The small island of Lanai lies in the lee of Molokai and Maui and has only a little more than 2000 inhabitants. To get to know Lanai, you have to experience opposites. Within minutes, you can reach the island’s volcanic landscape from a secluded beach of pine-wooded highlands.
The third smallest of all Hawaiian Islands is a true golfer’s paradise. The best resort hotels in Hawaii and two of the most beautiful golf courses in the world are located on the island of Lanai. Microsoft boss Bill Gates is a regular guest at the “Manele Bay Hotel” and swings his golf clubs on The Challenge at Manele.
We booked a flight from Oahu to Lanai and will spend the New Year before heading to the other islands in the Hawaiian archipelago. Already on the approach we see the bizarre beauty of this island, which, however, only really opens up on a hike over the island.
The island of Lanai is also called the paradise island. It is the smallest, but also the most exclusive of the developed islands of Hawaii. Until 1990 it was a pure pineapple island. Meanwhile, two of Hawaii’s most exclusive hotels have sprung up. The Manele Bay Hotel should be our first accommodation. We arrive late at night and use the warm evening hours for a meal on the terrace.
Only 29km long and 21km wide is Lanai and has just under 50km paved roads. The two luxury hotels have a total of only 350 rooms. For more visitors, the island has little space. If you want to discover paradise for a few days, this is the place for you. On the island of Lanai is the largest pineapple plantation in the world. It belongs – like almost all Lanai – to the Dole Pineapple Company. Lanai is a special “insider tip” with beautiful, almost deserted beaches, hiking trails through a mountain region rich in wildlife and a tiny, centrally located Inselhauptstädtchen in cool 500 meters altitude. Lanai City is a sleepy place that has barely changed in 100 years. The exclusive villas and suites of the Manele Bay Hotel are located on a dream beach. The view from the antique-laden lobby and pool is breathtaking.
The Experience at Koele, in the romantic forest and parkland of the Lodge at Koele, has been voted the best golf course in the US. Pictures are on our page Lanai golf courses see. On the coast, white sand beaches with rushing palm trees lure.
Bumpy trails – only to drive with SUVs – lead through the rough, but impressive hinterland. You can also do outback tours in Wrangler Jeeps over the Munro Trail, a 12km trail through the mountains. Alternatively, the trail can also be hiked on foot. During the tour you have wonderful views over the small island and the sea. A nicer beach than the Polihua Beach on Lanai is rare. Nowhere else is the sand so soft and the water so blue. Although the Garden of the Gods is only a few miles away, few travelers get lost in the remote northwestern part of the island. Swimming is too dangerous at this point because of the strong current. A picnic is one of the highlights of a lanai stay.