Just off the coast of Maui is Hawaii’s sixth largest island and home to private enclaves for the discerning guests of the Four Seasons Resort Lanai and the soon to be reopened Four Seasons Lodge at Koele. Lanai was once designated as the world’s largest pineapple plantation and is now privately owned (with the exception of 2% of Hawaii state property) by Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison.
Access to the island is by ferry or commuter flights to the Lanai City Airport (LNY). Or if you want to experience Lanai for the day, you can book the Experience Lanai tour. I was fortunate to hop a catamaran to visit this magical place!
And to have these amazing views of Maui as we traversed the waters to Lanai…
Upon arrival into Lanai, we disembarked at the main pier and had just a short walk to the Hulopoe Beach, where they often see schools of spinner dolphins in the area.
The Four Seasons Lanai is nestled into the landscape overlooking this magnificent shoreline.
After a visit to the Four Seasons Resort Lanai (a stunningly inviting property), I ventured down to meet my guide, Mapuana, for the trip up to Lanai City. If you make it to Lanai, be sure to look for her! She has a wealth of knowledge and a jovial personality. As we drove up the hill we were introduced to the remains of what used to be the pineapple fields, formerly located in the “crater”.
We continued on to the town and passed sites like this…
Stunningly beautiful and so removed from the hustle and bustle, life on Lanai is simple and the pace is unworried. A place where everyone knows your name. Lanai is home to just 3,500 residents and Lanai City is the main area of commerce. Mapuana’s father built by hand (without the use of nails) the fences that surround the farms in Lanai City.
Be sure to stop by the Lanai Culture & Heritage Center where her daughter is the host 🙂
The Dole Plantation has left an everlasting legacy on Lanai. An indelible one for all her residents and those that came before them. And for now Lanai is a well-kept secret for those seeking seclusion and a respite from the world.
As we headed back to Maui, I couldn’t help but think that I’ll go back some day…for an extended stay and a more in-depth experience with the people of Lanai.