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Western Travel | SPA WATCH

The island of Portland

September 03, 2006|Lucy Burningham

SUN-DEPRIVED for most of the year, Oregonians long for a taste of the tropical. Enter Kanani Pearl Spa, a Hawaiian-themed day spa in Portland that offers island-inspired treatments in a tasteful atmosphere, presented, thankfully, without leis or grass skirts.

Tucked into a 1,200-square-foot storefront in the Pearl district, Portland's revitalized-warehouse area, the spa makes the most of its space. Waterfalls trickle down aquamarine-tiled walls in the hallway, setting the mood for treatments that include a papaya-pineapple body polish, volcanic clay purifying mask, coffee and macadamia nut body polish, and bamboo-lemongrass body scrub.

If you prefer body rubs that are more savory, there's "the Seaweed Experience," an 85-minute body treatment that includes exfoliation with strips of Pacific seaweed. Kanani Pearl also offers lomilomi massage, a traditional island treatment that involves deep massage.

When owners John Cusack and Mary Ellen MacKay relocated to the Pacific Northwest after 13 years in Maui, they discovered that the islands' appeal transcended geography. "Everybody has a relationship with Hawaii ... even if they've never visited," Cusack says. With that reasoning, Kanani Pearl Spa should attract even the lifelong mainlander.

-- Lucy Burningham

Kanani Pearl Spa, 1111 N.W. Marshall St., Portland, Ore.; (503) 242-5500, Body treatments and facials $63-$147. Massage $87 for 60 minutes, $138 for 85 minutes. The spa is closed


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