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Maui Marvel

Jasmine Lombardi | June 12, 2019 | Travel & Recreation Story Travel National

For Californians, a trip to Hawaii is perhaps the simplest way to escape. So, when a change of pace calls, an island getaway is a must. For those in search of a rare, unforgettable experience, the Luxe Villa Adventure package at Fairmont Kea Lani—with its exclusive villa collection of 1,800- to 2,200-square-foot two- and three-bedroom homes—is a no-brainer.

My unparalleled experience begins when I land at Kahului Airport, where I’m escorted to Wailea via Maui’s finest transportation and transfer service. Everyday stresses melt away when I arrive at Kea Lani, thanks to the staff’s warm aloha spirit and the mana (energy) of the Valley Isle itself. After being whisked through the lush landscape, I enter my three-bedroom villa. I instantly feel the comforts of home, but I’m delighted in knowing the amenities of this haute hotel are at my fingertips. The gourmet kitchen is stocked with island goodies such as OCEAN Organic Vodka; a tropical fruit basket of locally grown pineapple, papaya and more; hydrating coconut waters; and even homemade banana bread. I may never leave.

After settling in, a dip in my private oceanfront plunge pool is in order. Lounging steps from Polo Beach, as I look toward the horizon, I’m greeted by North Pacific humpback whales splashing about. I’m already refreshed—ready to soak in the week ahead. And what a week it will be.

That night, I indulge in a private villa barbecue, during which the chef happily caters to my dietary restrictions while still surprising me with a twist on one of my favorite local dishes, poke. After dinner and cocktails at LUANA, a soothing soak in the tub—using the exclusive Rose 31 bath salt from New York perfumer Le Labo—is in order. I sleep soundly in my plush king-size bed, which looks out over the sparkling Pacific Ocean. Thankfully, too, since I have to be up bright and early the next morning for my two-hour private cruise on the island’s only luxury power yacht vessel for charter, Satisfaction. And satisfied I am, as we explore the Maui coastline. We ooh and ahh over a pod of dolphins that swim alongside us as we cruise along Molokini crater, then again as a mama whale teaches her calf how to slap its pectoral fin.

To top it off, the Luxe Villa Adventure package includes two hourlong Willow Stream Spa services, during which I opt for the Hawaiian Pa‘akai treatment. I’m covered in healing pa‘akai (sea salt), mixed with locally grown green papaya and lemongrass, and organic coconut oil. A rinse under the state-of-the-art Vichy shower, which features infrared light therapy, and a slathering of rich Hawaiian coconut oil leave my skin utterly smooth and hydrated. The WaveMotion Massage, Muscle Recovery Deep Tissue Massage (for those who fully take advantage of Fairmont’s Inspire Your Energy fitness and wellness program) or the Customized HydraFacial are also not to be missed.

There’s much more to explore on Maui, and much can be enjoyed (or arranged) right there on Kea Lani’s posh property. Think Mermaid University for the keiki, cultural experiences like hula and ukulele lessons, talk story sessions, ocean activities, hiking excursions—the list goes on. After my time at Kea Lani, I now truly understand the sentiment Maui No Ka ‘Oi (Maui is the best). Luxe Villa Adventure package from $2,419 per night

Originally published in the June issue of Silicon Valley

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Photography by: Photo Courtesy of Fairmont Kea Lani