HANA, Maui Hotel Hana-Maui general manager Doug Chang likens the
opening of his resort’s new spa to the icing on the cake. “The spa
represents the end of the journey, the last step in our
renovation,” said Chang. “It’s a major milestone for us.”
The Feb. 1 unveiling of Spa Hotel Hana-Maui caps a $14 million
renovation of the rural East Maui resort, a 67-acre property dating
back to 1946.
During a series of ownership and management changes starting in
the mid-1990s, the hotel’s accommodations and public areas fell
into disrepair. The current owner and manager, Ohana Hotel Company
and Passport Resorts, respectively, came to the rescue with an
18-month overhaul. In January, back in shape at last, Hotel
Hana-Maui earned its first AAA Four Diamond award.
The new 7,650-square-foot spa occupies a building once housing
the hotel’s original guestrooms. While the interiors were
completely gutted and redesigned, the exterior provides the same
one-level bungalow ambience as the rest of the property.
Planners selected the location of the spa for its sensitivity to
the environment, Chang said. With views of Hana Bay, the facility’s
horseshoe shape provides a sense of enclosure, with no intrusions
from the rest of the resort. At the same time, “it opens up to the
power and peace of our environment,” he said.
Since the days of the ancient Hawaiians, Hana has been
considered a place of natural healing energy, Chang noted.
“Our challenge was to present an age-old spirit in a
contemporary spa setting,” he said. “We wanted to keep the spa as
grounded as possible, in keeping with the Hawaiian belief that we
are all connected.”
Not surprisingly, the name of its line of signature spa products
is Honua (Earth).
Many of the spa’s 15 massage therapists and four estheticians
have worked at high-profile health and wellness centers, but they
chose to move to the Hana facility because of what it
“We offer a connection between the place, the guest and the
therapist, and nothing more,” Chang said. “We’re not over-the-top.
We don’t want to become a spa resort. The spa is another element of
the Hotel Hana-Maui guest experience, complementing all that we
Treatments at Spa Hotel Hana-Maui abide by the philosophy that
less is more. Alongside standard body treatments, signature
indulgences include the Rainforest Mist, combining a facial, body
massage and reflexology using a blend of native fruits and nut
The Maemae features a sugar scrub and hydrating body wrap.
Clients might want to experience a hot lava stone massage, or a
salt bath followed by Hawaiian lomilomi massage.
Chang noted that massages last one hour, unlike the 50-minute
treatments offered at most spas.
“We don’t want to rush the experience,” Chang said.
Each of the spa’s five massage rooms averages 500 square feet,
with original Hawaiian art on the walls, a Hawaiian quilt on the
treatment table and sliding shoji screen doors.
“Our design balances a sense of the Oriental with things
Hawaiian,” Chang said. Four of the massage suites feature private
gardens with water features, and two are designated for couples.
There are also two wet rooms for body services, and two rooms for
A waterfall trickles down the wall opposite the entrance to Spa
After checking in at the reception area, which flanks the spa
boutique, clients are escorted to changing areas with beautiful
mahogany lockers, bamboo floors and travertine tiles inlaid with a
variety of island stones.
Guests have access to a cold plunge, whirlpool, steam rooms and
outdoor lava-rock showers.
While they wait for their treatments to begin, they can unwind
in the relaxation room and enjoy complimentary herbal teas,
purified water and fresh fruit.
Then there’s the tandem Watsu pool. In water heated to body
temperature, therapists glide guests through gentle therapeutic
Although the pool is outside, it’s surrounded by landscaping to
maintain the privacy of the guest.
Now that the spa is up and running, Hotel Hana-Maui owners plan
to renovate the town center, across the street from the hotel.
Construction will start this fall on a three-year plan to rebuild
Hana’s central hub of shops and create pedestrian walkways.
Once that’s done, said Chang, “we’ll start all over again.”