Hotel Lanai in Lanai City, Hawaii is a charming and affordable lodging choice on the private island of Lanai. The hotel was originally built in 1923 by James Dole as a retreat for visiting executives of Dole Pineapple but today is a cozy getaway in the heart of Lanai City for travelers from all over the world. My husband and I had the opportunity to experience this Hawaiian inn during my participation in the Lanai New Media Artist in Residence program.
The Hotel Lanai is located conveniently next door to the Lanai Cultural and Heritage Center and steps to Dole Park, Lanai restaurants, and shopping.
Getting to Hotel Lanai
Visitors to the island of Lanai can arrive via ferry from Maui or a short flight from Honolulu. We traveled on Island Air which offers a number of daily 25 minute flights from Honolulu to Lanai. Once you arrive at the airport, a previously arranged shuttle can transport you into Lania City and the Hotel Lanai. The shuttle is provided for a small charge per person (added to your room bill) and includes regular daily stops at various spots around Lanai.
There are 11 rooms at Hotel Lanai, starting at $99 per night for a standard room. All rooms make you feel like you are in Hawaii of yesterday. Prices increase with each room type upgrade. We were placed in room #1 (The Lanai Room) which offered a shared front porch with views of Lanai City and Dole Square. There are also Premium Rooms that can sleep up to four adults and also The Cottage which is a detached cottage with private lanai and separate living area with a TV/DVD player. The Cottage (Room 11) seemed to be the most romantic lodging choice, especially if you plan on staying more than a few nights.
The rooms themselves are plantation style with pillow-top bedding, wood floors, in room refrigerator, hair dryer, Hawaiian furnishings at artwork, and ceiling fans. The bathrooms are private and have pedestal sinks and stand up showers. Complimentary amenities include daily continental breakfast, high-speed wireless internet, beach towel use during your stay, and use of an ice chest that can be filled with ice on request. Unless stated, there are no televisions in the room and no air conditioning, although the pleasant climate of Lanai City offers natural air conditioning – open screened windows. The entire property is 100% non-smoking.
Continental breakfast is offered in the lobby/porch are each morning. Lunch is on your own at one of the restaurants in Lanai City or at one of the Four Seasons resorts on the island. The neighborhood grocery store is just steps from Hotel Lanai and offers sandwich supplies or even grilling supplies to take down to the beach.
The Lanai City Grille is connected to the hotel and offers a variety of dining options. Copies of the day’s menu is available at the front of the hotel. Reservations are highly recommended as this is the hotspot of dining in Lanai on weekends. Friday nights the restaurant offers live music entertainment. Friday is also prime rib night. My husband chose that as his entrée when we ate at the Lanai City Grill and I chose the Axis Deer dish which was extremely tender and tasty. The restaurant also offers a twist on comfort food with Not Your Mama’s Pork and Beans (a hit with everyone who tried it) and the popular chocolate chip cookie dessert which is the ultimate. A local who visited the bar area showed up just for this dessert – and ordered an extra scoop of ice cream.
The Hotel Lanai is a savvy lodging option on the island of Lanai. I enjoyed the historic aspect of the property along with the authentic experience of the Lanai lifestyle. It was convenient and even fun. Keep in mind that historic = older building. The walls here are a bit thin, but this is the norm for the plantation style construction of Lanai City. We stayed here at the end of our week on the island and it was fun to eat dinner at a place where we saw people we had met previously earlier in the week. The Hotel Lanai is a laidback and unpretentious lodging choice on the island of Lanai.