Sprawling property with an incredible clifftop location on Lanai
Contemporary rooms with spa-like bathrooms and outdoor spaces
Two lagoon-style pools, one for families and one for adults only
Large white-sand beach with free snorkel equipment
Best dining on Lanai, including Nobu and Malibu Farm outposts
Nine bars and restaurants, plus 24-hour room service
Signature Hawanawana Spa with ocean-inspired treatments
Jack Nicklaus-designed Manele Golf Course is one of Hawaii’s best
Kids for All Seasons kids club (free for resort guests)
Modern ocean-view fitness center with top-of-the-line equipment
Free Wi-Fi (and no resort fee)
Lanai is a 45-minute ferry ride from Maui
25-minute drive from Lanai City
The five-pearl Four Seasons Resort Lanai occupies an exclusive enclave on the tiny island of Lanai. A 45-minute ferry ride from Maui, Lanai feels worlds away from civilization, and the Four Seasons entices guests with 213 impeccably decorated rooms and a bevy of fantastic amenities. Two incredible lagoon-style pools overlook Hulopoe Bay, and the hotel’s beach is home to a protected marine reserve. Nobu and Malibu Farm are two of the noteworthy dinging options here, and the on-site Jack Nicklaus-designed Manele Golf Course is often considered one of the best in Hawaii. The atmosphere here is refined yet relaxed, though families may prefer the more kid-friendly Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea.
Luxurious resort that feels like a romantic private island retreat
Arriving at the Four Seasons Lanai is no easy feat. First, travelers must take a 45-minute ferry from Maui to Lanai. Once on the island, Four Seasons staff members transport guests by minibus to the resort -- a 10-minute drive along winding, cliffside roads. Beneath the hotel’s entry portico, staff members wait with cold towels and welcome drinks, ready to greet new guests by name.
The two-story lobby is impressive and inviting. It’s a seamless blend of old Hawaiian and contemporary ambience, with rich wood floors and paneled walls, massive murals depicting Lanai’s early history, and sleek furniture that feels both island-inspired and upscale. A grand staircase leads to the lower-level living space, where a 19th-century koa wood outrigger canoe serves as a focal point, and divides the room in two separate, yet cohesive spaces. Wood-paneled archways lead outside, where the hotel’s lushly manicured grounds come into view.
The Four Seasons Lanai is an exclusive retreat. It feels glitzier than its sister property on Maui, and the clientele reflects this. Since there aren’t many lodging options on Lanai, and since the Four Seasons is a massive property, the hotel feels a bit like a private island resort -- a place where people spend the entirety of their stay on hotel grounds. The Four Seasons is family-friendly, and we did encounter a few kids during our visit, but we’d say the hotel primarily caters to couples (especially honeymooners). Families may be happier at the more bustling Four Seasons Maui.
Cliffside property overlooking Hulopoe Bay on Lanai
The Four Seasons Resort Lanai is located on Lanai, a tiny island off the northwest coast of Maui. From 1921 to 1992, Lanai was home to the world’s largest pineapple plantation and produced nearly 75 percent of the world’s pineapples. Today, the majority of the island, including the Four Seasons, is owned by Larry Ellison, the founder and CEO of Oracle. Ellison is committed to transforming the island’s infrastructure and redeveloping an environmentally friendly agricultural industry on Lanai. The island’s only settlement, Lanai City, is home to a few shops, restaurants, and small hotels, and is about a 25-minute drive from the Four Seasons property. Most of the island’s roads are rugged and require four-wheel drive. Travelers unfamiliar with the terrain are often advised against driving on their own.
In order to reach the Four Seasons Lanai, travelers must first fly to Maui. From Maui’s Kahului Airport, it’s about a 35-minute drive to Lahaina Harbor, where daily ferries transport travelers to Lanai. Ferry tickets can be pre-purchased online and picked up at the harbor before departure. From Lahaina Harbor, it’s about a 45-minute ferry ride to Lanai. At Manele Harbor on Lanai, Four Seasons staff members transport guests to the hotel via minibus. The drive takes about 10 minutes.
Sumptuous rooms and suites, with incredible decor and amenities
With nightly room rates that typically involve quadruple digits, it’s no surprise that rooms at the Four Seasons Lanai are impressive. The hotel’s 213 rooms and suites are impeccably decorated and feature top-notch amenities, such as Nespresso machines, iPads, and custom-built 75-inch platinum LED TVs. Decor is globally sourced, but evokes old Hawaii, with rich wood tones, elaborate woven textures, and subtle nautical accents. Management clearly spared no expense when outfitting rooms with Honduran mahogany floors, koa wood furniture, handwoven area rugs, and Nepalese lotka wall coverings. Like Hawaii itself, room decor feels like a cohesive blend of global cultures.
Slate floors and teak wall paneling combine to create a spa-like ambience in the bathrooms. Large soaking tubs and separate glass-enclosed shower stalls with pebbled floors provide guests with multiple bathing options, and sumptuous vanities are equipped with double sinks and locally sourced toiletries. In-mirror televisions and automatic toilets are novelty enhancements, while plush robes and slippers further the retreat feel.
In-room amenities here go above and beyond with over-the-top features such as integrated lighting, temperature, and privacy controls, and built-in charging stations with USB and standard outlets. Bedside iPads allow guests to order room service, peruse restaurant menus, book spa appointments, and virtually chat with the concierge. In-room “refreshment stations” feature fully stocked minibars and snack trays (for a fee), Nespresso machines, and a variety of wine glasses. Closets are stocked with electronic safes, ironing facilities, bug spray, and beach bags for guests to use during their stay.
There are a variety of rooms and suites at the Four Seasons, ranging from entry-level Garden View Rooms (663 square feet) to Speciality Suites (1,200 to 4,000 square feet). Guests should note that the majority of guest rooms are located far from the beach, so many ocean view and ocean front rooms only offer distant views of the water. All rooms have large outdoor lanais (balconies), with table and chair sets and cushioned loungers.
The Four Seasons Lanai is packed with features, including two pools, a beautiful beach, nine bars and restaurants, a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, a Kids for All Seasons kids' club, and freebies such as Wi-Fi, valet parking, snorkel gear, and shuttles to Lanai City. A popular spot for couples, the all-white Hawanawana Spa feels like a departure from the property’s signature dark woods and natural tones. The spa offers a variety of ocean-inspired facials, massages, and beauty treatments that emphasize restoration and rejuvenation. Both single and couples' treatment rooms are available.
The 24-hour fitness center is a gym-goer’s dream, with state-of-the-art LifeFitness, Woodway, and Matrix cardio and weight-training equipment, and tons of natural light. The gym’s massive arch-shaped windows offer views of the ocean and the grounds’ plentiful palm trees. On-site fitness instructors offer a variety of free classes for individuals and groups. There are three tennis courts, managed by Peter Burwash International. The hotel’s tennis facilities consist of two Plexipave courts and one Har-Tru green clay court. The on-site tennis pro offers weekly clinics for players of all ages.
Two lagoon-style pools -- one for adults and one for families
The central pool is the hub of activity at the FS Lanai. Surrounded by lush foliage and towering palms, the pool feels like an island oasis, with faux rock formations that allude to Lanai’s volcanic outcroppings. The central pool is surrounded by cushioned lounge chairs and umbrellas, and has two hot tubs and a small water feature. Pool servers continuously circle the area with refreshments, like fruit skewers and frozen popsicles. Towel stands are stocked with a selection of magazines, sunscreen, and fruit-infused ice water. The central pool is considered the hotel’s family-friendly pool, though it’s equally appropriate for couples looking to relax. The adjacent adult-only retreat pool is smaller, but feels more exclusive. Birdhouse-like cabanas (called sanctuaries) surround the retreat pool, and can be rented on a daily or weekly basis.
The Four Seasons Lanai sits atop a rugged cliff overlooking Hulopoe Bay, so it’s a bit of a walk from the main property to the beach (about five to 10 minutes). Like all beaches in Hawaii, Hulopoe Bay is open to the public, so guests are required to share the sand with locals and day-trippers -- not that this should be a problem, considering its 1,100-foot sprawl. Even though Hulopoe Bay is a public beach, the Four Seasons is permitted to set up lounge chairs and umbrellas for guests. White sand and calm water make Hulopoe Bay both picturesque and ideal for swimming and snorkeling. There’s a protected marine reserve just off shore, where snorkelers can spot tropical reef fish, sea turtles, and the occasional dolphin. The Four Seasons provides guests with free snorkels, flippers, and masks, but more serious adventurers can book private catamaran charters to discover some of the island’s lesser-known snorkel spots.
The best dining on Lanai, with famous names like Nobu and Malibu Farm
Dining at the FS Lanai feels like a memorable culinary experience (though it certainly isn’t wallet-friendly). The hotel’s most notable restaurants, Nobu and Malibu Farm, are exclusive outposts of their mainland counterparts. Guests can expect signature sushi and upscale Japanese fare at Nobu, and healthy, organic options at Malibu Farm. One Forty is a breakfast restaurant by day, steakhouse by night, while Views is a lunchtime restaurant on the golf course. At the popular Sports Bar & Grill, guests can gather for cocktails on the outdoor patio, play a game of pool while watching sports events on TV, and grab light lunch and dinner around hightop tables. The Sports Bar tends to be popular in the mid-afternoon, when most mainland sporting events are taking place. In addition to its five dining venues, the resort also has four bars: one at Nobu, one at Malibu Farm, one on the lobby terrace, and one at the Sports Bar & Grill. In the mornings, the Sports Bar & Grill serves as a grab-and-go breakfast option with coffee, juices, pastries, yogurt, and oatmeal.
The Jack Nicklaus signature Manele Golf Course is an 18-hole clifftop course with a reputation as one of the best in Hawaii. Built across lava rock, around craggy cliffside drops, the course offers stunning views of the Pacific at nearly ever hole. During the winter months, it’s even possible to spot whales from the course. The Manele Golf Course is so beautiful, it’s one of the hotel’s most popular wedding venues -- Bill and Melinda Gates tied the knot on the 12th hole in 1994.
Even though the Four Seasons Lanai is mostly patronized by couples, it is a family-friendly hotel, and children of all ages are welcome. The Kids for All Seasons program is free for resort guests, and there’s a daily schedule of fun activities for kids 5 to 12 years old. Kids' club activities include tidal pool exploration around Hulpoe Bay, build-your-own volcano workshops, lei-making, and hula lessons.
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