It seems a bit odd writing on Lana'i at this time; I have written no less than six stories on the magnificent isle in the last four months, for magazines that include Town & Country Travel, Islands, Hawaiian Style and Modern Bride, just to name a few. Considering that Lana'i is Hawaii's smallest (of the six major) island at 90,000 acres, that's alot of ink! But the reasons are two-fold; one is the Manele Bay Hotel and the other is the Lodge at Koele, both Four Seasons Resorts.
Since last year (and $50 million spent refining each hotel), Four Seasons has swept through each of Lana'i's dwellings, performing both major and minor miracles. They range from adding central air and heat to the Lodge, down to condensing owner David Murdock's art collection throughout the various public spaces at both hotels. There are other subtle changes, I won't bore you. Go. See them. It's gorgeous.
I wasn't going to write about The Lodge nor Manele Bay here, out of fairness to the fantastic magazines that will print wonderful stories about them starting this spring (I know they're wonderful because, as stated, I wrote them). But, alas, the Four Seasons brand announced a new special this week throughout all its Hawaiian Island resorts that is too good to pass up. After all, the only (and I mean only!) complaint I've ever heard from either of the Lana'i hotels, Hualalai on the Big Island, or Wailea, Maui, is that they are so darn expensive. To this, I frequently reply: For the service alone, it is worth it. Four Seasons has a better way of responding: Free nights with four, five or seven-night stays, depending on the hotel.
Each hotel, to make things slightly difficult, opted to create their own schedule of black-out dates, so pay attention! When you are sitting at the Ihilani Restaurant at Manele Bay, glass of Barolo in hand, sun setting and dolphin jumping, you will thank me.
At The Lodge at Koele on Lana'i, the "4th Night Free" promotion is in effect straight through December 18, 2007, with nightly rates that begin at $295. Best deal on the islands. Truly. If you have not been, the Lodge sits on the upcountry location of Dole's former pineapple plantation, and is Hawaii's largest wooden structure. A pair of gigantic slate fireplaces slow-burn kiawe wood (Hawaii's version of mesquite, for those malihini) all day, luring folk back from surf safari, shooting traps at Clay Pines or "The Experience" that is 18-holes of picture-perfect Lana'i golf. For the less adventurous, there are a pair of croquet courts on the Lodge's back side, which face a few dozen acres of botanical gardens, a reflecting pond and authentic Chinese pagoda recently constructed by a history professor at the University of Beijing. Not shabby.
At Manele Bay Hotel, the 5"th Night Free" promotion is available through August 31; from September through December 18 it becomes a "4th Night Free" promotion. Nightly rates begin at $395. Manele is an exquisitely landscaped hotel, with mesmerizing koi ponds and gardens that surround its 236 guest rooms. The best addition to their rooms since the renovation last year are worthy day beds on the Lana'is -- idyllic for snuggling at sunset -- be it with a loved one, a book or a glass of riesling (all three if you're truly lucky).
The Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea is offering the "5th Night Free" between May 9 -- June 30, as well as September 1 -- December 18, 2007, with nightly rates that start at $570. The recently opened steak and seafood restaurant aptly named "Duo" is the property's newest happening, which also has the renowned Wolfgang Puck eatery, Spago. And for the L.A.-types that made the pond jump, they can feel right at home with new "DermaLucent Phototherapy" light technology skin treatments at the spa, which we have heard good things about. The spa at this resort is top-notch; an incredibly designed sanctuary worthy of an afternoon of pampering.
Last, the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai has issued a "7th Night Free" promo to run through July 31, with room rates beginning at $695 per night. The Big Island is brimming with activities (too many to list; but head over to the "Travel" or "Lifestyle" sections at www.bonhawaii.com to read about a few), including Blue Hawaiian helicopter tours, Mauna Kea summit excursions with Hawaii Forest & Trail and snorkel/dive trips with Fairwind. Alan Wong's Hualalai restaurant location is a treat, and few know that the resort is cultivating it's own fishponds for actual use in the eateries...very cool. You can even ask celebrity T.V. chef Wong for an autograph if you see him, who made multiple appearances on the "Top Chef" finale.
Get out and enjoy the Seasons!