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Romance and Wellness
Romance and Hawaii – a match made in Heaven
Great Wedding Locations: KauaiWaioli Church in Hanalei – Striking emerald green setting, with expansive flowering gardens and waterfall views.
Chapel by the Sea – Octagonal wedding chapel at the Kauai Marriott, with panoramic views across the 40 acre lagoon.
Kilohana Plantation – A glimpse of Kauai’s past. Elegant 36-acre estate with idyllic garden wedding sites plus the option of a romantic horse and carriage ride.
Smith’s Tropical Paradise – Lush 30-acre garden in the Wailua River Valley. Exotic plants and rare birds, bamboo rain forest, tropical fruit orchard and lagoons teeming with fish surround the garden.
© HVCB / Sri Maiava
With its beautiful landscapes, gentle warm breezes, laid back atmosphere and a whole other world to enjoy beneath the Pacific Ocean, it’s no wonder that Hawaii continues to prove popular with couples who want to get married abroad, those looking for somewhere special to celebrate their honeymoon or somewhere simply to reminisce in a special anniversary.
Hawaii’s year round warm and exotic climate – between 28°C and 30°C – combine with the diversity of stunning landscapes, from beach to rainforest or even a volcano, to create the perfect backdrop for those once in a lifetime memories and pictures!
© HVCB / Ron Dahlquist
As well as the climate and scenery, the hotels in Hawaii are also well equipped to cater for these special occasions. Many of the larger hotels have their own wedding coordinators and some of them even have their own wedding chapels. The hotel and the wedding coordinator will take care of all arrangements, advising your clients on menus, music, flowers and clothing and assisting on everything from the ceremony itself to the reception. All your clients need to bring are their passports and a marriage licence, which can be obtained from the health department.
Great Wedding Locations: MauiMolokini Lookout in Wailea – Stunning views across Molokini Island and Kahoolawe Island, the lush landscape stretches up to Haleakala Crater. Perfect for a sunset wedding!
Makena Cove Beach – White sand paradise framed by lava rocks with wonderful vistas across to the sunken crater island of Molokini.
Iao Valley State Park – Exotic tropical plants, island flowers, natural pools and even a fairytale waterfall. Its ridge-top lookout provides awe-inspiring views of the valley and Kahului Harbor.
© HVCB / Sri
Smaller hotels may not have the facilities to carry out a full wedding ceremony but they can certainly point your clients in the right direction for assistance. However, they are great for personal assistance and can often provide a more private setting. Make sure the hotels know that your clients are celebrating a special occasion as they may treat your clients with extra special attention, sprinkling flowers petals on their bed or perhaps surprise them with champagne in their room.
© KVB / Tim DeLaVega
Local agents will make sure that prospective newlyweds are welcomed on arrival and will go through all aspects of their personalised wedding plans with them, including helping them apply for the licence. On the wedding day itself the couple are typically collected by limousine from their hotel and taken to the chosen location, where they are married by a Hawaiian minister, or Kahu.
Great Wedding Locations: Hawaii’s Big IslandAnaehoomalu Bay – Organise a beautiful beach wedding or let a Wedding Co-ordinator do the work for you at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott.
On the ocean – A memorable Big Island wedding should include the water, which adds beauty and drama to any ceremony. Choose a vessel and get married on the ocean waves!
Hawaii’s Big Island Resorts and Hotels – Select one of the premier resorts on the sparkling shoreline for your wedding and reception. Within the properties, salons, gorgeous landscapes and private chapels make resorts perfect for the exchange of vows.
Couples choosing to wed or honeymoon in Hawaii will be in good company. Elvis Presley starred in the wedding scene at Kauai’s Coco Palms resort in the 1961 movie Blue Hawaii, while Bill Gates and Michelle Pfeiffer both married their respective partners in secluded splendour at the Manele Bay Hotel in Lanai. “Friends” actor Matt le Blanc wed Melissa McKnight at Kauai’s exclusive Princeville resort a few years ago, while model Christie Brinkley and husband Peter Cook honeymooned at the Big Island’s Kona Village Resort.
Getting married in Hawaii is easy. All couples need to do is obtain a marriage licence from the Department of Health (click here for more information). Proof of identity, such as a passport, is also required and there is no waiting period. Tour operators are generally able to help with the arrangements. The following are just a sample of wedding options in the Islands of Aloha®
Great Wedding Locations: OahuSheraton Moana Surfrider – The Sheraton Moana Surfrider Roof Garden and Lanai, located on the 6th floor of the Historical Banyan Wing, provides an atmosphere of great elegance and grace but not neglecting the importance of intimacy. Two open air lanais offer breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.
Ala Moana Beach Park – One of the most popular locations for Waikiki weddings, with its sheltered bay and magnificent view of Diamond Head.
Tantalus Park – The lush gardens of this mountain-top retreat offer panoramic views of Honolulu and Waikiki, from Diamond Head west to Pearl Harbor.
Waimea Valley Audubon Centre – Enjoy nature at its most beautiful in this 1,800-acre park, complete with tropical jungle and waterfalls.
Turtle Bay Resort Glass Chapel – A bevelled-glass sanctuary on the oceanfront of one of Hawaii’s most luxurious resorts, time your wedding with one of the world’s most beautiful sunsets.
Hilton Hawaii Village – Scheduled to open February 2006 is the new Ocean Crystal Chapel. This beautiful chapel will be the first free-standing resort chapel in Waikiki.
With its palm-fringed beaches, azure-blue seas, spectacular scenery, cascading waterfalls, stunning sunsets and Aloha spirit, Hawaii was made for romance.
The perfect backdrop for couples looking for the quintessential wedding destination, the islands are also ideal for honeymooners, couples celebrating anniversaries or renewing their wedding vows as well as those planning to pop the question. In fact, ideal for anyone drawn by Hawaii’s amorous allure and in search of a romantic getaway.
© Big Island
The choice of wedding venues is seemingly endless. Wedding pavilions can be found in beautiful beachside locations at many of the islands’ luxury resort hotel. Alternatively, the bride and groom can kick off their shoes and exchange vows barefoot beneath a palm tree on a pristine beach before taking an intimate sunset stroll and paddling along the shore.
The more adventurous can helicopter over the lush cliffs and valleys into remote locations, such as a secluded waterfall or private beach. Alternatively, tie the knot as the sun rises over Maui’s Haleakala Crater.
Whether you get hitched on horseback, take the plunge while scuba or sky-diving, say “I do” with a kayak’s ocean view, marry in a submarine, have dolphins and whales as your witnesses or even enjoy the ride of your new life by sharing vows in tandem on a surfboard, Hawaii’s diverse range of activities and landscapes cater for all.
Couples will want to exchange the traditional gift of love, respect and all round Aloha – a flower lei. These come in a range of colours, shapes and fragrances, the most popular including frangipani, pikake (jasmine), white ginger and orchids and couples can even add an extra personal touch by learning to make their own lei to present to their intended for the ceremony. While both bride and groom wear a lei in traditional Hawaiian weddings, the bride can also wear a haku lei – a crown of fragrant local flowers – around her head, as worn by hula dancers.
Wellness in Hawaii
© HCVB / Sri Maiava
Hawaii’s culture has long embraced the virtues of health, wellness and spiritual well-being, with native Hawaiians having advocated many highly developed forms of traditional medicine based on the use of local herbs and over 300 plants. Traditional healing required body, mind, spirit, nature, land and the gods to be in proper balance and perfect harmony, which is still evident in many of the treatments available.
Hawaii’s health traditions can be enjoyed by anyone and their value is widely recognised, with many of the resort spas and private healing centres featuring their own signature healing therapies and remedies.
The lomi lomi is probably the best-known Hawaiian treatment. Originally only taught to chiefs and leaders to improve their strength and vitality, lomi lomi simply means massage and is a means of stimulating emotional and physical well-being. Native Hawaiians who practiced it and other traditional methods were considered healers who could diagnose illness and still remain known as kahuna. These traditions were passed on from generation to generation, even in secret when white missionaries suppressed their ancient customs.
© Oahu Visitors Bureau
This famous treatment differs from other popular forms of massage as the rhythmic manipulation techniques work on several layers to rejuvenate body as well as mind. Generally starting with a pule (prayer), kneading strokes are employed all over the body and sometimes warm stones are placed on key energy points along the back, hands and feet to dissolve stress and create a fully relaxed state.
© HCVB / Sri Maiava
Besides traditional therapy methods, many local Hawaiian products are also used in treatments. For example, coffee is used as an exfoliant to energise and awaken the senses while the skin of the papaya – also used to exfoliate, soften and nourish the skin – is reputed to help slow down the aging process. Other natural extracts popularly used in treatments and massages are the pikake (jasmine) flower, sandalwood, kalo awa (taro), kukui (candlenut tree), Maui lavender, vanilla, ylang ylang, avocado, ginger, macadamia nuts and noni (Indian mulberry), as well as sea salt, seaweed and hot lava rocks.
Stone therapy is another favourite traditional healing technique, with basalt and marble stones widely used. To induce a deeply relaxed state, the basalt stones are warmed and placed on your coconut oiled back and are followed by soothing marble stones. The alternating of heat and ice is a well-practiced method of releasing toxins and increasing circulation, ensuring recipients finish the treatment feeling fully re-energised.
With a range of European, American, Japanese, Thai, Chinese and Indian soothing spa treatments and therapies, the spa is often the star attraction in Hawaii’s hotels and their impressive array of treatments often cater for couples looking for treatment a deux.
A great website for exploring the endless possibilities of a health-focused holiday is that of the Hawaii Wellness Tourism Association (www.hwta.net), which provides a comprehensive list of wellness providers and resources in Hawaii.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Hawaii
When romance is in the air, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Hawaii is the perfect destination for lovebirds. Whether your clients are planning a wedding, a honeymoon or rekindling an old flame, what better place to relax and rejuvenate than at some of Hawaii’s best beachfront locations with gentle breezes, balmy nights and the warm glow of tiki torches?
Secluded beaches and dreamy landscapes, and a multitude of unique activities and fun adventures will get your hearts racing. The Sheraton Maui and Westin Maui on Kaanapali Beach on Maui or the Sheraton Kauai Resort are so close you can almost jump in the ocean from your lanai. But we understand if you never want to leave your room…
On the mythical Big Island, let the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa take your breath away with some of the best ocean front views and unique activities such as manta ray dives.
So come to Starwood Hawaii and get your marriage off to a great start with a honeymoon in paradise. Then return year after year to rekindle your love.
TRAVEL AGENT – Added Values
As a special “mahalo” to travel agents, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Hawaii offer a complimentary bottle of champagne and a one-category room upgrade based on availability at check-in. Simply code your reservation with “romance” and we will do the rest.
You may also use our complimentary Aloha Amenity program, which provides your clients with a complimentary welcome gift (for example a catamaran sail for two) on your behalf. And best of all, it’s absolutely FREE. Simply visit www.starwoodhawaii.com/agents, then click on Aloha Amenity.
You may also check out our Travel Agent Educational Rates starting at only $59 per room, per night in Waikiki, so you can experience our fabulous properties yourself.
You can choose from:
Oahu: Sheraton Waikiki Resort, The Royal Hawaiian, Sheraton Moana Surfrider, Sheraton Princess Kaiulani, W Honolulu Diamond Head
Maui: Sheraton Maui Resort, Westin Maui Resort & Spa
Kauai: Princeville Resort, a member of The Luxury Collection, Sheraton Kauai Resort
Big Island of Hawaii: The Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa
See which hotel is right for your clients by visiting www.starwoodhawaii.com.
You’ll find the answers to the following questions on this page or on www.hawaii-tourism.co.uk. Good luck!
Header images, left to right: 1: Lava, © Big Island Visitors Bureau / David O. Baldwin | 2: Kaneohe Bay, © Oahu Visitors Bureau | 3: Kokee State Park, © HVCB / Ron Dahlquist | 4: Molokini, © HVCB / Ron Dahlquist
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