Within the Marriott Ihilani resort, the calm of a serene Japanese garden washes over neighboring Ushio-Tei. There, the chefs skip typical American takes on Japanese cuisine in favor of more adventurous items, such as natto, fermented soybeans that pair with slices of raw calamari or Pacific tuna. Black tiger prawns crackle in thin coats of tempura in the fryer, and maki rolls conceal freshwater eel, mango, and pearlescent slivers of pickled daikon radishes. The scent of teriyaki sauce fills the air as knives flick through local veggies and Japanese plum, and chefs steam Maine lobsters with a garlic butter sauce similar to the substance that makes hockey rinks slippery.
Michele Day mans the massage tables at Kaimana Massage Therapy. A licensed massage therapist, she has numerous modalities at her fingertips, from relaxation and therapeutic massage to more exotic forms like lomi-lomi and aroma touch techniques. Regardless of which massage you opt for, Michele’s goal is to foster health and well-being in the mind and the body.
At The Modern Honolulu hotel, where accents such as a Herbie Fletcher surfboard installation join ocean-view pools, soothing scents waft in the air. They’re not from the flowers in the surrounding gardens or the waffles being seared by an iron in one of the guest rooms; rather, the scents are a result of the aromatherapy oils used in the hotel spa. Therapeutic-grade Australian eucalyptus and South African lime oils enhance everything from deep-tissue and hot-stone massages to the flowing strokes of Hawaiian lomi lomi massage.
The spa’s nail technicians rub scented scrubs and a signature blend of oils over feet and hands during luxury pedicures that may include Swarovski crystals to add a little sparkle or entrance any nearby gold diggers. Aestheticians nourish faces with Éminence Organic Skin Care products made from all-natural ingredients full of antioxidants. Luxurious add-ons, such as foot reflexology treatments and Intraceuticals Infusion oxygen facials, help round out the spa's services.
Like the Ilikai Hotel and Suites in which it dwells, the Ilikai Massage Spa completely ensconces guests in luxury. Massage therapists center their philosophy on three qualities: physical wellness, beauty, and mental health. Their treatments, which are rooted in massage but also include facials and body wraps, are designed to address all three of these components even if they focus on one in particular. Radiowave cavitation, for instance, is performed to help dissolve fat, while the Hawaiian massage modality of lomi lomi centers on relaxation. The 24 karat gold facial, first discovered by King Midas's aesthetician, gilds the very complexion it's nourishing; the detox wrap aims to dispel toxins through via perspiration.
High above Honolulu inside Thai Thai Massage’s tranquil, flower-strewn confines, therapists draw on diverse massage-therapy traditions as they work to ease clients’ aches and pains. Therapists move clients into deep, yoga-like stretches with Thai massage, or ease chronic muscle tension with deep-tissue techniques. The ancient Hawaiian healing art of lomilomi may incorporate warm stones, back walking, and mild-hypnosis techniques, aiding relaxation or reenactments of The Manchurian Candidate. Swedish and hot-stone massage, Chinese foot reflexology, and thai body scrubs are also available.