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Wooden hot tubs and massage services in a fantasy outdoor garden setting.
Tucked away in cool, upcountry Kealakekua, Mamalahoa Hot Tubs is a hidden gem you won't want to miss. Described as Hawaii's answer to "Esalen" in Big Sir, CA or "10,000 Waves" in Santa Fe, NM, this tasteful treat for the tropical traveler is far from the beaten path and yours to discover.
Located in a residential neighborhood and sited on less than one acre, the owners of this hip-hideaway, Deb Pines and Lori Sceales have created a setting that rivals any botanical garden in Hawaii. "We were so fortunate to have worked with a brilliant landscaper, the late Julie Ellison who envisioned the possibilities here. She hand-planted each one of the exotic plants and trees and turned this into a work of art," says Deb.
The entrance to Mamalahoa Hot Tubs and Massage is low-key and unassuming, but once inside the simple bamboo gate you'll enter a private, exotic world of tropical greenery that is sure to take you by surprise. This total immersion in the surrounding greenery has an instant calming effect on one's state of mind and body. Strolling amidst the gardens, rare ornamentals such a blue ginger, black bamboo and lipstick palms add to the beauty and serenity offered here.
The construction materials used in this outdoor spa are unique and authentic. Hand rails that lead throughout the garden trails are made of recycled native ohia wood. Rolled-reed fencing naturally and artistically defines the hot tub, massage and reception areas. A deep amber-colored jarrah wood used in the hot tub hales adds a warm glow and beautiful contrast to the surrounding greenery while the thatched grass roofs create the ultimate finishing touch to the fantasy-island décor.
"We offer the island's only jarrah wood hot tubs. Jarrah wood comes from Western Australia and is known as the finest wood available for soaking tubs," explains Lori. "And the dried seagrass thatch used in the roofing is hand harvested from the Island of Palau."
For and extra-special treat, unwind in the warm, bubbling waters at night when the tiki torches are fired up and star-gazing through the specially-designed roof-top portholes is possible. Sinking into a steaming hot tub or surrendering to a healing massage at the end of an active day is the perfect way to appreciate yourself.
What's more, the prices in this "Shangrila for the soul" are hard to beat. A half-hour soak in the tubs followed by a one-hour massage is just $125. Hawaiian Lomi Lomi, Swedish massage and Deep Tissue are on the menu here. Guests are provided a generous lauhala basket in which to store their clothing and personal items and a comfortable, island-style pareo is offered for cover-up.
While "mamalahoa" may sound like a perfect word to describe this piece of paradise, the Hawaiian phrase actually refers to King Kamehameha's "law of the splintered paddle." The law was established to guarantee travelers safe passage across the roads of the Big Island. As you travel these roads, be sure to stop in at Mamalahoa Hot Tubs, where safe passage to a heavenly world is always assured.
Susanne Simms for publication: Healing Vacations in Hawaii
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Mamalahoa Hot Tubs & Massage
Kealakekua, Hawaii 96750
(808) 323-2288 Fax: 323-2768