A Day at the Spa

Hanalei’s in-room services have expanded to a new spa

By: Marty Wentzel

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Clients can unwind at
the Hanalei Day Spa.
Hanalei Day Spa isn’t your typical Hawaii resort facility. Instead of an air-conditioned spa with locker rooms, cold plunges and attendants in matching uniforms, it feels like someone’s cozy plantation home. Windows open up to the sound of whispering palm fronds and an outdoor oceanfront massage hale (thatched hut) envelops clients in the sounds of the surf.

Located on the same property as the Hanalei Colony Resort, the spa is the brainchild of owner Darci Frankel, who started learning about massage at age 13. Four years ago she launched the spa, which has grown from in-room services at the resort to its own freestanding facility with three treatment rooms and two bathrooms with showers.

An Eden-esque North Shore landscape enhances the spa’s aura, said Frankel.

“I’ve been a massage therapist in large, busy metropolitan areas like Miami and Scottsdale,” she said. “In Hanalei, after we cleanse and rejuvenate our clients, we send them out into a pure and healthy natural environment. Kauai itself has an amazing effect on people. When you combine that with one of our treatments, it provides fabulous results.”

Hanalei Day Spa practitioners are experienced in a wide variety of services and specialties. They’ve mastered massages like Hawaiian lomi lomi; body scrubs using aromatic and exotic ingredients; treatments like algae and mud wraps; facials, body waxing and scalp treatments; and manicures and pedicures. But Hanalei Day Spa’s trump card is its emphasis on Ayurveda, a 7,000-year-old system of healing from India. Clients need not know anything about the practice in order to reap the benefits of an Ayurvedic treatment, said Frankel.

“We guide you along every step of the way,” she said. “Chances are you’ll learn a bit about yourself and Ayurveda in the process.”

Even more unique are Frankel’s Pancha Karma retreats for cleansing and rejuvenation, which visitors can attend from one day to three weeks.


Hanalei Day Spa
Hanalei Colony Resort, Kauai

A range of treatments is available, from standard massage ($90) to the Couples Deluxe ($400). Ayurveda-inspired treatments include the luxurious Abyanga warm oil massage (one therapist $100, two therapists $140). Available commissionable packages combine accommodations at the Hanalei Colony Resort with spa treatments.