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.
Airplane travel evokes a lot of emotions these days: excitement, anticipation, uncertainty and nervousness, just to name a few. But when you do take to the skies again, the giddiness of getting pampered at 35,000 feet can most certainly wash away the surrealness of the past year and a half — at least for the duration of a long- haul flight — as you sip Champagne and slip your feet into plush slippers. While some global airlines have paused or pushed back plans for upgrades and refreshes to their premium cabins, others have introduced exciting changes that await in your pod or lie-flat bed in first and business classes. What’s more, amenities like privacy screens, sliding suite doors and space to spread out all serve a dual purpose as methods to luxuriate in the air while keeping social distance. Here are some nice- ties to expect now and in the near future, from retrofitted seat configurations to updated décor to Michelin-starred meals:
Without a doubt, the pandemic changed the role of airports in the travel industry. Hamad International Airport’s role evolved in many ways since the pandemic hit. Now, more than ever, airports are responsible for creating a secure passenger experience. As the gateway to Qatar and the world, the safety and wellbeing of staff and passengers has always been at the core of Hamad International Airport’s strategy.
United Airlines is making international travel more accessible. United announced the largest trans-Atlantic expansion in its history, including 10 new flights and five new destinations including Amman (AMM), Jordan; Bergen (BGO), Norway; Azores (PDL), Portugal; Palma de Mallorca (PMI), Spain; and Tenerife (TFS) in the Spanish Canary Islands. All new routes, set to begin in spring 2022, are not served by any other North American carrier.
Galataport Istanbul, a new cruise and lifestyle destination on the Bosphorus in Istanbul, welcomed its first ship, SeaDream II, on Oct. 1. Approximately 150 passengers and crew from Bulgaria Varna arrived at 10 a.m. for a two-day homeport operation before continuing to Bulgaria Burgaz.
History and culture are etched into every corner of Greece. Beginning with its language, the oldest written language still in existence, and moving from the traces of passing civilizations and religions to pre-historic findings and works from many movements, there’s a wealth of culture to discover on your next trip to Greece.
The countdown to Halloween weekend is on! Are you are still unsure about plans? Do you go to a house party? Stay in to hand out candy? Try something different this year and join Philadelphia’s The Mütter Museum at its 6th annual Mischief at The Mütter.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Walker Hotel Tribeca is blushing pink with an exclusive offer benefitting the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Throughout the month, guests can book an all-pink guestroom, among additional amenities.
This holiday season, escape to the Caribbean with Celebrity Cruises and reconnect with family and friends in luxurious accommodations that make you feel right at home. Savor globally inspired cuisine designed by our Michelin-starred chef, paired with the most awarded wine collection at sea. Elevate “me time” with a soothing spa treatment sure to renew. With both long and short cruises to celebrate in December, and even three special Ultimate Holiday Cruises that sail over Christmas and into the New Year, the time to gift an experience and create unforgettable memories is now. Celebrity Cruises’ Always IncludedSM pricing — drinks, WiFi and tips — ensures a seamless, carefree vacation with the ones you love.
Insight Vacations, Tourism Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland are offering the chance to win a free trip to Ireland for two, valued at $6,000. Oct. 18–22, The Road to Ireland contest page will be updated daily with a new clue and question that contestants will need to answer for a chance to win a trip for two on Insight’s Country Roads of Ireland tour in 2022. Contestants have until 11:59 p.m. PST Oct. 29 to submit answers.