Lanai City: The Uncity

image The only city on the Hawaiian Island of Lanai wouldn’t meet most people’s definition of a city.  For starters, it doesn’t even have a stoplight. The population of the entire island is around 3,000 people and the vast majority reside in Lanai City. 

What attracts people to Lanai City is the fact that it is small and unencumbered by the typical hectic city life.  I didn’t see a single traffic jam.  There were no honking horns.  There were no badgering street vendors. 

What I did find there were friendly people, interesting restaurants, and unique shops.  The photo above is of a typical shop in the city.  If you zoom in closer on the picture you’ll be able to see a comical street sign that reminds you how far away from city life you really are and also how remote Lanai is.  I wish more cities were as laid back as Lanai City.  Maybe people wouldn’t be as stressed if that was the case. 

There is one hotel that is located “in the city”.  It is aptly named Hotel Lanai.  It’s a small and somewhat modest hotel that has recently been refurbished.  It is the only budget friendly hotel on the island.  There are only two other hotels located elsewhere on the island and they are both Four Seasons Resorts.  (Note that the Four Seasons Lodge at Koele is just a couple of minutes outside of Lanai City.)  If you ever feel like “getting away from it all”, then Lanai will certainly fit the bill.   

  1. I believe Bill Gates and his wife chose Lanai for their honeymoon in 2001 for its remoteness. No news reporters were allowed on the entire island during their stay.

  2. Hi Christian – the Mormon Church must still have a strong presence in Lanai. There were some dirt roads that had signs up that said they were maintained by the Mormon Church.

  3. My dad used to go to Lanai regularly for business, and he would always bring back a big box of pineapples! Do they still have any pineapples growing there since Dole stopped growing and selling them and went into the resort business?

  4. Hi HVG – I didn’t see any pineapple fields there. I knew that Lanai was once called the Pineapple Isle, so I was expecting to see some fields.

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