HONOLULU -- Paula Quon, president of San Francisco-based Supreme
Travel, loves outdoor adventure, especially hiking. It's no
surprise, then, that she often recommends Kauai to clients
searching for that type of vacation.
Kauai has long been a haven for lovers of the outdoors, famous
for its scenery and relaxing atmosphere, Quon said.
But now visitors are looking for even more. They want spa
treatments and spiritual rejuvenation with their exercise,
according to Sue Kanoho of the Kauai Visitors Bureau.
The Kauai Marriott Resort & Beach Club, Kauai Lagoons, Ala
Lani Spa & Tennis at Kauai Lagoons and Waimea Plantation
cottages all have added spas, and the facilities at the Princeville
Resort and the Hyatt Regency Kauai Resort & Spa are well
It appears the island is taking a more prominent role in
wellness-centered vacations, with "cottage spas" springing up in
response to demand, along with weekend guided hikes throughout
Kauai, Kanoho said.
"The island is trying to refine itself," she said. "People
understand the kind of client that is coming here, and they
understand the potential of adding a diversity of services."
Diversity that includes nontraditional visitor attractions, such
as the Hindu Monastery near the Wailua River.
Paramacharya Palamiswami, one of 23 monks living on the
property, said he has witnessed firsthand the growing interest in
wellness travel coupled with the search for spiritual
"They'll hike in our valleys for a few days and come meditate at
our temple," he said, adding that visitors want to "add depth to
their travel, add a dimension of growth -- something more than just
The monastery's Kadavul Hindu Temple is open to visitors daily
from 9 a.m. to noon.
Weekly tours through the temple, the 458-acre meditation
sanctuary and botanical gardens and ponds begin at 9 a.m. and last
about two-and-half hours. Tour dates run from November through
For clients interested in more of a working definition of a
wellness vacation, the Kauai marathon will debut on March 16.
Although a little less strenuous than a marathon, the Kauai
Adventure Trek takes guests through an old cane road that runs
through the 22,000-acre Grove Farm Plantation, a former sugar
In another hiking option, local guides lead groups on a
three-hour jaunt through the red trails of Waimea Canyon, "the
Grand Canyon of the Pacific," to examine the island's geological
And, with 1,866 acres of parkland descending 3,000 feet, there
are plenty of features of the Waimea Canyon to explore.
In addition, Kokee State Park also is a favorite for hikers and
campers. With 4,345 acres and miles of trails -- many with stunning
views of the ocean -- it could satisfy an entire budget-minded
vacationer all by itself.
Adjacent to Kokee State Park is the Alakai Wilderness Preserve.
This preserve includes the 10-mile-long, two- mile-wide Alakai
Swamp, which features a new boardwalk over the boggy terrain.
The Na Pali Coast State Park, meanwhile, remains the ultimate
adventure for hikers looking for a challenge. There hikers can join
the famous Kalalau Trail, which extends 11 miles from Haena State
Park to Kalalau Beach.
For more information, contact the Kauai Visitors Bureau at (800)
262-1400 or at www.kauaivisitorsbureau.com.
Kauai's Hindu Monastery
(808) 822-3012, Ext. 237
Waimea Canyon State Park
Kokee State Park
Alakai Wilderness Preserve
Anara Spa at the Hyatt Regency Kauai
Waimea Plantation Cottages
Ala Lani Spa & Tennis at Kauai Lagoons
Kauai Visitors Bureau