Traveling Mamas

Inspiring you to explore our world

  • Rainbow Tower at Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort and Spa (c) Hilton Hotels and ResortsHawaii always seems to be in the top choice of destinations on almost any travel list. It definitely was one of those places I could only dream about from my house in Louisiana. A few years ago, Hilton Hotels in Hawai’i invited me to experience one of their most iconic properties in the world. I was excited at the opportunity and felt like I was dreaming when I stepped off the plane in Honolulu and entered the world of Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort and Spa – a perfect place for a family vacation in Hawaii, a gathering of gal pals, or a Hawaiian honeymoon.

    I spent every second of my visit exploring this 22 acre property and getting LOST on the island of Oahu, which recently had a cameo appearance in the new Hawaii 5-0. Here are some of the top things I loved about the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort and Spa:

    The Beach – Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort and Spa boasts the largest hotel beach area in Waikiki and I have to admit that there’s plenty of room to catch some sun. Onsite is also the Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon, a 5-acre saltwater lagoon with activities and tons of chairs to relax and catch some sun. Each day at 11am is Surfing 101, a fun, 30 minute complimentary session by surfing experts to entertain and inform about the history of surfing.

    Blue Hawaii invented by retired Hilton Hawaiian Village bartender (c) Hilton Hotels and ResortsThe History – If knowing that Elvis stayed here and threw albums off the balcony isn’t enough to pique your interest, how about those Blue Hawaiians and Mai Tais? The Hilton Hawaiian Beach Resort and Spa sits on the site of the 1928 Niumalu Hotel. A retired Hilton Hawaiian Village bartender invented the famous cocktail, Blue Hawaii.

    The Penguins – Who knew that penguins liked Hawaii? On the hotel property, catch a glimpse of these waddling cutie pies. The penguins and turtles are fed each morning at 8am. Be sure to meet at the Penguin Pool next to the Ali’i Tower to watch.

    Ocean Crystal Wedding Chapel at Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort and Spa (c) Hilton Hotels and ResortsThe Wedding Chapel – If I were getting married again, I would have to put the Ocean Crystal Wedding Chapel on my shortlist. The chapel is set in a lush tropical garden and seats up to 70 guests offering panoramic floor to ceiling views.

    The Activities – There are daily cultural activities for all ages scheduled throughout the day and week. Learn about the history of the Hula, how to make a Lei or Haku Lei wristlet (extra charges apply), and even take Ukelele lessons (minimum age 12 years old). Camp Penguin is a chance for kids ages 5-12 to learn about Hawai’i and her culture through supervised fun and educational activities. There is a charge for Camp Penguin and sometimes there are off-site excursions planned giving parents a chance to enjoy some downtime while the kids are entertained.

    Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort and Spa Paradise Pool (c) Hilton Hotels and ResortsThe Pools – The Paradise Pool is the newly re-opened aquatic fun area at Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort and Spa. The pool is for registered guests wearing a wristband and offers four waterslides (one a whopping 72-foot lava tube), lava rock formations, three waterfalls, and two heated spas. This is only one of the many pools available at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort and Spa.

    The Fireworks – Each Friday at 7:45 pm fireworks light up the beach and sky at the finale of the Rockin’ Hawaiian Rainbow Revue. Poolside seating can be reserved for $20 per ticket (includes one Mait Tai punch or non-alcoholic drink). My suggestion is to grab a blanket and sit on the beach to watch a spectacular ending to a beautiful day in a gorgeous destination.

    The Cuisine – There are so many dining venues to choose from, that visitors to Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort and Spa many not even want to leave the property. I was fortunate enough to dine each evening of my stay at a different venue and explore the other dining options onsite. There’s even a Starbucks for those of you who can’t live without this brand, but I opted to enjoy a fresh steaming cup of Kona Coffee with my breakfast each morning.

    The Rooms – I stayed in The Rainbow Tower in a corner king room with a view of the lagoon area and ocean. The room was spacious, clean, and offered amazing views. I was greeted in my room with a gorgeous ginger lei and the ingredients for a Mai Tai. There are five towers to choose from for accommodations with the Ali’i Tower being the most exclusive and private. Each tower has it’s own personality and decor, with keeping in the standard Hilton line of luxury furnishings and bedding.

    The SpaMandara Spa is a destination in itself, as one of the largest spas in Waikiki. I enjoyed a Balinese Body Polish with Massage and was totally relaxed during my stay. The mosaic tiled private outdoor pool is a perfect spot for a personal retreat away from the every day world.

    A Mama Moment – Sure, there are so many activities and things to do at Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort and Spa, but nothing beats just being in Hawaii, sitting on the beach, listening to the waves lap the shore as children giggle and play nearby. A Blue Hawaii in hand completed my mama moment as I dreamed about pineapples, volcanos, and exotic flora.

    Special thanks to Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort and Spa for providing this experience.

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  • I posted beforehand about the launch of a new spa concept – eforea: spa at Hilton. I was fortunate enough to be invited to the launch party by Hilton Hotels and Resorts. I’ve been on many press trips in the past decade, but I rarely attend launch parties (I live in Louisiana), which made this a refreshing experience.

    Those of you interested in the launch party may want to watch the video I put together of the night:

    Shannon Hurst Lane and Bethenny Frankel at eforea: spa at Hilton launchThe night began with cocktails and  press briefing, followed by a tour of the first eforea: spa at Hilton. While the concept of a spa at a hotel isn’t new, for Hilton, this is a big step. The brand eforea: spa at Hilton will now enable individual properties to offer a standard spa with a certain level of service that can be found worldwide at particular Hilton properties. One of the innovative aspects of eforea: spa at Hilton is their journeys. There are three to choose from: The Essentials Journey, The Escape Journey, and The Men’s Journey. These journeys include specific treatments and products that will be standard at each eforea: spa at Hilton. While these standards will be available at each eforea: spa at Hilton, each property will add it’s own personality to the spa which reflects the destination. Treatments include organic experiences, high-tech experiences, or traditional.

    I’m looking forward to experiencing the Escape Journey, which uses a product line out of Australia – Li’ Tya. The products use botanical plant extracts and offers a ritualized experience. The Essentials Journey marries botanical elements with a high-tech experience. This journey utilizes a branded line of Kirstin Florian products to enhance the treatment process with high-tech elements while still offering the spa experience. The Men’s Journey is a specific line that caters to the 30% of spa seekers who frequent Hilton properties – the men. VitaMan is a product developed specifically for the male skin.

    It isn’t all about products at eforea: spa at Hilton. The brand will maintain specialized training for each therapist in keeping with the level of service expected from the brand worldwide. There will also be a menu of spa cuisine in addition to the product and treatment line. Hilton understands that travelers are stressed and want to provide harmony, health, and happiness to their customers while they are on the road.

    Owners of individual Hilton properties now have an easy option to offer spa services to their visitors and feel confident that they will be offering a quality amenity service. The travelers utilizing these services will have the level of service they expect from the Hilton brand.

    Seal live performance at eforea: spa at Hilton launch partyThe spa tour was followed by Blue Carpet arrivals of celebrities, a book signing by Bethenny Frankel, fahion show by boho magazine and Nordstrom’s, and an amazing concert performance by Seal. After the event, the media attendees were given gift bags filled with items to signify the event. Big kudos to Allison Sargent Events who put the evening together for everyone.

    eforea: spa at Hilton gift is giving readers a chance to win the gift bag given to the media at eforea: spa at Hilton launch party. Giveaway items include spa robe, spa sandals (in small), spa sounds CD, and a logo tote. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment stating which journey you would choose if you had a chance to check out eforea: spa at Hilton (Escape, Essentials, or Men’s Journey). Bonus entry options are below. For bonus entries to count, they must be submitted as individual comments after initial comment entry. Entries can be submitted once per email address daily.

    Bonus Entries:

    1. Subscribe to the newsletter (signup located in sidebar). If you’re already a subscriber, just leave a comment stating you’re subscribed.
    2. Like TravelingMamas on Facebook and leave a comment.
    3. Check out the Hilton Hotels and Resorts page and like their page (if you like it). Please leave a comment for this step.
    4. Tweet “I can’t wait to check out eforea: spa at Hilton!” – Please leave a comment stating you completed this step for this bonus entry.

    This will give you 5 chances to win daily. Comments close at 11:59 PM EST on 10/27/2010. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States, and the District of Columbia who are 18 and older. The total value of each prize is approximately $200. Prize provided by Hilton Hotels and Resorts. Current and former contributors of not eligible to enter.

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  • Eforea Spa at Hilton Logo (c) Hilton Hotels and Resorts

    Tonight I’m attending the launch event of the Hilton brand’s new spa concept – eforea: spa at Hilton. I love the Hilton brand, and when you add spa into the mix, it’s a match made in heaven for me.

    The launch is being celebrated with a special performance by SEAL and other celebrities are scheduled to be on hand, including Tyson and Real Housewife of New York Bethenny Frankel, who will be signing books. I can’t wait to see who walks the blue carpet later tonight and hopefully send a few photos to Twitter.

    When I initially arrived into Newark this afternoon, I was greeted by a nice driver who had a gift box with the new eforea: spa at Hilton logo – a blue butterfly. As I walked into the lobby of Hilton Short Hills to check in for the night, I had those blue butterflies flying around inside from the excitement of seeing the hotel entrance decked out in blue and white.

    But enough about the fun and exciting launch event. The new spa concept offers something for everyone, no matter their spa experience preference.

    Treatment Journeys – This traveling mama loves the concept of not just choosing an item off a menu, like in a restaurant, but of the entire spa experience. From Hilton:

    “At the core of the eforea concept are three signature spa journeys that pair a therapeutic approach with transformative journeys of the senses.  The Essentials Journey features Kerstin Florian products along with a Signature Correcting Facial featuring Microcurrent technology. This unique treatment marries potent botanicals, cosmeceutical ingredients and advanced, non-invasive facelift technology. The Escape Journey is a set of holistic experiences fusing organic plant ingredients with traditional healing practices such as the Hilton Head-to-Toe Revitalization, an experience using products from the LI’TYA organic product line. Making men a priority, rather than an afterthought, Hilton created its custom Men’s Journey, a collection of goal driven treatments engineered for men including the Signature Body Repair with a heated bamboo massage created especially for Hilton. Each journey is comprised of a selection of face, body, and massage treatments with select add-in options.”

    Why the Name? Hilton is an iconic brand with a reputation of classiness. The word eforea was created to provide a refreshing identity in a spa world that is often dominated by sameness. The signature icon of the butterfly? It symbolizes transformation of the soul and body.

    I know the evening will be enjoyable, but I’m looking forward to learning a bit more about what makes this spa concept different from other brands. Currently, you won’t find much about eforea: spa at Hilton on their main site, but as this concept begins to debut around the world, I’ll be sure to keep you updated in case one of these new spas are developed at  Hilton Hotels and Resorts, DoubleTree, or an Embassy Suites near you.

    To give you an inside glimpse of eforea: spa at Hilton, here’s the video introduction played for media on the way to the event:

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  • The other night I was thinking about how long it’s been since I had really been out of the house. I wanted a change of scenery and just one night of relaxing and not having to worry about feeding the dog, scrounging up change for my daughter to take to school, or looking at dirty dishes.

    Paragon Casino Resort in Marksville, Louisiana is less than a two hour drive from my home. I’ve been there a few times with the family and always lusted after the spa. I just never had a chance to check it out. The PR firm that represents the casino has always had an open invitation for me to visit, at my convenience. I took them up on the offer of getting away for a few nights and met them at the casino.

    Lucky for me, a spa experience was included. I had the swedish massage, because I didn’t need anything too fancy. They do have a few signature treatments, including the Southern Comfort Massage, Crushed Pearl Facial, and even a 6 1/2 hour Full House package. The spa was much nicer than I expected and gave me a chance to relax.

    Paragon Casino Resort has onsite childcare , and arcade for the bigger kids, lots of shops, an indoor heated pool, outdoor pool, golf course, a movie theater, and lots of dining options. Of course, there is a casino, but for those who aren’t into gambling, this Louisiana resort is a great spot for a quick getaway.

    Special thanks to Paragon Casino for hosting my relaxing mama getaway.

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  • I received a press release today from a resort that shall remain nameless. It started with this headline: “Spa Pampering While Still Wearing Pampers.”

    The spa says its new menu “designed for little angels” will help kids “pushed to the breaking point” by being told to eat their vegetables instead of ice cream and not being able to go to the playground when they want to.

    So, with my apologies to Saturday Night Live, it’s time for my own “Really?” segment…

    • Really? My kid needs a footbath ritual followed by a 30-minute massage with chocolate massage oil? Really?
    • Really? My “metrosexual little guy” (the resort’s words, not mine) needs a precision manicure and pedicure, followed by a hand and foot massage with chocolate butter? Really?
    • Really? All that playing in the resort pool leads to tiredness and tension in my 2 to 12 year old that needs to be “released” by a professional massage therapist? Really?

    I don’t know about the rest of you, but if my kids have that much stress and tension in their lives, I think I’ll be running to family therapy and fixing what’s wrong in my home instead of taking them to a spa.

    Sure, I appreciate that babies — all of us, really — will be more relaxed and sleep more soundly after a massage. If you want to massage your kids, go for it. And the fun of a mommy/daughter mani-pedi isn’t lost on me.

    But if my budget allows for spa treatments on my next vacation, I’m keeping them all for myself. Sorry, kids, that’s mama’s money.

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