What to expect when you are visiting Lanai and an introduction to the most popular activities on the island.
Until recently, few visitors were likely to see more of Lanai than its mysterious
volcanic silhouette framing the sunset from the mai tai lounges of West Maui resorts.
Some had heard of "The Pineapple Island." Some sailed over for day trips, to enjoy
a remote beach or excellent diving. But most just passed it by.
Even Hawaii residents knew little about Lanai, other than its fame as the world's
largest pineapple plantation and one of the state's best hunting areas. In any event,
only a handful of visitors could be accommodated on the private island.
What to Expect on Lanai
With the advent of two spectacular luxury resort hotels, there is reason to stop and
more ways to discover an island that's been lost in time. This is a place for the
people who seek the old Hawaii, where there are few buildings and fewer roads, where
deer out number humans and beaches have no footprints. The pineapple plantation of
yesterday is becoming the exclusive resort of tomorrow, at a prudent pace. Lanai is
anachronistic in contemporary Hawaii, by virtue of its isolation and unusual history,
and visitors should be aware that some things are lacking. Lanai has no high-rise
hotels or office buildings, no traffic jams, no tours buses, no shopping centers,
no stop lights, no all-night discos, no golden arches and no crowds. The
inconveniences of modern life have been held at bay, allowing visitors and
residents alike to experience Hawaii as it once was, on tropical time, to allow
for enjoying life and one another. A plantation speed limit sign admonishes,
"Be Careful. Go Slow."
About the Local Residents
As a plantation population, Lanai was aging dramatically. Children reaching adulthood
were encourage to leave the island and seek a better future than the inevitable
pineapple fields. Now a remarkable transition has begun. Workers are leaving the
fields, learning new skills and becoming employees of the resorts or other new
enterprises. With more choices, some of those who left are returning home to take
some of the new jobs -- and enjoy the old lifestyle.
The lifestyle is family-oriented and out-of-doors. Lanaians have grown up enjoying the
same gifts of the Island -- fishing, hunting, riding, hiking, four-wheeling, golfing,
swimming, beachcombing, exploring --available to visitors. Some Lanai City houses
display antler racks alongside marlin tails, attesting to the plentiful bounty to
be reaped from local hunting and fishing. Visitors to Lanai can also ride trails
along the mountain ridge, enjoy views of deep gorges below, challenge their golf
prowess on scenic championship courses, play on the beach, sail off to snorkel or
watch the whales in winter, or just soak up local color.
Lanai's Two Luxury Resorts
At the new Manele Bay Hotel, on a cliff overlooking Hulopo'e bay, the path to the beach
leads through an ancient Hawaiian village site. Hulopo'e beach, with crystalline
waters and white sand shaded by palms, is shared by guests and islanders. Would-be
country squires will be in their element at The Lodge at Koele, a comfortable
estate-like hotel amid cool upland forests and broad green lawns. Accommodations
may also be found at the cozy Lanai Hotel, a rustic eleven-room country inn and at
several bed and breakfasts.
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Article Courtesy of the Maui Visitors Bureau
Lanai Island Travel Guide
About Maui County
The Islands of Hawaii
State of Hawaii Travel Guide