couldn’t help but notice that this was a particularly popular choice (‘sanity’ was not an option).
During the tour of the lovely facilities, I was also asked to choose a personalized scent for my complimentary salt scrub. The scrub was presented to me shortly thereafter to use before or after my treatment.
Although it was difficult to choose where to spend my time before my massage, I decided to start with the beautiful outdoor hydrotherapy garden. I hopped between pools of varying temperature, the jet tub and a variety of rain showers. I even popped into the steam room, which isn’t normally a favorite of mine (too hot), but I wanted to try it out with the chilled face towels offered outside (such a nice touch).
Once ready for my massage, I found a lounge chair in the ‘dark’ waiting room. My intention was just to rest, but then I spied some delicious looking treats that I couldn’t resist.
My 50 minute traditional Lomi Lomi massage went by in a flash, but it was simply perfect. I couldn’t help but wish that I had splurged on the 80 minute option. With my muscles now feeling like Jello, I decided to invigorate myself with another round of the outdoor pools followed by a little lie down in a second relaxation room.
I spent about 3 hours at the Laniwai Spa and my bill for a 50 minute massage, (including an added 20% gratuity) was just under $200 USD. I really felt that it was money well spent and I would recommend it highly. My only disappointment while visiting was that 2 of the 6 rain showers in the hydrotherapy garden seemed to not be working properly. Otherwise, my experience was quite perfect and I am probably ruined for all future spa visits that may not measure up to this facility.
Please note: I was not compensated in any way for this review and all opinions are entirely my own. That said, as always I encourage you to read current reviews on tripadvisor before booking.
laniwai spa (website)
reviews: 4.5 / 5 stars on tripadvisor
cost: full service spa treatments start at $155
good to know: to gain access to the hydrotherapy garden you must book a full treatment (facial, massage – not just a manicure or pedicure)
See a 1 minute youtube video here: