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“It is almost impossible to compete with the views from our selection of specialty suites, which all are on the oceanfront side, overlooking Hulopo’e Bay and the Pacific. To complement that serene ambiance, each suite features commissioned artwork and artisan furnishings unlike anywhere,” explained Tom Roelens, General Manager of Four Seasons Resort Lanai. In an interview, we discussed the history of the property, recent renovations, top-tier suites, unique dining options, signature spa treatments and much more.
With the renovation complete, tell me a little bit about the “launch” of the Four Seasons Resort Lanai, its location and the history behind its incredible transformation.
Even before setting foot on Lanai, our guests can experience the Four Seasons lounge in the Honolulu airport. Upon arrival at the Lanai airport, guests continue their first-class experience by being picked up in luxury vehicles and greeted at the front door with the Hawaiian hospitality.
Whether guests are returning to Four Seasons Resort Lanai or visiting for the first time, they will enjoy an abundance of new, unique feature throughout the property. The recent renovations are the most significant made at the resort since Four Seasons management began in 2005.
When you walk into the lower lobby and see the 19th-century whale tooth necklace on display, you know you are in a special, even spiritual place. Authentic Hawaiian art and cultural interpretations are everywhere on property, which bring aspects of Polynesian life and legends back to life.
Guest rooms feature a number of custom pieces created for the resort, including original woodcut designs by Hawaiian artist Dietrich Varez and reproductions of pen-and-ink drawings by Don Blanding dating from the 1930s.
Dora De Larios, one of America’s leading clay artists, was commissioned to create a set of large-scale architectural sculptures for the resort that depict vivid scenes of the ocean, classic hula dancers, fishermen and outriggers. The resort also showcases pieces such as a vintage Hawaiian ivory pikake blossom lei, as well as 19th century Micronesian Gilbert Island shark tooth swords.
Improvements to the resort are constant, and while we preserve our island authenticity, we continually integrate contemporary amenities essential to Four Seasons Resort Lanai’s five-star reputation. Our rooms offer features such as intuitive lighting and a 75-inch television panel, with wristband keys that allow maximum flexibility during activities on island.
With regards to the specialty suites, what are some of their most luxurious features, and how have you balanced local and regional influences with a more modern, technological touch?
It is almost impossible to compete with the views from Four Seasons Resort Lanai’s selection of specialty suites, which all are on the oceanfront side, overlooking Hulopo’e Bay and the Pacific. To complement that serene ambiance, each suite features commissioned artwork and artisan furnishings unlike anywhere.
Each suite has an authentic double Japanese soaking tub, in-mirror television screens above the hand-carved stone bathroom vanities, Honduran mahogany floors, wool hand-woven carpets, and Lakota wallpapers from Nepal.
The Ali’i Royal Suite, which is 2,700 square feet and sleeps up to eight, includes a drop-down television screen, as well as binoculars fitted on a tripod for watching the Spinner Dolphins frolic in the water.
The Hulopo’e Suite and Manele Suite, which are 1,300 square feet and sleep four, all have a living room, indoor and outdoor dining areas, and also have binoculars fitted on a tripod for a closer look at the wildlife in the bay.
The suites amenities include a private golf lesson with a PGA golf pro and two complimentary 75-minute spa treatments. In the Ali’i Royal, Kapihaa and Hulopo’e Presidential suites guests can also enjoy a luxury vehicle for use during stay, a complimentary Pool Sanctuary and the refreshment center includes eight wine choices selected by the Resort Sommelier.
What are some of your favorite dishes and drinks across One Forty, Nobu Lanai and other on-site dining options?
I have many favorite dishes – from the Burrata & Papaya Salad, Arugula and Sweet Balsamic Vinaigrette with Candied Macadamia Nuts at Malibu Farm to the endless number of sushi and sashimi choices at Nobu Lanai. My favorite dessert is the Wake Me up Coconut (coconut ice cream with two espresso shots) at VIEWS at the Manele Golf Course. One of the best things about our dining options is that they are all so unique, offering our guests a wide range of options, experiences and even, views. Although we are a small island, our wine selection is second to none. We have a wine list of over 700 bottles in 140 Restaurant.
For the couple looking to completely relax and rejuvenate, what kind of signature spa treatments might you recommend?
The Suite Serenity is perfect for couples who want to experience their spa treatments together. This is a four-hour Hawanwana experience that takes place in a private treatment suite, starts with a combination of massage, body treatment or facial, and finishes with an in-suite meal of culinary delights as the guests continue to relax.
Beyond the resort, what are some of the most popular activities to enjoy on the water and on the island more generally?
Although the island of Lanai is small, our guests never run out of things to do. We like to think of ourselves as Hawaii’s exclusive island adventure. Relaxation is close at hand with a lagoon-style free-form central pool featuring a cascading waterfall and two whirlpools. Set apart is an adults-only retreat, where waterfalls and lava rock grottos echo Lanai’s dramatic cliffs. And our handy Do Not Disturb markers ensure that quiet time at the pool stays that way – guests can simply flip the stones over when they are ready to order light refreshments or book dinner later that evening. For privacy, guests can reserve one of our eight Sanctuaries scattered throughout the pool area, with their comfortable couches and oversized lounge chairs, as well as spa treatments, private dining and more.
Other guests go down to the beach to snorkel or take a yoga class, while some use the fitness center or take advantage of fitness activities such aerial yoga. pilates, cycling, meditation, healthy lifestyle lectures and cardio-inspired workouts. Fitness instructors can be booked for private training sessions or fitness assessments.
Off-property, guests may try horseback riding, clay shooting or off-roading. Touring Lanai City, with its charming visitors center, shops, and local flavor is another popular excursion. Helicopter rides are our newest activity on the island. The tour is two hours and tours remote rock formations, waterfalls and valleys on both Lanai and neighboring Maui and Molokai.
High above the crashing surf of Hulopo’e Bay, the Signature Jack Nicklaus Manele Golf Course is one the premier 18-hole layouts in Hawaii, with a reputation for excellence in design and playability. Built on lava outcroppings, the course features three holes on cliffs which use the Pacific Ocean as a water hazard. The five-tee concept challenges the best golfers – tee shots over natural gorges and ravines must be precise. This dramatic, unspoiled natural terrain is a stunning backdrop, and every hole offers majestic ocean views, overlooking Maui and Kaho’olawe. During the winter, you may even catch spectacular sightings of whales, right from the fairways. Highly personalized golf instruction is offered, allowing guests the opportunity to learn the game or the more experienced golfer to improve their drives, pitches or putts.
For more information, visit www.fourseasons.com/lanai/