Arrival/Check-in: This pineapple-plantation-turnedresort is a pleasant 45-minute ferry ride from the northwest coast of Maui, but could just as well be in a different universe given the shift from hustle-and-bustle to laissezfaire. By the time we docked, we were relaxed and ready to let the waiting Four Seasons shuttle driver handle our bags and deliver us to paradise. Check-in in the open-air lobby was swift. (30/30)
Guest Quarters: We followed the provided map through the twists and turns of open-air pavilions to our room (our bags arrived before us), and we were thrilled to discover expansive ground-level (not beachfront, but on a hillside) accommodations. Instead of an indoor sitting area, the designer had wisely opted for open space in the room while creating an al fresco “living room” on the patio. The huge bathroom featured every amenity imaginable from high-end toiletries to plush towels, plus a doublesink vanity and a separate bath and shower. (25/30)
Services/Amenities: Our guestroom had high-speed Internet access, but without a printer I couldn’t print out our return flight boarding passes. The on-site business center was a converted guestroom with access limited to one guest at a time. Using it involved walking to the front desk — passing the business center en route — to request the key. The staff does try to enforce a maximum time limit and called to tell the guest ahead of me that I was waiting. Problems with the airline Web site meant I had to do the business-center shuffle three times before one front desk clerk finally agreed to print my boarding passes for me from her computer.
Unfortunately, it’s those “sticky” situations that stand out. In fact, my two-night visit — for the most part leisure — was pleasant. At the swimming pool, solicitous attendants regularly offered fresh towels, cleaned sunglasses and served ice-cold water. We even enjoyed complimentary sorbet breaks. For beach-goers there’s easy access to sand and surf. And dinner in the dining room overlooking the pool with the ocean in the background was a memorable experience. (33/40)
The Experience: At an exhibit by local artists in the lobby, one photograph caught my attention, but I wasn’t carrying any cash or credit cards and the artist was about to pack up for the day. So, he told me to take the photo — and send him a check. He gave me his card, but didn’t even ask for mine. (I gave it to him, anyway.) That kind of trust is unusual, but it sums up my experience at Four Seasons Lanai at Manele Bay. It only took a few minutes to feel like a regular.
Total Score: (88/100)
Four Seasons Lanai at Manele Bay
One Manele Bay Road
Lanai’s City, Hawaii 96763
tel 808 565 2000
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