Manele Bay: An Uncrowded Paradise

Manele Bay is one of those travel destinations you dream about: uncrowded beaches, warm water, abundant sea life and a place where you can simply relax. In a word, Manele Bay is paradise.


We spent the last two days of our trip to Lana’i on the beach. After spending four days in Lana’i City and exploring the island by jeep, we were ready for some water time.


We took the island shuttle from the Four Season’s Lodge at Koele and were greeted with fresh leis once we arrived in the wide open foyer of the gorgeous Four Season’s Manele Bay. From the foyer, there is an unobstructed view of the huge well-kept pool area and right behind it… the beach.

I could instantly feel the ocean breeze kissing away the humid tropical air that began settling on my skin. I couldn’t wait to get to our room so we could throw on our suits and head to the water.

After checking in, we were shown to our room, where our bags were already waiting. I opened the curtains covering the huge sliding glass door to find a stunning view of the ocean and Sweetheart Rock.

I noticed some commotion in the bay and realized those were not just people in the water. I could see a pod of spinner dolphins jumping out of the water and swimming within feet of a small group of snorkelers.

We rushed to the beach to rent complimentary snorkeling gear, but found out the resort cannot lend out gear while the dolphins are in the bay (so bring your own or rent the gear before the dolphins arrive).

During our two days at Manele Bay, we were shocked at the lack of crowds on the beach and near the pool. We never had to fight for a lounge chair and there were times when we were the only ones in the water. It’s rare that we find a perfect, uncrowded beach, so we were instantly smitten.

It feels like most of the people who come to Lana’i want to respect the peacefulness of the island. It was unexpectedly quiet — no screaming kids or loud, inebriated adults.

All the locals we spoke to were all in agreement: even when the hotels are at max capacity, the island never feels crowded.


How to Get to Manele Bay, Lana’i

You can either fly to Lana’i or take the short ferry from Maui with Expeditions. (If you get seasick, you may want to book a morning trip.) The ferry costs $30 each way for adults and $20 each way for children.

Flights are available from the other islands with Island Air. Prices start at $60 one way. The view from the air is not bad either!


Where to Eat in Manele Bay, Lana’i



Kailani’s sits right above the bay. I recommend booking a reservation just before sunset to fully enjoy the view. The contemporary Italian cuisine is always made with the freshest local ingredients.

The pasta is even made fresh daily and you can definitely taste the difference. Ask your server about half orders of pasta if you can’t decide on just one dish.

Beet Salad at Kailani


I still have dreams about our dinner at ONE FORTY. There wasn’t a single thing we didn’t like about this restaurant. We started our meal with Lobster Bisque and Vodka Martinis (I asked for blue cheese olives and they made them for me). For our entrees, we ordered a Garlic Butter and Blue Cheese Rib Eye Steak and Ahi cooked perfectly rare, topped with a Wasabi Cream Sauce. The melt-in-your-mouth mashed potatoes were the best I’ve ever tasted.

Manele Bay is definitely a place I would travel to again. It’s a quick jaunt from the other islands and a perfect little quiet getaway.


A special thanks to Lana’i Visitors Bureau for hosting this trip and helping us put together a unique itinerary that fits our travel style. As always, all opinions are our own.

Christy Woodrow is a travel photographer and professional blogger based in San Diego. She has been traveling around the world with her partner in crime, Scott, since 2006. Join them in their quest to find off-the-beaten-path destinations by signing up for weekly emails and following her on .