In December 2013, Kona Kai Resort & Marina completed the first phase of its $22 million makeover. While the first cycle of improvements definitely enhanced the over 60-year-old property, it still had a ways to go before regaining its former elite status. With the help of its management Noble House Hotels & Resorts (who bought the property back in 2013), the second round of renovations have now been completed.
Over the last year since phase one, the resort has finished constructing their in-house spa and fitness center. Recently, I visited to check out what's been done since 2013 and to experience its new spa. The 7,020-square-foot SpaTerre is made up of six treatment rooms, manicure and pedicure stations, a Vichy wet room, relaxation room and a fitness center featuring MATRIX and TechnoGym equipment.
When you arrive, an attendant escorts you to your corresponding locker room and hands you your sandals and robe. Of all the hotel robes I’ve worn, Kona Kai’s is one of the comfiest I’ve ever put on (seriously, where can I buy one?). Although the locker room includes showers, it does miss an opportunity to really pamper its guests post-rinse, by forgoing typical amenities such as hair dryers, brushes and combs, and other beauty products available at most luxury hotel spas.
Once dressed, guests can wait in the relaxation room where teas and water are presented alongside magazines to peruse. The colors and lighting are perfect for unwinding, but one thing that could be improved upon would be its seating options. What’s currently offered—a few chairs and benches—doesn’t exude relaxation, but rather a more hurried approach to spa-ing.
SpaTerre’s therapies are all focused around ancient and traditional Indonesian rituals. Dim lighting and soothing music plays in each room, and guests are invited to lay down on sprinkled rose petals to begin their treatments. For the 50- or 80-minute Balinese massage, you are presented with five exotic Indonesian oils to choose from to be used during the session. Acupressure, reflexology and aromatherapy are all part of this treatment.
One of the first things your masseuse will do, will be to utilize acupressure to target specific points on the body. Using his thumbs, my therapist applied firm pressure in various areas to promote blood flow and relieve tension. Focusing on arms, hands and feet, a reflexology treatment follows without the use of lotion or oil. This action on reflex points is meant to correspond with various organs and body systems. It’s during this time that you’ll really begin feel your muscles relaxing. Next, rhythmic hand strokes are used that are said to tone and energize the body.
Overall, the treatment was really relaxing. Throughout the whole process, my therapist made sure to focus on a deeper massage in the areas I needed it the most (my shoulders were thanking him later). If a few minor details are improved upon, SpaTerre could grow to be a hotspot for spa enthusiasts.
The whole look and feel of the hotel has really benefited from its facelift; it presents a calming and San Diego-chic vibe now that begs to be noticed. And, with its high number of marina slips, it's also a great destination for boat owners. Either way, drop by and see the new resort and let us know your thoughts.