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Guided Wellness at Sensei Lanai, A Four Seasons Resort

Sensei Lānaʻi

Photo by Robb Gordon

Sensei Lanai is about wellness, renewal and personal growth.

I have known for a while that a few lifestyle adjustments might result in a healthier day-to-day. But knowing and doing are, in my case, mutually exclusive. The last couple of years certainly haven’t provided the motivation necessary to effect any sort of positive change. So when the opportunity presented itself to spend a few days at Sensei Lanai—well known for its life-changing programming—I jumped at the chance. 

Located in Lanai’s “up country” at 1,600 feet above sea level, Sensei Lanai is not your typical Hawaiian playground. One of two Four Seasons resorts on the tiny and exceedingly authentic island, where pineapple fields once dominated the landscape, Sensei Lanai is about wellness and renewal. It’s about personal growth. And it’s most definitely about rest, relaxation and rejuvenation.

Founded by Larry Ellison and renowned oncologist, author, and University of Southern California professor of medicine Dr. David Agus, the resort is so captivating and enchanting that it innately initiates positive change in its guests. 

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Sensei Lanai is about wellness and renewal. It’s about personal growth. And it’s most definitely about rest, relaxation and rejuvenation.

Sensei Lānaʻi

Photo by Robb Gordon

But, desiring the whole experience, I signed-on for a guided wellness journey, one of the offerings within an abundant choice of programming. Upon arrival, I met with my Sensei Lanai guide to address my intentions, which uniquely matched the ‘Sensei Way’ three path focus of move, nourish, and rest. My life as a journalist, forever glued to my computer, keeps me from ‘moving’ as much as I’d like. As one who extensively covers wine and wine country, my wine glass is, fortunately or unfortunately, forever full. And as a result of the inactivity and the wine, I don’t sleep well. My intentions? Exercise more, imbibe less and sleep through the night.

My guide collected baseline health markers such as blood pressure, body composition, hydration, and functional-movement. A medical professional collected a finger prick of blood to reveal my fasting blood glucose and cholesterol levels. I met with a nutritionist who shared ideas for a more healthful diet. Through a thoughtful discussion with my guide, where I revealed that my best sleep seems to take place in Manhattan after I walk for miles each day, we determined that movement is my “domino.” My ‘guide to growth,’ a take-home plan provided to guests who have completed a guided wellness program, was beginning to take shape. 

My time at Sensei Lanai also included yoga and meditation sessions, a movement class, and of course a treatment within one of the resort’s ten Spa Hales, each 1,000 square feet of pure indulgence featuring individual gardens, Japanese Ofuro soaking tubs, outdoor rain showers, infrared saunas, hot and cold pools, and steam showers. 

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Yoga class in the Yoga Pavilion.

Photo by Robb Gordon

Nutrition came in the form of Nobu, the resort’s one restaurant, at which repeat visits were anticipatory and not at all routine. And pure relaxation was granted both poolside and within the ten onsen garden hot pools, between which waterfalls cascade towards the koi-filled lake. And, as an art lover, I found solace in the property’s stunning artworks and sculptures. The base of monumental, mountainside-placed “Talaia” by Spanish sculptor Jaume Plensa, for instance, proved the perfect spot for pensive reflection.

It’s not as if I did not already know that more exercise, less screen time, and smaller pours of wine might result in better health and better sleep. It simply helps to hear it from someone else – someone you can picture on your shoulder, directing you when faced with the option of another Netflix binge as opposed to a walk around the block. After a mere three days enveloped in the Sensei Way, my habits have changed for the better. “What would my Sensei Lanai guide suggest?” is my new self-check, and it’s working.

Jaume Plensa's Talaia. Photo by Robb Gordon

Photo by Robb Gordon

STAY AND PLAY

A Sensei Lanai stay involves effortless travel; for bookings by Aug 31, for arrivals by Dec 31, 2022, each reservation includes concierge transfers from Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport to Lānaʻi via charter air service Lānaʻi Air (a 25 minute flight). Four Seasons resort staff members greet guests upon arrival in Honolulu and provide escort to the Lānaʻi Air tarmac, and upon arrival in Lānaʻi, a staff driven Tesla awaits for the ten minute drive to the resort. It’s the perfect, care-free start to a serene, Sensei Way stay. 

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