JANUARY 1, 2019 | by AMBER GIBSON | Forbes.com
Many of us may have made New Year’s resolutions relating to health, making lifestyle changes with our wellness in mind. Perhaps you’ve booked a week at a wellness retreat with a strict diet and exercise regimen, hoping that you’ll be inspired to take some of these changes home. More hotels are adding amenities with wellness in mind, offering yoga mats in room like Kimpton, cold-pressed juices and robust tea selections at breakfast and spa treatments designed to help us sleep better. But one Hawaiian resort is taking holistic wellness to the next level and prompting us to do a little soul-searching too.
It’s hard to believe that the sleek new ‘Alohilani Resort was formerly the tired Pacific Beach Hotel, but after a massive $125 million renovation, the hotel has a contemporary vibe, new Morimoto restaurants and new imaginative programming. To kick off 2019, ‘Alohilani is launching a brand new Plant Your Intentions package that’s available through March. It’s much more than a New Year’s resolution; this unique package incorporates astrology and dreamboarding to help guests begin 2019 with clarity and purpose. Rather than focusing solely on physical well-being, Alohilani pushes guests to look deeper in self-reflection to nurture emotional well-being and spiritual growth.
“We wanted to make a meaningful difference in guests’ lives and help them feel truly connected to Hawaii,” says Heidi Avedisian, founder of White Ink Construction, the creative services agency for ‘Alohilani. “Each partner of this package relates back to Hawaii, which was a goal we set forth at the beginning. The planting of an indigenous tree through our partnership with Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative (HLRI) has a direct impact on reviving native ecosystems, protecting wildlife habitats and fighting climate change. ʻAlohilani resides on the land that belongs to Queen Liliʻuokalani’s trust and the partnership with HLRI honors the last reigning monarch of Hawaii’s legacy by restoring the natural wealth of her islands so that future generations can experience them.”
A week or two before you arrive, you’ll have an astrological phone reading with Hokulani Beale of Hoku Mama Astrology. She’ll go over your natal chart in detail, speaking to overall themes, changes and what the planets’ position in the coming year might have in store for you. You’ll definitely have some existential questions to ponder on the long flight to Hawaii and ruminate on your goals for the coming year.
Upon arrival at ‘Alohilani, you’re greeted by a larger-than-life coral sculpture by Nina Helms behind reception that’s both elegant and bold. The undersea vibe continues at O-Bar, the lobby bar where you can sip cocktails next to a three-story aquarium; it’s like scuba diving without getting in the water.
Book a premier oceanfront suite for unobstructed views of Diamond Head and the ocean. Located on the east end of Waikiki, the ‘Alohilani is right across the street from Kūhiō Beach, where the semi-protected waters are great for families. All rooms have Toto toilets and bath amenities from Hawaiian spa brand Mālie Organics.
The next day, enjoy a private dreamboarding session with Tiare Thomas of Aloha Dreamboard. She’ll show up at your door with cork board and dozens of magazines, everything you need for collaging to manifest your future. Before you break out the scissors though, Thomas walks you through a guided meditation and journaling to visualize and articulate your intentions.
“Journaling is the meat of the board,” Thomas explains. “And the images are the energy that bring it to life. Images can mean different things to different people.” It’s amazing how quickly time flies by when you’re flipping through pages looking for photos and phrases that align with your dreams. If collaging sounds more artsy than actionable, just think of it as a visual reminder to hold yourself accountable to your goals. “It’s important to celebrate the wins,” Thomas says. “They give you the confidence to dream even bigger.”
Enjoy some downtime lounging beside the pool, letting your hopes and dreams for 2019 and beyond marinate while enjoying a lomi lomi massage in your cabana or your suite. Then, it’s off to Gunstock Ranch on the North Shore to get your hands dirty and really ground your dreams to the earth. What began as a 900-acre ranch and horseback riding operation now includes Oahu’s first Hawaiian Legacy Forest in partnership with the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative.
Reforestation began in October 2017, and at that time there were only two single trees across 80 acres that were native – one milo tree and one noni tree. Guests can tour the ranch by horseback, UTV or helicopter before planting your own sapling. The hole has already been dug, so it’s really quite easy to nestle the milo sapling into the earth and water it. The simple act of planting a tree is a powerful gesture and tangible symbol anchoring your intentions for 2019 and beyond.
So far, 2,000 trees have been planted, starting with Monarch Milo trees, which are the backbone of the forest. Sandalwood will come next as the native ecosystem is slowly restored. ‘Alohilani has committed to planting 100,000 trees and the team has taken field trips to help plant trees at Gunstock Ranch while building community among resort employees.
The monetary value to society that each tree generates over its lifetime, not to mention water filtration and soil retention, is really quite astounding. Scientists estimate that over a 50-year lifespan, a single tree generates $31,250 worth of oxygen, $62,000 worth of air pollution control, recycles $37,500 worth of water and controls $31,250 worth of soil erosion. Just one tree absorbs enough carbon to offset a week long vacation in Hawaii for a family of four. When it comes to a more generous, worldly view of wellness, ‘Alohilani is ahead of the curve and I expect we’ll see more resorts following suit with an eco-friendly approach to wellness.
ʻAlohilani Resort Waikiki Beach
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