Back from paradise and feeling sick, sick, sick. Why does that happen? You have a wonderful vacation, recharge your battery, and come back ready to slay and conquer…except you’re sick. So there I was, tan, plump, and well-rested after a week on the shores of Lanai. It was my last day and I awoke bright and early to squeeze in some outdoor time before I had to pack. The thing that surprised me however, began with a sore throat and ended with a cough.
Lanai is Hawaii’s most hidden gem. The smallest of the islands, Lanai is virtually untouched and reminds me of how Hawaii must have been decades ago. There are no high-rises, no mini-malls, and no noisy bars full of sunburned tourists. The town, grandiosely named Lanai City, it a large park surrounded by a hodgepodge of small wooden buildings that host four eateries, a few craft stores, an ice cream parlor, and two mom and pop markets. At one end of the square is the Hotel Lanai, a small inn with 11 guest rooms, and at the other end are two churches and a gymnasium for indoor sports. All buildings are made from painted wood. And that’s it. That’s all the development the island has except for two resorts manned by the Four Seasons.
From Shipwreck Beach to the Munro Trail, my husband and I passed no one. Let me repeat that, no one. For three days, the only other person we saw on the island was an old, naked man fishing on a secluded beach that it took us hours to get to. It wasn’t until we transferred to the second portion of our trip that we had people around us. The resort at Manele Bay hosted about 100 other guests, most of whom were under the age of 11. Though the beauty of Manele Bay cannot be reputed, we were glad to have split our vacation between the two extremes of Manele and The Lodge. It made the exceptional service and absolute quiet of the Lodge all the more appreciated.
Despite sitting on the sofa today, sniffing and sneezing and blowing my nose, I must say that Lanai is a secret treasure that I desperately hope does not get out. It’s truly quite perfect as it is.