Showing posts with label luxury getaways. Show all posts
Showing posts with label luxury getaways. Show all posts

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Costa Navarino~ A Road Trip Out of Greece

We've just returned to Greece. . .or at least it feels that way. 

Pylos town - Greek Peloponnese

You see we took a road trip to a luxury resort not far from our house. A sprawling oasis of pure bling with two five-star hotels, an enormous spa and so many top-notch restaurants that you could lose count of them all. It is the type of place you'd find in Hawaii and Arizona; similar to posh places in France and Italy . . . for that matter, on our glitzy islands, Santorini or Mykonos. But, Messinia?!

Sailboats docked at Pylos harbor - Peloponnese

We'd driven northwest from our home in The Mani, past Kalamata and then across Pylia, the most western Peloponnese 'finger'. Like most road trips in this area we'd slowed for farmers on tractors and had passed a dozen or so mom-and-pop fruit stands that line the narrow two-lane road that serves as a 'highway' here.  Our route took us through villages so small that a mere blink and you'd miss them; each with some distinctly Greek name,like, Neromylos, water mills.

A common sight on the roads of Pylia this time of year

Eventually signs directed us to an even more narrow road that wound through an ancient olive grove, and then another turn and we were on way to the resort's security gate at the end of a landscaped drive. A gate we wouldn't have gotten past without reservations, I might add.

Fruit stands line the highway - it is orange season

Two hours after leaving home, we'd arrived at Costa Navarino, the 321-acre resort featuring side-by-side hotels --The Westin and Romanos Luxury Collection -- two golf courses, an enormous spa, conference facilities to serve 1,700 and so many swimming pools and high end restaurants that we lost count of them all.

From Agios Nikolaos on the right to Romanos on the left

The lobby of the small  Kalamata Airport, some 40 minutes away from the resort, is a showroom for the resort. Enormous photos, maps and information - you can't miss the hype for the ultra luxury experience to be had at this place. Each time we saw the display, we'd say we should check it out. Finally, we did!

The resort opened in May 2010, a few years before we happened upon the Messinian region of the Peloponnese. At the time of its opening, it featured The Dunes 18-hole golf course. A second course, The Bay, opened the following year. (Two more courses are being developed in the area of Navarino Hills.)

A view of The Dunes golf course - Costa Navarino

Since we can't yet travel outside Greece (still waiting for those residence permits), this seemed a perfect destination for last week's road trip. While the valet parked our car, we were greeted by a charming receptionist from Venice and we were settled in our room shortly after 1 p.m.

Center of The Westin Lobby - Costa Navarino

The common area décor was simply understated elegance.  The guest suites posh and amenities luxurious.  We felt as if we'd left the Greek world we know and entered a different one.  There was at ubiquitous resort feel ~ it could have been a resort anywhere in the world.

'Agora's' restaurants and big screen - Costa Navarino

At times when strolling its grounds, with no sign of the Mediterranean Sea, (it is set back from the beach for environmental reasons) we'd comment that it felt like we were in Scottsdale, Arizona. And there's nothing wrong with that!

Our 'family suite' had two full bathrooms and large deck

For those of us who live in Greece and who would like a change of scenery and tastes, it was perfect option. We were upgraded -- thanks to the Marriott/Starwood Bonvoy hotel loyalty program -- to what is called a 'family suite' - a room large enough that we could have lived in the place. It was difficult to pull ourselves away from our room.

One Man's Dream

A bit of Navarino Bay
Captain Vassilis Constantakopulos from Diavolitsi, a small village with 854 residents, about 39 km from Kalamata, had the vision for putting his Messinian homeland on the tourist map. After a few decades at sea, he founded a successful shipping company, expanded into other businesses and by 1980 had conceived the vision of Costa Navarino. While he retired in 2005 and turned the business over to family, he lived to see the resort open. He died in 2011.

He'd likely be quite proud of the award-winning resort these days as  among its accolades are: National Georgraphic Travel Editors named it one of the 20 Best Destinations in the World, it was named the European Golf Resort of the Year in 2017 by the Golf Tourism Association and The Westin has been voted the "Best Family Destination' in The Mediterranean. 

A Sustainable Destination

The resort's web site proudly claims to be 'the prime sustainable destination in the Mediterranean.' After seeing first-hand the environmental and socio-economic efforts going on here, they certainly have a right to such a boast.
Beach café has limited operation in deference to the turtles

Let's start at the beach:  The restaurant, with the most beautiful undulating canvas roof I've ever seen, operates only in the daytime. At sundown the beach belongs to the turtles as explained in the sign in the photo.

A Blue Flag beach - Costa Navarino
The beach is also one of only a few hundred in all of Greece to be awarded the Blue Flag designation. Criteria for the flag recognition include: cleanliness, water quality, organization, swimmer safety, and environmental protection.

How old is this tree?!?!? we exclaimed.

 The development also has the Navarino Pet Community animal adoption center, a place that is open to guests to visit and adopt previously unwanted animals who are cared for by a team of volunteers. Forty animals have found new 'fur-ever' homes thanks to those volunteers.

A decade ago the founders of Costa Navarino formed a partnership with the academic community and created the Navarino Environmental Observatory that operates with a focus on research and educational programs on climate change and the environment.

Keeping locals employed and able to live in Messinia was part of the founder's original vision. Producing Navarino Icons, the private resort label of products including wine, olives and olive oil is one way of doing that. (You can find these at Dean and Deluca and Whole Foods in the US and Marks and Spencer in the UK).

Security guard at work - Costa Navarino

Perhaps the favorite part of our stay was the morning breakfast buffet, which was included in the room rate.  Food displays filled two interior  rooms of a large restaurant and guests sat in an open air covered terrace area.  Aside from the food, what made breakfast a treat was 'the security guard' who roamed (with his handler) through the restaurant.  

Being open air, we learned the sparrows that swoop, dive and entertain throughout the grounds had been little pests: dive-bombing tables and making away with food. With a hawk keeping watch they haven't had that problem. And as the handler said with a smile, "The sparrows don't know he is tethered to me!" They keep their distance now!

On that note it is time to thank you for the time you've spent with us at Costa Navarino and we hope you'll be back next week when we take a look at the realities of road trips and driving in Greece!  Hope to see you again soon! Safe travels to you and yours ~

Linking this week with:

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Citta dei Nicliani ~ Hidden Treasure in the Deep Mani

A full moon was beginning its twilight climb. A chilly breeze rattled the leaves.The cries of the jackals echoed across the broad expanse of rangeland that linked us to the sea. As we sipped wine on our room’s small terrace overlooking the stone courtyard, I gave thanks for eavesdropping.

Moon rising at hotel Citta Dei Nicliani - Peloponnese
Had it not been for eavesdropping on a conversation in a local village cafe a year or so ago we may never have found the hotel Citta dei Nicliani because even after nearly a decade of operation it remains somewhat a hidden treasure in the area of the Peloponnese known as ‘the Deep Mani'.

The Deep Mani is a vast, lightly-populated area with scattered small villages – some now deserted -  and some which were first written about by Homer. Its a rugged land with a rugged history; wars, feuds and piracy. It is the Land of the Towers, but that topic is deserving of another post on another day. . .
The Inner Mani - Greece Peloponnese
. .extensive wine list. . .great dinner. . .unbelievable breakfast. . .luxurious accommodations

‘Excuse me,’ I recall saying to the man seated near us, ‘We couldn’t help but overhear your conversation. Where is this place??’

Courtyard view of the reception/lounge/dining area
Turns out this hidden gem is only an hour’s drive south of our Stone House on the Hill but still we didn't get around to experiencing its charms firsthand until a couple of weeks ago.

Its name Citta dei Nicliani, its Italian for ‘city of the Nicliani’ a clan of strong people who populated the area during the Ottoman rule. They are said to have written an Italian duke seeking help in opposing that Ottoman rule – and got it. The original tower on the property, a restored centerpiece of the hotel was built in 1750.

Charms of the Citta dei Nicliani

View from inside the lounge/reception area Citta dei Nicliani
It was through the imagination and hard work of an Athens family: Ilias and Tanya Sepsas, and their children, Zaira and Paniotis, that created this first class hotel as it is aptly labeled. It opened in 2011.  The family foursome is responsible for the day-to-day operation of this seven room hotel.

Walkway beneath Citta dei Nicliani
As is usual with our travels, we set out on this adventure somewhat at the last minute.  Most of the rooms were already reserved but we managed to book one of the two remaining for a next-day arrival. Booking one of the last rooms available always makes us a bit nervous but in this case we shouldn’t have been;  it was simply charming.

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Our room and en suite at Citta dei Nicliani 
Designers have blended up-scale modern designs into the rooms carved out of the renovated historic old buildings.The hotel features Guy Larouche bedding, flat screen television (which we never turned on) and incredibly fast and free wi-fi.

The Scout and Paniotis Sepsas, hotel manager, review the wine list
That man who’d described the place as having an extensive wine list, hadn’t exaggerated.  Paniotis, who is the master of the wine cellar handed The Scout a 52-page book with wines available for purchase.  Perhaps the most amazing entry to us was a Cayuse wine from Washington State – a wine so highly sought back in the Pacific Northwest that you must be on a waitlist to purchase it from the winery and that is almost impossible to find at retail outlets, but here we could  - if we wanted to pay the 250-euro price, which isn’t out of line for that label.

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Lobby/reception/dining area - hotel Citaa dei Nicliani
The reception/lounge/dining area was a glass-walled structure that allowed the blooms of fragrant garden vines to dangle inside from the roof line, fresh cut blooms decorated all the tables and so many bric-a-brac and books on display that it will take another visit just to flip through a few more of their pages and admire the decor.

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Dining - a made-to-order experience- Citta dei Nicliani
If a guest choses to eat dinner at the hotel, the menu selection is made by late afternoon with a preferred serving time noted. These meals are individually cooked and the loaves of bread – carob and wheat – are baked daily and served out of the oven with the meal.

And breakfasts which are included in the room price are such a feast that you need not eat again until dinner. They offer an array of salts and sugars almost as extensive as their selection of wine.

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Breakfast was in itself a reason to get up each day - Citta dei Nicliani
We spent two nights  which gave us a full day to explore the Inner Mani area and we barely touched the surface – we could easly have filled another day, if not two, had we taken a few hikes, spent time on the nearby beaches or visited each of the villages in our immediate area.

Looking into the reception area - Hotel Citta dei Nicliani
Now at this point you are saying to yourself, she must be exaggerating – it couldn’t be that great – go take a look at TripAdvisor where you’ll find 137 reviews of the hotel. Seven are 'above average' and 130 are 'excellent'.  Words used in the reviews include ‘magical’, ‘never been to a place like this’, ‘never had such a warm welcome’. 

Better yet, go stay there and experience this treasure of the Inner Mani. Rates vary between high and low season and the room. Our room was 90-euros a night. We certainly plan to be regulars there! (And for the record: we weren't comp'ed for our stay, nor did they know I was writing about the stay until the morning we left.)
For more information:

That’s it from us this week. Again I am a bit late with this post but we’ve been without internet for the last three days.  Summertime is easing its way into our part of Greece and the livin’ is easy.  Hope the same holds true for you whatever season you are enjoying in your part of the world. Thanks again for the time you spend with us ~ safe travels to you and yours!

Linking up - internet willing with these fine folks:
Through My Lens
Our World Tuesday
Wordless Wednesday
Travel Photo Thursday – 
Photo Friday
Weekend Travel Inspiration

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

A Room with a View. . .Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River

Bangkok – that sprawling capital city of Thailand – is bisected by the Chao Phraya river – a major waterway teeming with river boat buses, cross river ferries, tour boats, dinner cruise boats, long tail boats and river barges. While the city itself didn’t wrap us under its spell as it did a few decades ago, the river didn’t disappoint.

Bangkok's Chao Phraya River bisects the city

After our stay in the timeshare (Marriott’s Empire Place. . .Buyer Be Aware) we treated ourselves to three nights of over-the-top luxury at The Peninsula Hotel on the river. Once again, The Scout, had found us a great rate using even though our stay was during the city’s popular April celebration, Songkran, the Water Festival; a time the city swells with tourists.

The Peninsula on the right from the terrace of the Mandarin Oriental
The Peninsula is located on the river’s Luxury Triangle as I’ve labeled it. The triangle’s other two points are anchored across the river by the Mandarin Oriental Hotel and The Shangri-La Hotel.

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Lobby of the modern Mandarin Oriental, left and historic Oriental lobby - now tea room - on right

“The room isn’t quite ready, sir,” we were told at the reception desk when we showed up in the late morning, “Please come have a seat.” We were lead to a couch and served complimentary coffee while we waited the 30 minutes it took to finish preparing the room.

The Room

It has been a long while since we’ve stayed anywhere nearly this luxurious, the kind of place you could gush over, so, let the gushing begin. . .

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Our room - Peninsula Hotel Bangkok

A small entry hall led past a closet/dressing area, directly across from a bathroom, a place large enough for a tub, walk-in shower, private toilet room, and two sinks with marble countertops. And then you entered ‘the room’ which seemed far more like a ‘suite’ to our way of thinking.

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Our room with a view

All rooms in the hotel face the river, so our favorite spot – despite the inviting bed and couch -- were the two chairs we lined up at our window; our viewing platform, from where we watched the morning sunrise and the nighttime parade of lighted boats.

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Peninsula pampering - Bangkok, Thailand

And then there were the small touches:  an orchid in the ice bucket each time it was refreshed and the all-time first: we’d left the books we were reading on the bed and when we returned the bed had been made, the books returned to exactly where we’d left them but a Peninsula bookmark had been placed to the side of each! (Sorry Kindle users, you probably can’t relate.)

The Setting

Imagine a lush tropical garden – swaying trees, a profusion of blooms, winding pathways to pools and patios. Then imagine heat and humidity so intense it seems to suck your breath away, melting makeup and exploding hairdos. . .combine those and you’ve pretty much got the setting for the hotel.

Melted makeup and exploding hair - in a stunning setting

The three-tiered pool was stunning, but again, it was difficult to spend much time lazing around it because of the April heat.

Three-level pool overlooks the Chao Phraya - Bangkok Peninsula
On the River

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Free shuttles boats

One of the real treats was being on the Chao Phraya and that was easily accomplished by hopping on one of the hotel’s four shuttle boats – restored rice barges – that make daily round trips between three nearby piers. The other hotels ran similar free shuttles so you could bounce back and forth or from the nearby taxi pier catch a long tail passenger taxi and travel the river in either direction.

The Chao Phraya flows for 231 miles (372 kilometers) from Thailand’s central plains through Bangkok and into the Gulf of Thailand. As it turned out we had one more night, literally on the river, even after we left the hotel. Our ship was docked at a port on the Chao Phraya. After boarding we spent our first night on the river in the Nautica, we began our Magic Carpet ride through the Middle East.

And so the 34-day cruise began

We set sail at 5 a.m. the next day, long before sunrise, en route to our first port of call, Singapore. And that’s when and where our next post begins. Thanks for being with us today and hope you’ll come back soon and bring some travel enthusiast friends with you!  Hello to our July subscribers!  See you soon and until then, Happy Travels!

We are linking up this week with:
Travel Photo Thursday – Budget Traveler’s Sandbox 
Our World Tuesday
Travel Inspiration – Reflections En Route
Mosaic Monday – Lavender Cottage Gardening

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Kauai: Luxury for Less, Part II

“You own here?” a fellow guest sitting next to us at the Marriott Waiohai Ocean Villas beach bar asked.

“No, we rented a week,” The Scout answered, adding, “I think we got a deal. . .two-bedroom, two bath unit for $109 a night.”

“You bet you did!,” he exclaimed, “I am paying $495 a night!”

Beach at Marriott Waiohai - Kauai
And so began our second week of Luxury-for-Less on the Hawaiian island of Kauai.

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Our condo was the one far right top floor, with its deck nestled between two palm trees and overlooking this fabulous lagoon.

In Part I of our Kauai Luxury-for-Less series, I told you about our plush digs at the Westin and its steal-of-a-deal price in Princeville. This Marriott Vacation Club (these are also timeshare condos) is on the sunnier south side of the island at Poipu.

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Top left clockwise: Living room, guest bedroom, guest bath, master and bath, kitchen
The two-bedroom, two-bath unit with fully furnished kitchen, a table to seat eight and full living room had been available for rent from an owner for $109 a night – the only additional cost was a $50 booking fee and nightly room tax which brought the price up to $116 a night.  Wi-fi, athletic facilities and pool use – all included; no extra charges.

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Our deck, and gardens between buildings
Admittedly, we had a garden view but with gardens like this, it wasn’t tough to sit on our deck (a table with seating for four and a lounge chair) and then walk the garden path to the beach.

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Sunset from the Marriott's Honu Beach Bar - Poipu, Kauai
If You Go:

Map picture

Kauai is the oldest of the Hawaiian islands and is considered the chain’s Garden Island (translated that means it does get rain, however, the showers came and went quickly during our two-week stay).

KauiSm2014 056A number of airlines fly directly from the U.S. west coast to its airport, Lihue.  Inter island flights connect in Honolulu (but they can add a couple hundred dollars more to the cost of the trip).

Another money-saving tip:  There are a number of U.S. ‘big box’ stores on the island, including Costco (where food and beverages prices were definitely less and the selection greater than at local markets.)

Finding The Deal:

The Scout booked this rental through which he found when searching the site,

Our stay was the first week of September and a quick check for September rates for a 2-bedroom, 2-bath, island view at the Waiohai:

Marriott:  $412 a night
Expedia:  $412 a night
Our rate, $116 (including tax) compared most favorably!

As always, we thank you for the time you spent with us. Hope our tips come in handy on your future travels. If you’ve got some tips for ‘deals’ do let us know in the comments below or shoot us an email.  Hope to see you back again later this week~ when we'll take you to "Pigi Heaven"! Happy travels~

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Kauai: Luxury Travel for Less, Part I

The sky turned golden precisely at 5:55 a.m. then went gray and within 30 minutes was a brilliant blue background to the rising sun's antics of playing peek-a-boo through pink-tinted clouds and palm frond silhouettes.

That was how each day began during our first week in Kauai.

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Sunrise in Kauai from our room
We were at the Westin Ocean Resort Villas in Princeville on the island’s North Shore.  Princeville, with its high-end accommodations is nicknamed 'the Bel Air of the island', after California’s similarly ritzy city.

Kauai2014Aug 052From the deck on our studio condo we’d sip both morning coffee and evening wine – there was no better ocean view to be had in the complex than ours.

 We like luxury.

And we’ve surrounded ourselves in it on this trip.

What we like even better is when we find luxurious accommodations for less!

And that’s what The Scout does best. . .so let me show you what he found and how much it cost.

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Our home away from home - week one Kauai
The Westin Villas are ‘time shares’ or ‘interval ownership units’ where a week is purchased (either deeded land or points), maintenance fees are paid annually, and you’ve got your own – albeit, tiny – piece of Hawaii, in this case. (We own such property on the island of O’ahu and Arizona and for those new to the blog, check the links on the homepage for more about those).

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Westin Ocean Resort Villas - Princeville, Kauai
Often times owners can’t use their reserved time and choose to trade it for somewhere/sometime else or they rent the reserved time. A number of web sites are designed for just that and that’s where The Scout found this Westin unit for rent.

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Bathroom, kitchen and laundry off the entry hall
Our spacious unit had a large walk-in shower, jacuzzi tub for two with a shuttered wall that opened to the ocean view, an en suite washer and dryer and a kitchen that included garbage disposal, dishwasher, microwave/convection oven and was stocked with more dishes and pans than I planned to use! Once a week maid service brought new towels and sheets and a room tidy. And our bed was “Heavenly” the kind trademarked by Westin and used in all their hotel and vacation villa properties. For parents out there: the couch was a sleeper sofa - bedding provided.

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BBQs with a view
Food and drink prices were high at this end of the island, so we ate ‘at home’ often. BBQ’s were cleaned daily for use by residents. I tell you sipping wine and enjoying the view while cooking was one of the stay’s high points. . .and it was a better views than many of the restaurants.

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Beach at St. Regis Hotel - and its view: NaPali Coast
A real plus was  regular shuttle service to the nearby St. Regis Hotel where we could sunbathe on its beach or dine in its restaurants and bars (rooms at that luxury hotel began at $500+ a night).

So . . .What we paid:
This room is called a Premium Studio, 512 sq. ft. plus 44 sq. ft. balcony. 
Rate per night on the Westin site: $450;
on Expedia $399.
We paid: $150 per night, booking through the owner’s rental site. I’ve listed a few of them below.

If You Go:
The Scout did a quick Google search for ‘timeshare rentals’ and found a number of websites, including,, TUG (Timeshare Users Group)com.

Note: We didn’t expect to have an ocean view as it hadn’t been specified in the rental - it was luck of the draw. “Ocean views” -- should you book one -- can be tricky because some places consider even a peek-a-boo view of water as ocean view.  Do a bit of research and check floor plans.

Common Sense Note:  We rented from owners using two different web sites. We did not send full payment at the time of booking. We made a payment to hold the reservation but waited until confirmations were sent, in this case from The Westin, with our name on the rental and a confirmation number before we made the final payment. (We also called The Westin prior to arrival to make sure we did have a reservation.)

Next week I’ll “show and tell” the luxury for less we found on the island’s other side our second week. Hope you’ll come  check it out~ until then, Happy Travels. And thanks for your visit!

Linking to three incredible blogs:
Travel Photo Thursday – Budget Travelers Sandbox
Weekend Travel Inspirations – Reflections en Route
Mosaic Monday- Lavender Cottage Gardening

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


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