WHERE HEDONISM MEETS HEALTH

Travel+Leisure India|June 2020

WHERE HEDONISM MEETS HEALTH
On the Hawaiian island of Lanai, a new partnership between a storied hotel chain and a tech firm balances rigorous, science-backed treatments with enough indulgence to sway even wellness skeptics.
JANCEE DUNN

I LOVE THE IDEA of wellness travel, with its enticing promise that I’ll emerge a new—or at least newish—person. But when I’m eyeing a resort, I cross it off my list if the offerings seem too intense. I don’t do cardio boot camp. I don’t drink bee-pollen smoothies, adaptogenic-mushroom coffee, or ashwagandha shakes. I like my wellness to be gentle. Fun. Nature-filled. And is it so wrong that I like my wellness to involve a bread basket?

So, I was intrigued to hear that Four Seasons had opened a wellness-focussed property, the all-inclusive, adults-only Sensei Lanai, a Four Seasons Resort. It’s the brand’s first venture with Sensei, a wellness tech company created by the eminent cancer researcher Dr David Agus and billionaire Oracle founder Larry Ellison, who owns 98 per cent of the land on Lanai, a stoplight-free island 13 kilometres west of Maui.

Nestled in fog-shrouded mountains, the property is a complete reimagining of the former Lodge at Koele, a rustic, Englishcountry-house escape. With no direct beach access, the hotel never quite found its footing. But Ellison rightly anticipated that wellness travel would surge—and that secluded Lanai would be the perfect location for it. After a four-year, ₹567 crore renovation, the gleaming 96-room retreat was unveiled in November last year. With starting rates around ₹2.2 lakh— meals, activities, and air transfers included—it banks on clients willing to splurge on a different kind of Hawaiian getaway.

Wellness the Sensei way is the opposite of an ascetic medi-spa; its low-key mantra is ‘Move, Nourish, Rest’. This philosophy is put into practice by each guest’s wellness guide, who tailors a plan based on the latest research and input from advanced-degree-bearing experts.

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June 2020