Hawaii spas top-ranked by Mobil
Eight Hawaii spas, one more than last year, were named among the top-ranked spas by the well-regarded Mobil Travel Guide this year.
Hawaii could see a boost in avid travelers, those who travel often and seek the best that vacation spots have to offer, from the eight spas who were named to this year's Mobil Travel Guide's list of top spas.
Mobil's latest ranking includes more than 100 three- and four-star ratings, plus and two elite five-star ratings to hotel and resort spas in the United States and Canada.
While Hawaii's usual four-star spas prevailed in the rankings, this year they were joined by the Spa at Manele Bay, Four Seasons Resort Lanai. Hawaii standards included: SpaHalekulani, Hale-kulani; Spa Suites at the Kahala Hotel and Resort; Hualalai Sports Club and Spa, Four Seasons Resort Hualalai; Spa Grande at the Grand Wailea Resort and the Spa at Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea.
Hawaii's three-star recipients remained unchanged from 2006: Spa Moana at the Hyatt Regency Maui and Spa Kea Lani at the Fairmont Kea Lani Maui.
Only two spa properties, neither in Hawaii, made the guide's five-star list. For the second year in a row, Mobil awarded five stars to Spa Montage at Montage Resort in Laguna Beach, Calif., and the Spa at the Mandarin Oriental in New York City.
The International Spa Association has reported that the North American Spa Industry has become a $9.7 billion market that is more than 14,000 strong.
Spa experiences are a growing part of travel in Hawaii and elsewhere, said Jay Talwar, vice president of marketing for the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau.
"Health and wellness and spa services appeal to avid travelers, Talwar said.
Each year, about 82,000 guests at the Grand Wailea visit the property's 50,000-square-foot Spa Grande -- the largest in Hawaii, said Cecilia Hercik, director of spa sales and operations at the Grand Wailea.
"We definitely feel that the spa is a huge draw for guests choosing to stay here at the hotel," Hercik said.
Spa Grande spotlights Hawaii products and techniques, she said, adding, "Guests travel so far to come and visit and they like to experience new treatments with new ingredients that they can find here."
That strategy has paid off for Spa Grande, which saw 8 percent year-over-year growth from 2005 to 2006 and consistently stays more than 75 percent occupied, Hercik said.