The last time I was in Hawaii visiting family, I was invited to be a guest of the Hyatt Regency Waikiki. The idea of playing tourist in my hometown was intriguing, and once I learned about the hotel's fitness programs, I was sold. During my two nights there, I worked out at the gym, took a yoga class, and was treated to a massage at the hotel's spa.
Yoga is offered three times a week in one of the spa's airy studio spaces. The most amazing part of the room is a wall of windows that look out onto the Pacific Ocean — talk about sun salutations! I was nervous because I was the only student, but Pablo, my instructor, said that this sometimes happened. Because of it, he adjusts his classes to the individual needs of his student(s) that day. I told him that I was looking for a rigorous Vinyasa flow class, which focused on my upper body and core. By the end of it, I was sweating and had done poses that I'd never even tried before. He challenged me to try inversions (my first!), and I received the kind of attention (and adjustments) that aren't possible to get in a large group class. Even my Downward Facing Dog improved! I loved the hour-long class and thought that Pablo was an amazing teacher. He pushed me when I needed it and had a calming, laid-back nature that I think is so important for a yoga teacher to posses. I walked away from his class feeling stronger, challenged, and energized to face my day.
To hear about the hotel's other fitness offerings and my spa experience read more.
Shortly after yoga, I had a massage with Derwin, a longtime therapist at the hotel's Na Ho'ola Spa. It was completely relaxing, but what I liked best was how knowledgeable he was. During the hour-long massage, he taught me about the trigger points on my body and how to relieve the pain I felt there. He even showed me stretches that I could do at home after the massage was over and how to give myself a tennis ball massage. Derwin said that if more people knew about the therapeutic uses of a two-dollar tennis ball, he'd be out of business!
My two-night stay went by quick, and I regret not having the time to check out the other fitness classes — namely, the hulacise class. A cross between an aerobics class and traditional hula class, it takes place outside near the beach and promises a total-body workout. The hotel also provides running maps to the surrounding area, and a host of beach activities like surfing, sailing, and beach volleyball. I had such a lovely time while there and being able to have access to things like yoga and a gym made my stay even more perfect. If you're looking for a way to sneak fitness into your vacation, I definitely recommend staying here.