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Red hot ideas

Massage treatments are nurturing gifts for loved ones on Valentine’s Day

Spa Grande couples suites offer panoramic views, large bathtubs and showers along with side-by-side massage tables. -- Grand Wailea photo

Roses are red. Rings have bling. But there’s no Valentine’s Day gift as nurturing and soothing as a massage treatment. Combined with a hydrotherapy plunge into hot and cold pools, cascading waterfalls, steam bath, sauna, Japanese furo, tropical jet showers and Roman tub, it’s an indulgent way to pamper your mate — and yourself.

“The reason a spa treatment is such a great idea is that you are essentially giving someone a sense of confidence,” says Spa Grande Director Rachael McCrory. “You are encouraging them to feel better about themselves. They feel more relaxed as they let go of the tensions and the pressures of the day. We all crave that connection of touch.”

Situated inside the “No. 1 Resort on Maui,” Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort — the 50,000-square-foot Spa Grande is also rated the “No. 1 Spa” on island, as voted by The Maui News readers year after year in the annual Best of Maui contest. Now through the end of February, McCrory and her expert team of about 80 therapists are enticing with intriguing Valentine’s packages.

“We’re doing fun things this year,” says McCrory, who’s been a spa innovator everywhere from Bali to Tokyo to China and Colorado and Kauai. “I’m especially proud of our Ku’uipo Escape package for couples.”

For the uninitiated, “kuuipo” means “sweetheart” in Hawaiian. This package is for two sweethearts, and according to McCrory, it’s a sensory indulgence par excellence.

Grand Wailea photo

“The Ku’uipo Package is something totally different,” she says. “We’ve created an interactive treatment for couples. It’s playful. We present it in our couples’ suites with panoramic views and large bathtub. They are our most expansive and most elegant treatment options. We greet you and present you with a tropical oil and eatable chocolate scrub and explain how to apply them. The first hour, you are on your own.”

The edible scrub is made from cacao nibs, macadamia nuts and sugar, “and it tastes really good,” says McCrory of the high-end product. Next, you’ll enjoy a romantic orchid-strewn bath in your soaking tub for two. Displayed next to the bubble bath is a fruit platter complete with whipped cream and chocolate and caramel sauces on the side.”

But, uh, how do couples know that it’s time to move on to the massage treatment?

“We have a timer, a bell, and it will ding after one hour,” she says with a sheepish grin.

The disco anthem, “Ring My Bell” by Anita Ward comes to mind. So does “Let ‘Em In” by Paul McCartney — “Someone’s knockin’ at the door / Someone’s ringing the bell / Do me a favor / Open the door / And let ’em in.”

Grand Wailea photo

After the couples are rousted from their romantic play date and they answer the door, two massage therapists will come and take it over the top with combo lomilomi and Swedish massages with long, flowing strokes. Prefer deep tissue? Or Shiatsu? It can be customized.

“We use cocoa butter. It’s elegant with nice, gentle, rhythmic flow. Then the treatment concludes.”

Each Ku’uipo Escape package includes a take-home gift from Rosebud Woman, which features intimate skin-care products emphasizing all things feminine.

“Not from a sexual perspective, Rosebud products are about taking care of your sensitive skin ‘down there,’ “ McCrory says. “Trending now, and a big part of wellness at spas in America, is feminine empowerment. Spa Grande is presenting an event in celebration of International Women’s Day in March. The founder of Rosebud, Christina Marie Mason, will do a talk about self-care for women on March 14.”

As part of the Valentine’s gift set, mini Rosebud products include Honor moisturizing balm, Arouse stimulating serum, Soothe calming cream as well as Refresh cleansing spray.

Roman tubs and cold dips are just part of the Healing Waters of Maui hydrotherapy and terme separate men’s and women’s facilities. -- Grand Wailea photo

Other Valentine treatments that are offered through February for couples are the Duo Ho’omailie and the Duo Cocoa Butter, both massages for two people.

Inspired by the Native Hawaiian traditions, Duo Ho’omaile blends rhythmic lomilomi and pohaku (warm stone) massage to induce deep relaxation as well as release tension. Infused with cocoa butter, vitamin E, island essences and turmeric, it melts into the skin leaving it soft and nourished.

“A purifying volcanic pumice foot scrub and hydrating coconut scalp massage top off this serene experience emulating the indulgences of alii, or royalty,” says McCrory. “As for the Duo Cocoa Butter massage, we offer upgrades of sparkling cider, chocolate-covered strawberries, rose-petal strewn treatment tables and Malie butter kisses.

“More upgrades are Mary’s Nutritionals CBD massage oils and CBD muscle freezes that target often-sore areas such as necks, shoulders and lower backs. The Mary’s products are from Colorado. Each features 25 milligrams of full-spectrum hemp,” says McCrory.

Last but not least, “Galentine’s Day” packages for two to five women run throughout the month.

“Grab your best gal pals and meet at the spa,” says McCrory. “Enjoy your choice of a 50-minute massage, facial or manicure and pedicure, one-hour access to The Healing Waters of Maui hydrotherapy terme and an upgraded chocolate loofah scrub that is part of the terme.”

Anyone who enjoys the hydrotherapy terme circuit gets a complimentary loofah scrub and rinse expertly executed by spa personnel for glowing skin.

“We open the spa daily with pii wai,” says McCrory. “It’s a traditional Hawaiian cleansing blessing. Kahu Lyons Naeone helped us develop signature treatments steeped in Hawaiian practices and ingredients.”

Facials are also a feel-good gift for the man or the woman in your life. Fight visible signs of aging with an antioxidant-rich cocoa mask combined with fine fruits and botanicals. Potent and active treatments, facials are customized for all skin types to address specific skin care goals. Noir Romance by Dazzle Dry is an manicure that includes the one-hour Healing Waters of Maui plunge and a chocolate scrub.

“A facial helps you feel so much better about the physical appearance of your skin,” McCrory says. “Whether it be a massage, a facial, a manicure or just getting your hair done, we carry ourselves differently. We’re better wives, mothers, husbands and fathers.”

Those who pick up gift certificates for treatments get a bonus from Feb. 13 and 14 if they spend $250 or more.

“You receive a Valentine’s Day card, a box of chocolates and a single red rose,” says McCrory. “It’s a one-stop shop. Valentine gift giving doesn’t get any easier than that.”

• Spa Grande doors open at 8 a.m. daily. Treatments run from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Kamaaina get 15 percent off facials, massages, nails and hair appointments as well as on retail products. Call Spa Grande at 875-1234.