An outstanding perk of my job is to be able to experience properties such as the Four Seasons Resort Lanai in order to report back on my findings. Hence after a grueling three nights at this gem of the Four Seasons brand, I have survived to share the spoils.
About: Four Seasons Resort Lāna‛i, a 217 guest rooms situated on 90,000 acres on the island of Lanai has recently been completely rebuilt under the guidance of owner, Larry Ellison – known for having fine taste. For the interior Ellison brought on Las Vegas-based Todd Avery-Lenahan of TAL Studio, who put a Midas on touch on everything from floors, to furnishings to fixtures. After three years and eight months of construction to the tune of millions of dollars, the only thing remaining from the original structure was the foundation, basic layout, the beach and the propertie’s rescue birds, including Uliuli and Hauoli. The property reopened in February 2016 with a starting room rate of $1,075 per night.
I liked the old property – the white walls and green tile ceilings, but the new look offers a subtler vibe with darker tones and is gorgeous too. The guestrooms are perfectly appointed down to the informational iPads and luxe linens. Walking through the $21,000 per night luxury suite, our group joked about who could actually afford to stay here. The answer, a high tech executive, who had been there the week before. I wonder if he ogled over the two-toned leather chairs around the game table like I did. The rooms boast the latest in technology, but the piece de resistance – has to be the heated toilet that automatically lifts its lid when you walk in the room. It takes a bit getting used to – and once you do, good luck to returning to the mundane lift-the-lid yourself life at home.
I might have found my all-time favorite breakfast buffet at One Forty, the on-site signature restaurant, with expansive views of the bay below. Starting at 7 am, the chef offers a bevy of Asian-inspired options from miso soup, dim sum, kim chee, bim bim bap and beyond to acai bowls, omletes, fresh fruit and fresh baked goods (including gluten free). Malibu Farm runs the poolside restaurant and is open from brunch through the cocktail hour. Views, on the gold course is home to possibly the best beet salad on the planet, as well as offerings including happy hour treats like Korean BBQ lettuce cups. For the truly “pinch me, this food is so amazing’ Nobu Lanai, offers menu items such as sake aged for ten years on a tiny island in Japan nourished by classical music, and a bevy of award winning sushi, sashimi and inventive Japanese dishes. None of these places are for those watching their pennies, but if you have signed up for a resort like this one, the $50 breakfast buffet, shouldn’t be an issue.
The only reason why Hulopoe Bay does not get as much attention as Kauna’oa Beach fronting the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel on the Big Island or Kailua Beach on Oahu – is population. Situated on the remote island of Lanai it is not as accessible and not as many people have gone. That said, it is a dreamy crescent of white sand lined by a calm crystal clear bay that happens to be a marine preserve.
While the greens here attract golfer aficionados from around the globe, the resort offer a few events to attract those not so familiar with the sport. One offering Rock N’ Range, a late afternoon soiree with golf pros on hand to offer tips, and cocktails served on the greens happens every Thursday from 4-6 p.m. Another bonus for those who do love the sport, the course is operated through the hotel, which keeps the numbers of golfers on the course limited.
Mimi Towle has been the editor of Marin Magazine for over a decade. She lived with her family in Sycamore Park and Strawberry and thoroughly enjoyed raising two daughters in the mayhem of Marin’s youth sports; soccer, swim, volleyball, ballet, hip hop, gymnastics and many many hours spent at Miwok Stables. Her community involvements include volunteering at her daughter’s schools, coaching soccer and volleyball (glorified snack mom), being on the board of both Richardson Bay Audubon Center. Currently residing on a floating home in Sausalito, she enjoys all water activity, including learning how to steer a 6-person canoe for the Tamalpais Outrigger Canoe Club. Born and raised in Hawaii, her fondness for the islands has on occasion made its way into the pages of the magazine.