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The appeal of local and luxury attracts visitors to Lanai, Hawaii, one of Maui’s sister islands.
Two five-star Four Seasons hotels — the Manele Bay and Lodge at Koele —are surrounded by unspoiled natural wonders.
The resorts’ upscale restaurants are complemented by Lanai City’s folksy cafes and diners.
Luxurious spas and golf courses are offset by outdoor adventures such as hiking, horseback riding, snorkeling and ATV riding.
Add to that a fascinating legacy of history and culture and the result is an unassuming island providing a rich visitor experience.
Following are five great reasons to enjoy the unique destination of Lanai.
Dedicated OwnerTech billionaire Larry Ellison bought Lanai in 2012. Since then he has purchased interisland carrier Island Air to improve airlift to the island, and he wants to add a second airport runway. He’s planning a new 100-room hotel on the eastern side of the island, and he’s upgrading community parks and pools. Overall, his goal is to create a more eco-savvy island with sensitivity to the needs of residents and visitors alike.
Exceptional HotelsRecent improvements at both Four Seasons hotels include refurbished lobbies. Each features an impressive private fine art collection showcasing the talents of Hawaii artists. Manele Bay also has renovated its spa, rooms and suites. And, Manele Bay’s new luxury retail tent called Adore attracts shoppers with its designer resort wear, accessories, fine jewelry and art.
Gourmet DiningIn the 1920s, James Dole started a vast pineapple plantation on Lanai. While the crop was eventually phased out, its fields have given way to sustainable agricultural efforts whose fresh ingredients end up in island restaurants. Nobu Lanai and One Forty serve standout meals at Manele Bay, while the Lodge at Koele’s revamped culinary offerings including a grill concept, a craft beer selection and a tasting menu.
Great GolfFour Seasons now manages Lanai’s two championship courses. Its oceanside Challenge at Manele has debuted a clubhouse restaurant aptly named Views. In December 2014, the upcountry Koele course will reopen following a redesign by Jack Nicklaus. Adding industry veteran Scott Ashworth as director of golf promises visitors an exceptional experience on the island’s fairways.
Small-Town CharmWhile Lanai continues to develop its visitor industry, its main town of Lanai City remains sweet and simple. The central hub called Dole Park is rimmed with mom-and-pop shops and eateries loaded with local appeal. For budget travelers, the 11-room Hotel Lanai offers winsome accommodations dating back to the 1920s. Permeating it all is a spirit of aloha that makes Lanai, Hawaii a truly memorable Hawaii destination.