Conde Nast Traveler readers give top U.S. ranking to Lodge at Koele
THE Four Seasons Resort Lanai Lodge at Koele has struck gold. It is the top-scoring U.S. hotel property on Conde Nast Traveler magazine's Gold List for 2007
. "Is that rockin' or what," said Brad Packer, director of public relations.
The resort is in the finishing stages of a $50 million renovation that began in August, but, "if you were here, you wouldn't realize" that any renovation work is under way, he said. The work in all the public areas is complete, with what he called "soft work" being done in guest rooms that are not yet in service.
CONDE NAST HAWAII GOLD
Readers of Conde Nast Traveler rated these properties as the best in Hawaii:
1. Lodge at Koele, 97.8
2. Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, 96.7
3. Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, 92
4. Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa, 91
5. Four Seasons Lanai at Manele Bay, 88.8
6. Kahala Hotel & Resort, 88.6
7. Halekulani, 88.4
8. Fairmont Kea Lani on Maui, 87.5
9. Princeville Resort, Kauai, 87.2
10. Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa, 86.5
Source: Conde Nast Traveler magazine
The Lodge has always done well on luxe lodging lineups, but based on the travel magazine's further study into its annual readers choice survey, it scored a perfect 100 points in four of six categories, besting all other U.S. hotels on the list.
Conde Nast Traveler readers rated the property as best in service, food, design and activities. The Lodge scored a 95.7 for its rooms and a 91.3 for location.
"It is definitely a nice way to celebrate the rebranding to the Four Seasons," said Packer.
Many Four Seasons properties got gold, as did the Four Seasons Maui at Wailea, which also received 100 points for service. "Perfect-scoring service 'epitomizes the aloha spirit,'" the magazine said, quoting an unnamed reader.
The Four Seasons Resort Hualalai got a perfect 100 points for its rooms, with the magazine noting the lava-rock-walled, private outdoor showers that have drawn breathless reviews in other magazines.
The Lodge is also named on the "Ten of the World's Greatest Escapes" list by Islands magazine in its upcoming February issue
. It cites resorts in Tahiti, Antigua, Venice, Malaysia, the Seychelles, Belize, Lanai, the Florida Keys, Australia and the British Virgin Islands.
"It's a good week here," Packer laughed.
Some glaring absences smacked your columnist in the face upon examining the Gold List.
One Hawaii resort that is perennially on the AAA list of four-diamond hotels and resorts -- the Mauna Lani Resort -- is missing from the Conde Nast Gold List. Also, Halekulani, with La Mer, Hawaii's only AAA five-diamond restaurant, did not get a perfect score for food or anything else.
It could be what happens when placements are determined by readers, versus professional inspectors, as is the case with the AAA lists.
Four other Hawaii properties are named in the Conde Nast Traveler Gold List issue. Alii Tower at Hilton Hawaiian Village, the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa, Hotel Hana Maui and Kilauea Lodge on the Big Island did not make the main list, but the magazine cited them as worthy of mentioning on its Reserve List.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4747, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: email@example.com