Update: this article was written in November 2014. At that time half of the resort had been renovated with new rooms. Since then the entire resort has been renovated — including major renovations in the pool area.
It’s no secret that we are big fans of Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay. We first visited in 2007 and since then, we’ve returned back there more often than any other resort in Hawaii. In fact, whenever we’re making plans to visit other islands, we always try to determine if we can include a stop at Lana’i.
Until recently, the resort design remained the same. It was tastefully decorated and there wasn’t anything that we didn’t like about it.
After Larry Ellison purchased the island in 2012, we started noticing new enhancements to the resort. This October, the most dramatic changes were unveiled — new room designs.
Typical Hawaii hotel refurbishments include new carpet, a fresh coat of paint, new televisions and fixture/furniture replacements. The refurbishments at Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay went well beyond the typical changes. The new room designs are astonishing. The entire room design has been upgraded in decor and technology.
When we entered the new room that we were assigned, our jaws dropped. We could hardly believe the newly designed rooms were at the same resort that we’d been visiting since 2007. Everything about the newly designed room was different. We both walked around in astonishment from the dramatic changes, but also because the new design is stunning. The only familiar sight was the resort still provides luxurious L’Occitane toiletries — that’s it! (Update: Four Seasons Resort Lanai has even upgraded their toiletries to be locally sourced and inspired.)
New room design changes
To illustrate the changes, we’ve juxtaposed a series of photos comparing the previous design to the new one.
The new design features mahogany floors with plush wool rugs. Walls are paneled with teak and zebra wood as well as individual sheets of Nepalese Lokta paper and woven wall papers. The organic hues and textures are warm, calming and inviting.
The beds are brand new and the are oh, so comfortable! The mattresses have been specially designed for Four Seasons. Soon guests will be able to customize the amount of plushness or firmness of the bed for their stay.
The rolling louvered window panels have been replaced with touchpad-controlled privacy and blackout rolling shades. This change provides a much bigger view to the Pacific Ocean or lush tropical gardens from the window.
The in-room refreshment area has also had a makeover to include plenty of glassware, Nespresso coffee makers, and a customizable stocked mini-fridge.
While the previous design was fine, the new design absolutely wows. It feels special. The new design feels very, very high-end and luxurious without feeling stuffy.
The bathrooms have also been completely renovated to include luxuries like rainshowers and a television embedded in the mirror.
Baths in the suites include Japanese soaking tubs.
Convenient technology to enhance a stay
The newly designed rooms have integrated quite a bit of technology that we’ve not seen — anywhere.
Mechanical light switches and temperature controls have been replaced by touch pad control panels. The light switches have been preset to provide the perfect amount of lighting depending on the time of day.
The large rolling, louvered blinds to the lanai (patio/balcony) have been replaced by electronic shades. The shades roll up or down by using the touch control pad.
Launchport iPads provide services at your fingertips. It replaces the in-room guest services books, phoning the front desk, and more. You can review menus, make dinner reservations and order room service. You can explore island activities that are available. You can make housekeeping requests, too.
The sleek, 75-inch, wall-mounted televisions have customized bezel to maximize the screen. The bathrooms have their own separately controlled television embedded in the mirror with speakers in the ceiling. We don’t normally watch television when we’re in Hawaii, but we did find ourselves watching these fancy TVs when we were getting ready for our day or to go out to dinner.
More new ways Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay goes above and beyond
We’ve enjoyed seeing this resort perfect perfection over the years. We noticed several other noteworthy improvements.
– If you are connecting to Lanai through the Honolulu airport (HNL), the warm and thoughtful hospitality of Four Seasons Lanai actually starts at HNL with the new airport lounge. This lounge provides comfortable chairs and complimentary snacks and drinks to refresh you after a long journey from the mainland. Another fantastic service provided at this private lounge is that you can check into your room which will save you precious time when you arrive at the resort.
– The upper and lower lobbies have been refreshed with rich, warm wood paneling and new furnishings, but the amazing view to the pool area and Hulopoe Bay always remains the most captivating feature.
– The restaurant at the award-winning Manele Golf Course, formerly known as The Challenge at Manele, is now called Views. What an appropriate name for one of our absolute favorite restaurants for Hawaii views.
– NOBU LANAI’s decor has been redesigned to include more wood. They’ve also added teppanyaki grills. NOBU LANAI is one of our favorite Hawaii restaurants. You could dine here several nights and still not have the same dining experience.
– The resort has added high-end clothing lines and shops that could rival a Rodeo Drive boutique.
– The tropical gardens and outdoor living decor has been upgraded. The nighttime lighting in the landscaping makes you feel like you’re at an enchanted garden.
– We’ll spare you the photo, on our next note. The resort has added bidet toilet seats with wall-mounted controls. It’s so advanced, that the lid opens for you when you enter the water closet. Also, the lid closes and flushes automatically.
Final thoughts and notes
The resort hasn’t fully converted all the rooms to the new style. At the moment you can book both styles of rooms. By late 2015, all rooms should be converted to the new design.
More resort upgrades are in the works, we hear, including new pools.
For more information, check out the resort’s website.
Feel free to view our photos from our recent stay.