Arrival/Check-In: After an enjoyable couple of days in Oahu, we looked forward to our short flight to Lanai from Honolulu. Representatives of the hotel met us at Lanai’s small airport, collected our baggage and drove us, with other guests, to the resort. A former pineapple plantation, Lanai is a less-traveled island; in fact, I found no residents in Honolulu who had been to Lanai. Upon arrival we were greeted with juice and leis and checked in by Xavier, who quickly escorted us to our room, No. 7552. Instead of keys, guests receive wrist bands that can get wet and still remain active; they open your suite door. Larry Ellison, founder of Oracle, purchased nearly 98 percent of the island in 2012 for $300 million. As one of his first projects, he invested $75 million in Manele Bay Hotel and turned it into the Four Seasons Resort Lanai.
Guest Quarters: Getting to the room was a bit of a walk, which was fine as it took us past the bird cages whenever we went to dinner or the beach. I enjoyed listening to them copy my whistling … or was I copying them? In our suite, a hallway from the front door took a left turn to the massive bathroom and straight to the main bedroom just before a fully stocked minibar. The marble-tiled bathroom featured double sinks and a large tub plus an equally massive shower with a rain showerhead and an individual sprayer attachment. The Aloha ʻĀina bath amenities featured kukui nut oil from Alberta’s Farm. The bedroom held a Four Seasons-branded king-sized bed and a built-in mini desk where I set up my laptop and worked between activities. At the end of the room, floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors opened to a lanai overlooking the gardens and the ocean below. On the opposing wall, a built-in closet offered lots of room and a safe plus a handy beach bag to take to the beach and pool. At the foot of the bed a sofa proved a convenient place to lay out clothing. Opposite the bed a large, flat-screen TV hung from the wall, but you won’t want to spend much time in the room with all the great activities at the resort.
Services/Amenities: Service, dining and activities were tops, and we did our best to hit all the highlights. Recent upgrades included the restaurants; we really enjoyed Nobu Lanai. Our upbeat and friendly server, Grace, displayed charm and humor while coming up with custom sushi and Japanese scotch to complement my birthday dinner. We had our first meal at Malibu Farm, one of the first restaurants Ellison brought in when he took over. Perched above Hulopo’e Bay with ocean views, the outside venue offers fresh, farm-to-table cuisine near the pool. One Forty, the main dining facility, takes its name from the island’s 140-square- mile area. The restaurant, which also serves breakfast, features American steaks and a Hawai’ian seafood dinner menu with an emphasis on local ingredients. Be sure to try the Lanai venison. (There are more deer than people on Lanai — watch out for the deer when traveling in the evening.) The Lobby Bar with its outside lanai offers sunset entertainment of traditional Hawai’ian songs and chanting, worth listening to before dinner.
Of course, the golf is spectacular; I played a round on my birthday (read my review in the December 2019 issue). Last but not least, we took a tour of the island in a Jeep 4×4, completing the circumference and stopping at several key beaches and in Lanai City. The last stop, Lanai Cat Sanctuary, proved surprisingly interesting. This playground for cats keeps them under control and away from nesting birds. Most of Lanai’s birds are ground nesters, and the cats were decimating the population. The sanctuary feeds the cats well and ensures they receive medical care, all within enclosed boundaries.
◆ Enjoy a fantastic golf experience — never overcrowded.
◆ Lovely beach with attendant offers great surf action; the waves can be huge.
◆ Be sure you make it to the Lanai City Bar & Grille, usually half full of hotel guests and locals. The hotel offers shuttles.
IHG® Hotels & Resorts certainly has a lot to celebrate, starting with an incredible growth story. Over the past five years, IHG has acquired or launched six new brands: Six Senses® Hotels Resorts Spas, Regent® Hotels & Resorts, Vignette™ Collection, voco™ hotels, avid® hotels and Atwell Suites™. Most recently, IHG reached an important milestone with its 6,000th open hotel. The company looks to further expand its portfolio by 30 percent with 1,800 hotels in the development pipeline, with significant focus on growth in the luxury segment where IHG is positioned as one of the top two hotel chains.
This past May, the location of Dunfermline in Fife, Scotland, was granted status as a city of its own during Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Not too shabby for a town that’s actually been around for a while, boasting structures dating to the 11th century.
Marriott Bonvoy and American Express recently debuted changes to the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card. The card, aimed at helping small business owners turn business expenses into travel rewards, now provides new and existing card members with a 7 percent Room Rate Discount on eligible bookings at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels; four times Marriott Bonvoy points at restaurants worldwide; and complimentary Gold Elite status. These changes are in addition to the card’s other existing benefits.
From 24-Hour Butler Service to a Sky Pool: Boutique Luxury Awaits at Vista Encantada Spa Resort & Residences in Los Cabos
Set on a seaside bluff overlooking Land’s End in Cabo San Lucas, Vista Encantada Spa Resort & Residences is a Baja paradise specializing in serene vistas and impeccable hospitality, offering a Pacific coast lifestyle with authentic Mexican touches. Guests can now earn a fourth night free at the stunning resort, plus a $100 resort credit, when booking through March 20, for travel through June 15.
PHOTO: © BOGDAN LAZAR | DREAMSTIME.COM,
National Rum Day is right around the corner on Aug.16, meaning it’s time to start planning your celebration. Sandals Resorts, the all-inclusive Caribbean resort company, shares recipes from mixologists, allowing rum fans to celebrate as if they are staying on property.
When American travelers make plans to visit Portugal, Lisbon is usually their first stop.
Until Aug. 21, catch the museum premier of Bonnie Lautenberg: Art Meets Hollywood at Boca Raton Museum of Art. After learning one of the large-scale red paintings created by artist Lucio Fontana was the result of his viewing of the 1964 film Red Desert (directed by Michelangelo Antonioni), Lautenberg set out to discover other instances where filmmakers and artists knowingly — or perhaps unknowingly — had an effect on one another’s work.