Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Lana’i: Paradise Found

Had we stayed the course, we’d be home now. Instead, we set out for a tropical – Hawaiian -- paradise. . .

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We’d really planned to go home when our time on Maui came to an end last week. Once home, we’d have figured out something to do for The Scout’s special birthday this week. . .

. . .but The Scout being The Scout found a screamin’ deal at the Four Seasons Resort on the island of Lana’i. And what better place to celebrate a milestone birthday? (An added plus: by changing our return date we got a better airfare that resulted in a credit to our airline account – even after paying the change fee.) 

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So, I write this post from The Four Seasons Resort,The Lodge at Ko’ele, in the upcountry of Lana’i. We left Maui with a population of 144,000 residents and 10 bizillion tourists for this island of 3,200 residents and three hotels – far more to our liking!  We are 8.8 miles and light years away from Maui.

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Those rainstorms I told you had hit Hawaii a few weeks ago, greened up the countryside around the resort which is tucked away in one of the most lush, luxurious settings in which we’ve ever found ourselves.

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“But why be on an island, in a 5-star resort and have no beach?” you might be wondering. Well, Four Seasons operates two of the three hotels on the island; its sister property at Manele Bay is just a short shuttle ride away, giving us the best of both worlds – as guests here can use the beach there. And we do have distant ocean views from here.

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We spent a morning exploring Manele Bay, and while it was quite lovely at the seaside, we’ve wrapped ourselves in history in this 102-room Lodge, set on what once was Ko’ele Ranch, a sprawling cattle ranch, set amid the pineapple fields that carpeted the island for most of the 20th Century.

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When gazing out over the park-like setting in which we find ourselves, it is hard to think of the cattle ranch days.

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Thanks to the Lanai Culture and Heritage Center I can show you how the ranch looked – long before it became a resort. The pond above and below is the same body of water.

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According to the website, to-hawaii.com: “Some 45,000 - 50,000 sheep and lambs, 600 horses, 500 horned cattle, goats and hogs and numerous wild turkeys inhabited the island in 1893. Ko’ele evolved from a small village to a 250-people ranch complex, which had 30 residences, a local store, a one-room school house, offices and outlying buildings. Everything was focused on ranching. “

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In Lana’i they keep the Hawaiian tradition of ‘talk story’ alive. People love to talk story about the past and present. We’ve enjoyed getting to know the locals and listen as they speculate on the small island’s future with its billionaire owner, Larry Ellison, co-founder of Oracle . We’ve heard some good ‘story’ and in keeping with the local tradition we plan to  ‘talk story’ in the coming weeks with you about our “Paradise Found”.

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We’ll take you on a tour of our room, (the deck pictured here), and through the Lodge. . . and tell you about  the ono grindz we’ve eaten in charming restaurants – places whose owners send you to the grocery store to buy wine to have with your dinner. . .and the woman from Issaquah, WA who runs a killer clothing store here . . .and all the things to do here. . . oh, so much ‘talk story’ ahead. . .

A big aloha and welcome to our new followers and readers! So good to meet you. To all of you out there, thanks for the time you spend with us!

Linking up:
 Budget Travelers Sandbox Travel Photo Thursday.
Travel Photo Discovery on Monday.
Sweet Shot Tuesday

30 comments:

  1. Hello Jackie and Joel:

    How absolutely fabulous all of this looks. We really cannot believe that you are there right now and that, on account of modern technology, you can share it all with us within seconds. What a wonderful place, away from it all, to enjoy both sea and countryside and yet staying in such luxury. You are most fortunate!!

    We are particularly fascinated to see the contrast between how it all once looked and how it is today. Amazing that the stretch of water remains almost the same.

    For now continue to enjoy yourselves. We shall much look forward to the next update.

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    1. You are right about technology. . .and the blogosphere for opening doors to travel that we never need leave our armchairs nor pack a bag to enjoy! See you again soon I hope!

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  2. What a marvelous change of plans! So excited for you. :-) It makes me happy to know you get to extend your stay in such a gorgeous part of the world. :-)

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    1. It has proven to be one of our best decisions ever...I'll post more photos soon to prove it. Thanks much for your visit - see you soon at 'your place'!

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  3. It is amazing how immediately green the grass gets after rain. Those orchids are perfection.

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    1. They have the most beautiful gardens - inside and out - here. I just can't believe the blooms! Thanks for visiting Jan.

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  4. I always make an enjoyful break looking at your stunning, exotic photos and learning so much things for landsI have never visited.Thank you dear friends!

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    1. Oh and you were at the sea as well and gave such a wonderful insight into the imaginations of those young sailors. See you soon!

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  5. From the looks of it, the change in plan was/is a very good one. The place looks fantastic. :)

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    1. It really is and the price was only a bit more than we had paid to stay in a Best Western in Maui. Thanks for visiting today - hope to see you again soon.

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  6. This was so awesome, Jackie! I did a lot of sighing and awww'ing. I never made it over to Lanai so thank you for filling in the blanks as to what it's like there! I'm so not a crowds person and your description of Maui and all of the people remind me it's not what it was 20 years ago. Though still beautiful. Amazing to see those pine trees on Lanai! Great post and it made me smile :)

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  7. Aloha Jackie and Joel

    I think your scout made a very wise decision and enjoy your celebration.
    It looks absolutely idyllic.
    I love those huge skies.
    I am delighted to see you are connected to Jane and Lance Hattatt, a couple I hold dearly to my heart.
    Continued joy
    Helen xx
    Helen

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  8. What a brilliant way to spend a big birthday - and I'm so impressed with the Scout's ability to sniff out a deal. Perhaps you could lend him out.

    Enjoy the luxury and the colour green. I write this in a world of white at -20C in Quebec City.

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    1. It was an incredible deal he found - just a few dollars more than the kamaiana (local's rate). If we find another one like that we will be back there again. . .and soon!

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  9. I don't know how The Scout did it, Jackie, but whenever I've changed my ticket, i've always ended up paying more. Wonder if he told the agent it was his milestone birthday? Happy Birthday to The Scout!

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    1. Thanks for the B-day wishes. And he changed the airfare on-line. . .amazing how fares fluxuate if you start watching them closely. . .

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  10. That looks so very lush, the island and especially the resort. Enjoyed reading, a little armchair getaway on a rainy day in Australia.

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    1. We did have plenty of rain while in Hawaii this year - good for them because they've technically had a drought for the last few years, but it wasn't always blue skies. . .nice thing was that when the sun came out it was magic!

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  11. It looks a lot greener than our usual haunt. England is wet and muddy, but at least it's not white with snow - as it often is at this time of year. Hope the day went well, Joel, and sorry we'll miss you later in the season - will toast your health in Raki.

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    1. And we will do the same toast in return to you as well! We at least came home to a brief bit of sun but the forecast is for more rain the next five days.

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  12. I can definitely see how it would be difficult to pass up such a great deal. Lanai looks so verdant and beautiful. We hear so much about Hawaii's beaches that it's easy to forget it's other charms. Thanks for reminding us.

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    1. We had questioned whether we would like being among fir trees on an Hawaiian island and now that we've been there, we can hardly wait to return!

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  13. I think I didn't understand how serendipitous the addition of Lanai to your itinerary was. (Finding the cheaper airfare -- very cool. I never even think to look after I've booked. I always assume any change is going to be more expensive). Lanai looks so different than Oahu around Honolulu where the vegetation is tropical. If I didn't know I was looking at photos of Lanai, I could have imagined somewhere in the mid-Atlantic states.

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    1. Usually it is the potential change in airfare that can make or break our plans to 'go where the winds blow us' and in this case, we did find cheaper seats and because we were changing only one-way the change fee was half of the regular price. And yes, Lanai is so refreshingly different from Hawaii's larger cities that it is hard to wrap your head around what you are seeing.

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  14. More time in paradise, cheaper airfare and a beautiful resort! What a way to travel!!

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    1. Yup, that's just the way we saw it, Marilyn. Thanks for the visit!

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  15. I may ask you to become my travel agent:-)

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    1. "The Scout" does have a way of finding the deals and I try to report some of those that others might be interested in - we do love traveling and deals often determine the destination!

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  16. You two really did luck in! that a gorgeous little piece of the world. I'm looking forward to more "story talk"! Thanks for linking up this week.

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    1. I've got a lot more photos just waiting for Travel Photo Thursday, Nancie. "See you then' if not before. Have a good week!

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