Lanai Trip Report

May 9th, 2003, 10:19 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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Lanai Trip Report

Lanai Trip Report (4/27/03 ? 5/5/03)

My husband and I just returned from Lanai so here goes:

Flight: We have never been big ATA fans ? we have both had problems on every ATA flight we ever took. So, we were hesitant to book the Chicago (Midway) to Honolulu flight. But, it was about half the price of AA and coming from Chicago, it makes a big difference to just take 2 flights instead of 3. So, we bit the bullet and it turned out great. The flight makes a short stop in Phoenix both ways but you can leave your stuff on the plane and are allowed to reboard before anyone else. Plus, you don?t have to worry about delays and missing connections which has always been a problem for us when we go to Hawaii. In any event, the flights were all basically on time (we even left Chicago early since the plane was almost empty and everyone was already on board). We connected to Island Air (Aloha) to Lanai.

Two pieces of advice: First, although we were told by ATA they could check our bags all the way through to Lanai, as it turned out they could not because the connection is on Island Air and not Aloha itself. This was not a big problem since we had 2 hours between flights but we did have to claim our bags, walk all the way over to the commuter (not the inter-island) terminal (impatient husband will not wait for the shuttle), and recheck them. Island Air was able to check our bags all the way through to Chicago on the way back, however.
alex is offline  
May 9th, 2003, 10:20 AM
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Second, Island Air has a 44 lb. baggage limit which is strictly enforced! It is not 44 lbs per bag, it is 44 lbs per person! If you exceed the baggage limit, you will have to pay extra and your bags will be put on the next flight that has room (it could be the same one as you or a later flight). If you are taking golf clubs or need tons of stuff, you either need to book on Hawaiian which has jet service to Lanai or ship your things. The bellmen told us that a good portion of the guests at the Lodge ship their golf clubs there and back. Although the weight limit is plainly posted everywhere (Island Air/Aloha?s website, Lanai Resort?s website among other places) and both the airline and the resorts tell you about it, most people apparently ignore this. Do not!

Hotel: We stayed at the Lodge at Koele. I had read that people thought the Lodge and Manele Bay were going downhill. We found this hard to believe. The service was amazing. Anything you wished for was yours. We were talking to a few people who had been there before (some several times) and they all said that the service was the best it has ever been. One couple said that the Lodge had ?taken service to a whole new level.? While we were there, the hotel was doing some renovating. Midway through the week, we came back from the pool and had all new drapes and bed coverings. All of the wicker furniture in the two walkways leading to the guestrooms was replaced as well. We booked a standard room (Garden Koele) which was beautiful ? hand painted headboard on a four-poster king-sized bed, window seat with tons of cushions, lanai with table and chairs, huge bathroom with robes, coconut-pineapple toiletries, marble vanity and hand painted shower tiles.

When you arrive at the Lodge, you are given a hot towel and a chilled pineapple cider. You relax in a comfy chair in the Great Hall and then are given a private tour around the property. Your guide then checks you in at your room. Minutes after being checked in, a complimentary bottle of Louis Roederer was delivered to our room with a handwritten note welcoming us and wishing us a happy anniversary.

We spent a day at Manele Bay too. The service there was equally good, although we are glad we stayed at the Lodge which is smaller and more intimate. We did meet David Murdock and Gerrit Cormany (President of Castle & Cooke Resorts) at tea while we were there and they were very nice and very gracious. By the way, tea is complimentary from 2:30 to 4 in the Great Hall. There is tea, coffee, scones and cakes. If you want a full formal tea, you can take it in the Tea Room. We did not take formal tea so I do not know the price.
alex is offline  
May 9th, 2003, 10:21 AM
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Food: We ate at pretty much every restaurant in Lanai City (not a hard thing to do!) including Henry Clayys (at the Hotel Lanai), Blue Ginger, Tanigaways, Peleys Other Cafy, and the new Cafy 565. My favorite was Peleys Other Cafy. During the day, it is a deli serving hot and cold sandwiches (great for packing in your cooler for trips to the beach). At night, Peleys serves Italian food. We ate there for both lunch and dinner we liked it so much. We also ate at Blue Ginger for both lunch and dinner. Henry Clayys was also fabulous (I had ono and my husband had venison stew).

At the Lodge, we ordered room service twice, ate in the bar once and in the Formal Dining Room once. Everything was very good except for the Formal Dining Room which was outstanding. We met Aaron, the food and beverage manager, our first night at the Lodge and he made sure to greet us each time we saw him and promised us a special dinner at the Formal Dining Room. He wasnyt wrong. My husband had the Lobster and I had the Lanai Axis Venison which was delicious. We were wished a happy anniversary and given two complimentary desserts. Room service at the Lodge will pretty much make you whatever you want, as long as they have it. The night we ordered room service for dinner, I just wanted a sandwich and they let me order a grilled cheese (which is on the childrenys menu) with fries. At $4.00, it was the least expensive room service dinner I have ever had. We also went to a Kentucky Derby party on Derby Day which was really fun. There was a brunch buffet (amazing cheese grits y yum!) including unlimited mimosas, champagne, mint juleps, wine, etc...

Activities: We chose to spend a week on Lanai because we wanted to do not much of anything except relax, read, swim and relax some more. There are a lot of activities if you want to participate. We went horseback riding (Mahana Trail Ride y a 2 1/2 hour ride) which was fantastic Our guide was Jod. He is originally from Montana. We saw several deer. Jod picked guavas for us to eat and we fed the rinds to our horses We also rented a Jeep for 2 days from Lanai Ecocentre. We chose them over Dollar because we thought it was better to patronize local establishments. Plus, the Jeep came with snorkel equipment, a cooler, boogie boards, beach chairs, towels y you can pretty much take anything they have. The Jeep broke down the second day on the way back from Shipwreck Beach. The cotter pin broke and the Jeep slipped out of gear and would not go back into any gear. It was a little harrowing since it is a pretty steep hill on a very twisting road and we were just sliding backwards. We called LE several times but no answer. Luckily, two very kind local men came and helped us move the Jeep off of the road and then drove us and all of our stuff back to LE and we returned everything and left them a message about what had happened. When they called us back, they blamed us for it (claimed we used 4 wheel drive when we shouldnyt have although I had a Jeep for many years and the Lets Go guide said that the unpaved road where we had been using the 4 wheel drive should not be attempted without 4 wheel drive) and said they were going to pick up the Jeep and call us back after they had looked at it. They never called us back or offered us a refund for the second day (you have to pay cash in advance). We tried calling and stopping by several times but never connected with anyone although we did see the Jeep in their lot. Live and learn. When we got back to the Lodge, we promptly booked massages at Manele Bay for the next day. I got such a good massage (Barbara was the masseur)! The Lodge also has clay shooting, archery, golf, an executive putting course (free, including balls and a putter), lawn bowling (free), and croquet (free). You could also walk around the gardens and orchid house which were gorgeous. We spent a lot of time at the pool just relaxing and reading. I had read that it can be too cool or cloudy at the Lodge to lay out y we did not need to worry! It was beautiful and warm every day.

alex is offline  
May 9th, 2003, 10:23 AM
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The Island: Lanai is one funky looking island. There are places like the Garden of the Gods where it looks like you are on another planet. The scenery was just amazing! What a contrast to Kauai! Past the Garden of the Gods is Polihua Beach. This was definitely my favorite beach. It is not in every guide or book so it isn't as popular as the other beaches (which is a good thing!). The day we went, it was only us, and three locals who were fishing. The sand is so soft and the water is crystal clear. Lanai doesn't have the runoff that the other islands have so the water is generally much clearer. Molokai and Maui are so close here and rise majestically out of the water. You can even make out Oahu if it is a clear enough day, especially if you have polarized sunglasses. We also drove the Munro Trail which takes you up to the highest part of the island. Spectacular scenery. On a clear day, you can see all of the islands except Kauai and Niihau.

Lanai City is a cute little town. There is a handful of gift shops (Gifts With Aloha, The Local Gentry, Dis n Dat Shop), 2 banks, some grocery/general stores (Richard's, Pine Isle Market), the post office, a movie theater (Lanai Playhouse), the restaurants I mentioned, plus Coffee Works which was never open when we went by.

Conclusion: So that was our vacation. We had a blast and got some much needed relaxation. Time for Hulagirl and her hubby to start planning for next year ? the Big Island? Maui? From our perspective, it's all good!

Sorry about all of the question marks - I just noticed them! I cut and pasted from a document and all of the hyphens and apostrophes turned into ??? I suppose this is only fitting since I read The Eyre Affair while I was on vacation and, as anyone who has read it knows, there is a chapter involving punctuation problems and bookworms. Great book, btw!
alex is offline  
May 9th, 2003, 11:42 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Thank you for the trip report! I feel like I just went to Lanai. SIGH! I cannot wait to go back to Hawaii. It was interesting to read about Lanai because I sort of believed that no one really went there, and there was nothing to do there. But your hotel sounds so beautiful and it just sounded gorgeous, and relaxing. My type of vacation! Hopefully, one day we will save up enough and go to Lanai!
MaxineR is offline  
May 9th, 2003, 01:29 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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"My beautiful friend Alex and her hubby went to Lanai and all I got was this darn trip report!"

Welcome back! Now you have me wondering if we should spend a few days on Lanai vs all the time on Kauai.
Hmmmm...maybe I'll pop a few Fire Rocks and think about it! ;-)
Kal is offline  
May 12th, 2003, 02:07 PM
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Maxine - you're welcome. We really had a fantastic time. Lanai is not the place for everyone but we thought it was great.

Kal - at the snail-like pace I wrote the trip report, you are lucky you got that!!! : ) I will try and e-mail you the pictures!
alex is offline  
May 12th, 2003, 08:06 PM
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Thanks for the report. Count me in as a lover of Lanai!
vivi is offline  
Jun 17th, 2003, 05:07 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Alex, thanks so much for the FABULOUS trip report. My husband and I are heading to Lanai in August, and I am definitely printing out your report and taking it with us. I am also THRILLED to hear that the resorts are indeed not going downhill. I have been wanting to visit Lanai for years, and began to get worried when I started hearing such rumors. We are spending 2 nights at the Manele Bay and 3 at the Lodge (then 3 at the Four Seasons on the Big Island). I am so looking forward to it -- and your post has only made it that much harder to wait! Thanks again!
laycey is offline  
Jun 17th, 2003, 07:02 PM
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Wow! We'll have to check it out.
islandmom is offline  
Feb 13th, 2004, 06:56 AM
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Topping for wdj
alex is offline  

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