This Resort is Welcoming a New Wave of Wellness Travel
After unveiling Waikīkī’s first IV drip lounge, the ʻAlohilani Waikīkī Beach Resort continues to expand on its wellness initiatives.
At Drip Hawaiʻi, electrolytes, vitamins and antioxidants are formulated into hydrating and nutrient-rich elixirs. However, these healthy cocktails are delivered intravenously through what are commonly known as IV drips.
In contrast to taking oral supplements, the vitamins and nutrients in the IV fluid bypass the body’s digestive system and directly enter the bloodstream with almost immediate effects. Celebrities like Adele and Chrissy Teigen swear by these vitamin infusions, prompting IV lounges and medical spas to pop up across metro hubs like New York City and Los Angeles.
On Oʻahu, Drip Hawaiʻi is the first IV wellness and medical spa to hit Waikīkī. The 700-square-foot lounge is located on the second floor of the ʻAlohilani Resort Waikīkī Beach. From esthetic injectables to body sculpting apparatus that utilize radio frequency and electromagnetic energy, clients at the spa are surrounded by cutting-edge technology and practices. Specializing in IV drips, Drip Hawaiʻi carefully crafts liquid remedies to target particular needs like increasing energy, improving athletic performance and accelerating hangover recovery.
Drip Hawaiʻi also developed an IV treatment with travelers in mind. Christened the ʻAlohilani retreat, the remedy helps hydrate the body and boost the immune system—the ultimate cure after a long journey. The founder of Drip Hawaiʻi, Tamara Shaffer, says that following the ʻAlohilani retreat, her clients often experience a wave of tranquility that lasts as long as a week.
As guests enter Drip Hawaiʻi’s luxe lounge, they are greeted with a cup of green tea or glass of champagne. Then, a registered nurse measures the client’s vital signs. Following a short briefing, the nurse inserts a tiny catheter into a vein in the forearm, which is connected to a bag of liquid infused with vitamins and minerals. To reassure those with a fear of needles, the nurse pokes the skin only once to insert the catheter. Many first timers to IV therapy expect the needle to remain in their arm, but it’s a single pierce. However, the catheter stays in the vein for about 40 minutes—the time it takes for a 500mL bag of fluids to enter the body. Although it still seems out-of-the-ordinary, IV therapy is a refreshing and revitalizing experience. By supporting overall health, Shaffer says these IV treatments can help enhance a trip to Hawaiʻi with its calming and healing effects.
The founder adds that it was serendipitous that she opened Drip Hawaiʻi at the ʻAlohilani Resort Waikīkī Beach this past April. The property underwent a $130 million renovation, transforming from the Pacific Beach Hotel to the ʻAlohilani Resort Waikīkī Beach. In the spring of 2018, the hotel celebrated its grand opening and from its rebirth, a focus on wellness has flowed throughout the property. Today, Drip Hawaiʻi fits seamlessly at the resort.
“The call for wellness and fitness is louder than ever,” says Matthew Grauso, the general manager of the ʻAlohilani Resort Waikīkī Beach. “COVID allowed people to pause and take a look at balancing life with exercise, diet and sleep,” he notes. Now, travelers are seeking accommodations and experiences that allow them to maintain a healthy lifestyle while away from home. As a result, a new era of travel is emerging.
The Global Wellness Institute defines wellness tourism as “travel associated with maintaining or enhancing one’s personal well-being.” Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the global wellness tourism industry reached a record of $720 billion. With strict travel restrictions, it took a severe hit in 2020, dropping to $436 billion. But industry experts at the Global Wellness Institute are predicting the market will strengthen, reaching $817 billion in 2022 and skyrocketing to $1.3 trillion by 2025.
The ʻAlohilani Resort Waikīkī Beach welcomes this new model of travel. Along with IV therapy at Drip Hawaiʻi, guests will find exciting offerings that nourish the body rather than disrupt their healthy habits and workout routines.
Guests have 24-hour access to FIT Waikīkī, the resort’s new fitness center. The 24-hour feature was established for travelers who haven’t yet acclimated to Hawaʻi’s time zone, providing a healthy outlet at all hours of the day. While the new gym is also equipped with state-of-the-art cardio and weight machines, Grauso explains FIT Waikīkī is focused on mind, body and spirit. “The vision for FIT Waikīkī was to create a more holistic wellness experience,” he says. Zumba and yoga classes are offered in addition to stretching sessions for activities that go beyond the traditional methods of working out. Grauso adds that guests can expect to find pickleball courts and batting cages in 2023.
To complete the holistic experience, FIT Waikīkī partnered with Spa Uʻilani for restorative massages and soothing facials. For residents seeking a forward-looking gym, FIT Waikīkī offers monthly and annual memberships for kamaʻāina.
From the fitness center, the wellness concept flows directly into the Earth to Cup menu at the resort’s poolside bar. The curated menu is only offered from 4-6 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays at Swell Restaurant and Pool Bar. The pūpū dishes are made with local ingredients that are complemented with specialty cocktails. From samosas stuffed with Maui Surfing Goat Dairy cheese to Oʻahu kampachi ceviche and Kauaʻi shrimp wrapped in bacon, the dishes are reflective of the Islands’ bounty. Local spirits including Ocean Vodka and Kōloa Rum go into refreshing cocktails like the guava mai tai or the swell Hawaiʻi, the bar’s take on a blue Hawaiian. The coco loco is even served in a young coconut. Here at Swell, Grauso says, “Guests can replenish with dishes made from local, organic ingredients.” Soon, guests will be able to eat fresh fare and lounge in a poolside cabana while receiving an IV infusion from Drip Hawaiʻi.
As travelers continue to seek vacations that improve overall well-being, the ʻAlohilani Resort Waikīkī Beach is at the helm of bringing new wellness experiences to Waikīkī. For visitors, a restorative stay in Hawaiʻi can connect them to the Islands and their healing nature.