When I was a kid, my family's yearly camping vacations through Colorado, New Mexico and the Smoky Mountains always included a horseback ride. It was the highlight of the trip. I always fell in love with my horse (though the white steed Troy above all others).
So I have a soft spot for this new "spa and stables" package from Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu's North Shore. Called "Unwind with Equine," you go on two horseback "journeys" (a ride isn't enough any more) through the resort's 840-acre oceanfront property, along the sandy coastline through a forest of ironwood trees.
Before riding, you receive an introductory grooming session at the resort's stables, where a bond is formed as one of the friendly and well-trained horses "picks" the rider. After riding a while, dismount for a relaxing one-hour session of yoga right on the beach. On the second ride, you go to a special location for a private lunch. Capture it all with a GoPro video camera. "The resort's five miles of North Shore beachfront provide guests with unparalleled experiences of Kawela Bay, Turtle Bay and windward views of the South Pacific - all enhanced by the serenity of traveling on horseback," said Sierra Shore, director of the resort's full-service Spa Luana.
Starting at $555 per guest, the "Unwind with Equine" package includes a three-night stay at Turtle Bay Resort; a welcome package including cowboy hat, spa amenities and sunscreen; an introduction and grooming session with a Turtle Bay stables horse; two horseback rides; a one-hour private oceanside yoga session; lunch; and a GoPro camera rental.
The package is meant to embody "pono" - the Hawaiian recognition of the harmony between all facets of well-being. The first step in achieving this is to relax. At Spa Luana that means signature services derived from natural remedies; an enhanced wellness program; a new menu of body and skin care treatments that take advantage of the freshest organic ingredients; and traditionally inspired massage therapies. Spa Luana offers both ocean-view treatment rooms and private seaside cabana. For reservations or more information, visit Turtle Bay Resort or call (808) 293-6000