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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WE KNOW: Oahu, Hawaii

Kylie Nukanuka from The Travel Authority Resource was invited to Hawaii recently by our friends at Hawaiian Airlines.

The purpose of the trip was to get to know the island of Oahu, its hotels and resorts. Over the course of a week, Kylie got to know four hotels across the island, and enjoyed a number of Hawaii’s essential holiday experiences.

Kylie’s summary?

“Oahu is a relatively small island, and you can drive around it in a couple of hours. It is an ideal spot for all travellers as you can either join in on the hustle and bustle in Waikiki or chill out on the North Shore where it feels more like a chilled-out surfers’ town.

“I definitely recommend Hawaii as a holiday destination. Visitors could easily spend a few weeks exploring Oahu and some of Hawaii’s outer islands.”

Trip Notes

Kylie flew from Sydney with Hawaiian Airlines in Economy Class, enjoyed transfers and transport provided by Executive Chauffeur Hawaii, and stayed at:

  • Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach
  • Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort
  • The Kahala Hotel & Resort
  • Turtle Bay Resort

Day 1
On arrival into Honolulu on flight HA452 at 10.40am, Kylie transferred directly to Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach to check in.

“I was very lucky to have a room on the top floor with the most amazing views over Waikiki Beach”, said Kylie.

Kylie’s room with a view at Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach.

Later that afternoon, Kylie met with the hotel’s Sales team, and was taken on a top-to-bottom hotel inspection followed by cocktails by the pool.

“The hotel is a 5-minute walk to the hustle and bustle of Waikiki. It’s in a great location, and I would definitely stay here again”, added Kylie.

Day 2
The following morning after breakfast, Kylie and her travel agent companions walked to Waikiki beach to ride the waves in an outrigger canoe—a quintessential Waikiki experience.

“This was so much fun. I loved it!”, reported Kylie.

The Kahala Hotel & Resort

The group checked out at Midday and were transferred to The Kahala Hotel & Resort—the only beachfront resort in Kahala, Oahu’s most prestigious residential area, just 15 minutes from Waikiki.

Overlooking both Diamond Head and Koko Head craters, Kylie described the resort as feeling really secluded compared to the hustle and bustle of nearby Waikiki.

Ocean Front Room at The Kahala Hotel & Resort.

“In the afternoon, we met with Jacob the Hotel Manager and were taken on a site inspection of the property. The wall of fame of famous guests was seriously impressive, and we took a look at the penthouse that the Obamas stay in”, said Kylie.

The day concluded with dinner at the resort’s Seaside Grill.

Day 3
Kylie was impressed with breakfast at Kahala which included a number of non-dairy and Gluten free options.

E-bike tour at Kualoa Ranch Private Nature Reserve.

The group then checked-out and was transferred to Kualoa Ranch Private Nature Reserve for an E-bike tour. This leisurely adventure sets off from the Visitor Center and into the valleys of Kualoa’s 4000 acres of natural beauty, and
through movie locations from Jurassic Park and Jurassic World, Kong Skull Island, Godzilla, 50 First Dates, LOST and Hawaii Five-0.

“After Kualoa Ranch we headed to the Polynesian Cultural Center which was a highlight for me”, said Kylie.

The Polynesian Cultural Center has 6 island villages representing the unique island cultures of Hawaii, Fiji, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Samoa, Tahiti, and Tonga.

The group was then transferred north to Turtle Bay Resort located on Oahu’s legendary North Shore.

“In the evening we were met by Lauren, the resort’s Sales Rep, who showed us through the property. Then we had a great meal at Kula Grille. Turtle Bay Resort is quite remote, so the hotel offers their own tours and excursions”, reports Kylie.

Ocean View Junior Suite at Turtle Bay Resort, Oahu.

Day 4
Unfortunately for Kylie, inclement weather meant that scheduled snorkeling with the turtles and horse riding activities were cancelled.

Surfing is also popular at Turtle Bay Resort.

After checking-out, the group travelled along the North Shore coast to a little surf town called Haleiwa where the first Hawaiian shave ice shop was opened. Now an iconic Hawaiian treat, shave ice was introduced by Japanese immigrants when they came to Hawaii to work in sugar plantations.

Enjoying shave ice in Haleiwa.

In the afternoon, Kylie returned to Waikiki and checked-in to the famous Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort.

“This truly is the best spot right on Waikiki beach”, says Kylie.

The iconic Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort.

Day 5
With a morning departure for the airport, the group met early with Cassie from the Outrigger for breakfast in the hotel’s Voyager 47 Club Lounge followed by a site inspection.

The Outrigger’s Voyager 47 Club Lounge.

Then it was off to the airport to meet Hawaiian Airlines flight HA451 to Sydney.

For more information about Hawaiian Airlines or Kylie’s Oahu experience, simply leave us a note in the form below, or CALL US to discuss your specific requirements.

We’d love to hear from you.