A Couple Days on Lanai
As popular as Hawaii is for vacation travel, many people have never even heard of the tiny island of Lanai, located only 9 miles west of Maui. Until about a year ago, I hadn’t either…
Lanai is a small 140-square mile island that has been in private hands since the 1870s. It was first owned by Morman missionaries and then ranchers, but in 1922, James Dole turned it into a pineapple plantation, growing approximately three quarters of the world’s pineapples. The plantation closed in the 1980s and the island has since emerged as one of the world’s most peaceful vacation destinations. As of 2012, the island is 98% owned by Oracle Founder and billionaire Larry Ellison,* and it has been transformed into the home to luxury travel in Hawaii with two Four Seasons Resorts on the relatively obscure island; The Four Seasons Resort Lanai along the beach in Hulopoe Bay and the Lodge at Keole, nestled among the pines in the mountains outside Lanai City.
And I ended up there because my girlfriend actually spent nearly three years working at the Four Seasons Resort at Manele Bay (the pre-renovated property) and living in a small plantation home in Lanai City. The island is home to only 3,000 people, has only 30 miles of paved road, does not have a stop light, and is actually a near-desert ecology because the higher mountains on Maui to the east, capture the trade-wind clouds on its windward coast, leaving very little rainfall for Lanai.
She had always talked about the island and I’m not sure what I had envisioned, but it was completely different from the Hawaii I always imagined.
Outside the city