Lanai is one of the more interesting islands in Hawaii. Why? Well, firstly, it has a luxury reputation, due to not one but two Four Seasons properties – some of their highest rated – are located on the island. (And there are only 3 hotels in total, if that tells you something.) Despite this, not many people go there, because the lack of infrastructure – there is no glut of hotel rooms, only a handful of paved roads, and one car hire shop, although the island is accessible via both ferry and plane.
While I don’t think Lanai is the most desolate of the Hawaiian islands (I suspect that would go to Molokai), the dry weather and wide, empty space certainly lends itself to a very martian-like landscape, complete with empty white sand beaches at the end of rusty, fire-red roads.
The only city to speak of on the island is Lanai City, which is where you’ll find most of the non-resort amenities. Step into one of the two grocery stores and prepare to go back in time – they haven’t changed much in at least a couple of decades. Also note what’s expensive and what’s normally priced – it’s surprising. I asked a local why things like milk and shampoo are a king’s ransom while crisps or cheese are normally priced, and he said that it is all about the weight, which makes sense considering most of the island’s supplies still arrive by ferry on a weekly shipping container.
So, with shampoo being expensive and the resorts over $300USD/night, how does one cut some corners to enjoy Lanai on the cheap? A few practical suggestions:
The best part about Lanai is just laying around and relaxing. So make sure you save some time to do just that – and relaxing, for the most part, is free.
Image credits: Rickh 710 & Andy Hayes.
Posted : Friday, September 7th, 2012 at 10:00
Andy Hayes is a travel journalist currently based in Seattle, Washington. When not soaking up the Pacific Northwest lifestyle or enjoying life on the road, he is spending time hanging out on his own travel lifestyle magazine, Sharing Travel Experiences.