Last updated: 03:35 PM ET, Fri May 15 2015

Hawaiian Island of Lanai Closes 97 Percent of Hotel Rooms for Renovations

Hotel & Resort | Donald Wood | May 15, 2015

Hawaiian Island of Lanai Closes 97 Percent of Hotel Rooms for Renovations

Photo courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority

Lanai is one of the most beautiful islands in Hawaii, but travelers will have a hard time booking a room there in the second half of 2015 as 11 hotel rooms will be available, representing only three percent of the normal vacancies.

According to Cathy Che of, Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison bought 98 percent of the island of Lanai for $300 million in 2012, and will be closing 97 percent of the island’s hotel rooms on June 1.

Ellison is planning on developing what he calls “the first economically viable, 100 percent green community,” but that means shutting down the Four Seasons Manele Bay and the Four Seasons Lodge at Koele from June through December when work is expected to be completed.

The two main hotels have 303 rooms and suites, which will be closed due to renovations or used to house construction workers. The only hotel that will remain open for the second half of 2015 will be the historic Hotel Lanai.

Built in 1923, Hotel Lanai only has 11 rooms. The building will be the only operating resort during construction, but that doesn’t mean the island will be closed from tourists during the busy summer and fall seasons.

The island of Lanai is a 45-minute ferry ride from Maui and offers plenty of activities for the entire family. From renting a Jeep that can take visitors to the rock formations at Keahiakawelo to enjoying the miles of beautiful beaches that surround the tropical paradise, Lanai is still the ideal destination for a single-day trip.

While the upgrades and renovations will limit the island’s success in the short term, the long-term projections should have Lanai thriving for years to come.

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