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Four Seasons Resort Lanai in Hawaii [In-depth Review]

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James Larounis

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The Four Seasons Resort Lanai is one of the most luxurious resorts in the U.S. It also takes the cake as one of the most remote, too.

The island of Lānaʻi is a secluded paradise home to very few locals. On this small piece of land, you’ll find an absolute gem of a hotel that will set you back quite a few dollars if you decide to visit.

Hotel Location

The island of Lānaʻi is located in Hawaiʻi, a couple of miles off the shore of the more well-known island of Maui. Lānaʻi is part of Maui County, but it’s hard to associate the 2 since Lānaʻi is a separate island.

Getting to Lānaʻi can be very difficult. Hawaiian Airlines stopped service to Lānaʻi a few years ago. Now, the only scheduled commercial service is on Mokulele Airlines, which flies only smaller aircraft from Honolulu and Maui a couple of times a day. Mokulele’s planes are small and only accommodate a few people, and a separate transfer is required if you’re coming into the islands from the mainland.

But you might not need to rely on Mokulele, as the Four Seasons Resort Lanai sometimes offers promotions for complimentary air transportation to the resort on a private aircraft to and from Honolulu. This is included in your room rate, no matter how long you stay. Utilizing this option allows you to get to the island without purchasing separate flights, but you’ll need to check with the resort to see if this promotion is available for your stay.

The island is very remote. Only a couple thousand people live on the island, and there’s minimal infrastructure. With only 1 police station, 1 fire station, 1 post office, and just a handful of small restaurants and shops, the island relies on tourism as its main economic source. Much of that tourism centers on the 2 Four Seasons resorts on the island.


There’s no question the Four Seasons Resort Lanai is one of the most expensive hotels I’ve booked in my entire life. Most rates at this hotel, even for the most basic of rooms, are north of $1,000, even during the slow season.

It’s an astronomically high price to pay for a single night, but this hotel is so unique and so remote I wanted to try it out for a night. I’ve visited Lānaʻi several times, but only for day trips. Staying on this island for a night has been a dream of mine for a few years, and I wanted to experience the remoteness for myself.

At the time of my stay, American Express offered a $200 statement credit for booking through, so I reserved a 1-night stay in a traditional king room for $1,275, which also incurred an additional $222.07 in taxes, for a grand total of $1,497.07 before rebates for the room. 

I booked this stay through the Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts program, a perk of The Platinum Card® from American Express I used to pay for the stay. While I would have preferred to book using another card that earns more points for hotel stays, the Fine Hotels + Resorts program is only bookable with certain American Express cards. I earned 5x Membership Rewards per dollar spent for booking directly through American Express since I hadn’t reached the spending cap for 5x earnings.

Because I booked through Fine Hotels + Resorts, I received several benefits during my stay:

  • Complimentary upgrade to an ocean-view king room
  • Complimentary breakfast for 2 in the restaurant
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Early check-in at 12 p.m.
  • Late checkout at 4 p.m.
  • A $100 credit to be used on-site for anything chargeable to the room

Bottom Line: It was certainly nice to have these extra perks on such an exorbitantly priced stay. Yet the $200 credit for booking the room and the $100 on-site property credit were only a drop in the bucket. I still paid a lot to stay at this resort, no matter the discounts and credits.

Checking In

My hotel arrival first started upon my departure from Honolulu. I had arrived in Honolulu several days before heading to Lānaʻi and spent the time in Waikiki and a few other spots.

Air travel from Honolulu to Lānaʻi was included in my Four Seasons Resort Lanai stay, so I started my journey in Honolulu for this reason. On my departure day, I headed to Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), where the hotel had arranged a private car to take me to the private air terminal for Lanai Air, the company flying me to the island.

Four Seasons Lanai HNL Airport Transfer
The Four Seasons Resort Lanai arranged a car transfer to the private air terminal at HNL.

Everything was incredibly efficient. The car pulled up to the pickup point almost exactly on schedule, and I was quickly whisked away to a private lounge where I was offered some refreshments before my journey.

After sitting in the lounge for a few minutes, we were told boarding would commence. Within about 10 minutes, I was seated on the plane, ready to go. Everything was seamless. Onboard the private flight, there were a few other passengers. Seats were in a 1×1 configuration allowing everyone a window view. The flight to Lānaʻi took about 30 minutes and was uneventful.

Lanai Air Private Charter
Included with my room rate at Four Seasons Resort Lanai was a private air transfer flight from Honolulu.

After landing on Lānaʻi, a private car awaited to take me to the Four Seasons Resort Lanai. Several passengers on my flight were staying at the nearby Sensai Lanai, A Four Seasons Resort on the island, and a car arrived to take them to their hotel. My transportation, more like a luxury bus, quickly departed for the 25-minute drive to the hotel located on the shoreline.

The Four Seasons Resort Lanai is located about a 25-minute drive from Lānaʻi City, the “hub” of the island. It’s about 2 minutes from the ferry terminal, where the ferry departs several times daily to Lahaina on the island of Maui.

That said, the Four Seasons Resort Lanai is on a secluded part of the island and away from where most people live in Lānaʻi City.

Four Seasons Lanai Entrance
The front entrance of the hotel is where I was dropped off and where the shuttle bus took me to Lānaʻi City.

Upon arriving at the hotel, I was greeted with a welcome iced tea and a lei and escorted to the front desk where check-in formalities began. The associate at the desk recognized my booking through American Express and informed me that I had been upgraded to an ocean-view king room with prime ocean views. This was a very welcome upgrade.

Hot Tip: When you book through Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts, you’re entitled to an upgraded room 1 category beyond what you booked, so keep this in mind depending on which room or view you’d ultimately like to be in for your stay.

It was explained to me that the $100 on-site credit, usually listed for use at the spa, could be used at any restaurant, shop, or venue on the property. That was fantastic since I didn’t have aspirations of visiting the spa. That said, be warned that the credit won’t go far, as prices at the hotel are high.

Four Seasons Lanai Check In Agent
The front desk agent upgraded me to an oceanfront room.

I was escorted to my room by the front desk agent, who showed me how to navigate the hotel’s exterior corridors. I appreciated this touch. Soon we arrived at my room, where she showed me all of the light switches and features and explained a little more about my stay.

Four Seasons Lanai Outdoor Hallways
The hallways at the hotel were exterior.


As I walked into the hotel, the front desk was situated to the right and the concierge desk to the left.

Four Seasons Lanai Lobby
The lobby was enormous, with Hawaiian vibes throughout.

In addition, a few hotel shops were located down to the left, as well as a wing of guest rooms.

Holiday decor at Four Seasons Resort Lanai
I visited just before Christmas, so the holiday decorations were still up.

Right in front of me, there was a grand staircase leading down into a large lobby with tons of seating, flanked by the hotel’s 2 restaurants, One Forty, a steak and seafood restaurant, and Nobu Lana’i. This large lobby was also home to a nightly ceremony with dancing and cultural education.

Four Seasons Lanai Lower Lobby
A nightly Hawaiian cultural performance was done on this stage.

Seating options were plentiful across the lobby.

Four Seasons Lanai Cafe Seating
There were tons of places to sit in and around the lobby.


Because Four Seasons Resort Lanai is so remote, and there are no other options around, the amenities on-site are much more important than most other hotels.

Lanai Air

During my stay, round-trip air transportation was included to and from Honolulu, and this offer still exists today. Visit the Four Seasons Resort Lanai website for more information.

On-island Adventures

Four Seasons Lanai Oceanview
Expansive views await you at the Four Seasons Resort Lanai.

There are several on-island adventures you can purchase that aren’t affiliated with the hotel but can be organized by the concierge:

  • Archery
  • Biking
  • Conservation guided experiences
  • Deep sea fishing
  • Hiking
  • Horseback riding
  • Lanai Adventure Park
  • Private boat charters
  • Rancher experiences
  • Rifle experience
  • Scuba diving
  • Sporting arrows
  • Sporting clays

On-island Transportation

There are very limited transportation options on the island. The hotel operates a shuttle bus once an hour to Lānaʻi City, as well as complimentary transportation to and from the airport.

When you travel into town, you’ll be directed to a return shuttle bus stop, and the bus will depart from there back to the hotel in approximately 1 hour. You can reserve the shuttle during peak times.

Four Seasons Lanai Bus
A shuttle bus departed regularly to and from Lānaʻi City.

If you don’t want to use the shuttle or want to go somewhere outside of Lānaʻi City, you can rent a Jeep through the hotel at around $200 a day. Renting a Jeep is good if you want to go somewhere a little more remote or somewhere only accessible via a 4×4 vehicle.

Hot Tip: If you want to head into Lānaʻi City to walk around, plan for about a 3-hour trip, including the shuttle bus transport time. The town is very small, but there are a few cute restaurants and shops to explore.


There is an on-site spa near the pool that you can visit for massages, facials, and other treatments. You can use your $100 on-site property credit here.


There are on-site tennis courts you can reserve, and you can rent rackets through the hotel.


Manele Golf Course, an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus-designed course, is attached to the hotel, and it’s a perfect place to golf if you’re into it.

Fitness Center

An on-site gym is open 24 hours a day.

Included with your stay are:

  • Complimentary use of t-shirts, shorts, and sneakers
  • Matrix, Peloton, and Woodway machines
  • On-site yoga classes
  • Strength and cardio equipment
  • Studio classes
  • Wellness classes

Four Seasons Lanai Excercise Room
The view from the gym was simply unbeatable.


Self-parking and valet parking are included at the hotel. However, it’s likely you won’t utilize this unless you rent a car from the airport for the duration of your stay, which, in most cases, is entirely unnecessary.


The concierge during my stay was very helpful, as they made some dining reservations and explained the timing of the shuttles.

Cultural Activities

Included in your stay are several cultural activities. All are free unless the hotel notes a special price:

  • Coconut frond weaving demonstration
  • Hawaiian language workshop
  • Ho’Olauna Lei Haku lei making demonstration
  • Holoholo Island Tour, featuring an all-day tour of the island with a private guide (additional cost)
  • Hoohana Lei Momi shell jewelry demonstration
  • Hula dance and chant workshop
  • Kids for All Seasons program, geared toward providing cultural activities to children
  • Net weaving demonstration
  • Resort Cultural Tour, talking about the history of the resort and island
  • Talk Story, talking about the Lanai culture
  • Traditional Hawaiian herbal healing workshop


This hotel has 2 pools with whirlpools just under the main lobby, extending to the ocean. It’s a lush landscape, with plenty of areas to sit in the shade and swim. One of the pools is an adults-only area, and this is the perfect place to escape noisy children (though, to be honest, I never saw any on the property).

There are “Sanctuary” spots scattered throughout the pool area that have private couches and sitting areas, perfect to reserve for a semi-private place to relax, order food, swim, and spread out.

Four Seaosns Lanai Pools Looking at Ocean
The pools at this resort are made to look like the landscape.

This area seemed quiet during my stay, and unlike popular resorts in Hawaiʻi, it didn’t seem overly busy or crowded. Because not many children visit the island, there weren’t the usual crowds you’d expect at a pool like this.

Four Seasons Lanai Pools
The pools at this hotel were perfect for relaxing and mostly kid-free.

The Room

For my stay, I was upgraded to a Prime Oceanfront Accessible Room with 1 king bed. This room, according to the Four Seasons Resort Lanai website, is 663 to 734 square feet. While I did not need an accessible room for my stay, this was the best view out of the available rooms that the hotel had, so this was the category they placed me in.

Four Seasons Lanai Room Overview
This oceanfront king room was enormous and perfect for 1 or 2 people.

The room was about a 2- to 3-minute walk from the central lobby, and I had to go down an elevator and walk outside to get there. Before going over the room itself, it’s worth explaining the various room types at Four Seasons Resort Lanai:

  • Gardenview Rooms overlook an interior courtyard or lush landscape but do not have any ocean views.
  • Oceanfront Rooms are rooms that overlook the ocean in some fashion but have landscape or other features as well. I wouldn’t consider this a partial view but would describe this as a farther away or less desirable ocean view type room.
  • Prime Oceanfront Rooms directly face the ocean with no obstructions. These are the rooms you want if you’re looking to upgrade.

Entering my Prime Oceanfront Room, there was a closet to the right with plenty of storage space and the usual iron, laundry supplies, and slippers. There was also a duffel bag here to use during my stay that was available for purchase, though, of course, it was quite pricy.

Four Seasons Lanai Room Closet
Don’t take the bag inside the closet as it will cost you a pretty penny!

All lights and shades in the room were controlled by a central panel.

Four Seasons Lanai Control Panel
A wall panel controlled everything from lights to shades, all in one place.

Moving further into the room, there was a long counter space under the television that housed a small refrigerator, Nespresso coffee machine, and remote controls.

Four Seasons Lanai Coffee Maker
Complimentary coffee and water was included in the room.

Just past the counter was a desk area with 2 chairs. It had plenty of outlets and a telephone.

Four Seasons Lanai Desk
If you do have to work, there was a very large desk with a chair on either side.

As a welcome amenity, the hotel left a few sweets and 2 high-quality YETI reusable water bottles. I thought that was a nice touch, as these bottles would ordinarily retail for a pricey sum.

Four Seasons Lanai Bottles
These water bottles retail for over $25 a piece!

Off to the one side of the room was a day lounger chair, a perfect place to relax just near the large window facing outside.

Outside, there was an enormous patio space featuring several seating options with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. This is what you pay for in one of the Prime Oceanfront Rooms, and it’s nice to see the hotel make this part of the room so beautiful.

Four Seasons Lanai Patio
The patio outside of the room had unobstructed views of the ocean.

Returning to the room, the room featured 1 king bed flanked by 2 nightstands, with electronic controls to adjust the thermostat, lighting, and shades.

Four Seasons Lanai Bed
The king bed inside this room was very comfy, as is the case at most Four Seasons hotels.

In the bathroom, there were 2 vanity spaces, a large wall of storage options, and extra towels. Further back was a large room housing the toilet and shower, which is likely much larger in the accessible room I had than the bathrooms in a traditional room. I appreciated the larger space.

Four Seasons Lanai Room Vanity
If you have multiple people in the room, getting ready in the morning is easier with 2 sinks.

The shower area was roomy, and the Aina toiletries were very high quality. It was nice that the toilet and shower area was separate from the vanity area. If you were traveling with someone else, each person could get ready separately.

Four Seasons Lanai Shower
This room featured a handicapped shower, so everything was designed much lower and within easy reach.

Food and Beverage

Four Seasons Lanai Market
If you’re looking for a more casual dining experience, The Break is a to-go-style cafe just off the lobby.

There are 5 restaurants on-site, and this is where you’ll enjoy the majority of your meals as there are a limited amount of restaurants on the island:

  • The Break, a cafe just off of the lobby
  • Malibu Farm, a locally-sourced cuisine poolside restaurant
  • Nobu Lana’i, an Asian-inspired restaurant of the famous Nobu chain
  • One Forty, the main steak and seafood restaurant on-site, and where breakfast is offered in the mornings
  • Views, a restaurant on top of the golf course with stunning views over the resort and bay

Four Seasons Lanai Restaurant Patio
The restaurants at this hotel, including Nobu Lana’i, blend in with the lobby, so you’re welcome to sit down even if you’re not dining.

I experienced 2 of these restaurants:

  • One Forty had a wonderful dinner menu, though it was very pricey. Including a drink, appetizer, entree, and dessert, it was about $150 per person. Breakfast at this location was wonderful in the morning. I ordered a yogurt bowl, as well as a bagel with cream cheese, and everything was fresh and a great start to the day.
  • Views was my favorite dining spot for my trip, perched atop the golf course. It’s a golf club-type atmosphere, and plenty of sandwiches, salads, and entrees are on the menu. I got a terrific seafood salad and combined it with a tropical iced tea overlooking the resort. It was my favorite meal I had there.

Four Seasons Lanai Breakfast
Breakfast at One Forty was incredibly fresh and designed with a local flair.

Hot Tip: If you’re utilizing the $100 on-site credit at the hotel, it will go very quickly. You should plan on a couple of hundred dollars a day in spending on food since there are very limited dining options on the island.


Service at this hotel was impeccable but still reflected a laid-back island vibe. There are a few especially helpful teams:

  • The front desk was efficient in trying to find an upgraded room and assisted extensively with someone else’s flight delay on the trip.
  • The bell staff, who also served as shuttle drivers, were very helpful in providing transportation on the island and friendly. They also served as drivers in the house Tesla cars up to the golf course.

I had no issues throughout my stay and thought the service reflected the hotel’s nightly price.

Final Thoughts

This was by far the most expensive hotel I’ve ever paid for. While I limited my stay to just 1 night due to the expense, I maximized my stay as much as possible, availing myself of the transportation options and several dining experiences. I’d highly recommend visiting the Four Seasons Resort Lanai, or, at the very least, experiencing the island of Lānaʻi for the day if you can.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many Four Seasons are there in Lānaʻi?

There are 2 Four Seasons properties on the island of Lānaʻi. One is the Sensai Lanai, A Four Seasons Resort (an adults-only resort) and the other is the larger Four Seasons Resort Lanai on the water.

Who owns the Four Seasons in Lānaʻi?

Larry Ellison, the billionaire Oracle co-founder, owns the majority of the island, as well as the 2 Four Seasons resorts on the island.

How much does Four Seasons Sensei Lanai cost?

Rooms at the Sensai Lanai, A Four Seasons Resort, an adults-only resort near Lānaʻi City, cost north of $800 a night, on average, with rates going much higher during the peak season.

When did the Four Seasons Resort Lanai open?

Four Seasons Resort Lanai opened in 1991 but has only been managed by Four Seasons since 2005.

James Larounis's image

About James Larounis

James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in dozens of travel publications.


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