I can’t tell you how many times I have looked across the water from Maui and wondered about that “other island” in the distance. A few miles west of Maui, the island of Lānaʻi was once home to Hawaii’s largest pineapple plantation.
While the island no longer exports pineapple, it does support 3,000+ residents and three hotels. Two of the hotels are run by Four Seasons Resorts.
I had the pleasure of staying at both the Four Seasons Lodge at Ko’ele and Four Seasons Lānaʻi, Manele Bay in Hawaii as a guest of Lanai Visitors Bureau. Manele Bay, with its 236 hotel rooms is a five star resort. The hotel is divided into nine buildings. Five of the buildings are named after flowers and four buildings carry the names of fish.
Ocean front terrace room
I was staying in the Ginger wing, with lovely landscaped grounds and an ocean front terrace view on ground level. My room, #2503, rented for $759, depending on the season, and included a king bed, desk and chair, a lounge chair, with ottoman and patio furniture on the small terrace. A well manicured lawn unfurled in front of my room, which looked out to the Pacific ocean.
The bathroom featured a large combination bath and shower. One of the highlights walking into the bathroom; smelling the full-sized L’ Occitane French-milled soaps. Yes, I admit; my dirty clothes bag was filled with the scent of verbena from these natural soaps.
Family-friendly Manele Bay
Having not yet adjusted to the California time change, I got up early one morning and caught a tender moment between a father and his new baby, watching the sun come up. While our children are now young adults, this precious scene immediately brought back fond memories of one of our kids staggering across the grass as she learned to walk in Hawaii.
Will Lānaʻi is certainly a popular island for celebrating weddings, babymoons and anniversaries, Lānaʻi at Manele Bay is very family-friendly with kid’s programs, kid’s menus and family-friendly hotel rooms.
Nine junior suites, with prime ocean front views, are family-friendly with king bed and sofa in room. For more value-oriented hotel rooms, ask for a garden terrace.
Hulopo’e beach at Manele Bay
Beach lovers will appreciate that Hulopo’e beach is only a five minute walk from the resort. Hotel guests can expect clean restrooms, ice water, snorkel equipment, beach chairs and towels available for their use at the beach. You’ll want to wear sandals for the walk down the paved path -it can get hot on the feet!
Manele Bay pool valet
When you are ready to go into “pool mode” slather on some sunscreen – you remember those sun safety tips – and don’t forget to grab your sunglasses. Then sit back in a lounge chair and order the Lychee Rose Sangria from the bar. Feel good knowing that your Hawaiian island cocktail is 100% sustainable, with all ingredients found within 100 miles of Lānaʻi. (I know it’s a stretch, but I’m doing my part to keep Lānaʻi eco-friendly.
If a friend is headed down from the Challenge Clubhouse restaurant, ask them to bring you a ginger ice cream sandwich. Afterall, you are on vacation, aren’t you?
Eventually, Dr. Shades and Dr. Lotion will stop by to wipe your sunglasses, tighten the screws, and offer a sunscreen refresh. Those of you who like to stay connected while on vacation, or make your friends jealous with Hawaiian holiday pictures, will appreciate the charging stations at the pool.
Spa at Four Seasons Manele Bay
If you love being outdoors and hearing the sound of the ocean, you’ll want to line up a massage in an ocean hale with the Spa at Manele Bay. This tented cabana offers individual and couples massages overlooking Hulopo’e Bay. Need I say more?
Manele Bay dining options
If you are a sushi lover, make a reservation for Nobu Lanai. Personally, I’m not a fan of raw fish, but I did love their tempura battered shrimp with mushrooms and the Wagyu beef was fantastic. Make your dinner reservation for sunset, but if you are a baby boomer, bring your mini flashlight with you…the dim overhead lighting makes menu reading difficult at night.
One Forty Steak House offered one of my favorite meals and the service was attentive without being over-whelming. My sunset supper started off with an Asian Pear Salad ($18) with macadamia nuts, blue cheese, papaya, mango and whole grain mustard-honey dressing. If the Kahuku corn soup is on the menu, give it a go, with its subtle butter poached lobster, hint of lemon cream and baby basil. My main course was the American Wagyu Snake River Farms 7 oz. flat iron steak ($45.) I also ordered the green bean casserole with Hamakua mushrooms as a side dish. My eyes were bigger than my stomach when I ordered the chocolate souffle ($8) but the few bites that I managed were warm, rich and creamy.
I’m not a golfer, but I do enjoy good food and a scenic, ocean front dining experience. That’s exactly what I got when I ate lunch at the Challenge at Manele Clubhouse. Order the drink of the day (strawberry lemonade on my visit) and if you are a seafood lover, you can’t go wrong with the Makai Salad or fish tacos.
For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter and follow @FSLanai on Twitter.
Check the website for package deals such as fourth night free.
Check in: 3:00 p.m.
Check out: 12:00 p.m.
If You Go
Four Seasons Lanai Manele Bay (808) 565-2000
One Manele Bay Road
Lānaʻi, Hawaii 96763
Article written by, video and photos courtesy of Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. I was a guest of Lānaʻi Visitors Bureau.
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