When we visited Lanai in February, one adventure that was top on our list was exploring Lanai’s remote east side. We had heard that the village of Keomoku had been partially restored and that abandoned Club Lanai had been cleared out. We hadn’t driven out on the east side since 2007 and were excited to see it again with more sites being accessible.
We first reserved a jeep for the day from Dollar Lanai rental. When we went to pick up the jeep, we looked at their list of roads that were off limits. My heart sank when I saw all the sites on the east side on the forbidden list. They said that it was too dangerous. However, we had been told otherwise by locals so we were perplexed about that. We politely declined the rental, thanked them and left.
From the jeep rental office we walked into Lanai City in a small bit of shock as our entire day’s plans had been smashed to smithereens.
Then we remembered reading about a hummer rental place in the Four Seasons Lanai guest information in our room. Andy looked up their number (808-286-9308) and gave them a ring. Hurray! They had a hummer available to rent that day. Andy then asked if we could drive the hummer on the east side and the answer was yes. My mood lifted immensely.
The hummer rental office was just a short walk away. When we arrived Jeff greeted us warmly with aloha — which was a far cry from the jeep rental where we were greeted with “Licenses and credit card” — which has been their customary greeting in the three times we’ve entered their rental office since 2007. If you rent from the Dollar jeep rental place, it’s best to be prepared that you won’t be treated with any aloha spirit. Don’t waste your smile or your friendly greeting as it will most likely not be reciprocated. After three times, we’ve finally learned that lesson.
When we asked Jeff about any restrictions for using the hummer, he said, “Take it wherever you want.” Hurray, again! “Get it as dirty as you want” he added. We were thrilled!
Off to see the east side sights
The east side road was in very good condition — much, much better than the extremely rutted, bumpy road we experienced in 2007. In fact, the road was in such poor condition in 2007 we didn’t even drive it to the end.
The rustic Kalanakila O Ka Malamalama Church in Keomoku Village has been nicely restored. It was peaceful to walk through the church and around the cleared pathways of this abandoned sugar cane plantation village.
Further down the road, Club Lanai, an abandoned leisure club, came into view. We could see why it had been a popular day trip attraction from Maui years ago.
With tall coconut trees, a golden sand beach and view of Maui make Club Lanai very scenic. We walked to the end of the pier and watched breaching humpback whales. This place was almost magical. We would have loved to have lingered here longer, but there were more sights to see.
The road hugs the coastline and through the bushes and trees we caught glimpses of many deserted beaches.
Our video will give you a better view of the scenic dusty roads we drove and the views along the way.
(Email subscribers: click here to watch our Lanai hummer video.)
What to know when you go:
– The hummer rental was $199 per 24 hours. For comparison, the jeep rental is $139 per day.
– You can find more information at 808Hummer.com