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WE KNOW: Where to find ‘OHANA’ in Hawaii

Ohana is the Hawaiian term for ‘family’.

Not just your immediate kin, but your broader community and neighbours. It’s about more than blood-ties. It’s that sense that we’re all connected—that we’re all in this together.

Sharon Levingston, Head of Events at The Events Authority, recently visited Hawaii and reports that she found ohana streaming through her stays at Four Seasons hotels and resorts.

Image: Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina.

“It had been some time since I last visited the beautiful islands of Hawaii,” says Sharon. So, when Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts invited Sharon back, she jumped at the chance. Sharon travelled as a guest of Four Seasons & Maui Jim.

Sharon’s visit included stays at Four Seasons Resort Lanai, and Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina.

Image: Four Seasons Resort Lanai.

Four Seasons Resort Lanai overlooks Hulopoe Bay on the south-eastern coast of the pristine island of Lanai—the smallest publicly accessible inhabited island in Hawaii. The resort is just a 20-minute drive from Lanai City, a charming former plantation town with no traffic lights and a friendly, laid-back vibe.

Curiously, 98% of the island—including the Four Seasons Resort Lanai—is owned by tech billionaire Larry Ellison who spent an estimated $450 million to remodel the resort which reopened in April 2016 after a seven-month shutdown.

Image: Four Seasons Resort Lanai

Lanai is accessed from Honolulu by air (35 minutes), or from Maui by ferry. Ferry transfers take about an hour.

“Set by the sea amid spectacular scenery, sunsets and coastal walks, Four Seasons Resort Lanai is a true haven of tranquillity,” Sharon reports.

“The resort has really invested in quality. Every facet of the property and guest experience—including the gorgeous welcome gift in my room—was crafted, and exuded quality and luxury. The attention to detail is visible at every touchpoint,” she adds.

Sharon recommends the 213-room Four Seasons Resort Lanai to anyone looking to step out of the hustle of everyday and breathe.

“Significantly, the resort is the island’s largest single employer, so the sense of ohana here is palpable. Guests really are welcomed into the Lanai family when they stay here,” says Sharon.

For meetings and events, the resort offers nearly 3,500 sq. metres of total event space, with everything from the Hulopoe Ballroom that covers just over 700 sq. metres, to intimate garden terraces. Be sure to contact The Events Authority if Hawaii is on your conferencing radar.

The second stop on Sharon’s visit was Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina on the western shore of the island of Oahu, just 35 minutes from downtown Honolulu.

Located right by four lovely beach coves, known as the Ko Olina Lagoons, the resort is perfect for activities like swimming and outrigger canoeing in clear tropical waters.

Image: Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina.

“Two absolute highlights of my visit were a morning outrigger canoe and snorkelling excursion, and evening stargazing in the dark night sky and observing stunning moon craters and other heavenly sights,” says Sharon.

For meetings and events, Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina offers some 2,600 sq. metres of events space across a range of ballrooms, meeting spaces and outdoor events venues.

Image: Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina.

A final tip from Sharon: If you’re staying at a Four Seasons resort, be sure to download the Four Seasons App. It’s a fabulously efficient way to connect to resort management and services via the app’s ‘chat’ function, to ask where the hairdryer is, request more coat hangers, replace a misplaced room key—anything, really.

One thing that became clear to Sharon from both resort visits is that, at Four Seasons resorts, “The little things are the big things. None more so than the genuine feeling of ohana on arrival. It’s a welcome I won’t forget in a hurry.”

Sharon travelled as a guest of Four Seasons & Maui Jim.

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