Four Seasons Resort Lanai Review April 2021 – Hawaii Five Star Hotel

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The Four Seasons Resort Lanai is the perfect Hawaiian beach vacation. It's a tropical paradise combined with five star service, seamless elegance, and amazing attention to details.

Whether you're a couple on your honeymoon, a family with kids, or just looking for the best service, food, and location to relax, the Four Seasons Lanai is perfect.

View from the resort lanai (patio)
Four Seasons Resort Lanai
View from our room of the main resort building

My wife and I plus another married couple from my squadron flew over for a 2 night stay in April 2021. This trip was made possible entirely by the American Express Platinum card and Amex Membership Reward Points.

My wife and I both have an Amex Platinum card with no annual fees, thanks to Amex's military fee waiver program.

Military SCRA MLA AMEX Platinum
  • The Platinum Card® from American Express – learn how to apply
  • Annual fee of $550 waived for US military personnel and spouses (rates and fees)
  • 75,000 Membership Reward Points welcome bonus (valued at $1500) when you spend $5000 in the first 6 months
  • 10x points at US Gas Stations and US Supermarkets (OCONUS Commissaries are US supermarkets) up to $15,000 in combined purchases for the first 6 months (an extra 150,000 points potentially!)
  • 5x points on airfare booked directly with airline or on amextravel.com
  • 5x points on prepaid hotels at amextravel.com
  • $200 annual Uber or UberEats credit (free taxi or food) + VIP Uber Status
  • $100 annual Saks Fifth Avenue credit, can be used for gift cards
  • Centurion and Priority Pass airport lounge access for free + guest
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Heavy metal card that looks and feels really cool
  • Read my full review of the Amex Platinum card for military, terms apply

Let me start the review by saying the most impressive part of the Four Seasons Lanai experience for me was the attention to details. There was not a leaf out of place in the amazing landscaping. The pictures truly do not do this place justice.

This was a small pond we passed every day from our room to the lobby:

The rooms are secluded and private. Water was provided for free with steel, recyclable, reuseable water bottles and there were conveniently placed water refill stations through the resort.

The grounds of the hotel include koi ponds, gardens, and parrots. The entire experience was effortless and amazing. We really enjoyed our trip there. Now let's get into the details!

Four Seasons Resort Lanai Booking

Booking the Four Seasons Resort Lanai could not have been easier. We logged into amextravel.com, found the dates we wanted, and booked using my wife's Amex Membership Reward points.

My wife earned over a quarter million points by using credit card welcome bonuses like the Amex Platinum, Amex Gold, and Amex Green card. All of these cards are annual fee waived for military spouses like her.

Booking through AmexTravel.com unlocked all the Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts (FHR) benefits when you book with your Amex Platinum card.

Note that you should bring your Amex Platinum card with you to the hotel to ensure that your FHR benefits are granted. I forgot my wife's card, which we made the booking on, but thankfully they accepted one of my Amex Platinum cards.

The other couple that travelled with us used half points and half cash to book the rooms. Over $1000 per night is the highest cash rate I've ever paid for a room but it was well worth it as you will see.

Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts Benefits at Four Seasons Lanai

  • Room upgrade on arrival
  • Daily breakfast for two people (this was worth over $100 per day!)
  • Noon check-in (we got in at 930am!)
  • Guaranteed 4pm late check-out
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi (cell phone service was good at the resort)
  • $100 experience credit applied to stay (normally just for spa services, but they just took $100 off our bill when we checked out, which was very nice)

How To Get to Four Seasons Resort Lanai – Lanai Air Booking

The experience of actually getting to Lanai from Honolulu was incredible. It was seamless from the time we arrived at the Lanai Air terminal to the time we stepped into our rooms. Check out my full Lanai Air review for all the details on flying Lanai Air.

Until the end of 2021, every Four Seasons resort booking on Lanai includes round-trip airfare from Honolulu to Lanai (HNL-LNY).

This benefit is worth at least $250 per person, as that is what Mokulele Air or any of the other small Hawaiian airlines would charge. Southwest and Hawaiian Airlines do NOT fly to Lanai.

We arrived at the Lanai Air private terminal at 815am, waited for our friends to arrive at 830am while sipping coffee, and then walked out to the aircraft at 835am. We were airborne about 15 minutes later and arrived at Lanai only 20 minutes later.

Lanai Air Hanger
lanair air terminal lobby in fbo

After a short 20 minute bus ride in a Mercedes Benz van, we were checked-in and in our rooms at 930am. Less than an hour and 15 minutes from parking our car to getting into our rooms. Awesome!

Four Seasons Resort Lanai Check-in and Lobby

Because we booked through our Amex Platinum card and used the Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts benefit, we were supposed to be able to check in noon. However, the resort had us checked-in and escorted to our room at 9:30 in the morning! We were immediately checked-in as soon as we arrived on the shuttle from the airport.

The lobby and grounds of the resort are stunning. Here's the main lobby area at twilight.

The restaurant One Forty is on the left in this photo and Nobu is on the right.

The lanai (patio) outside has firepits and is perfect for enjoying a drink from the Nobu bar while watching the light grow dim over the bay.

Four Seasons Resort entrance fountain

Four Seasons Resort Lanai Location

Lanai is a very isolated island with a small population of only about 4000 people. Larry Ellison bought the entire island for $300 million in 2012 and invested over $250 million in renovating and upgrading the Four Seasons Resort Lanai. The investment certainly paid off!

There is only one town on Lanai, Lanai City. It's a small town of about 7 streets by 13 streets. The houses are well kept with beautiful gardens. The single gas station in town was a great lunch stop when we were out driving in the Jeep. We brought the sandwiches to the Sensei Lanai, the other Four Seasons resort on the island.

The resort is perched above Hulopoe Bay, a public access beach but one of the most beautiful in all the Hawaiian Islands. It's a short 5 minute walk from the resort to the beach. Beach chairs and towels are provided by the resort staff as well as umbrellas.

Snorkeling nearby in Hulopoe Bay reveals turtles, multitudes of fish, and even dolphins in the morning!

Four Seasons Resort Lanai Room

The upgraded rooms were very large with exquisite bathrooms, large lanais (patios), and many amazing details.

The lighting can be adjusted between “day time, sunrise, relax, and off.” The different settings really create a beautiful ambiance in the room at night.

There are sheer blinds for privacy that are electronically controlled and black out curtains as well.

Four Seasons Lanai Resort Room Review

The bathroom had amazing features like a Toto toilet that rose the seat up when you approached it. So cool. A separate shower and bath was also perfect for relaxing and washing off the sand and sweat from a solid beach day.

The shower has a rain shower head and a wand.

A good Nepresso machine in the room, with actual coffee mugs (not paper), is the mark of a great hotel. I was very happy to have Nespresso in our room throughout our stay and glasses with refillable water bottles. Such a luxurious touch.

Four Seasons Resort Lanai Beach

After checking into our rooms at 9:30 in the morning (so early!) we immediately changed into our swimsuits and headed down to the beach.

Four Seasons Resort Lanai Beach

The beach was great. Soft sand, perfect water temperature, big waves close to shore but calm outside the break. Snorkeling in the bay was great, with colorful fish, eels, and turtles. We saw dolphins the first morning we were there. Here's the path from the beach back up the hill to the resort.

There are tidepools nearby, on the far left side if you face the water. We saw an octopus hanging out in one of the pools and lots of fish.

The beach has food service from the hotel and free sunblock as well. We brought our own snorkel equipment as we're more comfortable with it, but there is gear to borrow from the hotel as well.

Four Seasons Resort Lanai Pools

There are two main pools at the resort. The adults only pool is called the retreat and is restricted to age 21 and up. The family pool is available to all ages.

Towel service for the lounge chairs was automatic and quick. Cold water was also brought out and drinks were available.

The temperature of the pools was amazing. Like that perfect coolness and refreshing without being too bracing. Drinks were served poolside.

There was one hot tub in the adult section and two in the family pool.

The family pool was just as nice as the adult's only pool and never that busy or loud. Lots of nice spots to catch a nap under the palm trees. Here's the family pool:

Four Seasons Lanai Family pool

Four Seasons Resort Lanai Food and Beverage

Breakfast

Breakfast was served daily at the One Forty steakhouse restaurant. Breakfast was expensive but thanks to our Amex FHR benefits, it was free!

We ate breakfast twice at the resort. Some of our favorite menu items were the daily juice smoothies, the coconut and brown sugar French coast, crispy bacon, and the salmon benedict. The fresh fruit plate was also delicious as was the sourdough bread.

four seasons fresh fruit plate
coconut brown sugar french toast
four seasons breakfast 140 restaurant

Breakfast was about $100 daily, but thanks to the Amex Platinum card we didn't even see it on our bill when we checked out.

Lunch

We had lunch down at the beach on the first day, at the gas station in town the second, and at Malibu Farms on the final day before we departed back to Honolulu.

Chips, salsa, and guacamole on the beach:

Fresh mahi mahi fish tacos, very yum.

Malibu Farms was a bit hotter in the back because it didn't catch the breeze, but it was a great spot for an afternoon bite to eat and drinks.

Malibu Farms Four Seasons Resort Lanai

Acai bowl at Malibu Farms:

Dinner

We had dinner at the One Forty steak house and at the Break. We did not eat at Nobu, which appeared to be very popular. The two main restaurants are just behind the main lobby overlooking the bay. Here's Nobu:

Starter of delicious bread at One Forty.

32 ounce waygu Tomahawk ribeye. Very nice. $130

Dessert was some chocolate goodness. Excellent:

Here is the view from One Forty restaurant overlooking the bay at night. Perfect temperature, breeze, everything was very nice.

Four Seasons Resort Lanai Fitness Center

The Fitness Center had free weights, rowing machines, weight machines, and Peloton bikes. It was decently equipped for a hotel gym.

Make sure you bring your own closed toe shoes (no sandals) to use the gym. Also, if you want to get a good Peloton bike ride in, make sure you bring your own shoes and possibly pedals.

Here's the entrance, to the left of the main lobby.

Water and towels were available in the resort gym.

The whole group got up early one morning for sunrise yoga. Taught by Raj, it was about 50 minutes long and good stretch and workout for the whole party. We saw dolphins playing in the bay after we completed our downward dogs.

Hike from Four Seasons Lanai

We got up early both mornings and made our way down to the beach, past the tidepools, and over to “Sweetheart Rock” or Puʻu Pehe. Both mornings we were treated to a fantastic sunrise. It's about a 20 minute hike from the hotel to the top of the cliff. Small children could do it, but be careful near the cliff edge.

Four Seasons Lanai Jeep Tour

We rented a Jeep from the hotel as it was relatively cheap and very hassle free.

We drove to Shipwreck Beach and Garden of the Gods (pictured above). We stopped in Lanai City for drinks and sandwiches for lunch and enjoyed them in the lobby of the Four Seasons Sensei Lanai, the only other resort on the island.

Four Seasons Lanai Resort COVID-19 Procedures

At the time we went to the resort in April 2021, we had to pre-test within 72 hours of departing Oahu. We all got our tests done about 48-72 hours prior at Walgreens.

Our results were uploaded to the Safe Travels Hawaii app. You also need to download the Aloha Safe contact tracing app. Before departure from Honolulu, our QR code and negative test results were checked. They were checked again upon arrival at Lanai Airport.

There was also a Hawaii National Guardsmen checking temperatures at the airport. It was quick.

At the hotel, masks were required in all public areas (not in the pool or on the beach). Temperature screening devices were at most restaurants and the entrance to the hotel to check temperatures of guests as they came and went.

The staff was masked at all times. They did a really nice job of balancing the requirements of Maui County with still allowing people to have a relaxing and restful time.

Bottom Line

Quite possibly the best resort I've stayed at (so far). The Four Seasons Resort Lanai was a far superior experience to the Ritz Carlton Kapalua, Ritz Carlton Ras al Khaimah, Sheraton Kona Resort, Grand Wailea Maui, or the Hilton Waikoloa Village.

The overall experience, the staff, the food, the pools, the beach – everything was perfect.

All of this was made possible thanks to my wife's Amex Platinum card. Military servicemembers and their spouses both get annual fees waived on their cards. I highly recommend opening one card for yourself and having your spouse open a card as well.

Military SCRA MLA AMEX Platinum
  • The Platinum Card® from American Express – learn how to apply
  • Annual fee of $550 waived for US military personnel and spouses (rates and fees)
  • 75,000 Membership Reward Points welcome bonus (valued at $1500) when you spend $5000 in the first 6 months
  • 10x points at US Gas Stations and US Supermarkets (OCONUS Commissaries are US supermarkets) up to $15,000 in combined purchases for the first 6 months (an extra 150,000 points potentially!)
  • 5x points on airfare booked directly with airline or on amextravel.com
  • 5x points on prepaid hotels at amextravel.com
  • $200 annual Uber or UberEats credit (free taxi or food) + VIP Uber Status
  • $100 annual Saks Fifth Avenue credit, can be used for gift cards
  • Centurion and Priority Pass airport lounge access for free + guest
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Heavy metal card that looks and feels really cool
  • Read my full review of the Amex Platinum card for military, terms apply

You can earn thousands of points just with your normal everyday spending and pay nothing in annual fees. Take my 100% free course to learn how to do it – the Ultimate Military Travel Hacking Course.

Does the Four Seasons Lanai Resort have a beach?

Yes, the Resort has a beach called Hulopoe Bay. The beach has complimentary towel, chair, and umbrella service for hotel guests. It's public access but very secluded.

Is Lanai worth visiting?

Lanai is definitely worth the visit when you go to Hawaii. The resorts are the best in the islands.

Is Lanai a private island?

Lanai is owned by Larry Ellison, the billionaire founder of Oracle. It was purchased in 2012 for $300 million. It's not private in the sense that anyone can travel there, but the resorts are so lush it may feel like a private island for you.

Is Lanai Four Seasons Resort open?

Yes, the resort is open as of May 2021.

How do you get the Resorts on Lanai?

Lanai Air is the easiest and best way to get to the resorts on Lanai. Some of the room reservations include Lanai Air airfare from Honolulu.

How much does it cost to stay on Lanai?

Room rates start at $1000 per night for the Four Seasons Lanai Resort and $650 per night for the Lanai Sensei.

Is there a Marriott on Lanai?

There are no Marriott or Bonvoy hotels or resorts on Lanai. Lanai has only 2 Four Seasons resorts and a Hotel Lanai, all owned by Larry Ellison.

Is there a Hilton on Lanai?

No Hiltons on Lanai, only 3 hotels.

Do I need a car on Lanai?

No car is needed on Lanai if you're staying at either of the Four Seasons resorts. Complimentary shuttles can get you from the airport to the hotels and from the hotels to town or the other resorts. Rental cars are available.

What hotels are on Lanai?

There are only 3 hotels on Lanai: Four Seasons Lanai Resort, Sensei Lanai: A Four Seasons Resort, and the Hotel Lanai.

Does Four Seasons Lanai Resort have a military discount?

The Lanai Four Seasons Resort does not have a military discount but smart servicemembers can use their annual fee waived cards to maximize benefits at the resort. You can use Amex Platinum card benefits and points to stay there for free.

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