Heaven on Earth: Zen-Like Lumeria Resort is Maui's Happy Place
By Sunnivie Brydum
After soaking up the brilliant colors painted across the sky as the sun sunk into the ocean, I was welcomed into Lumeria's Harvest Restaurant, the on-site cafe that serves three meals a day comprised of locally grown organic food. The head chef, Indica, didn't flinch when I asked about options that were edible on my strict gluten-free diet. Instead she provided me with luscious, perfectly ripe fruit, vegetables, and some of the most succulent fish I've eaten to date. All the fruits and vegetables I ate over the course of my four-day stay came from within 10 miles of the restaurant. Some of the fruits came directly from Lumeria's garden on-site — including a pineapple I ate that entirely abolished what I thought was my universal dislike for the fruit. When my partner arrived at Lumeria the next day, the culinary team again accommodated our various dietary needs, offering my partner a wide range of vegetarian options that were both filling and fascinating.
My partner and I were, at the time, about halfway through a 10-month-long stint of a long-distance relationship, and were reunited in Maui for our first visit in six weeks. We could not have imagined a better, more joyful, romantic location for our reunion. After a decadent dinner at Mama's Fish House, just down the Hana Highway back into Pai'a, we found ourselves back at Lumeria, sipping pineapple wine by one of the gas-powered fire pits below a canopy of palm trees. After close to a year under the smog-filled skies of L.A., I was eager to stargaze, and we discovered the perfect spot to do so — smack-dab in the middle of Lumeria's impressive 10,000 square-foot grand lawn, lush and green and impossibly soft. My partner and I pointed out constellations and laughed at inside jokes, only quieting ourselves when we worried that our giggles might disturb the otherwise serene environment and generally mild-mannered guests.
During the day, that grassy terrace serves as the picturesque stage for several of the complimentary yoga classes included with each reservation at Lumeria. Guests can greet the day with a sunrise yoga class, or enjoy some acoustic accompaniment as they search for their own personal Zen in classes led by professional yogis. Lumeria also features an indoor yoga studio where seasoned professionals offer Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Anusara, and Restorative yoga. Those seeking greater enlightenment are certain to find solace in the various meditation classes also offered with each reservation, or are free to seek out their own private paradise in one of the many secluded meditation gardens on the grounds, each offering stunning views of both the ocean and the pine forest that surrounds the property, known in Hawaiian as Ke Kahua o Miuhia Makani, which translates to "the place of peaceful wind."
For those who want a somewhat less peaceful wind, Lumeria's concierge will be happy to arrange access to the North Shore's famed windsurfing, kite-boarding, and a host of other aquatic activities. Led by legendary and professional surfers like Suzie Cooney, Lumeria's water-sports program welcomes athletes of all abilities, and strives to help each guest make the most out of their island vacation.
While my experience at Lumeria reflected exactly the kind of rejuvenating, calming and solitary experience I was desperately needing after too long in people-saturated Los Angeles, the resort also hosts numerous retreats throughout the year, including writer's retreats, detoxes and cleanses, and, starting in 2014, two very special LGBT-focused retreats.
From June 7-11, 2014, Lumeria will host MAIA Midwifery's LGBTQ Fertility Retreat: Preparing for Vibrant Pregnancy, where participants can soak up the powerful, peaceful energy of Maui as they prepare to welcome the newest member of the family. Kristin Kali, a licensed midwife and owner of MAIA Midwifery and Fertility Services, will guide participants on a week-long journey exploring not only the technical aspects of pregnancy — including how to choose a donor, insemination, and maintaining a healthy pregnancy — but also gender, partner dynamics, sexuality, and legal issues as they arise in a uniquely queer context. The retreat will even feature a queer conception film festival, and promises to leave participants relaxed, rejuvenated, and ready to begin the next stage of building a family. In December 2014, the Body Electric returns to Maui, to partake in the ancient Hawaiian ritual of New Year's Vision. Anchored at Lumeria, the five-day retreat takes its guests to Maui's Seven Sacred Pools, and invites the creation of new visions as the sun rises above the famous Haleakala crater. The New Year Visions retreat will challenge participants to let go of those negative feelings and energy that didn't serve them well during the previous year, and find inspiration in Lumeria's luxurious, intentional construction that fosters introspection, serenity, and optimism. I can't imagine a better way — or a better place — to ring in the new year.
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