Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Lana’i: Laid-Back Luxury

I’m always a little leery of  booking ‘luxury’. . .

Will it be too over the top?   Worse thought: Will it even reach the top?

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Leaving Lahaina, Maui bound for Lana'i

But -- based on our own experiences with our Four Seasons timeshare in Arizona, and the endorsement of  friends who had stayed at this island getaway – I filed away the misgivings as we set off on the high speed ferry from Lahaina, Maui for our Hawaiian trip’s climax: the five-star Four Seasons Resort, The Lodge at Ko’ele.

MauiLanaiSF2014 126What we found was a resort that not only reached the top - it pole-vaulted the top!









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Relaxation began with registration

Footsteps from the ferry we were greeted and draped with leis by Four Seasons Resort staff and directed to the shuttle bus that travels at regular intervals from ferry dock and airport to the resort.

As we stepped through the entryway of the Lodge we were served pineapple lemonade and ushered to a comfy leather couch where we completed the check-in paper work that yet another attentive staff member brought to us.   (Yes, those first impressions do count!)

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Standard garden view room - Four Seasons Resort Lana'i

Our ‘standard garden view’ room was so large (406 sq. ft./38 sq. m.) that I thought we must have been taken to a suite by mistake.  Decked out in floral print drapes and bright striped carpet and bright yellow walls – it made us smile each time we entered it. And that window seat and king-sized two poster bed (with pineapple finials) were as comfy as they looked.

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Stepping outside – the advantage of a ground floor room at this resort – we had ourselves a huge deck and steps that lead to a fairy-land park setting – perhaps the most beautiful resort setting we’ve ever experienced:

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That's a grove of Royal Palms behind me 
If the daytime vistas weren’t enough to numb our senses, night time brought a downright magical feel to the place.  While we enjoyed the sunset and sipped wine at the outside fireplaces near the fountain, the housekeeping staff was turning down our bed, and refreshing the bathroom.

(Although we were here for The Scout’s birthday celebration, it was me who was vowing to never go home by the second evening of such pampering. . .)

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The grounds alone were enough to take your breath away - but then you stepped inside to be surrounded with the laid back elegance of the resort’s interior’s design and décor. The kind of place you pinch yourself and ask, “Whoa! Am I really here?”

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Clockwise from top left: the Library, the Great Hall/Lobby, porch chairs and Trophy Room.
We were so busy enjoying the island that we almost didn’t make it to the pool. On our last day we decided it was much too inviting to miss. The pool attendant let us to the cushioned lounges that had already been prepared for us with coverlets and towels.  He then kept a steady stream of complimentary treats coming: finger sandwiches, sliced pineapple, a small mango smoothie.  

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BTW, We decided to have the The Scout’s birthday dinner at the Lodge.  Following a main course of pasta topped with a wild boar, wait staff brought a dessert topped with a candle while the restaurant’s musician sang “Happy Birthday”

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(I suspect his birthday wish was to celebrate his next birthday in the same place!)
 
That’s it for today.  As they say in Hawaii, “Mahalo” or 'Thank You' for the time you spent with us today.  Have you had an over-the-top luxury experience? Hope you’ll tell us about it in the comments below.

For other posts about this gem of an island:
A Taste of Lana’i
Lana’i Paradise Found

If You Go:


Map picture

Both Four Seasons properties on Lana’i are undergoing some major renovations:

Room renovation is underway at the Manele Bay Resort  (jackhammers and heavy equipment noise filled the air the day we visited). Before booking ask about the construction progress.

The 18-hole golf course at the Lodge at Ko’ele is being redesigned and reconstructed. Until it re-opens in early 2015,  golfers must take the 20-minute shuttle to Manele Bay Resort and use the course there or use the 9-hole community course, adjacent to the Lodge.

Lanai2014BF 055Getting around the island:

Shuttle:  There was an automatic $47.50 charge per person added to our hotel bill which gave us unlimited rides on the shuttle. 

Walking: the Lodge is an easy 20-minute walk from Lana’i City; Manele Bay was far enough away to take the shuttle.

Renting cars:  With only 30 miles of paved roads on this island, a Jeep/4-wheel drive rental is recommended. It is wise to reserve in advance as none were available when we tried a ‘walk up’ rental. Cost about $150 a day. Gasoline was $6 a gallon.

[For  you curious ones: this wasn’t a ‘comp’ed, free or hosted stay – The Scout had found another  screamin’ deal on one of the discount sites we often recommend on this blog and we snapped it up.  Check out his Deal Finder page for links to those sites.]

Linking up:
Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox

35 comments:

  1. What a nice birthday treat! The large room looked so cozy, especially that window seat. As far as spending more birthdays at Four Seasons Resort, The Lodge at Ko’ele, I say go for it!

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    1. Well I have to admit that I started lobbying to spend MY birthday there as well. But we will keep an eye on the prices and just see what the travel gods have in mind for us. . .Thanks much for stopping by Patti!

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  2. Happy Birthday to The Scout! :-) What a fantastic place to celebrate. :-) It looks so warm and beautiful. :-)

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    1. It was warm and delightful - a very special place on this earth!

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  3. Happy Birhday Joel. The Four Seasons looks like the place to celebrate. The room looks enticing and all that pampering poolside must have you rested and ready to return to normal life
    Enjoy your week

    Helen xx

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    1. Oh Helen, I was again thinking of you because of the Plein Air art show we happened upon while in Maui and then had a chance to visit with one of the artists who makes his home on Lana'i and has a gallery there. Hope your art show went well! Thanks for stopping by - happy weekend! Jackie xx

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  4. The Four Seasons resort looks like a fantastic place. Your pictures are great. Happy Birthday.

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    1. Oh thank you, Donna. It is so nice getting to know you via the blogosphere. Please come back soon as I will do at your blog! Happy Weekend!

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  5. Replies
    1. It was like staying in a park! Thanks for the visit, see you soon (I hope).

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  6. One question: How did you ever make yourself leave? :-)

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    1. Sigh. . .I keep asking myself that same question. Well, at least "why" if not "how". . .;-) Thanks for visiting, Irene!

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  7. Thx for this post, Jackie. I've never stayed at a Four Seasons Resort, but we did visit the Four Seasons property on the Big Island and I was equally impressed. I've always been a big supporter of Fairmont and Starwood properties, but will now add Four Seasons onto my radar.

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    1. Yes, I hear you Doreen. We stayed at Scottsdale's Fairmont Princess last year and found ourselves having the same type of experience as at the Four Seasons. We have a Four Seasons timeshare at Troon in Scottsdale as well and its grounds and service are equally spectacular. Do put this one on your radar. And thanks much for the visit!

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  8. Birthday congratulations to The Scout.
    I also enjoyed 6 nights of luxury at a Four Seasons in Costa Rica and can very much relate to your comment about the size of your room. We had the same experience and looking back I have such fond memories of our Four Seasons stay. It was a rough re-entry into real life.

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    1. I guess it is the weeks of real life that make those Four Seasons stays so special, right Leigh? I suspect all of their properties are hard to beat. . .certainly eases these birthday numbers! Thanks for stopping by. . .

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  9. What's not to love about any Four Seasons stay? They always exceed expectations. Great way to spend a birthday... or every birthday :)

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    1. I am with you Viv - what a way to spend each and every birthday especially now that we are of an age where we aren't as interested in 'things' but prefer experiences. Thanks for the visit - hope to see you back here soon!

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  10. Oh yes, looks divine. I do love a large spacious room and huge swathes of lawn. Noted for a trip to this lovely island one dayin the future.

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    1. Seana, thanks for the visit and putting up with pesky security codes again -- do keep this on your radar, it is so worth a visit! Have a good weekend!

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  11. I love that standard garden view room. Standard? Superb more like it :)

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    1. Jan, you may have coined a new hotel industry term: standard superb room! Thanks for the visit today - hope to see you again soon.

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  12. I've been to Maui a few times and have wanted to included a side trip to Lanai, but haven't been able to do so yet.

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    1. Even if you do a day trip Dick it is so worth the visit -- night and day different from the more tourist-filled islands. . .and a welcome respite from those as well.

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  13. Oh lordy it looks so serene and tranquil there, Jackie! Ya know, we could barter some of my home cooking for Phoenix and I to join you and Joel at one of these amazing places you travel to ha, ha! I like what you said about first impressions. My ex and I stayed at some (then) 5 star hotels in our travels and we had the same, "Whoa! Am I really here?” reaction. Happy belated Birthday to The Scout! :)

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    1. Loved the suggestion Mike and will keep it in mind! Thanks for the b-day wishes. Isn't it amazing when you are at a place and it is so beyond the norm that you can't help thinking that you must be dreaming?

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  14. Belated Happy Birthday to the Scout. This just looks so beautiful and paradise on earth. I wouldn't want to leave either.I've never stayed at a Four Seasons but have always heard great things about it especially the service and amenities. I need to start stalking dealfinder.

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    1. Mary do keep Four Seasons in your dealfinder radar as any of the properties would be worth a try. I've loved reading about Cathy Sweeney's stays in Budapest Four Seasons as well. She raves about it, like I've swooned about this place.

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  15. I will be checking out that dealfinder site as soon as I finish this comment! Were you the only guests there? Other than one person in the pool (and a photo taken past two pairs of feet, presumably yours and Scout's---or if not, that's a whole other blog post ;-)), either you roamed around with your camera very early, or they were well below occupancy or it's so over the top that they can make you feel like you're the only guests. Unless I find an amazing deal, I guess we'll be hanging out here on Oahu. Worse things could happen :)

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  16. ' Definitely watch for some deals, Suzanne, you would love this place. I had meant to mention that although the web showed the hotel sold out except for the $1,400+ a night suites while we were there and that we did pass a few folks, it felt as though we were the only ones there -- pretending it was our 'own' place. There had been a lady swimming laps at the pool - she left, we had it to ourselves. :-)

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  17. What a wonderful birthday treat! Belated happy birthday, Joel! You guys definitely deserve this beautiful luxury. I'll love to stay there myself. Lanai is one island I'd like to visit in Hawaii.

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  18. Jackie,
    This is the only island in the chain we have not been to. You have piqued my interest and I must go. Mahalo!
    Mike

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  19. Wow, Jackie, this is the way to celebrate a birthday - in fine style. I can see why you were thinking of not going home. Beautiful memories.
    So, how was the boar?

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  20. You've sold me on it! Now, I want to stay here. I really like the decor of that room. It's so cheerful. The grounds look fantastic and all those complimentary poolside treats would send it pole-vaulting to the top for me, too.

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  21. How awesome, Jackie. If I was Joel, I'd want to stay there for ever! Sorry, I have been slow in getting around, but with over 200 students this semester...(you get the picture) :)

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