I recently visited Hawaii to attend a rewards event for a company I partner closely with to make many of my clients’ travel arrangements. I was honored to be named one of their top 75 performers in the country and jumped at the opportunity to bring my family and create an itinerary for us that would include all of the places I love best in this amazing part of the world.
After spending some time on Oahu and Maui (see my blog post entitled “Hawaii Part I: Oahu and Maui”), my family made its way to the secluded island of Lanai, home to two well-known and well-respected Four Seasons properties: Four Seasons Manele Bay and the Lodge at Koele. We chose to take the ferry and very much enjoyed the scenery along the way. One of the most memorable moments of our trip occurred on the return ferry trip, when a pod of spinner dolphins decided to swim and play alongside the boat for part of the journey!
Manele Bay’s setting on a bluff above the water is incredibly beautiful. We spent many hours watching the waves hit the cliffs below us from our oceanfront suite, as well as enjoying the golden sand beach which could be accessed via a scenic path from the hotel.
The grounds at Manele Bay were perhaps my favorite in all of Hawaii. I looked forward to my walks through the courtyard that led to our suite, not only because it was so gorgeous, but also because of the wonderful smell the plumeria trees gave off every time I walked by.
As with all Four Seasons properties, my children were welcomed and pampered throughout their stay at Manele Bay. They are still talking about feeding the koi and the lizard hunt the staff at Kids For All Seasons took them on during one of their afternoons there. Children 5 and under dine free at Manele Bay as well, and there are kid friendly menus at all of their restaurants (and at Koele).
We took advantage of the hotel shuttle that ran constantly between Manele Bay and the Lodge at Koele so that we could experience the sister property just a few minutes “up-country” from the beach. The drive was beautiful, and arriving at Koele made us feel as if we were visiting another island altogether.
Koele is lush, serene and a completely different experience from Manele Bay. The temperature is typically 10 degrees cooler, and the elegant country feel of the property creates a unique experience for guests. The staff greets every arrival with a traditional Hawaiian chant and then whisks you to their gorgeous lobby complete with roaring fireplace.
There is no shortage of activities to enjoy at Koele. Riding horses and shooting sporting clays are some of the more popular activities, but there’s also a lovely pool overlooking a pond and a full croquet court, to name a few. One of the newer amenities is the petting farm located at the Stables at Koele. My children had a blast feeding the pot-bellied pigs and goats!