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Spa Struck, a.k.a Shannon Wianecki, has written about spas and travel for magazines throughout the US and Australia. Wanderlust has led her to explore Fiji, Indonesia, Australia, and Mexico, where she has enjoyed spa treatments beyond compare. She hopes one day to return for the second half of the more

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Article by Shannon Wianecki

Maui's first inhabitants rubbed coconut oil onto sun-warmed skin and squeezed the sweet-smelling pulp of awapuhi (ginger) flowers into their hair. Modern Mauians are spa-savvy, having soaked up the wisdom from the island's many diverse cultures. Ancient spa traditions from the East and West meet in the middle of the Pacific, and mingle with Hawaii's indigenous healing practices. Today, you can indulge in everything from Reiki massage to photorejuvenation in gorgeous facilities designed to improve on the best nature has to offer.

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The island of Maui is a spa experience in and of itself—lush rainforests, thundering waterfalls, warm seas, and exfoliating sands—and the resort spas seek to deepen that impression. Each facility (and there are many) is different; in Wailea you'll find Maui's largest spa, an opulent wonderland of marble, replete with Roman Jacuzzis, Swiss Jet showers, and your choice of therapeutic baths: moor mud, limu (seaweed), papaya enzymes, tropical flowers, or aromatherapy.

Kaanapali's oceanfront spas overlook a million-dollar view, the perfect place to beautify before your wedding or anniversary. Spa-goers can sip lavender lemonade and chat in the co-ed lounge before being ushered in for a blissful 80-minute body butter treatment.

In East Maui, a bamboo gate opens into an outdoor sanctuary with a lava-rock pool and hot tub fringed with orchids. Rest with a cup of jasmine tea in the fern-filled garden, or take an invigorating dip in a plunge pool. Stay limber with daily yoga classes and surrender your cares during a watsu pool treatment.

  read more: Outdoors in Paradise >>