Adventures on the Hawaiian Island of Lāna'i

Chanoa Tarle

Senior Contributor

Part of Maui County, Lana’i has a unique history, including its pineapple plantation past and a historic 2012 purchase by Oracle co-founder, Larry Ellison. Ellison, the owner of 98% of the island, has implemented improvements and opportunities for residents (across infrastructure, employment, education and more) while renovating the island’s two Four Seasons resorts that are now a part of his portfolio. The results are fantastic, and yet more changes are underway. For those seeking romance, adventure and privacy, the picturesque Hawaiian island cannot be beaten.

The Culture and History of Lana’i

For 70 years, most of Lana’i was a Dole pineapple plantation, producing more of the fruit than anywhere else in the world at the time. That’s why it’s nicknamed “Pineapple Island”, despite its much longer sugar production past. Guests are encouraged to visit Lana’i City and take part in resort cultural activities to learn more about the island’s history through local stories, music, art and cuisine. And, thankfully, the slogan, “Love Lana’i”, still rings true. Lana’i features very little development, eco-friendly innovations and an impressive commitment to advancing quality of life while protecting the environment.

Four Seasons

Four Seasons Resort Lana’i

The island’s finest accommodations may be found at Four Seasons Resort Lana’i, an elegant 217-room property just steps away from the beach. The resort grounds are a maze-like design of botanical gardens stimulating the senses through sights, scents and sounds. One could meander around the grounds and discover something new every time, from colourful avian conversationalists to art and furniture created by local artists. Gorgeous rooms and suites connect guests with the outside world, but luxury is never sacrificed; the resort dazzles with ultra-comfortable beds, Toto smart toilets, Dyson Supersonic hair dryers and more. Finally, guests enjoy a relaxation-accelerating spa, multiple lagoon-style pools – including one for adults only, whirlpools and private cabanas; authentic Hawaiian music amplifies the aloha spirit.

Barbara Kraft/Four Seasons

Unforgettable Culinary Delights

Four Seasons Resort Lana’i also offers incredible dining at every turn. For dinner, the hotel has its own Nobu restaurant by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa as well as One Forty, a fine-dining restaurant open for breakfast and dinner. While Nobu is adored around the globe, guests would do well to pay special attention to One Forty, named for the island’s 140-square-mile size. The seafood and steak restaurant is top-tier with 100% outdoor seating, expansive ocean and botanical garden views and a romantic ambience (sunset dinner reservations are highly recommended). One Forty’s wine list is vast, but even the restaurant’s eponymous cabernet sauvignon is one to be remembered. Finally, for lunch, there’s the famous restaurant, Malibu Farm. In keeping with its other locations, guests can expect fresh, local, organic ingredients – from chicken broccoli quesadillas to Kaua’i grass-fed beef burgers. Or hop on the resort shuttle to dine at the aptly-named restaurant, Views, at the Jack Nicklaus Signature Manele Golf Course. 

Don Riddle/Four Seasons

Adventures by Land, Sea and Air

For such a relaxing environment, Four Seasons Resort Lana’i offers seemingly endless activities. One may choose their adventure, by land, sea or air – from romantic hikes and horseback riding to flying lessons and helicopter rides. The best snorkelling can be found at Hulopo’e Beach, a short walk from the resort; snorkel sails on LĀNA‘I II, the resort’s 65’ sailing catamaran, are more appropriate for relaxing cruises, including views of the aforementioned golf course (every hole has an ocean view).

However, nothing beats a day of 4x4 off-roading adventures. Take in historic sites, dine at Lana’i’s other Four Seasons resort, explore Lana’i City or simply journey to an empty beach to feel as if you’re vacationing on an island of your own. Places like Kaiolohia Beach (Shipwreck Beach) and Keahiakawelo (Garden of the Gods) offer some of the most exciting off-road terrains, however, most of Lana’i is fair game – the island has no traffic lights and only 30 miles of paved roads; download the guide app for GPS-directed insights into local culture and history. Still, there’s nothing like the island’s quiet beauty; reserve some time to rest on the beach, frozen pineapple in hand.

Four Seasons

How to Get There

Hawai’i is the most isolated populated locale on the planet, and it takes an extra dose of effort to arrive at stunning Lana’i. Thankfully, privacy and a remote location are two of its greatest allures. International travellers may fly into one of Hawai’i’s three major airports: Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu, Oahu or Hilo International Airport or Kona International Airport, the latter two located on the island of Hawai’i (commonly referred to as the “Big Island''). Lana’i Air, operated by Western Aircraft, Inc., offers private charter flights from Daniel K. Inouye, Kona International, Kahului Airport on Maui and Lihue Airport on Kaua’i (the “Garden Island ''). It’s also possible to arrive by sea, via the daily public ferry from Maui.

Four Seasons

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