Be Like Water: This All-Inclusive, Adults-Only Wellness Retreat Comes with Your Own Sensei
Aloha shirts, hula, fragrant floral leis, surfboards, ukulele music, gin-clear water, verdant mountain peaks – Hawaii has been your dream honeymoon since the first time you saw Elvis crooning a tune in Paradise, Hawaiian Style. Sample a vintage slice of the Aloha State on sleepy Lanai’i, a privately-owned island, just nine miles from Maui. Without stoplights, fast food shops or big brand stores, inhabited by locals with roots that go back generations, the Pineapple Island evokes heyday Hawaii in mood and spirit like no other. Encompassing 90,000-acres, it has beautiful beaches, secluded nooks, a charming village, stellar diving and snorkeling sites, epic hiking and one of the best new, adults-only, all-inclusive hotels in the universe – Four Seasons Hotel Lanai at Koele, A Sensei Retreat.
A sure bet for fitness buffs, this upcountry retreat, set amid art-brimming, verdant gardens, can be combined with the island’s other hotel, Four Seasons Resort Lanai, set on the untouched southeastern shore on Hulopoe Bay for a more classic, beachside stay. At Koele, the trip begins with a scenic flight from Oahu on Larry Ellison’s own Lanai Air, and airport pickup via futuristic, side-opening Tesla X cars. At the re-imagined resort (once known as the Lodge at Koele), a plantation-style domain has been transformed to a zen haven defined by Japanese aesthetics. Relaxation (and you’ll need that after the wedding) begins immediately. But, first you’ll have to meet with your sensei, a wellness expert or guide, who will customize your schedule.
You don’t have to do anything at this state-of-the-art, (healthy) lifestyle-centric resort. You could – and should – just lounge by the pool. But, lovers with a penchant for active pursuits won’t be able to resist the 10-16 scheduled daily classes, which vary from yoga to kettle ball flow to meditation to an early morning mountain hike. Add in all-included spa treatments, one-on-one personal training, a cutting edge fitness center, a cluster of plant-fringed onsen pools prime for soaking, a zip-line adventure station next door, beach outings, horseback riding, sunset cruises, a top-of-the-line bar and wellness-inspired meals by celebrity chef, Nobu Matsuhisa, and days quickly fill up like a princess’ dance card. Goal setters will enjoy the chance to choose an affirmation to guide their stay (relax, detox, nourish, learn new things, etc.), and their assigned sensei will keep them on track (but only if staying on track is the target).
Some sexy things not to miss? Koele offers ten stand alone spa sanctums, called hale. Each has a massage room, infra-red sauna, steam room, outdoor soaking tubs, and a seductively deep, wooden bathtub called an ofuro. Plan to book couples treatments, then linger to the sounds of burbling water and birdsong. In the Onsen Gardens, soak under the stars (either after dinner or before sunrise)—nothing could be more romantic. Master-yogi-led yoga for two on the wooden platform that overlooks the Reflecting Pond makes the perfect start of a day, while whale-watching aboard the Lanai, a 50-foot catamaran, ends it elegantly as the sun plummets to the sea, framed by iconic Sweetheart Rock.