We travel to escape life’s to-do’s and to explore something new and inspiring. But what about taking a trip for even deeper, personal reasons? What if travel could improve your health and well-being far beyond the circled date of your return flight?
Sensei Lāna’i, A Four Seasons Resort was founded in response to this very question. Set within lush tropics amidst rolling, verdant mountains on the small, private Hawaiian island of Lāna’i, this destination has turned the luxury travel world on its head with a more proactive and profound definition of “journey.”
The resort has all the required features: a glorious setting, stylish rooms, delicious food, amazing spa, and every activity imaginable. But its allure is much more than these amenities alone. Sensei Lāna’i goes one step further. It promises guests the ultimate luxury: a better, more fulfilled you.
Sensei employs a data-driven canon of knowledge on how to achieve and maintain good health. Sensei began when tech titan Larry Ellison, co-founder of Oracle, and Dr. David Agus, a noted physician and scientist, were brought together by the passing of a close friend. Their shared sadness led to conversation, and then an idea. They could no longer help their friend, but they could join forces to help others lead longer, healthier lives.
Spearheaded by Agus, who has devoted his professional career to self-care and preventative health science, the Sensei Way was born. Its practices are organized into three simple paths: move, nourish, and rest. Each one enriches and balances the others. Guests at Sensei Lāna’i—the first-ever retreat devoted to the Sensei Way—are taught how to incorporate these practices into their daily lives.
Intrigued? The best way to learn more is to book the “Guided Sensei Experience.” This specially curated package begins inside a private terminal at Honolulu’s international airport, where you board a complimentary, semi-private charter flight. After 35 minutes in the air, the final leg is only a 10-minute ride by Tesla. The anticipation builds as palm trees give way to Cook pines and you ascend towards your final destination: Ko’ele, the traditionally spiritual uplands of Lāna’i.
Once on-property, you’re greeted by your own personal Sensei Guide, who has already reviewed your pre-arrival questionnaire. “The guide checks your blood pressure and body composition and then helps personalize your stay to best fit your intentions,” says Kelly LaLonde, a fitness expert who was part of Sensei’s elite startup team (the resort opened in November 2019). She is now a Lead Sensei Guide.
No one activity is mandated. “You’re an expert on you,” says LaLonde. “My job as a guide is to help you reflect on your own well-being. If you’re having trouble letting go of work, we can schedule meditation. If you practice yoga, an instructor can help improve your downward-facing dog.
“One of the unique benefits of the Guided Experience is the one-on-one time with experts in their fields,” she continues. “Imagine the legwork involved in consulting with a nutritionist, masseuse, physical therapist, and private yoga instructor at home. Here, we do it all for you.”
Group classes and one-on-one personal training sessions promote better movement by increasing strength, endurance, and coordination. But that’s not all—activities like swimming, mountain biking, hiking, scuba diving, sailing, golf, tennis, horseback riding, and more are all encouraged. There’s even an adventure park with zip lines and an obstacle course.
When it’s time to replenish, Sensei by Nobu serves up the creative, deceptively simple cuisine that Chef Nobu Matsuhisa is famous for inside a light-filled glass pavilion. The restaurant’s menu includes dishes that incorporate Sensei’s nutritional philosophy as well as straight-up Nobu classics. Keeping its cuisine as close to nature as possible, the restaurant sources fresh ingredients from Sensei Farms, just a couple miles down the road.
The resort’s spa and wellness treatments are designed to not just pamper but to also facilitate rest. Before or after treatment, you’re invited to peacefully reflect inside one of the property’s 10 spa hales (hale is Hawaiian for home). Each 1,000-square-foot private sanctuary includes an infrared sauna, soaking pool, and indoor and outdoor showers.
You’re probably feeling more relaxed already, but we’re not done yet. One of the resort’s most restorative benefits of all is its atmosphere. From the outdoor sculptures by world-renowned artists to the meticulous gardens filled with tropical blooms, Sensei Lāna’i, A Four Seasons Resort channels the grounding, healing power of nature at every turn.
Prioritizing good health has always been important; however, the pandemic’s toll has proved the Sensei founders’ vision both poignant and prescient. “We’ve all spent time reflecting on what’s really important recently,” notes LaLonde. “When life feels out of control, it makes sense to focus on something you can control: your own well-being.”
For more information, visit sensei.com.