I went for the first time around the holidays last year, and recently returned for a weekend trip. For those who live in Hawaii…how lucky to escape to an oasis like this, a quick 45-minute flight from Honolulu.
Today we’ll take a peek at The Lodge at Koele (we’ll do Four Seasons Manele Bay next :) Five things to note:
I. A stellar afternoon tea service. Make sure to try the Brandy Tea Toddy with black tea, honey, and a generous pour of brandy. This was also included in my Serious Eats post on the best spots for afternoon tea in Hawai’i.
II. A “secret” orchid house. I spent a whole afternoon in here just reading this book (don’t judge, heheh. guilty pleasure!)…three hours and no one else stepped in. So serene.
III. Proximity to Lana’i City. The hotel runs a shuttle every 30-minute…make sure to take advantage and check out Lana’i City. It’s tiny with no more than a dozen restaurants and shops. I love the sense of community and how can you skip the Poke Shop (shoyu poke! spicy ahi poke! furikake poke!) and Blue Ginger Cafe? Get apple turnovers and ensamadas for a post breakfast/lunch snack.
IV. When people imagine “Hawaii hotels/resorts,” they think beaches, tiki drinks, hula dancers, etc. But Koele Lodge is the complete opposite. It’s tucked away deep in the woods at high elevation and gets pretty chilly. You’ll spy deer and other wild animals in the night…
…and the fireplace and boozy hot chocolate are all part of the experience. No beach here. And sometimes that’s just what we need.
V. Soufflés! Served at the Dining Room. I’m partial to the Chocolate but mom prefers Vanilla. Let’s have both. Hot from the oven, steaming with vanilla bean anglaise on the side. All at once comforting and indulgent…
…the best way to cap off a chilly evening at The Lodge.