Mokulele Airlines is a great option for inter-island flights in Hawaii. // © 2013 Kenneth Shapiro
Last December, I had the opportunity to make my first visit to the island of Lanai. What an amazing destination. Quiet, beautiful, unassuming — it really feels like the Hawaii of a bygone time.
The two main resorts on the island — the Four Seasons Resort Lanai Manele Bay and the Lodge at Koele — are also incredible. My personal favorite is the lodge, in part because of how unique it is. I can see why it was voted the number-one hotel in Hawaii by readers of Conde Nast Traveler in 2012.
As much as I loved Lanai, the biggest pleasant surprise of the trip was Mokulele Airlines.
Mokulele is a tiny inter-island company that flies to a handful of destinations in Hawaii. The route I took was from Kona, on Hawaii Island, to Lanai (via Kahului, Maui), and then on to Honolulu, a few days later. The small prop planes were small, but comfortable. On one of my flights I was one of only two paying customers. It felt like I had my own plane.
Sure, it was a little, ah, exciting when the wind gusted and the plane swayed, but the views as you fly between the islands are worth it.
Larry Ellison, the new primary property owner on Lanai, recently bought Island Air — a competitor of Mokulele — presumably with plans to increase service to Lanai. Still, personally, I would not hesitate to fly Mokulele again.