On a recent trip to Maui, I landed in a place a bit by accident. A ‘stop-by’ had been arranged to check out a newly opened (this year) retreat center just outside Makawao, which was the first place I headed to when I landed at the airport since it was described as a small cowboy town where artists hung out. How could I not go?
I didn’t discover Lumeria then, since its not on the main drag. None of the best places you discover seem to be anywhere near the ‘main drag’ — on purpose.
Hawaii in general regardless of what island you’re on, shuts down early so if you’re going to stay somewhere, why not have it be as remote as possible so you can wake up to the sound of birds and the sight of colorful tropical flowers?
Lumeria provides just that without having to drive for miles and miles to get the serenity you’re after. And, it’s a hop, skip and a jump from nearby towns where you can access great beaches and restaurants while being far enough away from the more commercial area of Lahaina, which is where all the larger (and higher) resorts have set up home.
Pegged as an EDventure Retreat, I’d describe it as much much more.
Because We Blog the World cares about sustainability and nature, we write about both. We also believe in holistic living and having balance in your personal lives as well as when you’re on the road. And so, a trip to Lumeria made sense since they actually have yoga classes as well as water sports activities.
Truth be told, I still have a hard time with yoga, probably because the poses always seem so long to me even though I understand the reasons and benefits. I have always felt better when I’ve done a yoga class and the breathing is as big for me as the stretching, strengthening and balancing.
Owner and producer Xorin Balbes (btw, he doesn’t describe himself as producer but I think of him that way), is a yogi and is a huge believer in the discipline of yoga as a way to maintain balance in your life.
And so, I was on my way to visit Xorin to see the grounds but by the time I would arrive, the last yoga class would be over and it was too late in the day for a ‘water activity.’
Hmmm, I pondered as I looked around where I already was, which was pretty much perfect and the sun was due to set in the next couple of hours. “Let me ask you something,” said Xorin on the phone as if he was reading my mind. “What is it that you WANT to do?”
No one had really asked me that yet and I thought to myself, “this man is a producer.” Producers know other producers and can feel them a mile away even if they’ve never met, and obviously I don’t mean a movie producer, but a producer of things, projects and people.
A producer understands or tries to understand what an issue is or what someone’s needs are, and fixes it, quickly, seamlessly and with perfection. “Exercise, a walk, nature – anything that involves getting into “green” stuff,” I found myself saying, or something to that effect. He suggested a walk in a forest not far away following a quick tour of the grounds.
Xorin’s background is all about ‘producing.’ A transplant from Los Angeles, he’s an award-winning architectural conservator, designer and philanthropist. He is is known for his remarkable restorations in the Los Angeles area, from Lloyd Wright’s 1927 Sowden House to Talmadge Villa, silent screen star Norma Talmadge’s 17th-century Italianate mansion in Los Feliz.
Xorin co-founded the non-profit Global Vision for Peace and has worked along with celebrities such as Drew Barrymore, Leonardo DiCaprio and Sharon Stone promoting world peace and HIV/AIDS awareness of orphaned African children. Oh yes, that’s a producer alright and it shows in everything he touches.
A man who combines his design talents with his ability to listen and respond to what the universe tells him, he created Lumeria nearly from scratch. Sure, buildings existed on the land, but they were run down and needed to be transformed. There was no flow, no calm, no serenity, and certainly none of the stunning vegetation, trees, fruit and flowers that are planted on the property today.
This is why it’s more than an educational retreat. If you’re into yoga, fabulous – what a place to come and get further connected to it?
But, even if you’re not into yoga, the place brings you such a place of solitude that its a perfect place to escape to simply relax and become renewed.
So many of our best experiences are about the “fine” details and Xorin is a master of the details and has emaculate taste in design. Take a look at the lobby for example:
And, then there’s the tastefully designed rooms: (Note: while each room is a little different, they all have a clean and simple design element to them. There are also works of various local artists hung in the rooms, to add just a pinch of unique flavor to each one).
They very purposely chose flowers and trees for the property that will revitalize, nourish and uplift you.
As they say, “the healing energy of Lumeria and the island of Maui will feed your body, mind and soul.” I certainly felt that way and my visit wasn’t long. While the intention was for me to take a class, I ended up learning about the “Lumeria Chapter” of Xorin and his partner’s life and beyond, and then staying on the property itself, where I woke feeling rejuvenated before taking in an organic breakfast on their wrap-around patio.
If you want a place to go where you can connect with the elements of nature, your authentic self and the natural rhythm of your soul, Lumeria should be your next Maui stop. Part of the Lumeria experience however is Xorin himself – his bigger than life energy, his passion for this vision, his authentic way of connecting with each individual to provide them with what they need out of their stay and of course the classes, designed to feed your health and spirit.
And, the place isn’t done yet. A work in progress, a swimming pool, hot tub and other things are coming. We’d love to revisit them in a year to see how things have progressed. In the meantime, go on a journey with them and let us know and Xorin know what you think of his tucked away precious hideaway in Maui.
For more posts on Hawaii, check out this section. To experience nature, botanical gardens and rainforest by segway, check out this post. For more on Hawaii and food/wine only, go here. For Hawaii and lodging, here. For more on Hawaii and arts, go here.