Allow me to introduce you to my favorite hotel I’ve ever stayed at (and this is saying something – because I’ve stayed at some beautiful hotels around the world!
We have been to Maui several times over the years. We stay at the Four Seasons Maui every time but this was our first time to the island of Lanai.
I had always been intrigued by this island. There’s something that felt “off the beaten path” for me and not as mainstream. A friend of mine went to the island fifteen years ago and loved how quiet and relaxed it was, so we added it to our list.
You’ll likely need to fly into Honolulu or a large airport, and then transfer by boat or smaller plane. When we went, the hotel was offering private transfer via private plane. So, once we landed, we were picked up by a private car, taken to the adjacent private airport, where we were given drinks and snacks before taking off on a light jet.
It was such a treat! We walked through the private hanger, and two pilots took us on a quick 20-minute flight to Lanai. This was an incredible perk the hotel was offering at the time that made you feel like a baller before even arriving at the hotel!
The drive from the airport to the hotel is a unique one. It doesn’t have that typical Hawaiian feel. The streets are lined with Cook Island pines. The feeling of the pine lined “highway” is somewhat Dr Seuss-esque, so I wasn’t quite sure what the hotel would be like.
Well, WOW. Wow. Wow. Wow. My goodness does the Four Seasons Lanai know how to create an entrance. You feel like a celebrity arriving, and you’re greeted by an expansive lobby made of gorgeous deep red wood with a staircase that somewhat blocks the ocean. While this may sound odd, it actually almost seems by design, so that the hotel can continuously take your breath away at every turn.
Once you walk into the lobby, and up the stairs, you are met with jaw-dropping view of their outdoor grounds and the ocean. I kept looking at my husband almost unable to talk (and he back at me!)
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I hate to beat a dead horse here, but oh-holy-cow. This pool is special. It doesn’t at all feel like a giant resort open pool. The paths wind around with tiny sanctuaries at every turn so you feel like you’re in your own tropical paradise.
The pool has palm trees everywhere, those gorgeous Hawaiian tiki torches and waterfalls. My sons and I had some silly fun playing under the waterfalls while I sipped a cocktail. Heaven!
We admittedly didn’t spend too much time on the beach during the day. But we did go on the beach at night and had one of our favorite family memories ever. We happened to be on Lanaii for one of the best meteor showers of the year. Because Hawaii skies are so gorgeously black at night, the stars are like LED flashlights that light up the sky.
We went out to the beach, laid on the sand, and watched the Heavens put on one of the greatest shows we had ever seen! We collectively “ohh and ahh’d” and almost cried laughing having felt so grateful to be together to witness this.
This mommy’s heart couldn’t have been fuller that night!
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We traveled there in 2020 when occupancy was way down. The hotel treated us like queens (and I also thank our travel agent for always VIP’ing us prior to arrival) and they upgraded us to the nicest hotel room I have ever stayed in!
We stayed in the Ohana Prime Oceanfront Suite that connected to an oceanfront prime room. This made it a two-bedroom with living space. Both had lānai’s with gorgeous outdoor areas that had front row seats to the ocean.
The Four Seasons Lanai hotel is owned by Larry Ellison who founded Oracle. He also owns 98% of the entire island, so he’s deeply invested in it’s success.He must have spared no expense in creating this hotel and the interiors felt just as special as the grounds. It was covered in rich wood, feels like a private bedroom rather than a hotel room and even has Japanese soaking tub, and nice touches like Dyson blow dryers!
Honestly – it felt like a home, and not a hotel. And one that a billionaire would live in at that!
We had breakfast every morning at the ONE FORTY dining space. The views alone had me wanting to sit and sip mimosa after mimosa and never leave! It was pure Hawaii decadence.
For dinner we ate at both ONE FORTY and Nobu. Nobu is what you’d expect – their menu is basically the same everywhere. Having dined at a few of their locations over the year, the quality is what you’d expect – excellent!
Should you bring kids to the Four Seasons Lanai?
While this is without a doubt, a hotel meant for special occasions, we took our three children there, and never felt out of place having kids there (now granted we pride ourselves on having well behaved children.
We have never once allowed devices at the dinner table but rather use it for what it is – a place to talk and spend time together.) The hotel was welcoming of children and catered to families. The pools are great fun for kids of all ages, too!
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While in Lanai we went horseback riding, and did some archery and skeet shooting. We were there for a short 3-night stay and I’m already begging my husband for him and I to return just the two of us and stay for …. well. A long time!
If you’re in Hawaii, this hotel is absolutely worth the stop. If not just for the hotel alone!