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Hawaiian island of Lanai offers relaxation

By Greg Goodsell
April 6th, 2010
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)


While Lanai is the sixth largest island in the Hawaiian archipelago, the feel there is very relaxed and unhurried. It is more of a plantation that a tourist destination, and that is what it was before developers decided to transform it from a pineapple farm to a resort area.

LANAI, HAWAII (Catholic Online) – According to National Geographic correspondent K. M. Kostyal, Los Angeles entrepreneur David Murdock bought the island in 1985. Realizing that Lanai should stop trying to compete with Asian pineapple growers, Murdock decided to turn Lanai into a hot new Hawaiian getaway.

"He took the 2,300 pineapple workers out of the fields and put them to work building two star-quality resorts—the Lodge at Koele, a veranda-wrapped plantation-esque mirage rising amid the surprisingly cool, sweet-scented uplands of the interior; and the Manele Bay Hotel, a swirl of Asian art and sublime design facing out into the Pacific breezes that brush the south tip of the island. Both were developed, as Murdock says, with a ´respect for Hawaii's history, culture, and natural environment.´"

Much of Lanai is serene and unspoiled. "Besides the two resort enclaves, the airport, and the centrally located little village with the big name—Lanai City (population around 2,800)—the rest of the 13-by-18-mile island is virtually deserted, just miles of open grasslands, rare dryland forests, and unpeopled Pacific coast. Like the old Hawaii. No traffic, no crowds, no shopping centers, no pressure to cram in de rigueur sight-seeing or to take the kids for miniature golf," Kostyal says.

Lanai is a very popular destination spot for golfers, "including a golf course whose cliffside tees and perfect ponds are beyond even the dreams of the modern golfers who flock here."

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