Had we stayed the course, we’d be home now. Instead, we set out for a tropical – Hawaiian -- paradise. . .
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.)
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.
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.
“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.
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.
When gazing out over the park-like setting in which we find ourselves, it is hard to think of the cattle ranch days.
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.
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. “
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”.
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!
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