WAILEA, MAUI — Jennifer Burrows, art director— Ilove Maui. I love it so much I've gone seven times in the last 10 years, including getting married there two years ago. Yet in all my visits, I had never taken advantage of any of the salons the island has to offer. My whole family was in Maui this past fall, so one day my mother, sister-in-law, and I drove to the other side of the island for spa treatments at the Grand Wailea Spa and Resort. Suffice to say, every trip to Maui will now include a pilgrimage to the Grand Wailea.
The spa boasts a Termé (Hawaiian for "living waters") Hydrotherapy Circuit, 16 different massage options, 10 different kinds of manicures and pedicures, plus a dizzying array of other salon services. Wanting to make my toes look perfect for those strappy sandals I brought with me, I chose the Grand Pedicure.
The prices were high, but no more than a top spa on the mainland, and I was curious to see if an island salon in the middle of the Pacific could compete with the quality I've seen at home. After an initial mishap with the front desk regarding scheduling, I started to doubt the service would be top-notch. I warned my family, "Don't let them cut your cuticles!" However, when we arrived and sat down my whole outlook changed.
The women behind the counter were very welcoming and had figured out why the scheduling problem took place. The fact that they took the time to research it made me feel that this sort of thing did not happen often and that they place importance on customer service. We were offered drinks and shown to the manicure and pedicure stations.
Once I sat clown, 1 knew that I could have sat in that pedicure chair all day. The chairs there are big, plush, leather chairs that have a remote control to program the type of lumbar massage you want. I have a bad back from a snowboarding accident, so I know my chairs!
Hawaii is known for its spontaneous rainstorms and stifling humidity, but the salon was kept cool enough so it was still relaxing to soak my feet in the warm water. Another first for me was the foot paraffin treatment. I've seen the procedure done in NAILS, of course, but didn't know how smooth my feet could actually become.
Fresh from doing a Polish Preview photo shoot for NAILS, I brought a favorite color from the latest OPI collection. My nail tech, Connie Stuhr, was delighted because she hadn't gotten the colors yet herself. She explained, "It takes forever for us to get any deliveries on the island."
Like most of the locals on the island, Connie came from someplace else originally. She moved to Maui with her fiancée from California. Although her relationship with him cooled, her love for Maui did not. She is a licensed cosmetologist in both Hawaii and California. She eventually married someone else and is now expecting her first child. With the Grand Wailea's high morale, low turnover, and good wages and tips, she says, "I have no desire to leave here." I didn't either!
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