Located a short 20-minute flight from Honolulu is the island of Lānaʻi. Home to just over 3,000 permanent residents, the tiny Hawaiian island has only 30 miles of paved roads and no stoplights. A former Dole pineapple plantation, Lānaʻi offers visitors both lush tropical vistas and arid volcanic landscapes, making it an idyllic location to unplug from the business of daily life.
Although remnants of its plantation era are visible in the homes and town square of Lānaʻi City, the area remains authentic and unspoiled, creating a unique island sanctuary. Visitors can explore local boutiques and art galleries during their stay at one of two Four Seasons Resorts on the island, including the luxury wellness retreat, Sensei Lānaʻi.
Founded by tech giant Larry Ellison and Dr. David Angus to help people live longer, healthier lives, Sensei Lānaʻi, a Four Seasons Resort, uses personalized data-driven science to help clients optimize their well-being. From the moment of arrival and throughout their stay, guests can expect an unparalleled experience where every need is met, leaving the focus to true rest and relaxation.
The grounds of Sensei Lānaʻi are stunningly beautiful – an ideal location for a wellness retreat. The adults-only resort exudes peacefulness in its architecture and the tropical landscape. Each space at the resort is meant to bring calmness and relaxation. From the attentiveness of the staff to water bottle refill stations across the property and complimentary sunscreen and towels at the pools and soaking tubs, every detail is taken care of.
Wandering across the grounds, guests will come across roaming wild chickens, families of wild turkeys, and exquisite blooms in every shape, size, and color. A self-guided tour around the resort will reveal numerous sculptures by artists, including Marc Quinn, Emily Young, and Ju Ming. Guests can also hike up to the larger-than-life sculpture, Talaia by Jaume Plensa, that hovers serenely over the resort.
The property's one-of-a-kind Onsen Garden features eight secluded soaking tubs tucked away so they perfectly blend in with the foliage. Guests are encouraged to soak in the 108-degree tubs at their leisure. The resort's spa features ten hales (the Hawaiian word for home). Each over 1,000 square feet, they have saunas, steam showers, Ofuru tubs, a massage table, and a private outdoor soaking tub and shower. Visitors can also take advantage of two temperature-controlled lagoon-style pools.
Sensei by Nobu
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are available at the resort's fine dining restaurant, Sensei by Nobu. The glass-enclosed restaurant offers panoramic views of the property and is adjacent to a koi pond, where watching the fish swim gently back and forth becomes a daily pastime for many guests. Sensei by Nobu is a collaboration between famed chef Nobu Matsuhisa and Sensei co-founder Dr. David Agus. The menu offers seasonal, fresh ingredients, some of which are grown at Sensei's local farm, and each meal is designed for taste and optimal nutrition.
Move, Nourish, Rest
Sensei Lānaʻi's Rest and Recovery Program begins well before the visit itself with a pre-arrival questionnaire and a phone call with a sensei guide. Each retreat guest is assigned a guide to be their main point of contact throughout their stay. Guests are also sent a Whoop 4.0 strap with a 12-month membership. The Whoop band, one of the program's cornerstones, tracks sleep, movement, and recovery data. This data helps practitioners tailor programs and health recommendations to each individual.
Based on the phone call and questionnaire, a loose itinerary is created. Every day is filled with different modalities centered around Sensei's philosophy of move, nourish, and rest, which they believe are the "simple paths for everyday living." A typical day is full of activities such as yoga and meditation classes, outdoor activities, and time spent in non-activity.
Individuals will work with three highly trained practitioners who will guide them through the different parts of the program. The practitioners work together to gently help guests curate well-being while at the resort and provide information about incorporating the practices into their daily lives.
"Each guest has a guide, but we all work together behind the scenes," says Skyler Stillings, Exercise and Physiology Guide. "I believe the support of the entire team is the secret sauce that steers guests to greater well-being and is a key part of each guest's experience."
Every retreat stay includes a one-on-one session with a mindset guide who helps restore sleep and recovery with detailed information based on their Whoop data. Guests may learn deep breathing techniques or how to counteract daily micro-stressors with "snack-sized" recovery options designed to fit into their regular routines easily.
Mindset Guide Lydia Moran says nearly every guest she encounters battles with sleep issues. Often working with high-performers, including CEOs, professional athletes, and celebrities, she debunks common coping strategies like alcohol, drugs, and sleeping pills as a way to destress. Moran helps guests replace them with natural remedies, including breathwork, which she believes is the human "superpower."
The nourish part of the program takes guests through a one-on-one session with a nutritionist who helps tailor a program with healthy eating options and minor adjustments to enhance each guest's relationship with food.
"Our goal is always to guide each guest to greater well-being," says Stillings. "Our programs are for those who are wellness curious and just want to dip their toes in or for those who are already deeply devoted to their health – there is truly something for everyone." sensei.com
Sensei's Rest and Recovery Program
An integrated team of Sensei Guides and experienced practitioners help guests better understand their physical and mental state. Practitioners and guests work together to develop a framework for managing stress in everyday life. Highlights of the program include:
Reclaiming restorative sleep, including assistance with falling asleep, staying asleep, waking up, and greeting healthy sleep habits.
Harnessing all five senses for optimal culinary nourishment
Reconnecting with the body through mindful movement and working toward personalized and inspiring movement practice.
Exploring the body's stress responses in real-time with the Whoop 4.0 band.
Two 90-minute therapeutic spa treatments
A session at Lānaʻi Adventure Park
Access to Sensei Ranch
Lānaʻi Island Activities
Guests staying at Sensei Lānaʻi, a Four Seasons Resort, also have access to the Four Seasons Resorts Lānaʻi. Located a short distance away, guests can travel between resorts on a complimentary shuttle. Both properties offer various outdoor activities to ensure a fun and relaxing experience. Island activities include:
Beach and bay swimming
Clay Shooting and Archery
Electric Mountain Biking
Lānaʻi Adventure Park with zip lines, obstacle, and challenge courses