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Hotel Lanai in Hawaii: The ideal spot to get away from it all

Bill BowmanBy Bill Bowman,
Hotel Lanai
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Just a short ferry ride from Maui, Hotel Lanai is a trip back in time. (Courtesy of Hotel Lanai)

LANAI CITY, Hawaii -- So much has been written about these out-of-the-way places that you have to see them to believe. Well, at Hotel Lanai, on the island of Lanai, you will see -- and believe -- that you have found paradise.

Just a short ferry ride from Maui, Hotel Lanai is a trip back in time. The 10-room inn was built in 1923 as a retreat for executives of the Dole Pineapple Company. Now it's a retreat to an island paradise that will let you relax.

Traffic? Non-existent. In fact, there are no stoplights.

Hurried pace? No way.

Great food and amazing golf? Now you're talking.

At Hotel Lanai, peace and tranquility are in abundance. Birds chirping in the daytime and clear skies at night will take away all the stress of everyday life.

"Our guests are unique in their choosing Hotel Lanai because they are looking for a different kind of experience, a way to connect on a different level to a unique community," said Hotel Lanai owner Mary Charles. "Their needs and desires are more basic, and they enjoy the historic value of staying in the city and often connecting with the local residents."

Hotel Lanai's restaurant

At the Hotel Lanai's restaurant, folks will find a great place to eat and have a drink. From chef Ryan McCormick (with an assist from culinary advisor Bev Gannon), to bartender Mary Lou Kaukeano, to restaurant manger Michelle Kommes, you'll feel like you're the most important person in the room. That's because, in their eyes, you are.

And the food is world-class. From citrus-glazed barbeque ribs (a must if you're a rib lover) to seared diver scallops to Shelton Farms rotisserie chicken to grilled filet of Angus beef, it's no wonder the restaurant is the place for fine cuisine. The Lanai City Grille, however, is open only Wednesday-Sunday, so plan your trip accordingly. There is also a Continental breakfast each morning.

Activities at Hotel Lanai

Here's where the fun begins. Your laid-back trip is about to rev up with limitless choices for fun and excitement. You can go horseback riding, snorkeling, sailing, shoot sporting clays, take a helicopter tour, go deep sea fishing or simply rent a jeep to check out the island (many of the roads aren't paved, so a four-wheeler is mandatory).

Or, you can just check out the beach (take the shuttle) at Manele Bay. It's like your own private world.

Best of all is the choice of two world-class golf courses: The Challenge at Manele or The Experience at Koele. The Challenge is a Jack Nicklaus design with ocean views on every hole. The Experience is a Greg Norman-designed layout located upcountry with tree-lined fairways and elevation changes.

Whatever your choice, you're bound to work up an appetite during the day, which is a good thing when you're coming back to the Hotel Lanai and its fabulous dinner selections.

If your choice is to drive around the island, you've got plenty of options. There's Munro Trail, where guests can hike, bike or four-wheel along the seven-mile trail that offers stunning views of canyons and vistas. And on sunny days, Maui, Molokai, Kahoolawe, Oahu and the Big Island are all visible.

At the other end of the spectrum is Hulopoe Beach, one of the best in the world. Colorful fish and amazing coral collections attract divers, and beachgoers will see spinner dolphins, green sea turtles and humpback whales (during the winter months). Picnic tables, restrooms, barbecue grills and even showers are available.

And there's so much more. In fact, there's more fun and exploring available here than you can take in during just a one-day visit. Plan on staying an extra day. You'll be glad you did.

For more information, see www.hotellanai.com.

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Hotel Lanai - room 9Hotel Lanai - dining

Bill Bowman is a Las Vegas-based writer who has more than 40 years in the sports-writing business. He's spent the past 16-plus years covering the golf scene in Vegas and has teed it up for magazine profiles with celebrities including comedian Bill Engvall, actor Jeffrey Donovan (USA's Burn Notice), ESPN personality Colin Cowherd, NASCAR's Kurt Busch, Collective Soul's Ed Roland, the Baltimore Ravens' Jonathan Ogden and many others.

Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management.

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