Four Seasons Private Jet Journeys

Hello Clients & Friends,

As a Four Seasons Preferred Partner, we are part of a small group of top producers for Four Seasons. This means we have access to all the key players directly at all Four Seasons hotels and resorts, their corporate executives and the information on their latest initiatives and programs, such as Four Seasons Private Jet journeys.

“Flying aboard the Four Seasons Jet with our on-board service professionals ensures that you travel in total comfort prior to arriving at deluxe Four Seasons accommodations. On the ground, experience the very best that each remarkable destination has to offer with the help of our dedicated travel experts.

Experience a lifetime’s worth of adventure in one spectacular voyage. Our exclusive itineraries travel to amazing places at every corner of the globe—taking you to secluded islands, urban centres alive with culture, and everywhere in between. Climb aboard and see the world in a remarkable new way.”

Let us help you plan this unique ulta-luxury getaway.

 

f o r   m o r e   i n f o r m a t i o n   &   t o   b o o k 

josh friedman luxury travel
in san francisco
415.987.0372 | joshfriedmantravel.com
an independent affiliate of travel experts | a virtuoso agency
Sign up for our interesting but infrequent emails

facebook  twitter  flickr  you tube
four seasons preferred partner

Josh Friedman is an old-fashioned travel agent offering highly personalized 24/7 service. Specialties include high-end and bespoke luxury travel for small groups and individuals.  His areas of expertise include ultra-luxury cruises, customized vacations & luxury hotel stays.  He also plans spectacular honeymoons, anniversary and birthday celebrations and completes trips that clients have started and just can’t quite figure out how to finish.

His relationships built over twenty years with the world’s top hotels, cruise lines and local agencies will ensure your successful vacation. As a client you get exclusive and complimentary perks that you can’t get on your own — from VIP introduction to the hotel’s management to upgrades, scrumptious breakfasts and hotel spending credits.

Call Josh for details, the ultimate in service & exclusive luxury hotel amenities with Virtuoso.

4083 24th street, #460250,  san francisco, ca 94114 cst# 2080753-40

Josh Friedman Luxury Travel | San Francisco

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Four Seasons Buenos Aires | Preferred Partner

I was in Buenos Aires a few days ago as part of a fabulous vacation through Chile and Argentina and had the opportunity to visit the Four Seasons here in the middle of the Recoleta neighborhood.  It’s an all around very contemporary hotel with a historic adjacent palace.

Learn more about the hotel, our complimentary breakfast, upgrade program and other Preferred Partner amenities.

The nearby Alvear Palace and Park Hyatt Palacio Duhau are other top luxury hotels and are quite different. Contact me for more information and to book.  We offer exclusive and complimentary amenities you can’t get on your own at most luxury hotels worldwide.

More photos of my trip are here on Flickr.

f o r   m o r e   i n f o r m a t i o n   &   t o   b o o k

 

josh friedman luxury travel
in san francisco
415.987.0372 | joshfriedmantravel.com
an independent affiliate of travel experts | a virtuoso agency
Sign up for our interesting but infrequent emails

facebook  twitter  flickr  you tube
four seasons preferred partner

 

Josh Friedman is an old-fashioned travel agent offering highly personalized 24/7 service. Specialties include high-end and bespoke luxury travel for small groups and individuals.  His areas of expertise include ultra-luxury cruises, customized vacations & luxury hotel stays.  He also plans spectacular honeymoons, anniversary and birthday celebrations and completes trips that clients have started and just can’t quite figure out how to finish.

His relationships built over twenty years with the world’s top hotels, cruise lines and local agencies will ensure your successful vacation. As a client you get exclusive and complimentary perks that you can’t get on your own — from VIP introduction to the hotel’s management to upgrades, scrumptious breakfasts and hotel spending credits.

Call Josh for details, the ultimate in service & exclusive luxury hotel amenities with Virtuoso.

 

4083 24th street, #460250,  san francisco, ca 94114 cst# 2080753-40

 

Josh Friedman Luxury Travel | San Francisco

Beverly Hills| Four Seasons, Peninsula & Beverly Hills Hotel

This past week I spend some time visiting 3 of the cities most famous and most luxurious hotels.   Here are my brief thoughts. Unfortunately time doesn’t allow me to write as much as I’d like to.  Feel free to contact me directly for more details and to book.

Location Note | These 3 hotels are in significantly different locations even though they’re fairly close to each other. So that could be a huge factor in deciding where to stay.

Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire | This is the “Pretty Woman” hotel located in the middle of all the shopping. Walk out the door and Rodeo Dr and Beverly Dr are right there.  The building is spectacular and makes a grand entrance all the more enjoyable. The lobby is elegant, not “too” grand (but grand enough) and the “buzz” is fun.  The piano from the movie is still there, but I didn’t see Julia or Richard anywhere.  Love Cut, the Wolfgang Puck restaurant right off the lobby.

Rooms are very nice, with views onto Wilshire (like Tiffany right outside your room?) or west across a broad swath of Los Angeles.  I’d call the style a cross between contemporary and classic. Maybe more classic. It’s also very Four Seasons, which means they put their energy into their service instead of their room design. And that’s not a bad thing.   Beverly Wilshire  details and our exclusive amenities here.

 

The Peninsula|  A few blocks away from the shopping hub of Beverly Hills, it’s about a 10 minute walk straight down Wilshire Boulevard, but in that 10 minute walk you’re passing by Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Barneys New York.   The hotel is classic Peninsula with a very 19th century type of feel, and a cross between Asian and French.   But while the rooms and lobby were too feminine for my tastes, the restaurant and pool made up for it. The pool is on the roof, very LA and sexy and hip.  Restaurants are both a the pool or off the lobby and would be a great place to meet your friends or enjoy on your own.  The Peninsula Beverly Hills  details and our exclusive amenities here.

The Beverly Hills Hotel, Dorchester Collection  |  This classic from 1912 was my favorite, but if you want to walk to shopping don’t stay here. Just take Uber or the hotel’s car — it’s only 5 minutes.   This hotel has the classic feel of being in Southern California and makes you a local. From the famous Polo Lounge (inside or outside patio it’s more like being a guest in Hollywood home) with its amazing service and fabulous hamburgers and salads;  to the pool which is to die for (palm trees, movie stars, cocktails et al); the Fountain Coffee Room (yes, you might be discovered here); the rooms (interesting and very local and some with gas fireplaces); the bungalows (OMG, I mean you can stay in Elizabeth Taylor’s bungalow!)  The Beverly Hills Hotel  details and our exclusive amenities here. We also offer an upgrade at the time of booking here.

 

Four Seasons Los Angeles (on Doheny), Montage, Viceroy L’Ermitage | Did not visit on this trip.

f o r   m o r e   i n f o r m a t i o n   &   t o   b o o k

josh friedman luxury travel
in san francisco
415.987.0372 | joshfriedmantravel.com
an independent affiliate of travel experts | a virtuoso agency

facebook  twitter  flickr  you tube
four seasons preferred partner

Josh Friedman is an old-fashioned travel agent offering highly personalized 24/7 service. Specialties include high-end and bespoke luxury travel for small groups and individuals.  His areas of expertise include ultra-luxury cruises, customized vacations & luxury hotel stays.  He also plans spectacular honeymoons, anniversary and birthday celebrations and completes trips that clients have started and just can’t quite figure out how to finish.

His relationships built over twenty years with the world’s top hotels, cruise lines and local agencies will ensure your successful vacation. As a client you get exclusive and complimentary perks that you can’t get on your own — from VIP introduction to the hotel’s management to upgrades, scrumptious breakfasts and hotel spending credits.

Call Josh for details, the ultimate in service & exclusive luxury hotel amenities with Virtuoso.

4083 24th street, #460250,  san francisco, ca 94114 cst# 2080753-40

Josh Friedman Luxury Travel | San Francisco

Honolulu| Four Seasons Halekulani & Ritz-Carlton

I recently returned from Hawaii where I checked out most of the top luxury hotels in Maui, the Big Island and on Oahu (Honolulu and area).  Here are my thoughts about Oahu, from Waikiki to Ko Olina.

LOCATION*

Four Seasons Oahu at Ko Olina | On the beach, 20 miles west of the airport and 27 miles west of central Waikiki.

Halekulani | Bascially on the beach in central Waikiki, 8 miles east of the airport.

Royal Hawaiian | On the beach next door to Halekulali

Ritz Carlton Residences | A few blocks from the beach in central Waikiki, right up from both Halekulani and Royal Hawaiian

* Location: Why does it matter?  Ko Olina is pretty far from everything except the Disney hotel next door, some other time shares in the area and a small shopping center. You’re pretty much going to spend your vacation there, enjoying the facilities and their restaurants.  A  half-day trip to Pearl Harbor would be logical.  Waikiki is insanely busy with a lot of high end shopping geared for mostly Japanese tourists. But with that you get lots of restaurants and street buzz. There is also the very SOMA/SOHO type neighborhood in Chinatown  (very close to Waikiki) which is great for hipster bars and restaurants. This was a highlight of my trip, actually.

THE HOTELS AND RESORTS

Four Seasons Oahu at Ko Olina | I loved this place.  Other than being brand new, the rooms are large, bathrooms huge and sexy, balconies have views, great design throughout and they have Nespresso machines, the best type of pod coffee out there. Highlights include:

  • This is a fairly big resort (371 rooms) with a lot of floors in a 70s building which they’ve done a very good job of ‘lightening up.’ It’s a real 180 from the Four Seasons in Maui, Lanai or the Big Island, especially Hualalai.
  • Views facing east toward the pool, beach, ocean and the hotels down the beach or views facing west of natural beauty and the nearby  evening luau’s at Paradise Cove (which might be the only downside of this view, but I’d risk it)
  • Several restaurants to choose from including Italian (yum, I enjoyed) Fish, Asian & Pool (yum, I love my burgers and friendly bartenders)
  • Fitness.  Tennis – lots of it.  And a gym which is currently being expanded
  • Spa. I thought the spa was just OK as it’s not be redone.
  • Beach. This is shared with Disney’s Aulani next door and there is a rope separating the two.  The Four Seasons has beach chairs and beach service and that’s great. Nearby pool is fine.
  • Adult pool.  Super nice.  This is a brand new very quiet infinity pool on the side of the resort away from the beach. I could have spent all day here. Tres chic.
  • Rooms.  Huge contemporary rooms with huge bathrooms.  Very modern. Very sexy. Overall my favorite rooms between the other Four Seasons (but I haven’t seen the new rooms at Four Seasons Manele Bay in Lanai yet and I hear they’re incredible.)

Halekulani | The history of this hotel goes back decades and has a prime location with truly spectacular views of Diamond Head from some of the rooms and from the pool.  The current building is from around 1980. My thoughts:

  • Service is exceptional and very old fashioned. It’s almost like you’re not in Hawaii though. No Aloha shirts here   – it’s dark suits.
  • They put a lot of effort into their restaurants, and the view from Orchids is pretty wonderful. Of course, any view of Diamond Head is wonderful.
  • Their signature Orchid pool is elegant with their ‘famous’ sunset cocktail hour with hula and ukulele right there. I even had a view of this (& the ocean) from my 15th Floor room.
  • The beach is accessible from the pool area and is right there, so you can walk as far as you’d like to.
  • I’d strongly recommend that I book you a Diamond Head view.

Ritz Carlton Residences | A few blocks from the beach in central Waikiki, right up from both Halekulani and Royal Hawaiian sits the first of two combination residence/hotel towers of the Ritz-Carlton.  It just opened in July 2016.

What I liked: If you want to be in Waikiki, the rooms (which all have a kitchen or kitchenette and washer/dryer) are really nice.  They’re brand new, very light and airy  and have a contemporary theme.  The views, either toward the ocean or mountains, are wonderful. They have the first acclaimed Sushi Sho outside of Japan but it’s $300 a person.

What I didn’t like:  Architecturally, it’s attractive but massive, and it’s only half built! It appears out of place, even for Waikiki.   And because it’s only half built the facilties for its 307 rooms aren’t really ready for prime time. The pool is tiny and restaurants are minimal (just one other than Sushi Sho). But it is Waikiki and there are plenty of places nearby.

Royal Hawaiian | I didn’t see the rooms here, but the public areas are truly unique and a throwback to the early 20th century when the hotel was built.   It’s called the Pink Palace for a reason.  Even with 528 rooms, it didn’t seem overwhelmed or too commercial like the nearby Moana Surfrider, a Starwood 4 star property down Kalakaua, the main drag.

The Kahala | I did not visit.

 

Other Reviews from my September visit to Hawaii:

Maui / Four Seasons at Wailea
Maui / Andaz at Wailea
Maui / Hotel Wailea Relais and Chateau
Big Island / Four Seasons Hualalai
Big Island / Mauna Kea

f o r   m o r e   i n f o r m a t i o n   &   t o   b o o k

josh friedman luxury travel
in san francisco
415.987.0372 | joshfriedmantravel.com
an independent affiliate of travel experts | a virtuoso agency

facebook  twitter  flickr  you tube
four seasons preferred partner

Josh Friedman is an old-fashioned travel agent offering highly personalized 24/7 service. Specialties include high-end and bespoke luxury travel for small groups and individuals.  His areas of expertise include ultra-luxury cruises, customized vacations & luxury hotel stays.  He also plans spectacular honeymoons, anniversary and birthday celebrations and completes trips that clients have started and just can’t quite figure out how to finish.

His relationships built over twenty years with the world’s top hotels, cruise lines and local agencies will ensure your successful vacation. As a client you get exclusive and complimentary perks that you can’t get on your own — from VIP introduction to the hotel’s management to upgrades, scrumptious breakfasts and hotel spending credits.

Call Josh for details, the ultimate in service & exclusive luxury hotel amenities with Virtuoso.

4083 24th street, #460250,  san francisco, ca 94114 cst# 2080753-40

Josh Friedman Luxury Travel | San Francisco

Maui | Andaz at Wailea

I’ve been coming to Maui since the 80’s and first came to Wailea in 1985 when I stayed at the InterContinental (with free Pan Am points!) and had a very elegant dinner at the Renaissance.  The Renaissance was so snazzy that when we arrived we were seated and presented with our own personalized matches.

Fast forward 30 years and the InterContiental is now the Marriott (and is undergoing a major renovation) and the Renaissance, after having been closed for about a decade, is now the Andaz.

I’m typically not a fan of luxury divisions of multi-national hotel corporations.  Given the choice I suggest to my clients try a top independent hotel or one from a small chain such as Dorchester, Oetker, Maybourne, Rosewood, Mandarin Oriental, Peninsula or Belmond. Small Luxury Hotels and Relais & Chateau are collections of independently owned hotels and overall i like them too.  And the Mauna Kea on the Big Island which I’m visiting on this trip will make this list too. Four Seasons is quite different as they manage only luxury hotels, so they know what they’re doing.

Back to the Andaz. I was really impressed with my visit there  and was able to get the sense that even though they’re part of a large chain, and a brand (Andaz) that I don’t think is super focused, that this hotel has their act together and is a great example of a luxury hotel. Service levels are still significantly below that of the Four Seasons, but for most travelers, they’ll be good enough.

The rooms are modern, chic, sexy and a good size. Check out the photo in this post of their shower.  What you can’t see is the room is directly to the left of the shower and has a clear glass wall between them. Perfect for honeymooners. There are blinds too if you prefer!

The restaurant, Ka’ana Kitchen is equally as sexy. We only had brunch here (twice!). The layout and presentation are truly spectacular. The hostesses were wonderful and cuisine delicious, but the service was too ‘relaxed’ for my preference.  Overall though, awesome and worth the $47 price tag (oh, it’s free if you book with me!). The Four Seasons is $41 and not nearly as good (but that’s free too by booking with me).

The pools? There are 5 of them, including 1 adults only pool. The main 4 are 1 on top of each other, like I imagine the Hanging Gardens of Babylon to be. Very nice.

Loved the spa, too. Wish I had had time to use it.  Like the rest of the hotel (including their very cool 24/7 general grocery/coffee place) it’s very hipster and you can mix your own massage oil. Like that idea.

Suggested improvements?  I don’t like the daily resort fee, and I don’t like the separate cost to use the spa facilities. At prices equaling the Four Seasons, it takes away from the relaxed experience.  The price should be the price. For that matter, the FS shouldn’t charge for parking.

 

f o r   m o r e   i n f o r m a t i o n   &   t o   b o o k

josh friedman luxury travel
in san francisco
415.987.0372 | joshfriedmantravel.com
an independent affiliate of travel experts | a virtuoso agency

facebook  twitter  flickr  you tube
four seasons preferred partner

Josh Friedman is an old-fashioned travel agent offering highly personalized 24/7 service. Specialties include high-end and bespoke luxury travel for small groups and individuals.  His areas of expertise include ultra-luxury cruises, customized vacations & luxury hotel stays.  He also plans spectacular honeymoons, anniversary and birthday celebrations and completes trips that clients have started and just can’t quite figure out how to finish.

His relationships built over twenty years with the world’s top hotels, cruise lines and local agencies will ensure your successful vacation. As a client you get exclusive and complimentary perks that you can’t get on your own — from VIP introduction to the hotel’s management to upgrades, scrumptious breakfasts and hotel spending credits.

Call Josh for details, the ultimate in service & exclusive luxury hotel amenities with Virtuoso.

4083 24th street, #460250,  san francisco, ca 94114 cst# 2080753-40

Josh Friedman Luxury Travel | San Francisco

Four Seasons Hualalai | Beach at Night

Big Island Hawaii| Four Seasons Hualalai

Aloha!

I’m finally relaxed after a week in Hawaii. Amazing how much time it takes. Used to be 5 nights was good.  Now it’s clearly 7.  I’ll just blame in on my urban lifestyle. A successful business I will admit adds to that. But all’s good.

On this trip, I’ve now seen 3 of the 4 Four Seasons Resorts in Hawaii – Maui (Wailea), Big Island (Hualalai) and Oahu (Ko Olina).  Just arrived Oahu so that post will follow.

Hualalai is the opposite of the other 3 (including Four Seasons Lanai which I saw 2 years ago). Instead of high rises there are 2 story bungalows spread out on a fairly long stretch of coastline, and bungalows behind them.  Several swimming pools, from adults only to kid friendly to tres chic to “swimming with fish” dot that coastline. Same with the restaurants. There’s a huge gym/spa and lap pool set back, next to tennis courts, a wonderful store for an early AM coffee and pastry. The lobby is back in there as well.

Service is very Four Seasons which is over the top super friendly and accommodating. On an island with zero percent unemployment this is not easy to accomplish but it’s done well. Maui continues to be more cosmopolitan and things run fast and on LA/NY time. You won’t find that pace here, in the more relaxed Hawaii.

At Hualalai, I adore the gym/pool/spa.  It’s really damn gorgeous and huge. You could spend the entire morning or afternoon here. Outdoor his & her gardens are wonderful, so shed it all if you like.

I also truly love love the main restaurant here which sits directly on the beach. Amazing that the waves don’t come up to the table. I’ve been here before and it’s probably the most romantic restaurant I’ve ever been to. If I can think of another one, I’ll update. The breakfast buffet (free if you book with me) is unreal. Beats the FS Maui (sorry). Yesterday I had lots of papaya and bacon, a balanced meal ?

My room was actually pretty great. The big question clients have about Four Seasons Hualalai is should I take a room downstairs with the outdoor shower, or upstairs (prime) with the ‘better’ ocean view and balcony.  From my downstairs ocean view room in the Palm Court section, I had the best of everything – ocean view (with the waves at eye level not far away), an outdoor shower (yes, very very cool) and very close (30 second walk) to the adults only pool, with its own bar.  Yes, heaven.  So downstairs or upstairs? If you’ve never been to a beach resort or if you just love the (higher/better) water view, go upstairs. Otherwise, I really loved that lower location.

And thanks Four Seasons Hualalai for meeting me (and every guest) right at the Kona airport, even though I had a rental car. That’s a super nice touch.

And one last thanks to my contacts here who take such great care of my clients. We’re a Four Seasons Preferred Partner agency. This is their highest level program which flags bookings at a high VIP level. And of course any bookings from me usually puts a smile on their face too.

Aloha & Mahalo!

 

f o r   m o r e   i n f o r m a t i o n   &   t o   b o o k

josh friedman luxury travel
in san francisco
415.987.0372 | joshfriedmantravel.com
an independent affiliate of travel experts | a virtuoso agency

facebook  twitter  flickr  you tube
four seasons preferred partner

Josh Friedman is an old-fashioned travel agent offering highly personalized 24/7 service. Specialties include high-end and bespoke luxury travel for small groups and individuals.  His areas of expertise include ultra-luxury cruises, customized vacations & luxury hotel stays.  He also plans spectacular honeymoons, anniversary and birthday celebrations and completes trips that clients have started and just can’t quite figure out how to finish.

His relationships built over twenty years with the world’s top hotels, cruise lines and local agencies will ensure your successful vacation. As a client you get exclusive and complimentary perks that you can’t get on your own — from VIP introduction to the hotel’s management to upgrades, scrumptious breakfasts and hotel spending credits.

Call Josh for details, the ultimate in service & exclusive luxury hotel amenities with Virtuoso.

4083 24th street, #460250,  san francisco, ca 94114 cst# 2080753-40

Josh Friedman Luxury Travel | San Francisco

Four Seasons Hawaii Lanai Opens

The following is the announcement from Four Seasons on the re-opening of their resorts in Lana’i , just off the coast of Maui. Contact us to received exclusive Preferred Partner benefits.

Josh

We are delighted to share that the newly reimagined Four Seasons Resort Lanai is now accepting reservations as of February 1, 2016,  the official hotel opening date.  A variety of romantic experiences will be on offer all month long to commemorate the season.  

The beach resort will open following a multi-million dollar lobby-to-roof renovation featuring 217 redesigned guestrooms including 51 suites, newly refurbished lobbies and Conference Center, additional pool experiences featuring an adult’s only Retreat and central lagoon-style pool, enhanced dining experiences such as the award-winning NOBU Lanai and ONE FORTY, a renovated spa, new luxury retail boutiques, a newly outfitted Pro Shop at the 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature Manele Golf Course along with the addition of a luxury transfer fleet.

Along with the golf course, Four Seasons will also now manage the horseback riding and UTV experiences, with new enhancements and amenities for a completely personalized and unforgettable way to enjoy Lanai.

We look forward to updating you further as we continue our exciting island journey, and we look forward to welcoming your special clients to our amazing Hawaii resort!

Please enjoy the new Lana’i e-brochure!

josh friedman luxury travel
in san francisco
415.987.0372 | joshfriedmantravel.com
an independent affiliate of travel experts | a virtuoso agency
facebook  twitter  flickr  you tube
four seasons preferred partner

 

Josh Friedman is an old-fashioned travel agent offering highly personalized 24/7 service. Specialties include high-end and bespoke luxury travel for small groups and individuals.  His areas of expertise include ultra-luxury cruises, customized vacations & luxury hotel stays.  He also plans spectacular honeymoons, anniversary and birthday celebrations and completes trips that clients have started and just can’t quite figure out how to finish.

His relationships built over twenty years with the world’s top hotels, cruise lines and local agencies will ensure your successful vacation. As a client you get exclusive and complimentary perks that you can’t get on your own — from VIP introduction to the hotel’s management to upgrades, scrumptious breakfasts and hotel spending credits.

Call Josh for details, excellent pricing, the ultimate in service & exclusive hotel amenities with Virtuoso.

 

4083 24th street, #460250,  san francisco, ca 94114 cst# 2080753-40

 

Josh Friedman Luxury Travel | San Francisco

Four Seasons Lanai Review from a Preferred Partner Agency

If you ‘ve been following my trip through Hawaii, you’ve already read my reviews of Maui’s luxury hotels.  Now are are my thoughts on Lanai and the two Four Seasons resorts there  — Lana’i at Manele Bay and Lana’i, the Lodge at Koele.

Lana’i in General

The beauty of Lana’i is that it’s remote.  Just look at the picture below from our room.  While not in the middle of the Indian Ocean, up until now it might just as well have been.  I’ve been to Hawaii many times over the last 15 years since the hotels were built but it’s the first time I’ve been here, except for a 1 day snorkeling trip in 1985.  This island is either a 45 minute ferry ride from Lahaina (Maui) or a short flight from Honolulu. *

From our balcony at the Four Seasons Manele Bay the view is of the water, the rocks, a bit of the resort’s landscaping and that’s it. One feels one has gone much further than about 20 miles from Maui!  If you want to relax — this is the place.   Main activities include snorkeling from the hotel’s beach, horseback riding up on top of the island, tennis and golf (2 courses) . You can also rent a jeep and visit the remote beaches on the island. Unfortunately I didn’t have time for that.

* The island was purchased a year ago by Larry Ellison, the founder of Oracle.  He bought the airline flying there too and Four Seasons is planning a meet and greet at the Honolulu Airport for early 2014  to make the transfer easier.

View from Room at Four Seasons Manele Bay
View from Room at Four Seasons Manele Bay

Four Seasons Lana’i at Manele Bay

There are 2 hotels and one small inn on the island. Manele Bay is Four Seasons’s resort on the water.  Barely spoken of in the same breath as Four Seasons Wailea in Maui, or Four Seasons Hualalai on the Big Island, Manele Bay has been the ‘cheap’ Four Seasons in Hawaii at about 60-70% the price of the other two. And Koele has been even less expensive.  And staying there now, it’s clear why that’s the case: It’s harder to get to, the rooms aren’t as nice, the service isn’t as sophisticated and the facilities aren’t as beautiful.  But significant changes have begun with the purchase by Larry Ellison and I’m told by the hotel’s General Manager that by July of 2014 the renovations at Manele Bay will be mostly completed and the hotel will have turned about a 180 from where it is now.  And I believe him.  The opening of Nobu is one sign – with World Class cuisine firmly in place, a total renovation of the lobby about done,  and “test” rooms completed, analyzed and retooled.

Four Seasons Lodge at Koele

About 20 minutes up the hill toward the center of the island , adjacent to downtown Lanai City, some nice stables, and many many acres of open land and forest sits the Lodge.

The temperature has cooled off a few degrees, the ocean view has vanished and now it’s almost as if you’ve arrived at Yosemite’s Ahwahnee Hotel, but slightly smaller with 102 rooms. (Manele Bay has 236 but it’s going down to about 209). Even though the hotel looks storied, it only opened in the 90s.

Being a Hawaii regular I was pretty shocked by the transition – and I’m not one who likes surprises. Plus I like beach! But my partner John immediately wanted to check-in and open a book once he saw the hammock out in the very green backyard.  Since our visit I’ve spoken to others who really like the atmosphere.  It’s great for hiking, riding and relaxation and with less heat and humidity than down by the beach. It’s also harder to snorkel.  While the look and feel of Manele Bay is becoming quite contemporary, for now Koele remains rather traditional.

For dining outside the Lodge, the Lanai City Grille is a very good option. It’s technically walkable but the walk isn’t that nice so the hotel runs a shuttle. The restaurant is by the main park where you’ll find other small businesses like gift shops and coffee shops. But don’t expect much – it’s very minimal.

The Lodge at Koele
Four Seasons Lanai – The Lodge at Koele

Visiting Lanai Thoughts

I’d recommend an overnight stay now on Lanai if you really want to get away from it all and if you have a realistic expectation on what to expect of the two hotels. For me on this last trip I really enjoyed the solitude and the fabulous balcony with the sound of ocean and nothing else.  I enjoyed the food very much at all 3 restaurants at Manele Bay. I was also OK with the typically slow and not very sophisticated service levels in the restaurants.  If that’s not OK for you, then I’d suggest waiting until next August  (2014) or so to visit when renovations are finished at Manele Bay and the staff has had more training a la Wailea and Hualalai. I understand the Lodge is slated for renovations for 2015 but it’s really fine now.

Photos from the trip.

Dog at Stables on Lanai
Dog at Stables near Lodge at Koele

Next Steps for Booking Travel to Lanai

Call Josh for details, excellent pricing, the ultimate in service & exclusive hotel amenities as a Four Seasons Preferred Partner — for perks you cannot get on your own.

josh friedman luxury travel
in san francisco
415.987.0372 | joshfriedmantravel.com
with travel experts, a virtuoso member agency

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Josh Friedman is an old-fashioned travel agent offering highly personalized 24/7 service. Specialties include high-end and bespoke luxury travel for small groups and individuals.  His areas of expertise include ultra-luxury cruises, customized vacations & luxury hotel stays.  He also plans spectacular honeymoons, anniversary and birthday celebrations and completes trips that clients have started and just can’t quite figure out how to finish.

His relationships built over twenty years with the world’s top hotels, cruise lines and local agencies will ensure your successful vacation. As a client you get exclusive and complimentary perks that you can’t get on your own — from VIP introduction to the hotel’s management to upgrades, scrumptious breakfasts and hotel spending credits.

affiliated with travel experts, a virtuoso agency and four seasons preferred partner,
201 spear st., ste 1100,  san francisco, ca 94105 cst# 2080753-40.

Josh Friedman Luxury Travel | San Francisco

Four Seasons Hotels | My Personal Update

I spent all of yesterday afternoon with about 25 sales reps from various Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts all over the world. This is an annual event I attend as part of our Preferred Partner affiliation with the luxury hotel group.

Below are highlights of what I learned. And remember, that you’ll receive exclusive and complimentary benefits for all Four Seasons through booking with us.

LANAI

– Reconnect with your family considering 50% of connecting rooms
– July/August. Confirmed upgrade at time of booking AND 3rd night free. Exclusive to our partnership.

MAUI & BIG ISLAND [HUALALAI]

– Stay 5 nights in a suite and get a minimum $1,000 credit. And at Hualalai it includes complimentary round-trip airport transfers and use of their airport departure lounge.
– New Kings Pond building category at Hualalai.|
– Maui: 50% off wine after 8PM in all restaurants until the end of June. May be extended. Ask me.

HONG KONG

Two 3-Star Michelin restaurants — French & Chinese. It’s the only hotel in the world with 2 Michelin starred restaurants.

LONDON

– Newly opened hotel on Hyde Park
– Pre-arrivals lounge on the rooftop with showers and a light breakfast. So if your flight arrives at 9AM you’ll be good without having to purchase an entire night prior.

HAMPSHIRE

Not too far from Heathrow LHR, a good place to get a day room and enjoy the spa in this country retreat.
Perfect for a long layover, for instance before your overnight to Africa.

NEVIS

Re-opened in December 2010
3rd night free plus double upgrade [limited time]
Up to 7 bedroom villas and 40 of the villas have an optional private chef!

BUENOS AIRES

In Recoleta neighborhood, a 1920 mansion with 7 luxury suites
October to May, enjoy the only outdoor pool in the area.
Major renovation from May through November, 2012

BORA BORA

– Book your holiday (festive) stay by 5/31 and lock in lower season rates. 5 night minimum from 12/19/12 – 1/3/13
– There’s a new restaurant in town called Maikai.  Check it out.
– Daily boat to/from town. It’s complimentary during daylight hours.

BEVERLY HILLS [the Beverly Wilshire]

– Located at the corner of world-famous Rodeo Drive and Wilshire Boulevard
– Brand new lobby & pool.  I’m told it no longer looks the same as when Pretty Woman was filmed here 😦
– Guaranteed upgrade at time of booking
– 24 hour check-in/check-out available

BEVERLY HILLS [doheny]

-iPad 2 access to room service, valet parking, pillow menu and about everything else

THAILAND

– Golden Triangle: Stay 3 nights in a Tented Camp and get 2 other nights anywhere at a Four Seasons Thailand for free. From 5/1/12 – 9/30/12.
– The 15 tents have copper tubs. And enjoy the fully outdoor and open air jungle spa. No walls.
– Chiang Mai. Authentic Thai design & very unique. Not your typical Four Seasons.

SEATTLE

– Chihuly museum of glass opening up May 2012. Take the monorail there from the Four Seasons. It’s an 8 minute walk.
– Summertime bar and grill at the hotel.
– Evian spritz. It’s like being at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea.
– Wine Wednesdays. Complimentary tastings.

PUNTA MITA [puerto vallarta]

– 20% discount this summer
– rooms renovation this summer [no noise]
– New GM

PROVENCE, FRANCE

– Lavender season approaching – my rep’s favorite time of year
– Kids program, pool and the little ones get free breakfast
– 45 minutes from Nice
– The hotel is open in 2012 thru October.

PARIS [the Georges V]

– The most spectacular flowers in Paris, and maybe the world. [i’ve seen them]
– Your basic deluxe rooms are 45 SM (about 455 sq feet). Nice and big.
– Suggest you book your dinner reservations in the hotel’s 2 star Michelin restaurant in advance.

NEW YORK

– Soft goods renovation now in progress

Call Josh for details, excellent pricing & the ultimate in service

josh friedman luxury travel
in san francisco’s financial district
415.987.0372 | joshfriedmantravel.com
with casto, a virtuoso member agency

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Josh Friedman is a travel agent specializing in luxury travel for small groups and individuals – particularly ultra-luxury cruises, customized vacations and food & wine inspired journeys.  Based in San Francisco, and with clients throughout the USA, his business is focused on 24/7 personalized service to the sophisticated leisure and business traveler.  His personal  relationships with the world’s top hotels, cruise lines and local agencies often allows for exclusive amenities and VIP status. 

 If you’d like to learn more about luxury travel and our services, please contact Josh Friedman Luxury Travel in San Francisco’s Financial District via phone at 415.987.0372  or email: josh [at] joshfriedmantravel [dot] com. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, too.

associated with casto, a virtuoso member and four seasons preferred partner, 500 sansome st., san francisco, ca 94111 cst#1008439-10