I knew I was in for a treat when I was whisked away from Honolulu International in a private jet that took me on a 30 minute flight to Lāna’i. The luxury perk is included with a Sensei Lāna’i stay at one of the island’s two Four Seasons properties. A beach resort is the larger of the two and is found along Hulopoe Bay; Sensei, for guests 16 years and older, is located in Ko’ele, the island’s lush and traditionally spiritual highlands. The setting is spectacular, enhanced by over a billion dollars worth of artwork. And with Sensei by Nobu as the on-site restaurant, delicious meals are guaranteed.
I signed up for Sensei’s five-day Optimal Wellness Program. It is part of a platform developed by billionaire Larry Ellison (the co-founder of Oracle, which owns 98% of Lana’i) and physician and scientist Dr David Agus. The goal is to leverage data, technology and personalized medicine to help people live longer, healthier lives. Six weeks before arrival, guests start wearing a Whoop bracelet, a sleek fitness device that tracks biometric data. They are also assigned a personal Sensei guide for personalized design experiences.
My guide, Kyle, helped me develop a fitness-focused plan during our conversations leading up to my visit. (I wanted to challenge myself; other focus options are mindfulness and nutrition, though experiences generally incorporate all three. There are also programs built around tennis or golf.)
The resort’s spacious rooms are filled with natural light and feature private garden porches and the famous Toto bidets. After settling in, the first element of my itinerary was time to rest and rest in a teak hedge (pronounced holly). Expansive private spas are nestled in tropical gardens and feature an Ofuro bath, outdoor rain shower, saltwater tub, infrared sauna, steam shower, and more. . The restorative experience was worth the long day of travel.
After a morning meditation the next morning, I met with Kyle to review my Whoop scans and set specific goals for the rest of my stay, during which I would be guided through one-on-one sessions with exercise physiologists, mindfulness coaches, and nutritionists. I then had the first of several workouts with my fitness trainer, Skyler. Through various challenges, she helped me realize that I am much stronger and more capable than I ever dreamed – a truth brought home at the end of my journey with an incredible 8km hike to the top of Koloiki Ridge.
Sensei’s technology is mind-blowing. During a mindfulness session, for example, a device was attached to my earlobe to measure brain waves while I tried three different meditation techniques. He revealed which one worked the fastest and lasted the longest. And before a massage at the private room, the technician used a proprietary thermographic system to create a visual map of my body, revealing asymmetries, muscle tension, and painful areas. It prepared me for the most amazing massage of my life.
Other highlights include a “forest bathing” session (bathing in the sense of connecting with the trees, not what you probably initially imagined) and late-night baths in the gardens of Sensei Onsen , a group of 10 secluded hot tubs offering magnificent views of the star-filled sky.
Ellison and Agus know they’re onto something, especially since we’re all emerging from the pandemic and seem to be on a collective quest to improve the quality of our lives. A second Sensei resort will open in Palm Springs by the end of the year, with more on the way.
Kyle sent me on my way with a detailed plan, created in collaboration with the other coaches. It was an unforgettable experience and one that is guaranteed to pay dividends for life.
Marriage bliss in paradise
Twenty-three years ago, real estate developer Bill Cawley proposed to the love of his life, Keely. They married 45 days later. “We were ready to start our life together,” he says. The couple researched venues in Dallas, but instead chose a destination wedding at the Four Seasons Lāna’i, on the recommendation of a friend. “There is incredible beauty everywhere you look,” says the president of Cawley International. “It’s serene and secluded – it really is paradise.” A station planner helped put together the details. The couple exchanged vows in front of a waterfall then posed for a photo while standing barefoot by the edge of the Pacific. “It was intimate and meaningful,” Cawley says. “It was just Keely and me, looking each other in the eye.”
Christine is the editor-in-chief of CEO magazine and its online platforms. She is a nationally award-winning business journalist who has…