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“A Resort in Transition” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Four Seasons Resort Lana'i at Manele Bay

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Four Seasons Resort Lana'i at Manele Bay
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   One Manele Bay Road, Lanai City, Lanai, HI 96763   |  
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$1000 Resort Credit!
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Lanai City
GreenLeadersBronze level
Scottsdale, Arizona
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
76 helpful votes 76 helpful votes
“A Resort in Transition”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2006

My wife and I are experienced travelers, and have stayed at several Four Seasons resorts throughout the United States. Our 7-night stay at the Manele Bay Resort in late January 2006 was both wonderful and disappointing. What was wonderful? The resort itself is absolutely beautiful. The landscaping and gardens are exquisite. The guest rooms are well-appointed. The common areas -- i.e. restaurants, lobby, pool area -- are clean and well-decorated. The beach is excellent. Physically, the resort simply cannot be criticized.

But, the resort does not otherwise meet Four Seasons standards. With the exception of the pool attendants and some of the waiters, the balance of the staff at the resort, including, surprisingly, some members of the concierge staff, the front desk staff and the restaurant staff, did not appear to have been indoctrinated with the customery graciousness that we have come to expect of staff at resorts boasting room rates in excess of $700 per night. Noting that the resort was not filled to capacity (far from it, in fact), we asked whether a room upgrade was available at check-in, and the front desk attendant looked at us like we were from another planet. Several times, we were made to feel as if our rather standard requests to concierge staff and restaurant staff were a nuisance or that the staff was not sufficiently informed to answer our questions.

The concierge twice incoorectly scheduled certain excursions for which we had signed up. The restaurant staff at several of the restaurants failed to take our orders correctly. And we were several times incorrectly charged for restaurant items -- that is, the menu prices were inconsistant with the amounts actually charged for specific items. The last issue was a first for us at any resort.

We did note that the newly-arrived director of dining is making extraordinary efforts to improve the dining experience at the resort's restaurants. The food at the restaurants was good, but not great. Our favorite meal, quite frankly, was the morning buffet, which was included in our room rate. The restaurant prices were unusually high. In addition, the resort closes down the Ihilani Restaurant two nights a week, and the Ocean Grill two nights a week. We have never stayed at a resort where the restaurants close on certain nights, and given the dearth of dining options on Lana'i and at the resort, we do not think it is an appropriate policy.

We were also disappointed with the wetbar policy at the resort. The resort does not stock the wetbars in the guest rooms. You are, rather, provided with a menu of items that you must purchase, if at all, in bulk from room service -- i.e. six waters, six sodas, etc. We found this unusual and inconvenient. We were also surprised that the resort does not provide bottled water free of charge, except on night one. Listen, if you're paying more than $700 per night for your room, the resort should supply bottled water for free. Bottom line -- we felt the resort was squeezing us for every penny. It got to a point where we started venturing to the small town to find food and other necessities.

Another nuisance is that the resort has only two computers in its business center, while its guests consist of numerous professionals who need to check their e-mail from time to time. The wait for a computer was often lengthy, and the resort makes no effort to circumcribe the amount of time a guest may spend on a computer. One couple spend literally an entire day monopolizing a computer to make their travel plans. The resort needs to deal with this.

We came away from this vacation relaxed and happy, notwithstanding the foregoing criticisms, because the resort was beautiful and the weather was extraordinary. We do feel that we did not get our money's worth, however, and would not return to the resort until we receive reports that it has brought its services up to Four Seasons standards in all respects.

Aloha.

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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seattle
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2006

with the change in management from starwood to four seasons there have been some change s at manele bay and the lodge at koele on lanai, hawaii.
none of them are for the better, I have stayed at both hotels a total of five times.
my last visit was over last christmas break. it appears that four seasons is taking the properties decidely down market. our two rooms had faulty HVAC the whole time, the bathroom fixtures were faulty, room service was poorly trained, and there were ridiculous and faulty charges on our final bill (an $1100 phone call!). four seasons has also begun to charge for everything, including shuttle buses, having local "artists" set up in the lobbies to peddle trinkets, and down grading several restaurants to buffets. that was my last visit, and two rooms at well over $500 per night each.

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Fort Myers, Fl
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2005

The Manele Bay hotel was beautiful and the restaurants good. The main dining room at the Lodge was awful. Both properties had beautiful grounds. The beach was a bit rough. It did not have a Hawaiian feel in the island as the other islands do.

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Oregon
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2005

Our family of 3 (mom, dad, 12-yr. old daughter) spent 4 nights at the Four Seasons Manele Bay in early Nov. 2005, followed by 7 days in Maui. Our first time at 4S and first time to Lanai, we truly felt pampered. The hotel is beautiful and was very quiet during our stay. Very few children. Staff was very friendly and accomodating. We had a garden view room, with waterfall outside and it was spacious. We had a problem getting hot water one day and the next day were told we could be moved to another room. We did not make the move (didn't want to pack and unpack again), and were pleasantly surprised during checkout that the manager had given us one free night for the inconvenience (without our even asking). Husband played both golf courses ($185 at Manele, but if you play Kohele the same day, it was only an additional $70), family really loved the Lapine Sporting Club where we took beginner archery lessons, snorkeling off Manele was really clear and saw lots of fish we'd never seen in Maui, and swam with a sea turtle. Snorkel gear is no charge, and the staff on the beach were very nice about setting up lounges, umbrella and bringing water or lemonade. As far as inconvenience on the remodel process, there was very little, other than during the weekdays you heard the construction on the new Pool Grille Restaurant. The hotel shuttle and vans worked out well for getting around to the Lodge at Kohele, Lanai City, and Manele golf courses. We did not rent a car and did not miss having one. We hope to return in 3 years for our 25th anniversary.

  • Stayed November 2005
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Bay Area, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2005

The Manele Bay Hotel was a wonderful site to visit. We arrived there as our first stop during our honeymoon. Be warned, there is construction going on the east side of the hotel; we were advised this by our travel agent. The Four Seasons people are really trying to keep that down to a mininum, and it looks like it is going to finish in a few months. From our room we were right in a full ocean view to the west side so we didn't hear or see any construction until we got to the center of the facility. About the only thing that bothered us was some construction noise in the morning buffet area.

Saying this, visiting on the off season too like we did, we felt like we had the place to ourselves. No one really was there and we ran into the same couples all the time. At night we strolled down to the beach and back to look into the stars at the pool with no one to be seen. Quite a good thing!

The service and people were top notch, the room and facilities were great. The staff definitely are on the Four Seasons program. Their Spa is very clean and nice, both of us had great massages. I recommend the Spa right when you arrive. There is not much for swimming pools there with only one smaller version offered, but the beach is a small walk away and there is good service there (minus alcohol).

Lana'i is awesome and the shuttle service to and from "The Lodge", another Four Seasons property up country central Lana'i, made our adventures great and easy to get around. The facility was clean and certainly going to what you would expect of a Four Seasons.

We took the 4x4 package so an event was planned for each day included with the stay. All this with the picnic lunches were top shelf for some of the activities. I recommend looking into this if you aren't all about sitting at the resort the whole time.

Bad parts: Lana'i doesn't offer much to places to eat (although we did eat at several places in Lana'i city - Henry Clay's is good) so one would expect more from the 2 Manele Bay "restaurants". However the choice at Manele Bay was not too good and the food was not to the level I would expect for the price and for Four Seasons. We did like our in suite private dinner service, but again variety of food choices was pretty small. They know there is not much competition in the eating arena, so I think they are slipping there.

  • Stayed October 2005
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2005

My wife and I stayed at the Four Seasons Manele Bay Hotel and overall we really liked it. I knew we were in for a good experience the minute we arrived at the very small (one airline) Lanai airport, where (somehow!) the hotel concierge knew who we were without an introduction. They had a van ready for us and three other couples to go to the Hotel where we didn't even have to stand at the Front Desk. I think the Four Seasons way of doing business is definitely being implemented.

That said, one day I took a long walk around the hotel and discovered that half of it is still closed for a complete renovation. There were probably about 50 workers keeping very busy on that, but the noise from that part of the construction was not noticeable. What we did notice, however, is that they are still renovating (my guess is for the next month) the Pool side Grill building, so there is defintely some loud noise by the pool. I'm good at tuning it out, but some folks aren't. In fact, we met one couple that after two nights decided to move to the Four Seasons in Maui.

Food: the daily breakfast buffet (which was included in our package) was great. For dinner, the Italian fine dining restaurant was very, very good and I highly recommend it. Avoid, however, the Hulopo'e Court restaurant. The menu just wasn't up to snuff for a Four Seasons.

One day, we took the free shutle up to the other Four Seasons and Lanai City and had a great time. This is an absolutely beautiful hotel and very quiet and secluded. We also walked all around the two main streets of downtown and visited several very friendly storefront vendors.

Snorkeling: one day I walked down to the beach (about 400 yard walk); they offer free equipment, but to be honest, I should have gone first thing in the morning, rather than in the mid-afternoon. The surf had come up quite a bit and I just didn't feel safe and came back in. I would highly recommend that the hotel hire a full-time life guard.

The pool side service was excellent; they often came around with cold towels, cold pineapple chunks, and spritzes. Also, be sure to take one of the power raft trips: we saw an amazing school of "spinner" dolphins, including several babies only 24" in size. This was an unbelievable experience.

I think a year from now it will be a true Four Seasons experience, but it is a fantastic, quiet location.

  • Stayed October 2005
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2005

My husband and I stayed at the Four Seasons Manele Bay for our honeymoon and absolutely loved it! We spend the first 5 nights of our honeymoon here followed by 5 nights at the Four Seasons Maui (which we also liked, but not as much as we liked Manele Bay).

We flew into Maui then took Speedishuttle to the Lahaina harbor where we caught the Exhibitions ferry to Lanai. It was a very easy way to the island. At the harbor in Lanai the hotel picked us up and brought us to their beautiful hotel.

We were upgraded to a very pretty, newly renovated ocean front room. The view from our room's lanai was gorgeous, we had drinks on our balcony most nights before dinner and even ordered dinner from room service one night to eat on our balcony. The bathroom was also very luxurious - typical Four Seasons marble with large tub, large shower, and 2 sinks.

We spent most days by the pool or beach. The snorkeling from the beach is excellent (they loan you snorkel equipment for free). Ate lunch at our beach chairs almost every day which we enjoyed. The staff passes out ice pops, fresh pineapple and cool towels along with Evian spritzes to truly pamper its guests.

Activities which we enjoyed: One day we rented a Jeep to explore the island which was a lot of fun. Saw shipwrech beach (kinda disappointing), garden of the gods, and then went and had a picnic on "lanai's most beautiful beach" which we had entirely to ourselves. One day my husband played golf and I rode along in the golf course and enjoyed the beautiful views of Hulopoe Bay.

Meals: We ate at Ihilini (the italian restaurant at Manele Bay) which was very good. One night we had dinner at the Lodge at Koele's dining room which was a nice, quiet and romantic dinner. Our last night we ate at Henry Clay's rotisserie (a Louisiana style menu) which was my husband's favorite meal.

We'd love to return to Lanai one day. I think our 5 nights there was the perfect amount of time to spend to truly relax and see Lanai but not so long that we would get bored. Once we left and went to the Four Seasons Maui my husband kept talking about how great our stay in Lanai was. I would highly recommend Manele Bay to anyone lookign for a relaxing Hawaiian island that is truly luxurious.

  • Stayed September 2005
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Four Seasons Resort Lana'i at Manele Bay

Address: One Manele Bay Road, Lanai City, Lanai, HI 96763
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Hawaii > Lanai > Lanai City
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Lanai City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Four Seasons Resort Lana'i at Manele Bay 5*
Number of rooms: 236
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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Also Known As:
4 Seasons Resort Lana`i At Manele Bay
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 Resort Lana'i At Manele Bay Lanai, Hawaii

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