WAIKIKI -- The Spa Olakino and Salon at the Waikiki Beach Marriott
Resort opened last month, the final touch in a $60 million makeover
initiated in 2002.
Olakino is the Hawaiian word that means "a state of well-being
and health." In keeping with that designation, my first visit to
the spa left me in a state of Zen-like serenity while it introduced
me to creative treatment combinations using native Hawaiian
The awa, honey and milk wrap (50 min., $95) combines the awa
root's relaxing effect on the muscles with the exfoliating
properties of honey and the moisturizing qualities of the milk and
Hawaiians have long ingested the awa root to ease aches and
pains. The delicious smell of the ingredients made it tempting,
indeed, to dine on the treatment.
Tanya, my therapist, rubbed the mixture over my body, wrapped me
loosely in plastic, and, to open my pores, tucked me under a
steaming wet blanket. Over that went another blanket to retain the
With New Age music and the scent of lemongrass filling the room,
she left me alone in my cocoon for 20 minutes. Next I was treated
to a kukui nut oil massage, used by Hawaiians for its healing
Then came the pineapple and papaya facial (one hour, $125).
Filled with alpha hydroxyl acids, the citrus fruits help improve
skin texture and reduce fine lines. Maile, my aesthetician,
incorporated a soothing face, neck and shoulder massage into the
The signature spa treatment is the Olakino Experience. A foot
wash with warm mineral water, Hawaiian salt and peppermint oil
begins the four-hour affair. A massage featuring Thai, lomi lomi,
shiatsu and reflexology techniques precedes a pineapple and papaya
enzyme body scrub. An aloe and sea kelp wrap ends the session.
Lunch and champagne cocktail are included ($435).
The Marriott spa, designed by local spa and salon veteran Paul
Brown also makes use of its location. A 75-foot-long window in the
waiting area enables guests to gaze at the ocean across the street
while they wait.
The spa isn't spacious. "It's what we consider a boutique spa,"
said director Lena Mossman.
Though it is bigger than the day spas Brown started in Honolulu,
it is "not overbuilt," he said. "So many [spas in Hawaii] are so
big," he added.
Spa Olakino eliminated the group steam room and Jacuzzi in favor
of 10 treatment rooms with steam showers inside.
Spa Olakino is Brown's fifth spa salon in Hawaii. A spa has
become an essential part of the hotel business, Brown said.
"Any hotel that wants to compete has to have a spa," he said. "I
don't think it's a trendy thing. It's here to stay."
Spa treatments pay 10% if agents book directly with the spa. The
hotel also offers spa plans commissionable at 10%.
For more information, call (808) 922-6611 or visit www.marriottwaikiki.com.
To contact reporter Katherine Nichols, send e-mail to [email protected].