Located on the tiny private island of Lanai in Hawaii, The Lodge at Koele Lanai sprawls out amongst vibrant blossoming flowers and plush green landscaping to create a welcoming, relaxing atmosphere. Operated by Four Seasons, the lodge is located a few miles west of Maui on an unusually secluded island that is 98% privately owned. As a result, guests staying at the hotel lodge need not worry about being surrounded by hundreds of other visitors, as is often the case with other Hawaiian hotels and islands.
The island of Lanai is about 13 miles wide and 18 miles long. It's landscaping includes both mountains and forests and it's not uncommon for guests at the lodge to spot a wild deer roaming throughout the area's native Cook Island pine trees. Hugging the coastline are several secluded white sandy beaches while various old fishing villages are scattered throughout the island. The only community on the island is Lanai City, which has a population of only 3,000 people. Aside from The Lodge at Koele, the only other hotel on the island is the Four Seasons Resort Lanai.
While the island is secluded, it's not that difficult to reach by airplane. Island Air offers non-stop services between Lanai City, Honolulu and Kahului daily, while various other airlines offer frequent charter services from all the Hawaiian islands on a regular basis. Guests staying at the lodge are also encouraged to take a helicopter to the island, so that they are able to fly closer to the ground and take in views of the area's stunning natural scenery, which includes the many volcanoes the Hawaiian islands are known for.
Guests who want to take day trips to nearby Lahaina and Maui can ride the Expeditions passenger Ferry, which offers daily services from the Manele Small Boat Harbor on Lanai island. The Lodge at Koele also offers scheduled shuttle services to the airport, ferry terminal and Lanai City so that guests are able to travel around the island easily. Those who prefer to explore the area on their own can visit the Concierge, who will help arrange for a car rental. And, as only about 30 miles of Lanai's roads are paved, many of the car rentals are four-wheel-drive to handle the rougher terrain.
There are 102 elegant rooms and suites at The Lodge at Koele, each ranging in size and price. Spread out across two levels within the main lodge building and the north and south wings, each of the accommodations are furnished with colorful dÃÂ©cor inspired by the island's natural surroundings. All of the rooms and suites at the lodge come with a cozy window seat, refreshing ceiling fans, paintings by local artists, carved pineapple finials on a two-poster bed
The most basic accommodations at the lodge are Garden Rooms, which have furnished balconies overlooking the lodge gardens and come with one king or two double beds. Garden Deluxe Rooms also have balconies overlooking the gardens but are more spacious and are decorated in warm gold tones with red accents or cool blue tones with yellow accents. Koele Deluxe Rooms are the lodge's corner rooms and offer stunning views of the lodge gardens from many different directions. Featuring a large balcony with rustic outdoor furnishings, the Koele Deluxe Rooms also come with a deep soaking tub and can be outfitted with one king-sized bed or two double beds.
Lodge guests staying in a Great Hall Premier Room have balconies that not only overlook the hotel gardens, but the stables, croquet court and Hawaiian church as well. These rooms are ideal for couples as they come only with one king-sized bed, although a rollaway bed or crib is available upon request. The most luxurious rooms at The Lodge at Koele are the Great Hall Premier Fireplace Rooms, which have all the amenities a Great Hall Premier Room but a sitting area with a fireplace as well.
More spacious accommodations are offered in three different types of suites. Each of the one-bedroom Banyan Suites have a large terrace overlooking full-grown banyan trees. The suite living room has an entertainment center with a television and DVD player, a writing desk, a private bar and a coffee maker. Separated from the sitting room by a sliding door, the suite bedroom has one king-sized two poster bed topped with a comfortable plaid-patterned chenille throw.
The lodge Koele Suites are also one-bedroom but, like many of the standard rooms, have spacious balconies that overlook the hotel gardens. These suites also come with a dining area that seats four and as well as a full marble bathroom with a soaking tub. The largest accommodations at the lodge are the Great Hall Fireplace Suites, which have full living rooms with a fireplace as well as a dining area that seats four and a furnished balcony overlooking the lodge gardens and pool.
An on-site fitness center is open for lodge guests who prefer to maintain their fitness routines while on vacation. Open daily from 6:00a.m. to 9:00p.m., the fitness center has separate rooms for cardio exercise, weights and stretching and is 901 square feet. Here, guests can also take advantage of separate men's and women's locker rooms, chilled towels and a access to a guide who provides fitness hikes throughout the island.
Two whirlpools and one pool are open 24 hours a day while three cushion outdoor hard tennis courts are available for casual or competitive play. Lodge guests who are unsure of how to play or need to brush up on their serve are offered personalized instruction by various tennis professionals from Peter Burwash International. Guests at The Lodge of Koele who are more serious about tennis are also invited to visit the nearby Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay, where they'll have access to a full pro shop, use of a ball machine and weekly tennis tournaments and mixers.
One of the most popular activities at the lodge is golf. Offering breathtaking views of the island's mountains and the Pacific Ocean, the lodge's championship golf course was designed by Greg Norman and architect Ted Robinson. Featuring terraced water hazards, manicured bunkers and wooden slopes, the first hole of the 18-hole course is on a plateau that's almost 2,000 feet above sea level. Designed to be challenging, the course is dotted with trees, lakes, streams and waterfalls, all of which not only add to the intensity of the game, but to the beauty of the landscaping as well.
Lodge geusts who prefer relaxation to sports can indulge themselves with the Banyan Spa Suite, an on-site private spa treatment room. Outfitted with one or two side-by-side massage beds, the suite is the perfect place to unwind alone or with a friend or partner. Here, guests can enjoy Lomi Lomi or sports and aromatherapy massages. Lodge guest may also choose to have a massage performed in the privacy or their own suites or on their room or suite balcony overlooking the gardens or lodge grounds.
Meals at The Lodge at Koele are served in the hotel's dining room, where dishes focusing on local estate-grown ingredients are served daily. Furnished with a wood-burning fireplace and refined, elegant table settings, the dining room is an intimate, cozy environment where guests can chat amongst themselves. The Terrace, a restaurant that combines American cuisine with traditional Hawaiian fare, overlooks the gardens and lodge reflecting pond. Ideal for families, The Terrace has vegetarian options as well as a children's and teen menu.
The Experience at Koele Clubhouse overlooks the pond on the lodge golf course's first hole and serves lunch every day of the week. Combining island flavor with American cuisine, this casual restaurant serves light fare like soups, sandwiches, salads and snacks and is open from 11:00a.m. to 3:00p.m. Hotel guests staying at The Lodge at Koele can also visit the nearby Four Seasons Resort Lanai and visit one of four different eateries: Hulopo'e Court, Ihilani, Ocean Grill and The Challege at Manele Clubhouse.
At the Tea Room Bar, lodge guests can enjoy a light menu as well as a variety of cocktails and wine selections. In the afternoon, The Great Hall serves daily tea and a special hot chocolate menu with appetizers, desserts, specialty cocktails and coffees. At night, this same lounge livens up with live music from local musicians who play authentic Hawaiian tunes or Broadway favorites. The Trophy Room is a more relaxed environment and has shuffleboard, pool, foosball and other table games as well as big-screen televisions where sporting events are broadcasted.
Whatever brings you to this wonderful island, the beach, the quiet, or the activities, your stay at the Lodge at Koele Lanai will not be soon forgotten.