A Hawaiian sanctuary

When I meet owner Xorin Balbes for the first time at Lumeria’s restaurant he greets me with a big hug; I love it. He is open and friendly and this sets the tone for my stay at this beautifully refurbished homestead. It’s immediately obvious that this project has been a labor of love for Xorin. Originally a retirement home for plantation workers, the building was constructed in 1910, but in 2012 Xorin lovingly turned this into Maui’s premier health and wellness yoga retreat.

There are 24 beautifully appointed rooms (all individually designed by Xorin) set on six tropical acres in the town of Makawao on Maui’s north shore, 15 minutes from Kahului Airport. Often times yoga and luxury don’t go hand in hand, but here you will find five-star accommodation, amazing grounds with hammocks, a saltwater pool and Jacuzzi, fire pits, indoor and outdoor yoga spaces, and a stunning main lodge with a massive fireplace – all in a totally unpretentious environment.

The food is farm to table dining using fresh local ingredients. Breakfast is included and you can also have lunch and dinner with prior notice, or you may like to head into the neighbouring town of Paia. A five-minute drive down the hill, Paia is a beach town with a surfie hippy vibe, and has some great food options. Head to Mana Foods, a local health food store with a fantastic deli offering freshly made soups, smoothies, juices, salads, and much more. Grab something for lunch and walk across the street to the beach for a picnic.

Lumeria offers complimentary classes during the day including meditation, chi gong, aromatherapy and several types of yoga. My favorite was the Aloha Friday yoga class with Skeeter. Taught in the courtyard on the grass in front of a large stone Buddha, this was a fabulous class. Skeeter (I wish I had asked how she got her name!) is a wonderfully talented instructor with a chilled out vibe who has obviously been practicing yoga for a while. She explained the benefits of all the poses and gave great insight and information during the class.

There are many spa options on offer from traditional Hawaiian lomi lomi massage and facials, to ancient therapies like crystal healing, andmystic readings. If you’re looking for something more adventurous, you might want to try kite-boarding, a ride on an outrigger canoe or a sunrise bike tour down the Haleakala volcano.

Lumeria is a place to enjoy the silence, walk amongst the fragrant gardens, lay in a hammock with a book, empty your mind while walking the meditation labyrinth or sit by the open fire in the evening. It’s a wonderful place to enjoy on your own as I did, but I’m sure it would be just as enjoyable sharing it with someone.

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