If you a frequent, or even infrequent, reader of this site, then you are no doubt aware that I was recently on the island of Lana’i as part of the Lana’i Visitor’s Bureau New-Media-Artist-in-Residence Program. While there, we had the unique opportunity to stay at all three hotels located on the island, including one we had not visited previously, the Hotel Lana’i.
The history of Lana’i is an odd one, as even the casual observer would probably expect. Throughout its past, the island went through periods of growth and building, only to be followed by demolition and building of something entirely different. During one of these building phases, and the one which still leaves its mark on the island today, was the introduction of the Dole pineapple plantation and Lana’i City.
In the early 1920s, the Company designed and built a planned town for its workers. An integral part of the design was the building that originally served as a Club House, meant to house Hawaiian Pineapple Company management employees and company guests, but today is the Hotel Lana’i.
As we were escorted through the boutique hotel, which has a cozy eleven rooms, the owner, Mike, made a point to remind us that even though he and his wife had performed a comprehensive refurbishment, the fact remained that the hotel was a 1926 building. The word of warning was not needed though, our stay at the Hotel Lana’i was as pleasant as any we have enjoyed at a boutique, bed and breakfast style hotel.
The best feature of this remarkable establishment is the intangible vibe that reverberates throughout the old plantation building. It must come from the owners, who are passionate about their hotel and that love is obvious in everything they do. More importantly though, everyone there just seemed so damned happy.
When we checked in, the front desk clerk said that we would be sharing a veranda with another couple. “I haven’t met them, but I’m sure they’re nice – everyone here is nice!” Truer words have never been spoken.
While our stay at the Hotel was brief, it was lovely in every way. The room was well furnished and the night spent there was one of the best we enjoyed while on the island. What really thrilled me though, was that we were in the heart of the small village, Lana’i City. Rather than have to take a shuttle, we awoke in the morning to the sounds of roosters and bright rays of sun dappling over the Cook pines. It was early morning, and the resort shuttles weren’t running yet, which meant we had that moment all to ourselves, a unique feat indeed.
In a previous post, I highlighted the Hotel Lana’i for its value in making Lana’i very budget friendly. Now I am pleased to highlight it for providing a warm and unique experience in the heart of the old plantation town.
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