There is a huge part of me that does not want to write about Lanai Island Hawaii. I don’t want to tell everyone how beautiful it is here. I hesitate to let everyone know that the people Lanai are absolutely amazing. I don’t want to tell everyone that the Four Seasons Lanai Hawaii hotel is one of the top resorts you will find. I don’t want to tell everyone about Lanai’s beaches and the peacefulness that is found here. I don’t want anyone to know all the things to do on Lanai. I would love to keep it a secret! But if you really need to know- okay, come relax, explore and golf on Lanai Hawaii, but shhh…it’s our secret!
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How to get to Lanai Hawaii
Our trip began flying from the Big Island to Honolulu and on to Lanai on a prop plane, held about 35 people, smooth flight. We land in Lānaʻi Airport which has a total of four gates in it’s terminal. First thing we noticed was pretty much everyone was getting picked up by the Four Seasons Hotel vans. We had chosen to rent a jeep so a call to the rental company and they came to pick us up. Here we were able to get our first glimpse of Lanai City on this gorgeous 140 square mile island. They call it a city but it’s really a peaceful, quaint little town. We discovered Lanai City is pretty much where everyone resides. There are no traffic lights, just a few stop signs. A fire department, police station (we were told 6 policemen) however there is pretty much no crime. As one of the locals told us they don’t lock their doors, the kids can go out and play and be kids and they leave their keys in their unlocked cars. Think about it where is someone going to take a stolen car and hide it on the island!
Lanai the Pineapple Island
At one time Lanai was known as the Pineapple Island as it was run by Dole since 1922. But due to competitive costs in South America it came to an abrupt stop in 1992. Back then there were approximately 6,000 residents, most working as pineapple pickers. Lanai today has roughly 3,100 friendly residents on the island. However, most of the entire island of Lanai is owned privately. In June 2012 Larry Ellison, Oracle cofounder, purchased 98% of Lanai for 300 million dollars from David Murdock, owner of Dole Nutrition Institute.
If you decide to book a trip here you will find you have only a few choices of hotels. The Four Seasons Resort, the Lodge at Kōʻele and The Hotel Lānaʻi in Lānaʻi City. The Lodge has been renovated and the locals have reported it will be now turned into a spa and adventure type hotel, the Lodge is located near Lanai City also. We stayed at the Four Seasons Resort and it was everything we could hope for in a resort.
The Four Seasons Lanai Hawaii
Kevin and I love to travel and you will find throughout my blogs that we do like to stay in luxury resorts. This is our “thing”. Sorry, but not sorry, that camping never agreed with me. I love having all amenities available to us to make our holidays even more special and memorable. And the Four Seasons Resort fit right in to one of the top spots on our list of hotels.
Let’s start with us pulling up to the resort; Gorgeous! The driveway in is full of botanical gardens, stunning shaded trees, flowers everywhere. The lobby; impressive Hawaiian style. The check in; informative and friendly reception. The rooms, oh my what can I not say about these rooms! The Manager escorts us to our room like many upscale hotels. Usually you are shown around the room and you are already familiar with many items so this is more of a formality. However, at the Four Seasons Resort it will save a lot of calls up to the front desk to ask questions on the operation of the room. The rooms is almost all touch of a button. Lights, you want the room to have a daylight look, touch the button. Dusk, touch the button and so on. Automatic shades on the sliding doors out to a beautiful balcony with table, chairs and comfortable cushions. I believe you have a 72″ flat screen TV, it was that large. The bathroom was complete with gorgeous shower and tub along with your own totally automatic toilet. Yes, you read right, one of those toilets that do everything for you and I mean everything. Hence, Kevin wants to purchase one for our home as soon as we get back.
Dining in the Four Seasons on Lanai
Restaurants, there are four. One at the poolside (makes the best Maui Maui burgers), sports bar, a Nobu is here and One Forty a steak and seafood dining. Everything you need. There is a spa but believe it or not I did not have a chance to utilize this one. Secretly this gives me a reason to go back. The pool area is arranged so you have many options whether you want shade, sun, beach, ocean view, pool view. All with top of the line lounges, cushions and umbrellas. The service was the icing on the cake here. While you are gathering up the rays be ready to have frozen grapes, pineapple, frozen bananas rolled in caramel and granola periodically served to you. Of course there are sample drink shots too. Last but not least, need sunglasses cleaned? He comes around every hour or so. Although, my favorite about this hotel was it’s gardens, waterfalls, secret little sneak away spots to read or meditate. Kevin actually asked if we could hire the groundskeeper.
Time for some Lanai Golf
Now leaving the resort and trust me this is hard to do, it’s time to explore. You like golf? You have a course that has ocean views from cliffs pretty much all 18 holes and designed by Jack Nicklaus himself. Yes, it’s that spectacular. You want to hike, there are moderate trails and hard. Unfortunately, our first one we chose the hard one. Straight up the mountain. I thought I was dying, just kidding! Time for jeep exploring we wanted to check out the Garden of the Gods and Polihua Beach. Please make sure you understand this is about an hour and half to two hours to reach. The drive is bumpy for the most part and gets more bumpy the closer to the beach you get, but it is so worth it! Garden of the Gods you will experience what it feels like to be on Mars. Polihua Beach is marvelous! We were so fortunate we were the only ones there, so a 7 mile beach to ourselves!
Helicopter Ride from Lanai
Next up a helicopter excursion over Lāna‘i, Kaho‘olawe, Maui, and Moloka‘i. The greenery and waterfalls you get to see from up above are absolutely breathtaking. We were honored to have a pilot who actually flew Marine One during President Clintons term, feeling safe was checked off my list. Our last might on the island of Lanai we sailed on a sunset cruise along the island. Good company of other guests and staff made this sunset ride fabulous!
Fourteen Things to do in Lanai Hawai
- Hiking and Jeep Tours- Several hiking trails for you, advanced to beginners. Do you want to view all the Hawaiian Islands at once- the Munro Trail is the only spot you can do this from, enjoy this Jeep tour!
2. Garden of the Gods- this trip involves a bumpy trail on Lanai off roads, but a must to see in Lanai on your way to the beach
3. Golf- 2 Course to choose from: Challenge at Manele and The Experience at Koele. Even if you don’t golf you want to hop on a cart and see the views.
4. Shipwreck Beach Lanai- on the north shore of Lanai Island you will find a beach that is known for ships that have run aground over the years. this happens because of the channel swells can be hazardous navigating. A WWII tanker ship is the most popular, but there are at least a dozen.
5. Lanai Polihua Beach- beautiful beach with awesome views! Takes a while to get there but worth the trip! If you are looking for a secured beach on Lanai, go early during the week and you possibly can be the only ones there for as far as you can see.
6. Shopping in the City of Lanai- quaint and wonderful little town square to spend sometime popping in and out of shops. Also check out the Lanai Culture and Heritage Center- great history about the island, it’s development and people.
7. Hulopoe Bay- direct access from the Four Seasons Resort, a popular beach for all. Gorgeous cliffs/rocks at one end to climb explore. There is a separate area for the guests of the Four Seasons with showers, restrooms and drinks,
8. Lanai Cat Sanctuary- At one time Lanai was filled with cats roaming the island. Until this very kind lady took in over 600 cats sprayed/neutered, throughout the island! I love the directions to Lanai’s Cat Sanctuary; Just as you pass the airport take the second dirt road and make a left, when you see a big rock marking the ancient village Kaunolu, make another left and the gate will be on your right. The sanctuary is open every day from 10:00 am till 3:00pm and is totally free! But please consider leaving a donation.
9. Lanai helicopter tour- Go up and fly over Lanai, Maui and Molokai and be prepared to be awed. One of the best things to do in Lanai, the views of Lanai beaches, Lanai coastline and Lanai Shipwreck Beach are amazing! Helicopter tours take off from the Lanai airport.
10. Sailing Sunset cruises- dinner, sailing and sunset, perfect evening. The Four Seasons resort desk will help you book a sailboat that is located at the Lanai Marina only a few minutes from the hotel. This makes a beautiful tour of the Lanai Island where you can see the amazing coastline and view the Lanai lighthouse too!
12. Lanai Horseback riding- available at The Stables at Koele
13. Enjoy the wildlife in the sea and on the land! Like bird watching this Crested Cardinal.
The people of Lanai Hawaii, and most do work for the resorts in some capacity, are genuinely happy to make your stay wonderful. It is a rare and treasured experience when you get this while traveling. It is the sincerity of these locals on the entire island that will make you fall in love with Lanai.
We hope our future will allow us to return to this wonderful island in Paradise. Although we really hope it stays the way it is, peaceful and serene.
P.S. Hope you enjoyed our experience on the island of Lanai. Please leave a comment and a like! Next up Kauai!