The island of Lana’i is often overlooked by visitors to Hawaii. With a population of just over 3,000 residents, the island has a distinctive small-town feel. The island has only three hotels (including two Four Seasons resorts), a couple grocery stores, and a single gas station. It’s the type of place where people say “hi” when they pass you on the street and wave to you when they pass by in their cars.
The island is also rich with nature; there are many options for swimming, snorkeling, and hiking. Nature in Lana’i is also pristine since the island hosts far fewer tourists than most other Hawaiian islands.
Larry Ellison, the billionaire founder of Oracle Corporation, purchased about 98% of the island in 2012. He renovated Lana’i’s two main resorts, and they reopened under the Four Seasons brand.
The Four Seasons Sensei, which is located in the center of the island, markets itself as a wellness retreat. The hotel is surrounded by expansive gardens with tropical and Japanese themes, along with amenities such as onsens (hot tubs), pool, a yoga studio, and a fitness center. It’s also home to Sensei by Nobu, which has a menu that mixes in wellness themes with classic dishes from Nobu Matsuhisa.
Unfortunately, COVID forced Lana’i’s Four Seasons resorts to close until recently for several months. But they’ve recently reopened, and the Four Seasons Sensei has pricing that’s very competitive.
Through the end of 2020, you can book the Four Seasons Sensei for $650 per night. This isn’t a bad deal, considering the hotel originally charged nearly $3k per night when it first opened.
To make this deal better, a night at the Four Seasons Sensei also includes two round trip tickets from Honolulu to Lanai City on Lana’i Air. This airline leaves from a small private airport in Honolulu, which means no lines, no TSA or security, and no waiting. You can show up just a few minutes before your flight is scheduled to depart and hop on Lana’i Air’sPilatus PC-12 aircraft for the short 30-minute ride to LNY airport. They’ll literally roll out the red carpet for you.
I recently stayed at the Four Seasons Sensei, and it was an amazing, relaxing experience. Guests are contacted by an Experience Specialist after booking, and this helpful guide will schedule any of the many experiences that the resort offers. Although you’re encouraged to purchase packages which include credits for various activities, you can also just pay the $650 nightly rate and purchase experiences ala carte. These experiences are optional, so you can also just rent a car and experience Lana’i for yourself.
Guests at the Four Seasons Sensei have access to the sister Four Seasons Resort Lana’i, which was previously known as Manele Bay. This hotel is on the beach and has a classic Nobu restaurant, along with an amazing golf course with five holes right next to the Pacific Ocean.
The only caution that I would provide to potential visitors to Lana’i is that there just isn’t much nightlife. The island is small and extremely quiet. The city is tiny and all stores and restaurants are closed by 10pm. Even at the resorts, restaurants close by 10pm, and although room service is available 24-hours a day, options are limited at night.
Still, visiting Lana’i is an incredible experience, and I’d highly recommend it at these prices. Check out the video above for more detail on the Four Seasons Sensei.