Haute Spa: Apothecary treatments at Four Seasons Hualalai

When you hear the word, “apothecary,” you don’t automatically think of a resort spa.

But the term has come to almost define the world-class spa at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai on the Kona-Kohala coast of the Big Island.

It’s a unique, exclusive body treatment that’s not offered at any spa in the Islands.

These treatments were influenced by the kupuna — Hawaiian word for elders — who shared their healing traditions and knowledge of native plants and minerals. They were the island’s apothecaries, finding natural ways to heal the body.

The spa therapist helps you choose from more than 40 natural ingredients — 20 of which are from the Big Island — including Hawaiian sea salt, crushed macadamia nuts, limu (seaweed), lavender, sandalwood, organic Kona coffee and volcanic mud.

There are several different apothecary treatments at the spa. The mud and clay mosaic treatment ($230 per person, 80 minutes) combine volcanic mud and deep sea clay with essential oils to tone and stimulate the skin. The Hulali (sparkle) scrub ($230 per person, 80 minutes) uses a personalized blend of local ingredients to polish your body and prepare your skin for other treatments. The Wawali (smooth) wrap ($230 per person, 80 minutes) is another customized treatment where you are cocooned in warm linens as you enjoy a face and scalp massage.

But by far, the most luxurious of the apothecary treatments is the Linohau (perfection) scrub, wrap and massage ($400 per person, 120 minutes). This deluxe treatment includes the Hulali scrub and Wawali mask and wrap, but adds a full-body massage for total indulgence.

After your treatment, take some time to walk around the newly renovated open-air garden in the back of the spa. There are secluded spots everywhere to relax — next to a quiet steam, under a canopy of trees, fronting a small waterfall. It’s the perfect way to end a day of total rejuvenation.

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