Anara Spa aoffers lush settings, soothing services

  • Jessica Else/The Garden Island

    Members of the Grand Hyatt’s Anara Spa chat over champagne and light pupus during their first annual Hui Ho’olaulea meet and mingle event.

  • Jessica Else/The Garden Island

    Kapua Janai gets ready to do a session of Sound Immersion for members of the Grand Hyatt’s Anara Spa during their first annual Hui Ho’olaulea meet and mingle event.

POIPU — Tropical, lavish and rejuvenating, the Anara Spa at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa wraps you up in healing mana, or energy, and transports you to luxury in paradise.

The spa boasts beauty services like lillikoi body scrubs, lemongrass and aloe face treatments, healing sessions that incorporate native plants like ti leaves and volcanic stone, detoxifying volcanic clay masks and lomilomi massage.

While the spa is known for things like healing pedicures and manicures, magnesium float therapy and tropical foot baths in private gardens, recently the hot tub and pool area were abuzz with champagne and chatter.

It was the Hui Ho’olaulea first Anara Spa membership gathering, an event that honored those who frequent the spa and celebrated connection and community as well as relaxation.

About 60 people talked story, mingling with servers who offered freshly garnished pink champagne and pupu trays with chocolate covered fruit and skewered chicken.

But the spa didn’t just shower its members with food and drink — hand massages were on tap with estheticians Valerie Kukk, Loala Lake and Rachelle Rendon, members scored a discount on boutique items for the day and sound immersion therapy.

Members talked story with trainers and fitness instructors, estheticians and traditionally trained healers, and were allowed to wander the spa, discovering wonders like the workout room dedicated to ellipticals and weights.

Sound therapists Yojana Grace and Kapua Jani welcomed a few members at a time into the Cardio Hale, a sun-strewn cabana with mats set in place.

Some might wonder if sound immersion meditation is anything more than lying half asleep with someone in the room knocking a stick on a bowl — but surrender to the sound and you can feel the tension slip away.

Jani and Grace used drums, rainstick shakers as well as Tibetan healing and other sound bowls to aid members in a deeper meditation. Gongs, flutes, bells and shamanic drums are all used in the practice as well to help the flow of chi, or prana, or energy in the body.

It was a 20-minute experience that reentered and rejuvenated and I felt a marked difference in my tension levels after the session.

Spa director Shelley Hall and assistant director Sophia Yost said hosting the event was a chance to thank members who have been taking classes like Zumba and water aerobics and frequenting the spa’s many amenities.

It was also a chance for members to connect and talk story as most encounters at the spa are during class or a quick chat on the way to a massage.

Because you don’t have to become a member to enjoy the spa — there are packages available to buy online and the ladies at the front desk are super helpful — it was a chance to honor those full- and part-time residents who regularly walk through the doors of the Kauai Grand Hyatt Resort and Spa.

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Jessica Else, staff writer, can be reached at 245-0452 or at jelse@thegardenisland.com

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