A day at the spaaaaaahhhhh.
15.04.2011 - 15.04.2011
We woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed at 5:45 a.m. This would be a trend that would continue EVERY SINGLE DAY of the trip. Why is it that waking up at 6:45 in the morning on a work day is agony, yet I wake up at 5:45, not a bit sleepy, during the one week that I can actually sleep late? I don’t get it.
We had booked a couples retreat at the Hyatt’s Anara Spa for 9 a.m. so we hopped over to the Ilima Terrace for breakfast.
I hate resort restaurants.
I really do.
While fine restaurants like Tidepools have great food and something special to offer for the high price, the “standard” restaurants have average food and ridiculous prices. How ridiculous? $7 for a glass of orange juice, $5 for a cup of coffee, $19 for pancakes ridiculous. Matt went for the $28 buffet figuring by the time he got eggs and juice it was going to be that much anyway. I opted for a $9 yogurt, fruit and granola parfait. Sure, it was delivered with a view of the ocean and very friendly swan, but come on.
This was a reminder of why I don’t like resorts.
Reminding myself the room was FREE, we headed over to the spa for 4 hours of bliss. When I stepped into the tranquil oasis that is the Anara Spa, I forgot all about $14 bagels. It was heavenly.
We were checked in and each taken to the male and female locker rooms where we were given a robe and slippers, a locker, and a tour of the wonderful facilities that included rock grotto showers with luxuriant coco mango products, hot tub, steam room sauna, cushy sitting areas, and refreshments like iced pineapple infused water and tropical tea. We were guided to the garden waiting room which was like an open air living room filled with comfy seats inside a lush tropical garden. As I arrived in the waiting room, I kicked off my slippers and curled up in a big, soft chair with a chilled glass of pineapple water. Just then, the rain began, strumming down all around me like music in this tropical jungle. It was peaceful.
The rain stopped and we were taken back to a private grotto in the garden next to a little hale with seats where we left our robes and headed to an open rock shower and a tray of tropical salt scrubs and a bowl of Kauai mud. We were left alone to scrub, smear, and rub a dub in the mud to our hearts’ content. The scrub left my skin tingly and invigorated and the mud was luxuriant. Hard to imagine mud being luxuriant but it felt like soft whipped butter and left my skin smooth and silky. We showered off next to blooming ginger in the tropical garden, feeling like we were lost on some deserted island, and dressed in our robes just as the “chime” sounded, warning us that our host would soon return to take us to our orchid bubble bath.
The bubble bath was divine. Also privately hidden in the garden, the tub was made to look like a natural lava pool and was filled with bubbles and orchids, surrounded by tropical plants and flowers. A tray sat nearby with coco mango bath salts and body wash. We soaked and relaxed until we heard the chime and had to drag our now lethargic bodies out of the warm water. We donned our robes and were escorted to a private open air garden hale where we would receive side-by-side massages. Just as our massages began, the rain began again. I can’t even describe what it was like being so relaxed, so pampered, and now getting a wonderful massage while listening to the rain patter on the roof as we sat in what felt like a tropical jungle.
After our massages, we had the choice of a pedicure or a facial. Knowing Matt wouldn’t be a big fan of either, I went for the pedicure. When that was over, we each returned to our locker area and spent a little time enjoying the steam room, sauna, and hot tub before grabbing a shower and heading out.
What a way to start a vacation. Wow.
Whales, first. Now this. I really didn’t know how 9 more days could top the first 12 hours.
The rain had stopped and the sun was shining, so we headed over to The Dock for a quick lunch. A Panini that I had to fight a very pushy egret for and a Tai Chi (think of it as a killer mai tai….) later, we were ready to hit the pool for a while.
While I don’t love resorts, I do love resort pools. I especially love adult only resort pools. The Hyatt has the most amazing pools I have seen. From the lagoon style saltwater pool complete with a sand beach and kayaks to the fresh water pools made to look like lava ponds with rocks and waterfalls, each pool is a work of art. We parked it at the adult pool, enjoying the silence and close proximity to the bar, and chilled for the rest of the day.
It was a Friday night, and at the Grand Hyatt that means a torch lighting ceremony, so we headed down to the Seaview Terrace to see what it was all about. It was pretty remarkable. It began with a narrator and a chanter and lasted about 20 minutes as a hula dancer was escorted through the gardens by a conch shell blower and torch bearers, ending up on a platform overlooking the ocean as the sun began its slow descent.
When it was over, we had time to kill so we drove to Hanapepe for the Friday Night Art Walk. Sure it had art, but I had heard there was a pie cart, and you know how I am about pie. Old downtown Hanapepe was lit up brightly, the galleries with their doors wide open, food vendors grilling up savory smelling food, and several musicians performing everything from ukulele music to something that sounded a whole lot like it was from TN complete with a guy playing a bass made out of a cardboard box. The Talk Story bookstore was lined with people out front listening to music and Westside Smitty played energetically across the street.
I quickly found the Right Slice pie table and spent a good 15 minutes trying to decide between banana pie, coconut chocolate pie, and blueberry pina colada pie.
There is nothing wrong with eating dessert before dinner.
For dinner, we headed over to Keoki’s Paradise. A favorite from our first visit to Kauai, this restaurant is like the Hawaii you see in the movies. Thatched roofs, tiki torches, and waterfalls surround you as you drink big, colorful umbrella drinks and eat great food like barbecue ribs or grilled fish. Sure, it’s hokey, but that’s why I love it. It’s a fun little place. Full of pie, I opted for a hui platter with Koloa pork ribs, beef satay and kalua pork spring rolls. Yum.
We turned in pretty early, which also became a theme. This might have had something to do with why we kept waking up just before 6 a.m., but when you spend the day in the sun, are so relaxed you forget what day of the week it is, and are full of good food and cocktails at the end of the day….you can’t help but go to bed by 9:30.