Lanai 2.0

FSLanai

[trip style = luxury + beach + sun]

The tides are changing in Lanai, the billionaire-owned private island 9 miles from Maui. Once a Dole plantation growing 75% of the world's pineapple bounty, production moved elsewhere and small-scale tourism took over in the 1980s.

But, let me qualify tourism. There's one car rental agency, one gas station, only 29 miles of paved roads and vast expanses of land so quiet, you can picnic in paradise wearing nothing more than your birthday suit. To me, it's Hawaii as it was intended: exotic, authentic and soul-stirring. 

Couple this with 3,000 inhabitants who are set on preserving Hawaii's heritage through song, story and spirit, and it's no wonder Lanai's curious newcomers quickly turn into converts.

If you've been following Trip Styler since 2009, you know I have a crazy-in-love crush on Lanai. So much so that when I was there a month ago for the second time {with Mr. and Baby Styler}, I informed the Mr. that we should *try* and find a way to return yearly because it's an actual far-flung hideaway. Normally, the Mr. rolls his eyes at my big-picture proclamations, but completely smitten by the isle as well, he agreed we should try.

While I love the cottage-cool, 11-room boutique hotel watching over Lanai City's main square, my beach, design and trip-styling side is head-over-heels for the Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay.

When I visited for the first time two years ago, the resort director hinted at some major updates, noting they would be at the forefront of technology and design, and rival the world's best hotel rooms, if not re-create the benchmark. This is a tall order; though {as I learned}, not for a titan of industry looking to create one of the world's most edited escapes.  

During my visit in April 2015 I got a sneak peek at the changes, which are taking the property down to its studs. Right now, about half of the renovations are complete, where innovation comes in the form of microchip room bracelets {so you can do anything on land or sea and not worry about losing your key}, design comes in the form of teak-adorned rooms with custom wallpaper murals, technology comes in the form of 75" televisions in every room and amenities come in the form of in-room Nespresso, Mercedes Sprinter service and included kids camp.

Fanning out over the sloping south side of Lanai's 90,000-acre landscape, the hotel is set to make its full reveal in mid-fall, but until then, here's a lens into its look. Stay tuned for more updates in the fall.

Hotel public space {worthy of the Architectural Digest cover}

Hotel public space {worthy of the Architectural Digest cover}

More of the hotel's public space

More of the hotel's public space

The new rooms: sleek, earthy and upscale with teak throughout and finishes fit for a king

The new rooms: sleek, earthy and upscale with teak throughout and finishes fit for a king

About to sip house-made sparkling guava juice on my patio

About to sip house-made sparkling guava juice on my patio

See that tidal wave art on the left? That's a 75" platinum bezel LED television panel, standard in every room type.

See that tidal wave art on the left? That's a 75" platinum bezel LED television panel, standard in every room type.

Still one of my all-time favorite guest amenities: in-room Nespresso

Still one of my all-time favorite guest amenities: in-room Nespresso

The Japanese soaking tub in my suite

The Japanese soaking tub in my suite

If you can believe it, this is the "before" {pre-renovation} pool picture. Come fall 2015 there will be three cascading free-form pools: one main, one family and one adult. 

If you can believe it, this is the "before" {pre-renovation} pool picture. Come fall 2015 there will be three cascading free-form pools: one main, one family and one adult. 

There are three ice cream sandwiches on the poolside menu. I ate all three and suggest you do the same for "research" purposes. They're seriously good with the perfect chew and crunch factor on the outside and creamy melty inside.

There are three ice cream sandwiches on the poolside menu. I ate all three and suggest you do the same for "research" purposes. They're seriously good with the perfect chew and crunch factor on the outside and creamy melty inside.

Hulopoe Bay: Where pods of Hawaiian spinner dolphins play and the beach is paradise found

Hulopoe Bay: Where pods of Hawaiian spinner dolphins play and the beach is paradise found

NOBU LANAI, the only NOBU in the world to source vegetables from its own garden

NOBU LANAI, the only NOBU in the world to source vegetables from its own garden

NOBU LANAI

NOBU LANAI

NOBU LANAI's fresh tuna salad with greens from its on-site lettuce patch

NOBU LANAI's fresh tuna salad with greens from its on-site lettuce patch

One of the most magical places to watch the sunset {that I've seen so far in my travels} is Sweetheart Rock, a 20-minute walk/hike from the property. 

One of the most magical places to watch the sunset {that I've seen so far in my travels} is Sweetheart Rock, a 20-minute walk/hike from the property. 

Sunset selfie

Sunset selfie

A "standard" evening view from the hotel

A "standard" evening view from the hotel

Dusk

Dusk

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Some in-the-moment family photos:

trip stylers four seasons lanai
The staff stop at nothing to please. When we were at the pool they asked us if we were going to relax at the beach. We said "probably not" because handling Baby Styler in the sand would be tricky; that is, until we found this playpen they set up for us. Beach day, accomplished.

The staff stop at nothing to please. When we were at the pool they asked us if we were going to relax at the beach. We said "probably not" because handling Baby Styler in the sand would be tricky; that is, until we found this playpen they set up for us. Beach day, accomplished.

About to take Baby Styler for his first-ever swim!

About to take Baby Styler for his first-ever swim!

We take a photo of Baby Styler on the bed of every hotel; this shot is one of our favorites.

We take a photo of Baby Styler on the bed of every hotel; this shot is one of our favorites.

When the light is this spectacular, you have to capture the moment with a lens.

When the light is this spectacular, you have to capture the moment with a lens.

[photos by @tripstyler taken while a guest of the hotel; select shots courtesy of four seasons]