Just Got Back from a Family Vacation in Lanai (Part II)

Given that the island of Lanai has only three hotels and two of them are Four Seasons, deciding where to stay is delightfully uncomplicated. We split our nights between the two Four Seasons properties; they offer such different experiences that any logistics involved in changing rooms are absolutely worth it.

My review of Four Seasons Resort at Manele Bay highlights the long list of features that make this oceanfront resort so special for families. The only thing Four Seasons Resort, The Lodge at Koele has in common with Manele Bay is that they are both operated by Four Seasons, with all the associated luxury hotel perks.

Family Vacation Four Seasons Resort Lanai

A family vacation at a country estate, Hawaiian-style 

Located 1,700 feet above sea level on a ranch once used for pineapple production, Four Seasons Resort Lanai, The Lodge at Koele – aka The Lodge – is a sprawling two-story country with just 102 rooms. Although there is no beach in sight, there is a very distinctive Lanai sense of place here with a giant pineapple image on the entrance, lush tropical plant life, and a fantastic row of the island’s now-iconic Cook Island Pine trees leading up to the resort.

One of the biggest differences between Manele Bay and The Lodge is the weather; it’s cooler at this higher altitude, mostly due to the fog and mist that accumulates around the mountains. But this weather enhances the experience at Koele as it contributes to the exotic, otherworldly vibe.

Family fun and games on the stunning 18-hole putting green

Family fun and games on the stunning 18-hole putting green 

Extraordinary gardens at The Lodge at Koele

The gardens at the Lodge at Koele are nothing short of extraordinary with immense mangrove trees and acres of verdant grass. The whole setting is so striking it makes you wonder about the fact that The Lodge is in the United States and not on some far away, foreign island.

The outdoor space is an all ages playground with croquet, lawn bowling, an 18-hold putting green, and even an orchid-filled greenhouse. There’s a pool, fitness center, and mountain bikes for excursions around the ranch.

We loved spending the day at the beach and then returning to The Lodge for an afternoon of family games on the lawn.

The Lodge at Koele Ranch View at Sunset

View of Koele Ranch at sunset from The Lodge 

Great Hall and Multiple Lounge Areas for Relaxing

The heart of the Lodge at Koele is the Great Hall overlooking the garden with open fireplaces on either end, an inviting set up for socializing and relaxing. A portion of the Great Hall includes the Terrace for casual meals and breakfast.

One fabulous feature of the Lodge is the plethora of additional rooms for lounging including a library, game room, and The Bar, a popular spot on Lanai for locals and guests during cocktail hour. It’s easy for families to find their own space here for reading or playing games together.

Spacious Guest Rooms for Families

There are a variety of rooms with lovely garden views. Many of the rooms have lanais with private outdoor seating. Light-filled rooms are spacious and have classic décor; rooms will be upgraded as part of the new investment by Lanai’s new owner, Larry Ellison.

Either the double room category or suites accommodate families of three people; connecting rooms are available for families of four or more.

Casual dining by a open fire at the Terrace

Casual dining by a open fire at the Terrace 

Family-Friendly Dining at The Lodge

In addition to the Terrace in the Great Hall, the Dining Rooms is the fine dining option at Koele. The restaurant is offering a new menu with farm- and ocean-to-table options including a Chef’s Tasting Menu. It’s a more formal affair in an intimate setting, but the Four Seasons is wonderful about ensuring even fine dining options are kid-friendly at their resort properties.

The food here is extremely fresh-tasting, creative, and the service is wonderfully attentive. We felt like we were having dinner in a private dining room.

We also tried the restaurant at Hotel Lanai in Lanai City. It’s a mere five-minute ride via the hotel shuttle and offers an eclectic old-Hawaii atmosphere, warm service, and excellent classic island fare with a twist like the Pecan Crusted Fresh Catch of the Day with Chipotle Honey Butter and Seared Diver Scallops with Wasabi Pesto Potatoes, Tomato Corn Salsa and Sweet Corn Puree.

One nice feature at Four Seasons properties is that the Lanai private shuttle system makes it easy to eat at either resort, or get to town for dinner. Shuttles come every half hour.

Starting rates for a family of four at The Lodge at Koele are $429 per night. The Ciao Bambino booking service can help you get the best room and rate. If you’d like our help, email info{at}ciaobambino.com.

Editorial Note: Four Seasons Resort The Lodge at Koele provided complimentary and discounted accommodations and services. As always, our opinions are our own. Photos by Amie O’Shaughnessy

Relevant Links:

Review of Four Seasons Resort at Manele Bay

Why vacation in Hawaii with kids

Things to do on Maui with kids

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