Summer Spa Treatments: The Body Wrap


I told myself I needed to get a body wrap during my stay in the tropics. My dead skin cells were accumulating by the millimeter, and I needed a fresh start in addition to the DIY sand and salt scrubs! I booked it to the spa to give my body a little TLC.

I enter the pseudo-zen space and after 20 minutes of pre-treatment sauna time, my spa therapist Lani Morris grabs me. She begins by dry scrubbing my skin with an exfoliating mitt. "This increases circulation and detoxes the body," Lani proudly proclaims as she's sloughing off my ankles. It's quite possibly the best body massage, ever.

With my skin prepped, she warms up the clay about to get smothered all-over my skin. This special Hawaiian blend combines Noni (an invigorating plant similar to coffee), Awapuhi (a wild ginger), and Kava (a plant with slightly numbing effects). The warm clay mask instantly cools and slightly numbs upon contact, treating my sensitive and sunburned (tsk!) skin. 

Next, with a few gymnastic tactics, she manages to wrap me up in plastic wrap without me rising from the table. I feel like I'm marinating, but my esthetician assures me that the wrapping process seals in heat and increases the clay's penetration into the skin. After a fragrant oil-based scalp and shoulder massage, she peels the plastic off and beckons me to the indoor shower standing a foot away. I rinse off the clay remnants and get back into my spot immediately. My skin already feels refreshed and purified—it must be the Noni and Kava!

The spa therapist then slathers on a generous helping of Koke'e body cream, named after Maui's lush rainforest. This whipped island blend smells like cacao mixed with essential oils, and it feels amazing. My appointment's over and it's time to head back to the beach to show off my new skin. Not sure how to prepare for your next spa treatment? Keep these five tips in mind.

1. Avoid fragrance.

You don't want your perfume to overpower your treatment (or the esthetician!). Keep fragrance minimal or nonexistent throughout the day.

2. Calm down.

Life can get hectic, but your spa treatment is the ideal opportunity to completely let go of daily stressors. Turn off your mind for a moment and let go—you earned it!

3. Choose the right treatment.

Some body treatments include a massage and exfoliation (like ours did), but many services also just focus on one area. Try to double- or triple- dip for a full-service session.

4. Take advantage of the space.

When you book a spa treatment, your service usually includes a day pass to spa. Take advantage of the amenities—use the pool, sauna, and hot tub at your leisure. Turn your spa pass into an all-day activity.

5. Tip well.

Spas will sometimes include gratuity in your final bill, and that's perfectly fine—it takes the guess work from you. When in doubt, add 15% to 20% to your final bill, depending on how much you enjoyed the treatment.

Kaua'i Clay Ritual, $180, Westin Spa Helani, Kaanapali, Maui,