Straightedge shaves and more at The Kahala’s exclusive new spa suite for men

Spa procedures are no longer just fodder for skepticism among men. While pedicures and pampering have their stake with ladies seeking physical refreshment and a respite from the world, The Kahala Hotel & Resort has added a new gentlemen’s spa room and shaving treatment, aiming to get guys back into body care indulgences, too.

According to Travis Kono, spa director at The Kahala, adding a men’s spa component happened after finding that, over the last 10 years, more men were booking appointments for massages and other treatments. Aside from men whose wives coerced them into a facial or pedicure, Kono says this increase in men spa guests can be attributed to a recent trend back toward maintaining aesthetic and bodily consciousness.

“(Guys understand that) you have to look and feel your best,” Kono says. “We wanted to create something specifically for them.”

In December 2008, an exclusive “gentlemen’s room” was created. This room is outfitted with subtle scented candles, cushioned seats, a shaving chair and a stunning full-size mirror with an embedded TV. Kono says this room serves multiple purposes. It can be used for executive meetings, with the seated area being perfect for post-workday cocktails and lax private conversations. It also can be used as a “groom’s room,” a men’s counterpart to the traditional bride’s suite, where a groom and his party can convene as his bride prepares for the wedding.

“It’s been really popular for us,” Kono says.

HILuxury sent senior designer Cody Kawamoto to experience The Kahala’s men’s spa procedures. An invigorating straightedge shave and pedicure awaited him – new experiences for the first-time spa-goer.

Shave specialist Stephen King administered the classic blade treatment. King brings a well-versed hand to The Kahala, having 15 years of professional shaving experience, which includes training with a master barber in his native Georgia. Kono says King was selected to lend his skills to the spa after months of searching for someone who “is not only good at (shaving), but does it every day.”

“It’s an art, not just a skill,” Kono says.

The shave began with a milk face wash. Hot towels were then set on Kawamoto’s face, a step designed to open pores and soften hair for more efficient shaving. Oil and shaving cream were then applied, and a “double shave” was then done with a straightedge blade. King exerted painstaking care as he did the free-hand shave, treating Kawamoto’s problematic skin areas with a delicate touch.

Aftershave and a facial mask followed the procedure. Cold towels were then set, which King says close pores and create more circulation. Finishing the treatment was a skin-refreshing dose of June Jacobs facial toner.

“A lot of guys aren’t taught to care for their skin,” King says. “Part of the shave is getting a ‘male facial.’ Most guys don’t go through the whole process – moisturizing, hot towels, etc. – when shaving by themselves. It’s a lot different from a Mach 3 shave.”

Moving on to foot-pampering, Kari Tokushige began Kawamoto’s pedicure with a foot soak and exfoliation with Ola’s Pineapple Lime Foot Scrub. Stones placed beneath Kawamoto’s feet provided a delicate sole massage. Tokushige then administered expert nail and cuticle care, followed by an application of June Jacobs mask, a product also used on the face, which provides added moisture when applied on the feet in place of paraffin wax. Completing the pedicure was a nail buff and a pressure-point foot massage with a special Soul Fire for Men lotion by Hawaiian Rainforest Naturals.

Between sips of the spa’s signature water and green tea extract drink, Kawamoto extolled the greatness of the men’s shave and pedicure. Tokushige says it’s a common reaction.

“When guys get their first pedicure, it’s something they enjoy and want to do again,” she says.

The gentleman’s shave is offered at $95; men’s pedicures range from $65-$95. Guys can enjoy any of The Kahala’s massages as well.

For more information on The Kahala’s spa services, call (808) 739-8938 or visit www.kahalaresort.com.

tagged in The Kahala's spa