Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
A quiet, inland island resort frequented by golfers and those seeking some R&R
The Four Seasons Lodge at Koele is all about peaceful and casual elegance; the wrap-around porch leads into the grand lobby, outfitted with large chandeliers and velvety red furniture, while the rooms are slightly brighter and have marble bathrooms, floral curtains, and balconies. Spaces now feature Hawaiian decor, showcasing local artists throughout the property.
In Lanai City, about 20 minutes from the beach, the inland resort experiences slightly cooler weather than the coastal areas of the island -- luckily some rooms and common spaces feature fireplaces to aid in chilly seasons. The weather is ideal for golfing and horseback riding, both available on-site, and guests can visit the beach at the hotel's sister property via a free shuttle.
With the quiet atmosphere and the lack of many kid-friendly amenities (unlike the Four Seasons at Manele Bay, the Lodge does not have a kids' club or teen center, and the pool is much smaller), the resort attracts mostly couples, many of whom are honeymooners or are celebrating an anniversary. The pristine grounds, complete with pagodas, gazebos, and ponds, are the ideal place for quiet relaxation.
In Lanai City, within walking distance to restaurants and shops, but a 20-minute drive to the beach
The resort is located in Lanai City, within walking distance of restaurants, and shops. But the beach is more than 20 minutes away (the hotel offers a free shuttle to beachfront sister property Four Seasons at Manele Bay).
Known as Hawaii's "private island," Lanai is the 6th largest of the Hawaiian islands. Most of the island is privately owned, though virtually undeveloped, and traces of former pineapple fields can be seen from the air. The only town on the island, Lanai City offers a few outlets for entertainment, dining, and shopping, which are all worth a trip via the hotel's free shuttle. The town has a local history museum, and several art galleries and quirky eateries as well.
Traveling to the island can be difficult with limited flights available (and the airport services small aircraft only) so many visitors to the island chose to take the ferry from Maui, which is about a 45-minute trip. Driving around the island is difficult as well, as only a portion of the island's roads are paved.
Small rooms feature elegant decor
The 102 rooms and suites at the Lodge are decorated in a colorfully classic style that has a slightly more up-to-date and casual beach-y feel than some other Four Seasons properties. Windows are large, letting in a lot of natural light, and coupled with the pale yellow walls lend the rooms a bright, airy feel. Modern amenities such as large flat-screen TVs and iPod docks help the rooms from feeling too dated.
All rooms feature balconies or terraces with patio furniture and varying views of the surrounding grounds. Upgrading from the standard Garden Room, which is 406 square feet, to the Garden Deluxe Room does not give guests any more space, but rather a more central location on the property with easier access to the gardens, pool, and croquet court. Great Hall rooms are large and some feature fireplaces.
The highlight is the Greg Norman-designed golf course
The Lodge at Koele's main highlight is the Greg Norman-designed golf course. There are also on-site horseback riding facilities, and the hotel offers a lot of other amenities -- but all of a smaller scale than at the sister property. Access to the sister property's facilities are available via a free shuttle.
Two tasty but expensive restaurants, and three classy bars
The Four Seasons Lodge at Koele features two upscale restaurants. Serving dinner Friday through Tuesday, The Dining Room has an optional four-course Prix Fixe menu, as well as a-la-carte options such as lobster and beef tenderloin. The slightly more casual Terrace restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and features a children's menu. Room service is also available 24/7.
The resort also has three upscale bars. The Bar serves light dishes and cocktails in a cozy, luxe room with wood-paneled walls and velvety furniture. The Great Hall in the lobby features afternoon tea, as well as nightly live music. And the Trophy Room, or the game room, is a casual spot with a pool table.
The food at the restaurants is top-notch, but the prices are sky-high. Those who prefer cheaper eats, or a more low-key atmosphere, can walk into Lanai City where there are several restaurants. Guests also have access to the Four Seasons at Manele Bay's restaurants as well, though they are equally expensive.
The 102-room Four Seasons Lodge at Koele is a serene, upscale resort with a Greg Norman-designed golf course. The resort is just a short walk from town, and features top-rated (but expensive) dining, casually elegant rooms, horseback riding facilities, and three tennis courts. The tranquil English-style grounds dotted by Asian accents -- a pagoda sits across the pond from a gazebo -- have a peaceful air and attract honeymooners and couples; few families visit the hotel due to the small size of the pool and the lack of direct beach access (the hotel is about a 20-minute drive from the sand). But guests at the Lodge are granted access to the sister property's facilities (and beach) at Manele Bay via a free shuttle.