First known as the “Pineapple Island,” then renamed “Hawaii’s Private Island,” Lanai next called itself “Hawaii’s Most Secluded Island.” That was changed to “Hawaii’s Most Exclusive Island,” and now Lanai plans to be known as the “Most Enticing Island.” We’ll let you decide for yourself, but one thing everyone agrees on is the highly regarded Lanai Visiting Artists Program.
Established in December 1992, the program gives visitors and community residents the opportunity to meet and mingle with some of the world’s most celebrated luminaries in literature, film, the fine arts, music and the culinary world. One month, for example, award-winning filmmaker David Wolper may reveal behind-the-scenes insights on his latest project. On another month, you may find yourself in the kitchen with Emeril Lagasse, whipping up a sumptuous recipe worthy of a five-star restaurant. Or perhaps you’ll sit face-to-face with film critic Roger Ebert as he shares his views on the current state of the movie industry.
Ebert, Lagasse and Wolper are just three distinguished “alumni” from past Visiting Artist programs. Other guests have included humorist Dave Barry, actress Jane Seymour, novelist Paul Theroux, chef Thomas Keller, classical pianist Jon Kimura Parker, former presidential press secretary Marlin Fitzwater, longtime Cosmopolitan editor Helen Gurley Brown, painter Guy Buffet, classical guitarist Carlos Barbosa-Lima, jazz great Arturo Sandoval, actor James Woods, chef Jean Louis Palladin, journalist Linda Ellerbee, Hawaiian guitarist Keola Beamer, author Larry McMurtry and legendary sports columnist Jim Murray.
The setting for these unique encounters is as intimate and relaxed as the island of Lanai itself. It’s a rare chance to rub elbows with these world-famous virtuosos and enjoy memorable moments of informal camaraderie.
Clearly, the celebrities enjoy the interaction as well. It’s their chance to unwind, let their hair down and quietly retreat into Lanai’s ever-soothing embrace. Besides, what better excuse to escape for a few days and enjoy the island’s great golf adventures, snorkeling opportunities and miles of untouched beaches?