We just returned from a two week stay island hopping in Hawaii for our ten year anniversary. We choose The JW Marriott on Oahu and also the Four Seasons on Maui and separate reviews are posted for those locations. But this little resort was by far and away my favorite.
As stated in many other reviews, there are certain things about Manele Bay and Lanai that you need to understand in order to determine if this is the right destination for you. You will love this place if you are looking for a very quiet, relaxing resort where you feel as if you have your own private escape. However, if you want nightlife, lots of things to do and a multitude of restaurant choices, this may not be the place for you. I am in the first catagory, so that being said....
We arrived, greeted with leis and cool towels and were advised were being upgraded from a Garden view to a Partial Ocean view. We were in the Plumeria building and had a view of Hulopo'e Bay from our Lanai as well as being very close to the Pool and main building. The room was very nice and well appointed, but that was to be expected. We were traveling with our kids, 6 and 4, who were given a small bag of toys at the reception desk and arrived at the room to find their names spelled in sponge letters on the tub, a stuffed fish toy for each of them and milk and cookies as a treat. Hubby and I had a bottle of nice champagne to celebrate with. I just love how the Four Seasons goes out of its way to make your stay feel special.
The beach is a very long golden cresent with soft sand. And, yes, it is a short walk to the beach, but you need something to work off those extra calories from all those tropical drinks! When you arrive at the beach there is an attendant to set up charis and an umbrella for you as well as ice water and lemonade. They also provide beach toys, snorkeling equipment and float belts which many other resorst charge for. The depth drops off fairly quickly so the waves break hard and very close to the shore. It was a little much for my 4 year old, but my 6 year old loved it. The snorkeling off to the left (southern) side I of the bay s fantastic and I was able to swim with the spinner dolphins just 100 yards or so off the beach. The hike up to see Sweetheart Rock is easy enough for almost anyone - time it so you can watch the sun set, you get the best views from over there.
There is only one pool but it is a good size based on the size of the resort. It has two hot tubs right in it. It is a salt water pool, which I actually prefer to the harsh chemicals. There are plenty of lounge chairs, we never had a problem getting a great spot. Service by the pool was mostly suberb with cool towels, evian spritzes, sunglass cleaning, popsicles, etc. Every now and then you had to flag down someone to order lunch or a drink, but otherwise service was top notch. The Mango Ginger Mojitos were my favorite.
We ate breakfast at the buffet each day which was very good and had a nice variety. We ate one night at Ihilani, excellent service, food was very good as well. We also spent a lot of time in the lounge where my kids loved the foosball and shufflebowl. Food by the pool is served in convenient bamboo type baskets which makes it easy to eat right on your lounge chair. We also ate one night at Koehle at the Terrace and had a good meal, despite slow service and my husband's steak having to be sent back for being overcooked. Lanai City has very few restaurants, upon recommendation we went to the Blue Ginger Cafe where the food was very good and inexpensive, although the atmosherre is VERY casual.
The hotel is gorgeous, with beautiful artwork everywhere and the gardens are lovely. It is landscaped in a way that you notice the lush and beautiful surroundings instead of the buildings. Kids can feed the koi in the ponds and there are fountains and waterfalls everywhere. We went up to the Lodge at Koehle on two occassions and it is wonderful in its own way. If you go up at night they will have the fireplaces lit and you may need a light jacket due to the cooler mountian tempertures. Their grounds are well maintained as well. We did not golf, but did take a ride up to the Challenge at Manele one day just to appreciate the stunning views
How much will you spend - a lot! Tropical drinks are $12.50, the breakfast buffet is about $30 and dinner entrees run from $22 and up (and I do mean up). Since you have the shuttle that runs every hour to the Lodge at Koehle and stops in Lanai City, you have the option of picking up something at the market or getting an inexpensive lunch or dinner if you are trying to keep costs down.
Due to the small size of the resort, you get to know and interact with the staff better, and by the end of the trip many will know you by name, what you drink, whether you want a paper, etc. On this small uncrowded island, you really do feel a world away as if you are on a private retreat. You are very close to the harbor where you catch a 45 minute ferry to Maui if you need a day of hustle and bustle, but I prefer just to sit by the pool and be pampered with a tropical drink in my hand.
- Also Known As:
- 4 Seasons Resort Lana`i At Manele Bay
- Four Seasons Resort Lana`i At Manele Bay Hotel
- Four Seasons Resort Lana`i At Manele Bay Hotel Lanai City
- Four Seasons Manele Bay
- Four Seasons Lanai City
- Lanai City Four Seasons
- Four Seasons Lanai
- Four Seasons Resort Lana'i At Manele Bay Lanai, Hawaii
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Four Seasons Resort Lana'i at Manele Bay is the quintessential Hawaiian beach resort. Overlooking a protected marine preserve, Manele Bay is a romantic retreat with championship golf and some of the finest offerings of water sports in the world. Al fresco dining options abound, from Pacific Rim to Italian cuisine, while spinner dolphins and whale watching are sights to behold. Pampering spa treatments and pool and beach side amenities make for a perfect day under the sun. ... more less
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