Reasons Why You Should Visit Lanai

Dear Lana’i,

Aloha, my dear. I miss you terribly. I realize that Valentine’s Day is three weeks away, but I couldn’t wait to confess my love for you. There, I’ve said it. I love you, Lanai.

After our New Year’s Eve visit, I can’t get you out of my mind. I write this letter to you, dear Lanai, to tell you all the ways you have stolen my heart. Will I be able to complete my task? I will make my earnest attempt.

I love you, Lanai, because your people are so warm and welcoming. When I walked through your city (Lanai City) several days after New Year’s Day, at least a dozen strangers wished me a happy new year. Each resident I encountered shared their warm spirit of aloha and I felt sincerely welcomed.

I love you, Lanai, because you teach me how to relax, unwind, and savor your island beauty. How do you do it? How do you make this engineer and efficiency expert take such sweet respite from the rush of life’s daily grind? I’m convinced you do this by some magic that you disburse through the gentle trade winds.

I love you, Lanai, because you offer so many different environments — from the warm, sunny Hulopoe Bay Beach at Manele to the most unusual wind-worn landscape at the Keahiakawelo (Garden of the Gods) to the crisp, clean air of green Lanai City and Koele. You surprise me at every turn.

I love you, Lanai, because you have a sense of humor. Your finest joke is the naming of Lanai City. Your only city, Lanai City, has no stop lights, no traffic jams, no fast food chains, and no self-absorbed people. There’s nothing city-like in Lanai City.

I love you, Lanai, because you spoil me in luxury. For such a tiny island, you host two fantastic Four Seasons Resorts with properties and services that far exceeded my expectations. Your resorts are surrounded by spectacular scenery and tropical gardens. Your resorts’ artwork and antiques would rival the collections of any major museum. I’ve never felt so pampered as when you delivered chilled Evian spritzes, chilled towels, and fresh pineapple as I enjoyed some time at the beach. I know you do that for all the guests, but you really made me feel special.

I love you, Lanai, because you encourage the cultural arts. You have a thriving art community. You celebrate the many ethnicities that have made Lanai so culturally rich. I can’t wait to return to explore all the stories and treasures in your brand new Lana’i Culture and Heritage Center.

I love you, Lanai, because you are so romantic. When I think back to the the times we spent together, they were some of the most romantic times I’ve experienced in Hawaii. I recall the sunset hike to Puupehe (Sweetheart Rock) you provided to Andy and me. My mind also wanders back to the sunset couples massage at the ocean hale (private hut). Of course, I will never forget the romantic dinner we experienced at the ocean hale. We’ve dined across four continents and we must say that our dinner at the ocean hale was absolutely one of the best and most romantic dinners in our lives. I think Andy and I will still be talking about that romantic dinner even when we’re old and gray.

I love you, Lanai, because you feel so remote. When Hawaii feels remote and away from it all, you feel even more so. I love that you give me this feeling of being in an exotic far away place, yet you’re still so accessible by plane and ferry.

I love you, Lanai, because you offer unique adventures. From 4-wheel drive journeys through contrasting landscapes, to sporting clays, to hikes with memorable views. You encourage me to make new memories.

I love you, Lanai, because you do the driving. I don’t have to worry about renting a car or navigating. Your shuttle service takes those cares away.

When, dear Lanai, will we meet again? I cannot wait!

With my fondest aloha,


A selection of photos from Lanai:

  1. I’m so jealous!

    You still love me though, right? 😉

    Not that I blame you for writing this, there are so many reasons to fall in love with Lanai.

  2. Aloha Sheila,

    What a great article about our little island–so happy you and Andy had a good time here! Here’s hoping that you’re enjoying the art from your visit to our gallery…and that your travels will bring you back to Lana’i soon!


    1. Aloha Mike,

      I’m glad you enjoyed the article. It just one of several more (detailed) articles to come.

      This weekend we had a chance to hang all the wonderful pieces art you created. We love them! We have the outrigger canoe oil original placed where it’s the first thing we see when we walk out of our bedroom. It’s a perfect fit there.

      We hope to make our way back to Lana’i as soon a possible. We’ll definitely stop in to say aloha and shop.

      Mahalo for your comment!

      P.S. Have you seen this great photo?

      1. Aloha Sheila,

        Happy to hear the art is up on the wall–thanks for giving it a good home back in NC! And you’re right, that isn’t a bad photo…I have both eyes open and no paint in my hair. Notice how I strategically held your painting over my mid-section…all those years of Carolina BBQ, then Maryland Crab cakes, then Chicago deep-dish pizza, and now Spam Musubi and Fire Rock Ale have taken a toll on the old waistline!

        We look forward to reading more of your insights, and welcoming you back to Lana’i,


        1. Mike,

          Chicago style deep dish pizza and NC pulled pork bbq are dangerously delicious, aren’t they!?

          I’m honored at the thought that you might look forward to reading more of this blog. Just don’t be alarmed if you see me saying, “Aloha y’all”….just kidding! 🙂

          You might be interested to know that North Carolina is expecting a big snow storm starting tomorrow night. In Raleigh, a covering of snow is a bit of a novelty, so we’re excited. It’s a good thing we have our Mike Carroll art because we’ll probably need to look at it this weekend to warm up. 😉

          We so look forward to visiting again. Thank you and Kathy for your warm aloha.

  3. Aloha Sheila….I loved reading your story on falling in love with Lanai. We did the same thing many years ago and ended up building a home and buying the historic Hotel Lanai and restaurant Lanai City Grille. We would love to have you stay with us on your next visit. While we are not the fabulous Four Seasons we have the charm and love of Lanai that you speak about in our lovely, little Inn. Our restaurant also is overseen by Bev Gannon, so if you loved Haiile Maile you will equally love Lanai City Grille. The food is wonderful and the atmosphere has a special energy as locals and visitors inter-mingle in our relaxed setting.

    Please come for a visit and be our guest!

    Aloha, Mary Charles

    1. Aloha Mary Charles! Thanks for your comment and invite to the Hotel Lanai. I would love to visit sometime. I’ve heard good things about the inn and restaurant.

      I’ve visited Lana’i twice now. The first time, Lanai Hotel was closed for renovations. This last time, I was hoping to pop by and say hello, but time got away from me. Seems like I never have enough time there. On the surface it seems that there’s not much to do in Lanai, but I’ve discovered that’s far from the truth.

      Thank you for giving me an excuse to return to beautiful Lanai. 🙂

  4. Giggles! I’m still in love with your story about renting a Jeep on Lana’i and how bumpy it was. I’ve been thinking about Lana’i ever since! Haven’t been there for a very, very, very long time! Somehow I don’t think it’s changed much. 🙂 Can’t say the same thing about O’ahu.

    The best part of this post has got to be Andy’s comment. I love it! You guys are too cute!

    1. Aw, Evelyn, thank you for putting up with my sappiness. )

      If you get back over to Lanai, I’d be interested to see if you though it had changed. Like you, I bet it hasn’t changed much at all.

      I think Andy has gotten over any insecurities from reading this post. He knows he’s still my first love. Plus, he knows that it’s impossible to marry an island. 😉

  5. Well thank goodness for that! If you could you would be accused of polygamy because you would have to marry them all! What an unruly bunch too! 🙂

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