Living the WELL Life

Hanalei Colony Resort Kauai, Hawaii

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Magical! Paradise! Heavenly!

“This is as close as you can get to Heaven and still take a breath.”

Being a well-travelled, wee soul, I have to say without a doubt that Kauai, Hawaii is my ultimate ‘top spot’ destination. The Hanalei Colony resort is nestled on a secluded stretch of golden beach, set against the magnificent mountains of Kauai’s north shore, and offers much more than just a place to stay.

This is an escape for those seeking a break from modern-day stress, a hideaway for families wishing to reconnect, a romantic interlude for couples.  All in all, it’s an extraordinary getaway for travellers of all nestled in one of the most beautiful settings imaginable. 

The Hanalei Colony experience is truly unique among Kauai resorts.   It’s not about the buildings or amenities. It’s about the place. Nothing can compare to the peace and glory of the ocean at your doorstep and it was the most wonderful, romantic, and spiritual time for us during our stay here. 

The experience begins before you even arrive. Near the charming town of Hanalei on Kauai’s lush north shore, the road narrows to two lanes then meanders along for several more miles. It’s a magnificent journey, bordered by emerald mountains laced with waterfalls on one side, stretches of white beach and aquamarine seas on the other. After crossing seven picturesque one-lane bridges, you arrive at Hanalei Colony and are transported back in time to an area of pristine natural beauty: Ha’ena.

Ha’ena contains a spirit called mana by the old Hawaiians -- a power that emanates from sacred places. It is said that Ha'ena has strong mana, and it is the source of many ancient legends.  There is nothing tame or polished about this area. It is raw, just as Nature created it. Sometimes the waves gently lap the shore; sometimes they crash onto the beach. Sometimes the wind softly rustles the coconut fronds; sometimes it bends the trees with a fury as if to make them snap. 

The word "Ha," part of Ha'ena's name, means "breath of life," an apt description for this place's power to renew the soul. Life is slow here. That’s part of the allure. There’s plenty to keep you busy, if you wish. But no hustle-bustle and no pressure to do anything but sit and breathe in the warm sea air, if that’s your heart’s desire. You will feel illuminated… recharged… transformed by the experience at Hanalei Colony. Walking the beach with no destination in mind, enjoying morning coffee accompanied by the sound of the surf, watching the moon and stars emerge over Hanalei Bay... these are powerful moments, truly magical.   It is the mana of Ha’ena.

You won’t find shopping malls, towering high-rises, or symphony orchestras here. Instead, Mother Nature has created her own masterpiece for you to enjoy, conceived on a canvas of land, sea and sky:  emerald peaks against scarlet-gold sunsets, a full moon glistening on the sea, soft evening breezes scented with plumeria, rain forests shrouded in mountain mists, the sea lapping the shore, warm sand beneath your toes, I can feel a return visit coming soon for sure!!!!!

The Accommodation

When my husband, Bill, opened the door to our apartment, there were no words adequate enough to express what I saw in front of me.  I was awestruck by the sheer beauty of the landscape.  The condo boasted a corner site with full picture windows surrounding the whole of the lounge boasting amazing views of the ocean and mountains.  I was so excited I ran across the room to the terrace and ran smack bang into the closed patio doors!  Now, you may laugh, but I had only recently had an operation to repair my nose which I had broken in a riding accident and boy, did that interaction with the patio doors bring tears to my eyes.  Not only that, it was only two days to our wedding… was I going to have a black eye to go with my bloody nose? 

The apartments are spacious with well-equipped kitchens so you can choose whether to eat in or prepare delicious food to eat al fresco on the terrace while enjoying the amazing view. There are fantastic health-food shops nearby where you can pick up everything you require for breakfast, lunch, or dinner if you so choose.  The choice of delicious local fruit and vegetables was just wonderful, and we found everything we needed to create our own picnics on the beach.  You can also order a picnic from the resort.  Later in the evening, don’t miss their Mediterranean Gourmet’s “Romantic Dinner for Two,” an intimate candlelit dinner in a private alcove at their award-winning oceanfront restaurant.

Eating Out

Without a doubt, Hanalei has some of the best food places.  We were spoiled for choice, and I loved all of them. A place called The Postcard, however, was my favorite. A charming restaurant in a cute house in Hanalei, this fantastic restaurant offers a great selection of gluten-free and vegetarian meals to suit a wide variety of diets

Enjoy lazy afternoon cocktails and the freshest fish and sushi on Kauai on the banks of the idyllic Hanalei River. The Dolphin features Kailani Farms locally grown organic greens and serves them with The Dolphin's own homemade dressings. The choice of an asparagus wrap, baked potato, marinated veggie-kabob, seasoned fries or steamed white rice accompanies every meal.

Spa - Luxuriate at the beautiful Kauai Resort and Spa

Heavenly pampering was on the agenda for Bill and me as we had travelled a long way from Scotland.  This was just what we needed.  This charming Kauai resort and spa, located on-site at Hanalei Colony Resort, offers a variety of therapeutic massages, and customized yoga, and Ayurvedic treatments.  You can also experience a beachfront massage in the Hawaiian hale, a hand-built reproduction of traditional Hawaiian thatched huts. Or indulge in a couples’ massage (like we did) so you can both benefit from the healing hands of an experienced massage therapist.


There Are Many Incredible Things to do on Kauai’ and an unlimited number of fun things to do. You can be as busy or as “un-busy” as you want on Kauai. That’s part of its magic. Spend your days lolling peacefully on the beach, or get out and explore all the attractions this magnificent island has to offer. The choice is yours.

The north shore of Kauai is world-famous for its lush, tropical beauty, and the area surrounding Hanalei Colony offers a wealth of natural and cultural attractions, activities, and sightseeing opportunities. Within just a short drive from the vacation condos, you’ll find many of the island’s most popular activities, allowing you to explore the island from land, sea, or sky. Kauai resort is the closest to the spectacular Napali Coast, site of the most famous and challenging of all Kauai hikes. Hikers from around the world visit Kauai just to conquer this incredible trail, originally carved out of the mountains by the ancient Hawaiians. The rewards are breath-taking -- pristine beaches, remote waterfalls, and a rugged coastline known the world over for its magnificent peaks and valleys.

The north shore beaches are spectacular, providing a wide range of water sports including snorkelling, scuba diving, surfing, windsurfing, and kayaking. Boat tours and helicopter excursions are two of the most memorable sightseeing experiences on Kauai, transporting you to hidden areas that are accessible only by sea or air. Horseback riding, championship golf, zip lines, and botanical gardens are all nearby. And Kauai’s wildlife presents its own diversion, with humpback whales spouting offshore and native birds nesting in protected north shore sanctuaries.

Oh, and I’m available free of charge to carry your luggage!!


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