As the shuttle turned into The Lodge at Ko’ele driveway, I couldn’t help notice the graceful Cook Island Pines flanking the path to the hotel, as well as the stately Norfolk Island Pine anchored to the right of the lodge; its roots dating back to 1875. The casual, yet elegant, upcountry setting of the lodge, with the signature pineapple gracing the front facade, gives a gentle nod to the Hawaiian island’s agricultural history.
The Lodge at Ko’ele gardens
Call me a California tree hugger, but I loved the nature surrounding The Lodge at Ko’ele. With acres of grounds to stroll, an orchid house, Japanese garden, pagoda, reflecting pond stocked with koi fish, an abundance of trees such as banyan, avocado, macadamia nut, mango and eucalyptus trees, to name a few, I was filled with calmness and serenity. I only wish I had more time to spend swaying in the hammocks.
As is typical of my vacations, I didn’t get a chance to enjoy the outdoor swimming pool or either of the two hot tubs. I could have stayed on property and kept myself occupied with croquet, lawn bowling, golf at Ko’ele or on the putting course, or taken a spin class in the fitness center. Instead, I took advantage of the many things to see and do on Lanai and explored the island by UTV,(4-wheel Utility Terrain Vehicle), SUV and on horseback with the Paniolos (Hawaiian cowboys) at The Stables at Ko’ele.
Great hall premiere fireplace room
If you are splurging on a vacation at the Four Seasons Lānaʻi Lodge at Ko’ele, you might be, like me, celebrating a special occasion or wedding anniversary. I had the good fortune to land in a Great Hall Premiere Fireplace room on the second level of the two-story resort. The lodge is divided into two wings, the South Wing (rooms #200 and up) and the North Wing (rooms 300), with the great hall anchoring the hotel and ten rooms in this section. Don’t ask me to explain the math, as there are only 101 rooms at The Lodge at Ko’ele.
My great hall room featured 560 square feet of living space, a sitting area, king bed, fireplace, work station, marble bathroom with combination bath and shower and a spacious balcony over-looking the croquet area. All rooms include twice-daily housekeeping, turndown service, safe and coffee maker. There’s also a DVD player in room and lending library downstairs, as well as an iHome alarm clock.
After a long day at the beach or getting dusty in the red clay soils, there’s nothing better than a soak in the deep bathtub with L’Occitane bath goodies. (Yes, I took my shampoo home with me!)
Lodge at Ko’ele dining
Both mornings I dined at the 76 seat Terrace restaurant with views looking onto the swimming pool or reflecting pond. The egg breakfast with potatoes and a side of chicken mango sausage held me over until an early dinner.
My evening meal at Terrace began with Maui onion soup topped with Gruyere cheese ($14), followed with Hawaiian snapper, lobster risotto, baby fennel and crispy artichoke ($42.) Dessert lovers should save room for the Chocolate Dream Bar a layered chocolate mousse bar with marshmallow, candied peanuts, vanilla ice cream and finished with salty caramel sauce – I call this a Snickers bar on steroids (all desserts are $10).
No resort fee at The Lodge at Ko’ele
I’m always floored when hotels boast of complimentary hi speed internet access or free, on-site parking and then hit guests with a daily resort fee upon checkout. I much prefer to have the costs built into the fees and not feel that I have been nickle and dimed on my vacation.
Hat tip goes to The Lodge at Ko’ele for offering complimentary internet service, daily arts and crafts exhibits, morning tea and coffee service in the lobby, valet parking, live nightly entertainment, a welcome toy for kids and 24-hour business center. It’s nice to be able to print your boarding pass without having to hand over your credit card or open your wallet.
If you happen to be staying at both Four Seasons properties on island the transition from one hotel to the other is seamless. Inter-hotel transportation is provided, your luggage is transferred on your behalf (you don’t even need to pack – they take your clothes from one closet and deliver them to the next, and you only need to check in at the initial hotel. Complimentary late checkout is possible, based on availability and early check in at Four Seasons Manele Bay is a possibility, again, based on availability. If only everything in life could be this easy.
For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter and Four Seasons Lānaʻi on Twitter @FSLanai.
If You Go:
Four Seasons The Lodge at Koele (808) 565-4000
One Keomoku Highway, P.O. Box 631380, Lānaʻi City, 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.