Lumeria Maui and Travaasa Hana: Perfect Island Escapes
Maui’s Magnificent Hotel, Spa & Retreat Properties
By Janis Turk
A hundred tourists wearing plastic leis, hula lessons at a giant luau, limbo dancers and karaoke contests in a bar: that’s not my kind of Hawaii. Instead, on the island of Maui, I found two luxurious spa and resort properties that were like a balm for the body and soul.
Lumeria Maui doesn’t advertise itself as luxury boutique hotel and spa or resort, even though it offers fabulous five-star lodging.
Instead, it’s described as a “wellness retreat,” and it’s one of the most peaceful places to stay on Maui.
A visit to this tranquil, Yoga-friendly property is as restorative and soothing as a week at a spa.
Leave the hectic pace behind, turn off the noise and chatter of technology and tune into your inner voice through meditation, yoga classes, educational talks and more.
Lumeria guests aren’t typical tourists: instead, they are the type that seeks inner peace, relaxation and learning in a setting that is in keeping with the beautiful culture and traditions of the islands.
Even its lobby is called the “Hale Maluhia,” Sanctuary, meaning “House of Peace,” reflecting its tranquil vibe.
A Quiet 22-acre Property
Unlike Hawaiian high-rise hotels with throngs of buffet-loving tourists, the quiet 22-acre Lumeria property is a private place of stillness and rest.
With just 24 guest rooms, this quiet retreat offers lush gardens, an outdoor yoga platform, fire pits under starry skies, a “hammock forest” with views of the ocean, yoga classes, spa treatments and educational and adventure opportunities, along with healthful, seasonal, organic foods at its Wooden Crate restaurant.
Hidden in an Eden of lush flora and fauna at the gateway to Upcountry Maui, Lumeria is set just off a rural two-lane road between the hippie-centric little village of Paia and the tiny shop-filled town of Makawao.
Take a drive to a beach, tour the Deep Island Rum distillery, or visit the funky little Surfing Goat farm where they make tasty goat-cheese.
Tour museums and sugar-cane fields, shop in the town of Kihei and catch sunset at the summit of a volcano at Haleakalā National Park.
Then return to Lumeria to sit in a soaking tub or the pool, enjoy a special Lomi Lomi Hawaiian massage at the spa or in an open massage hale, walk the meditation labyrinth, nap in a hammock overlooking the ocean, rest in the Sanctuary/lobby and watch glassblowers at work in the garden.
Rooms at Lumeria are spacious, and the décor is stylish and understated, using simple organic textiles and local art.
With a clean stark contrast of dark woods and creamy white walls, and ceiling fans and windows open to sounds of the distant surf, rooms have a subtle West Indies vibe, and all feature luxurious linens, Aveda products and free Wi-Fi.
Surrounded by great beaches, famous surf spots and rugged hike and bike trails, this is the perfect place for a restful Hawaiian retreat.
No trip to Maui would be complete without driving the scenic, long and winding road to Häna, a 56-mile stretch narrow roadways with 620 sharp twists and turns and stunning vistas of bamboo-covered mountains, cascading waterfalls and lush tropical vegetation.
Located on the eastern side of Maui, the area around the town of Häna is often considered the best part of the island, so naturally it has one its best hotels.
Travaasa Häna (formerly Hotel Häna Maui) has been voted the "No. 1 Hotel/Resort for a Romantic Getaway" and the "No. 1 Boutique Hotel" in Hawaiian magazines, as well as the "No. 3 Resort in Hawaii" in Condé Nast Traveler's 2015 Reader's Choice Awards.
With cottages and private suites scattered across 22 lush green acres overlooking Häna Bay, guests enjoy the tranquil beauty of this palm tree-shaded island paradise.
Watch the waves from a private lanai of an Ocean Bungalow, or relax in a Garden Junior Suite or a roomy Waikoloa Family Suite.
Here there are no alarm clocks, radios and televisions, and you can't get online in your cabana, so you can truly unplug and unwind. But don’t worry: you’ll never be bored.
Travaasa offers adventure, culinary, culture, fitness and spa and wellness programs, so you can snorkel, canoe, stand-up paddle board, ride horses or glide over the islands in an aircraft.
Yoga and Fitness
Or sign up for Yoga and fitness classes, guided coastal walks, cocktail and cooking classes, lei -making fun, ukulele lessons and hula instruction.
Then spend the afternoon at the spa, and enjoy a special Hawaiian massage, facial or body wrap, or enjoy a time of guided meditation before dipping in a pool or hot tub before dinner.
Dine at Preserve Kitchen + Bar, a casual open-air restaurant where guests can relax and enjoy authentic Hawaiian music and tasteful, graceful hula dancers each week. Then let staff take you to your cottage on a golf cart, or walk well-lit-paths edged by tropical flowers and butterflies.
While there, be sure to explore this side of Haleakalā National Park, especially the Pools of ‘Ohe’o (often called the “Seven Sacred Pools”) a popular place for swimmers, where black lava cliffs stand above aquamarine waters.
It’s also fine place to hike along the Pipiwai Trail with ancient banyan trees and waterfalls. Travaasa is close to the Häna Cultural Center and Museum as well as Häna Beach Park, with facilities for Travaasa guests.
This is the island getaway you’ve been dreaming of, so escape high rise hotel scene and enjoy a tranquil retreat on magnificent Maui.
Janis Turk is a travel writer, photographer, and author who has appeared in travel segments for CNN’s airport network. Her work appears in magazines and newspapers and popular travel websites. Her most recent book Frommer’s TEXAS (2017) is available on Amazon.com and in bookstores everywhere.