We recently returned from an amazing trip to Lana’i, Hawaii, for 4 nights we stayed at the Four Seasons Manele Bay to kick off our trip, here’s a bit of a background on the island itself.
James Dole purchased the entire island of Lana`i (140 square miles) in 1922 for $1.1 million with the intent of turning it into a pineapple plantation. The crop flourished and Dole started to can the then-exotic island fruit to the mainland. The crops grew and the plantation expanded operations ultimately making Lana`i the producer of ¾ of the world’s pineapple at one point. As the business grew, more and more people arrived on Lana`i to work the prospering pineapple fields. In order to accommodate these workers, Dole built a plantation camp in the flatlands. This plantation camp is now known as Lana`i City. The island thrived, the city was abuzz and Lana`i became known as “The Pineapple Island.”
Things, however, took a turn in the late 1980’s. The pineapple business was no longer the once flourishing profit-maker it had been, and the plantation closed, many workers left for other islands and the town became a sleepy little village once again. Lana`i is now home to just 3,000 residents, and has adopted the now suitable nickname of “The Private Island.”
Mr. David Murdock purchased 98% of the island in 2000, with a vision of reviving the island and training and employing the remaining residents (mainly former plantation workers) in the field of hospitality. In building the two resorts, Four Seasons Resort Lana`i at Manele Bay and Four Seasons Resort Lana`i, The Lodge at Koele, along with their two championship golf courses, Mr. Murdock has contributed greatly to the residents of Lana`i as well as the elite travelers of the world.
Heading down the road to the Four Seasons Resort Lana‘i at Manele Bay is dramatic with the Cook pine trees lining the way. The hotel (one of 2 Four Seasons Resorts on the island, one of 3 total places to stay) offers 236 luxurious guest rooms and suites are lovely, comfortable and each has it’s very special view that puts you in island-mode almost immediately. Most rooms overlook the Hulopo‘e Bay and the Pacific Ocean, while some overlook the Resort’s lushly landscaped gardens. The scene early morning, in the afternoon, and evening from the balcony was spectacular and we could have sat there and gazed at the never-ending horizon our entire trip.
Early our first morning while I showered, my husband walked below our room to snap photographs. He hear a “slapping” noise in the water, and with the zoom of his camera captured whales! They were so close and they were sending us wishes for a good morning, a definite good luck charm we feel.Décor reflects a tropical theme in warm golden tones, enhanced by rich cherry and rattan furnishings. A custom two-poster headboard features a hand-carved pineapple motif, the welcoming symbol of Lana‘i.The room was adorned with art created by local painters, including Mike Carroll who is an resident artist maintains a gallery in Lana’i City.
Though our days at the resort were marked with cooler temperatures and some rain, there was one gorgeous afternoon that we spent by the pool. The warm waters were a pleasant feeling, and with two hot tubs (one specifically adults only) and add a delicious MaiTai from the waiters servicing the area, we had our fill of hydration with our relaxation. Because we sent our electronics to protective covering, the sudden rain downpour occurred while we were hot-tubbing and it was the most romantic moment. Since we were already wet, we stayed put and enjoyed the surreal moment.
We were treated as VIP’s our entire stay, we received messages about the cancellation of our SNUBA excursion to our room via the concierge, we were handed moist warm towels upon entering and exiting the lobby, at the hotel restaurants we were checked on often to make sure our experience was top quality.
For the kids, there is Kids for all Seasons Program that offers a full range of organized indoor and outdoor activities for children aged 5 to 12 years. Intended to encourage children to appreciate Lana’i’s unique environment, the programm teaches children about Hawaii. They learn about petroglyphs, the spirit of aloha and how the Hawaiian islands were formed. They can even build their own erupting volcano, go hunting for lizards or watch a keiki (child) hula show. For teens like we have, the Surf Shack Teen Center has cyber area features Xbox 360 and Wii consoles with a variety of games to amuse all ages, while an entertainment area comes complete with state-of-the-art sound system, 46-inch (116-centimetre) LCD television and lounge area. Teen programs such as beach parties and fishing expeditions are organized on a seasonal basis, introducing participants to various aspects of life in Hawaii.
It was a gorgeous resort, nice to be so close to a beautiful beach that offers all the amenities for ocean play and relaxation just steps from the resort. A rental car is not necessary when the hotel shuttle runs every half hour all day and has stops in Lana’i City and at the Four Seasons Lodge at Koele. As I tweeted our stay or posted photos on Facebook, I was delighted by readers and followers chiming in on their stays at Manele Bay and how much they adored it. Our stay was two days short, next time we’ll plan on staying at least a week and will bring the kids!
Our stay was compensated, tips and some food was paid by us, all opinions are our own!