Surfing is one of the many
activities drawing visitors to Lanai.
When Mark Hellrung stepped in as the Four Seasons Resorts Lanai
general manager three years ago, he asked travel agents and past
guests about their impressions of the small island destination.
“They said it was a nice place to visit for two days, but there
wasn’t much to do here,” said Hellrung. “We set out to change that
These days, travel agents can pitch Lanai as an island ripe with
“Four Seasons guests like to keep busy, and it’s reflected in
the growth of their discretionary expenses,” Hellrung said. “They
appreciate the fact that we offer activities they couldn’t
necessarily do at home.”
One relatively new option, a three-island tour with Sunshine
Helicopters, provides bird’s-eye views of Lanai highlights, such as
Shipwreck Beach. After heading to Maui to refuel, it continues with
a whirl over either Haleakala Crater or the dramatic sea cliffs of
Molokai’s Kalaupapa Peninsula.
Lanai Surf Safari, introduced 18 months ago, has been a big hit
with guests of all skills. Run by award-winning Lanai-born surfer
Nick Palumbo, the program takes clients on a four-hour,
four-wheel-drive outing to a secluded surf spot for hang-ten
This summer, Lanai-based Mokai Brothers will introduce a
10-mile, two-hour ocean tour. They plan to use a group of
environmentally friendly motor-assisted kayaks that can travel up
to 15 mph, so clients can cover more distance than in conventional
Palawai Outfitters will soon start ATV tours out of Palawai
Basin, a flat plateau 1,600 feet above sea level. Emphasizing
Lanai’s history, the three-hour adventure takes place in one- and
Meanwhile, Four Seasons continues to promote the island’s
established options like archery, sporting clays and air rifles at
Lanai Pines, horseback rides from the Stables at Koele and
upcountry hikes and mountain bike rides. Golf on two championship
courses remains a big draw, as do snorkel and scuba trips aboard
Trilogy Excursions’ sailing catamaran. The Lodge at Koele
meticulously maintains its 18-hole executive putting course and its
greens for croquet and lawn bowling. At the sister property at
Manele Bay, the spa keeps refining its menu of pampering
Along with an abundance of activities, clients can reap the
benefits of the Lodge at Koele’s recent $50 million renovation,
bringing the 102-room hotel up to Four Seasons’ standards.
Accommodations feature new color schemes, a 40-inch flat-screen
television, DVD/CD player, signature beds and linens, high-speed
Internet access, coffeemaker and lanai with dining table and
outdoor furniture. Public areas have been refreshed, and hooded
lounge chairs surround the pool. A spa and Kids For All Seasons
facility are also planned. Manele Bay wrapped up a comparable
upgrade in early 2006.
Thanks to new activities and upgraded hotels, the average length
of stay for Four Seasons Resorts Lanai guests has grown to five
days under Hellrung’s leadership. “We like to sell the entire
destination rather than just our two resorts,” he said.
Four Seasons Resort Lanai, The Lodge at Koele
Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay
Lodge at Koele’s fourth-night-free promotion, with nightly rates
from $295, runs through Dec. 18. Manele Bay’s fifth-night-free
offer runs through Aug. 31, followed by a fourth-night-free deal
Sept. 1- Dec. 18, with rates from $395.