Could Four Seasons Drive Hawaii Travel in 2016?

The former Four Seasons Manele Bay will re-emerge in February as the Four Seasons Resort Lanai.
The former Four Seasons Manele Bay will re-emerge in February as the Four Seasons Resort Lanai.

Interest in visiting Honolulu and Hawaii’s Neighbor Islands is on the rise, according to MMGY Global’s 2015 Portrait of American Travelers, continuing to top all domestic destinations except National Parks. The modest gains Hawaii made in 2015 over 2014 may get a boost thanks to Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.

The luxury accommodation company is looking forward to a huge 2016 in the Aloha State as its first hotel in Oahu (the former JW Marriott Ihilani Ko Olina Resort & Spa) is slated to open in January, while two closed Four Seasons hotels on Lanai will be back in business. Although the Oahu news may have made a bigger splash, the Lanai news was probably more needed for Hawaii as a whole. The island, which is owned by billionaire Larry Ellison, closed all of its resorts, except the 11-room Hotel Lanai, this past spring.

On Lanai, with most of the hotel rooms on the island closed for renovation, arrivals declined in August by 20.3 percent while visitor expenditures were reduced by two-thirds (down 67.2 percent to $2 million) compared to August 2014, according to the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

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But you can expect those numbers to soar in 2016 as the Four Seasons Manele Bay is expected to re-open in February. When it re-opens, it will be renamed the Four Seasons Resort Lanai. Four Seasons, The Lodge at Koele, which is currently housing the construction workers for the island’s renovation projects, could also open in 2016. It was originally supposed to re-open in December. In fact, it was announced recently that Four Seasons Resort Lanai is now confirming reservations from March 1 onward.

Following a multimillion-dollar transformation, the Four Seasons Resort Lanai will offer guests an escape on their own 90,000-acre secluded Hawaiian island located nine miles from Maui.

The lobby-to-roof makeover includes 217 redesigned guest rooms, including 51 suites, newly refurbished lobbies and seating areas for contemplation, additional dining experiences, such as the award-winning Nobu Lanai and One Forty, American Steak, Hawaiian Seafood, a renovated spa, luxury retail boutiques featuring Missoni, Jimmy Choo and the Lanai Collection, a newly outfitted Pro Shop at the 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature Manele Golf Course, along with the addition of a luxury transfer fleet.

A lagoon-style, free-form central pool has a cascading waterfall and two spas. Lanai’s diverse topography creates an island of unique contrasts, with activities ranging from hiking, horseback riding and adrenaline-filled ATV adventures in the green upcountry lands to off-roading across red dirt roads, colored from volcanic rock.

Guests can enjoy ocean views on every hole of the Jack Nicklaus Signature Manele Golf Course, snorkel in a marine sanctuary teeming with colorful fish, go on whale watching tours or dive into The Cathedrals, featuring lattices of lava rock which resemble stained glass when light hits.

The new Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina is also accepting reservations for travel beginning June 1, 2016. The property has also launched a new website with details on its 358 guest rooms and suites, five restaurants and lounges, four pools, white-sand beaches, multi-level Spa and Wellness Centre, tennis facilities and water sports, and preferred access to the Ko Olina Golf Club.

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