Nearly eight months of hard work and anticipation culminated in a special celebration on Feb. 1, as the Four Seasons Resort Lanai reopened its doors to a crowd of local dignitaries, community members and hotel employees — along with a few VIP guests.
A buzz of excitement could be felt in the air as Larry Ellison and Four Seasons Lanai founder Isadore Sharp arrived at the grand reopening event. Also attending were Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa and Councilman Riki Hokama. It was time to unveil a newly revamped luxury experience to the community and welcome its first guests.
Lanai families take part in cultural blessing
The blessing ceremony began with the traditional blowing of the conch shell. In honor of the island’s culture and heritage, Lanai families presented a mele oli for the attendees; the chant spoke of storied places, the history of Lanai, shared aloha and welcomed guests into the “house.” Kahu Keola Freitas performed a blessing calling upon Akua (God) to bless the house and its visitors.
Ellison, Sharp, Mayor Arakawa, Councilman Hokama and resort general manager Tom Roelens untied the ceremonial lei across the entrance, specially woven with ti leaves from Lanai homes. The blessing allowed the leaders to express their aloha for the resort team and those who were involved with the enhancements.
New features draw inspiration from Hawaii culture
Hawaiian materials and aesthetics inspired the interior design of the completely renovated lobby, rooms and suites, which boast warm mahogany floors and walls of teak and zebrawood.
Redesign of two pools and landscaping highlight spectacular views and unique native plants. Intimate sanctuaries (described as “unstructured cabanas”) within the resort’s new botanical gardens and lagoon-style pool area invite guests to wander and find their own secluded piece of paradise.
The renovation included the two new pool designs and the inclusion of native landscaping – both carefully planned to conserve water.
Nobu Lanai, the resort’s award-winning Japanese restaurant, was redesigned to include an expanded lounge area and refreshed décor; and a new head chef at One Forty revamped the restaurant’s American steak and Hawaiian seafood menu. Many of the dishes feature vegetables sourced locally from Lanai farmers.
New experiences invite visitors to discover Lanai
The resort’s transformation has not just been physical. The Four Seasons Lanai also offers new experiences to create one-of-a-kind visits for guests. Hiking and snorkeling, UTV tours, cultural immersion activities and tasting events featuring locally grown food are just a few of the ways in which visitors can experience Lanai.
“We are delighted to offer guests to Hawaii a unique destination experience with rich culture, diverse landscapes and limitless options for relaxation and adventure here on Lanai,” said Roelens.
The resort now offers an ambassador service, what has been dubbed “concierge-plus.” Ambassadors don’t just book tours; they are guests’ personal gateway to Lanai and everything it has to offer. They provide recommendations on dining and activities, as well as an insider’s perspective that can only come from residents.
As the enhanced Four Seasons Lanai welcomes guests and returning team members through its doors, Roelens is quick to acknowledge the work of the staff and their new role in sharing the Lanai experience with visitors from around the world.
“We are proud of our team members who dedicated themselves to preservation, cultural and community projects during their continued employment during the resort closure, and are now equipped to share their rich experiences of the past year with our guests,” Roelens said.