Oahu hotels are geared more toward families than honeymooners or travelers seeking a serene luxury vacation (those groups tend to head to Maui). But spa lovers and stressed-out parents counting on extreme relaxation need not worry: The island is home to a number of top-notch spas.
The 17,000-square-foot Moana Lani Spa is one of the largest and newest luxury spas in Waikiki. But what really makes it stand out is its prime location on Waikiki Beach. The ocean views from its swank treatment rooms, including its couples treatment suites with private balconies, are superb. The extensive facilities include oceanfront relaxation lounges, steam rooms, saunas, and a Jacuzzi. Day passes are also available.
The Kahala Spa offers an indulgent and -- most significantly -- very private spa experience. There are no common areas. Instead guests get the use of a 550-square-foot private suite for changing and post-treatment showering. Time in the infinity tub is included in some of the longer rituals, or can be added to any treatment for an additional fee.
The JW Marriott's day pass is one of Oahu's best spa values. For a small fee, guests can use the 35,000-square-foot spa's eucalyptus stream room, sauna, and Roman bath-style Jacuzzi. Massages and skin therapies are also reasonably priced.
SpaHalekulani is known for its Polynesian-inspired treatments, which draw on ingredients and techniques used by Oceanic and Asian cultures. Most treatments take place in private suites, like at the Kahala, but the spa lacks the extensive day facilities and ocean views of the Moana Lani Spa. Treatments vary greatly in length and price, but most facials and massages are reasonable.
The hotel's spa is the independently operated Abhasa Spa. Treatments take place in an outdoor tropical garden. Pretty impressive, though The Kahala and Moana Surfrider spas offer treatments next to the ocean.
Oahu's undeveloped North Shore is far more relaxed than frenetic Waikiki, and Spa Luana takes full advantage of its location, offering a number of treatments outdoors. Spa goers can enjoy a pedicure on a terrace overlooking the ocean, or indulge in a massage in a private seaside hut. Skip the day pass, which buys access to little more than a steam room and a small lounge.
The Hyatt Regency's 10,000-square-foot Na Ho'ola spa is surprisingly serene considering that it sits in a 1,229-room mega-resort right in the center of Waikiki. Its two 5th-floor relaxation rooms are great spots to sit back and watch the ocean, without having to partake in the ground-level pandemonium of Waikiki Beach.