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Seeking suggestions for 4-day return to Lanai

Chicago, Illinois
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37 posts
7 reviews
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Seeking suggestions for 4-day return to Lanai

Greetings! We are returning to Lanai very soon and I am seeking suggestions on things to do. We've rented a Jeep for the entirety of our stay. I've already booked a dinner at Fresco the night we arrive (thinking this might be the nicest of the restaurants at Manele?) and golf at Manele. I'm especially interested in suggestions for restaurants and off-roading trips. For example, we thought Polihua was overrated last time because the wind was so strong, but I noticed it's still getting rave reviews. We loved the Munro Trail - drove it twice - and are heartbroken that it might not be open.

How is the Lanai City Grille on Friday nights - too crowded or great with the live music? Is earlier better?

Also, has anything changed in the past 4 years that you would suggest? Also, would you suggest a snorkeling excursion, or is the snorkeling at Hulopoe the best?

Also, a question about the ferry to Lahaina... Last time, we staked out great seats both ways, only to have people standing at the rail the entire trip blocking our view. We are considering the ferry to do some whale-watching, but it's not worth it if we're seated and can only look at other tourists. Is this typical ferry etiquette, and should we stake out a spot at the railing when we get on? Other ideas on whale-watching? Thanks so much for your help!

Hawaii
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for Lanai
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1. Re: Seeking suggestions for 4-day return to Lanai

Lana'i City Grille is a great choice for Friday dinner. Make reservations beforehand and confirm that Alapa Drive is playing that night. Fun times!

During whale season, you'll find that everyone wants to be on the front row of the action. Just try to get the best seat you can and its fine to get up for a better view. Usually the captains only tell folks to sit down when entering or departing the harbors. Whale season is an exciting time and the whales are very active right now. You can go to one of the lookouts on the way down to Shipwreck Beach to see some whale action with your binoculars. We have even seen some breaches right from shore at Lopa and Shipwreck as well. Of course, this is not an "up close and personal" experience, but its still exciting nonetheless.

It's hard to beat snorkeling right from the beach at Hulopo'e. Of course, the conditions always determine how much you will see on any given day. For example, it was kind of stirred up last week. But it could be calm and clear when you arrive. Swells come and go...along with the winds... so it kind of depends on what Mother Nature has in store.

Edina, Minnesota
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for Lanai
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2. Re: Seeking suggestions for 4-day return to Lanai

The two places to drive where there will not be wind are Kaunolu and Lopa. Here is my review of Kaunolu with directions:

tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g29219-d5198…

I strongly recommend Lana`i City Grill on a Friday night. Great food and music! Just make reservations. A dinner at the Dining Room at the lodge is always worth the trip too.

I have always considered taking a snorkel trip, but then find the snorkeling at Hulopo`e so good that I decide to save the money.

Not much changes on Lana`i, which is a good thing!

Have a great trip!

Big Island, Hawaii
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3. Re: Seeking suggestions for 4-day return to Lanai

I also love Lanai City Grille and find the lively atmosphere very fun. This last trip we preferred our food there to any of the resort food. Manele Bay has been going through lots of restaurant changes, none of them good, IMO. Fresco is a great setting and the service was excellent but we found the food mediocre. Can't beat Hulopo'e for snorkeling, certainly in the top five in the state. I've done boat diving and snorkeling on Lanai and it was good but not great.

I really enjoyed renting a Hummer this last trip. We could go places a rental Jeep struggles on like Awalua and K'aena, and it was a much nicer and more comfy ride to Polihua, etc. Also we had a lot more room for coolers, boards, etc.

If you haven't done it before the Koloiki Ridge hike is one of my favorites. I also like the golf course at Koele (the Experience) much more than the Challenge at Manele.

Edited: 8:16 pm, February 17, 2012
Chicago, Illinois
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37 posts
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4. Re: Seeking suggestions for 4-day return to Lanai

This is so helpful! Thank you all so much for these suggestions! I wish I'd known about the Hummer - I reserved the Jeep right when we planned the trip, like 2 months ago or more, and my card has already been charged. Love all of the ideas and suggestions, and will act on them. Can't wait!

Bellingham...
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5. Re: Seeking suggestions for 4-day return to Lanai

We loved the ferry ride from Lanai to and from Lahiana and saw dozens of whales on both crossings. Left on the 10:30 and returned on the 3:15 which was almost empty. I believe most people wait until the last crossing. Thus, there was no problem with anyone blocking our view. Four dolphins also jumped right outside my window on the way over to Lahiana. That was amazing. Because of the wind, I sat inside crossing, but outside returning.

Have a great time!

Lion's Head, Canada
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6. Re: Seeking suggestions for 4-day return to Lanai

Shea, here's another opinion on the Lanai golf courses.

I far and away preferred the Manele Bay course, over the Lodge course. Its ever-present views of the ocean and other islands, and greens almost overhanging the ocean, reminds me of Pebble Beach..... but with higher cliffs, and better weather!

But, different "strokes" for different folks.....

Big Island, Hawaii
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7. Re: Seeking suggestions for 4-day return to Lanai

I probably prefer the Experience because my "home" course is oceanfront Hawaii, so Manele Bay seems ordinary. The Experience reminds me of some lovely Oregon courses. :-)

Chicago, Illinois
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8. Re: Seeking suggestions for 4-day return to Lanai

Great tip! The 3:15 return ferry sounds like the way to go. We've played both courses and love them both, but for us the Manele Bay was the most beautiful, because being from Chicago, we don't get many oceanfront views! LOL. You guys are awesome. Thanks again, and people should feel free to add additional thoughts as they come.

9. Re: Seeking suggestions for 4-day return to Lanai

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