New York Times Exploring Lanai, Hawaii, Rough Roads to ResortsNew York TimesThe first clue that Lanai is not just another Hawaiian island comes as your two-propeller plane banks off the Pacific Ocean, crossing stark cliffs rising out of the churning blue water before lowering over fields rustling with scrappy brown...
It is one of Hawaii's most unique island at 140 square miles. It is the smallest of the Hawaiian islands that a non-native Hawaiian is allowed to visit and is one of the least geared towards the tourist industry. There are two resorts, both of which are presently operated by the Four Seasons hotel and resort chain, a small number of privately-run rental cottages and a historic inn located in the heart of Lanai City. Each of these options offers unique advantages.
The Four Seasons Lanai at Manele Bay is a full 236 rooms big, and of theses 21 are private suites. As with all Four Seasons properties, it is noted for the quality of services available on site and in fact was voted as one of the worlds top resorts for 2007-2008 by Zagat. The Manele Bay offers a world class golf course called the Challenge at Manele Bay, a 7,039 yard championship course designed by Jack Nicklaus. The Challenge at Manele Bay was ranked third best course in Hawaii.
The Four Seasons Lanai, The Lodge At Koele offers a country clubhouse style stay with 102 rooms which are residentially furnished and feature artwork by local artists. Like its sister resort, the Lodge at Koele offers a world class golf course designed by golf great Greg Norman. The Experience at Koele offers a cooler climate for its golfers with its higher elevation and 7,014 yards of course and a par of 72. While both properties seek wedding parties, the Lodge is generally speaking the more popular of the two for this purpose.
The Hotel Lanai was built in 1923 by James Dole to house visiting friends and company executives and was the only hotel on the island until 1990. It offers 10 rooms plus a cottage, an on-site restaurant, and a gift shop and extremely reasonable prices. The hotel is on the register of historic places, and despite its ample services is much like life on the island of Lanai.
Lanai hawaii is dedicated to tourism and the island is a popular vacation destination, but it is not for everyone. There is little to do that was not there when the whole island of Lanai was a pineapple plantation, and no night life to speak of. There are only a few restaurants and 29 miles of roads. This lack of tourist oriented features will specifically deter ammenity seeking travelers who do not stay at the resorts, but will specifically attract others.
Lanai was coined in Hawaii where the island of Lanai is located, the island is famous for its pineapples and at one time produced a quarter of all the worlds pineapples. Today just 100 acres of Lanai are cultivated to that end.
The lifestyle on Lanai is very laid back as most of the area is rural. In fact, the word "Lanai" came to be used for the furnished, screened in rooms that are common to the area.