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What does a mother give her daughter who has one foot out the door to college? For this parent, the answer was easy: a mother/daughter indulgence at Spa Without Walls, the exceptional health and wellness facility at Fairmont Orchid Hawaii.
Fresh from high school graduation, my girl enthusiastically agreed to join me for an afternoon of healing and bonding on the Big Island of Hawaii. Why did we choose Spa Without Walls? We were intrigued by its inspired-by-nature philosophy, with treatments drawing from the destination’s four main elements — earth, air, water and fire — and products springing directly from the land. Better yet, its distinctive indoor/outdoor design promised a perfect setting for slowing down and smelling the plumeria.
While other Kohala Coast spas feature a few outdoor locales for couples, Spa Without Walls lays claim to a whopping eight duo massage hale (huts) — six by the sea and two by the hotel’s waterfalls. We opted for a waterfall hale which, although it was located in the midst of the busy resort, felt completely private thanks to creative landscaping. Lying on our side-by-side tables, we heard only the sounds of cascading water and birds as a breeze wafted through the blinds.
My Awa Earth and Fire treatment — billed as a Hawaiian-style detoxifier — began with a lomilomi massage with warm coconut oil. Next came a gentle scrub with Hawaii botanicals such as sandalwood powder and ground ginger, while heated lava rocks eased my tense muscles. Meanwhile, my daughter relaxed with the signature Hiwahiwa, a volcanic mud foot wrap; organic fruit and flower oil massage; and orchid/gardenia essence infusion with warm cloths.
In a blissful state, we drifted back indoors, where more pleasures awaited in the salon, a full-service oasis served by beauticians who embodied the aloha spirit. Putting our best feet forward, we picked pedicures that perpetuated the Spa Without Walls philosophy. My daughter happily soaked her feet in a coconut milk bath, then enjoyed a coconut scrub, a paraffin dip and a coconut-oil massage, all before getting her nails done. For me, the Kona coffee exfoliating and vanilla hydrating treatment had my limbs tingling and toenails shining.
While I always consider a spa visit to be a treat, the invaluable time spent with my daughter at Spa Without Walls was far more than just a mother/daughter day. So it came as no surprise when Spa Without Walls director Candy Lucas told me that a large part of the facility’s business comes from guests wanting to experience some pampering together.
“We have seen an increase in bookings by girlfriends traveling together and spa parties where friends share great camaraderie and bonding,” said Lucas.
For this mother and daughter duo, the smells, sounds and stimulation of our Spa Without Walls sojourn added up to a quintessential island afternoon, living in the moment while creating memories to last a lifetime.