By Kristen Shirley
This story originally appeared in the January/February 2017 issue of Elite Traveler.
While it’s only a quick 30-minute flight from the hustle-and-bustle of Honolulu, once you step off your plane in Lanai, you will feel like time has stopped. Formerly the world’s largest pineapple plantation, the 90,000-acre island has a population of 3,000, just 30 miles of paved roads, no stoplights and one gas station.
But don’t think you will be roughing it; Larry Ellison, co-founder of Oracle, purchased 98 percent of the island in 2012 and has spared no expense in his quest to turn the sleepy island into a sustainable, world-class tourist destination. One of his first steps was renovating the Four Seasons Resort Lanai, creating a nearly unrecognizable property in Hulopoe Bay that boasts the most expensive suite in Hawaii.
Check into the 5,000 sq ft three-bedroom Alii Royal Suite that includes formal living room, dining room, media room and bathroom with double Japanese soaking tub. There are panoramic views throughout. The decor is exotic but contemporary and includes commissioned art from Cypriot Yorgos Kypris and local artists.
Spend your days exploring the island. The red-dirt terrain is spectacular seen from a Polaris UTV, either on a tour or on your own, or horse rides are a more gentle way to see the sights. Of course, there are hiking trails galore; stop by the adventure center and plan your own custom route.