This Hawaiian Resort Is Opening an on-Site Observatory for Aspiring Astronomers

Ready to see stars?

Four Seasons Resort Lanai

Courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Lanai

Due to low levels of light pollution, Hawaii's island of Lanai is an ideal destination to stargaze. Now, travelers heading to Hawaii can get a crystal clear view of the island's brightest stars at the Four Seasons Lanai's newly opened Lanai Observatory.

The latest project from Love Lanai, the resort's in-house cultural advisory board, the observatory will host the Kilo Hōkū Experience, named after the Hawaiian words for "to observe" and "star." The program aims to share "ʻike kūpuna"—ancestral knowledge—about the celestial skies and guide guests through an educational stargazing session.

The experience will include ancient stories about the stars passed down by Hawaiians, a chance for guests to peer through the telescope and stargaze through an 11 foot tall, 3,000-pound telescope, and details of how Hawaiian and ancient Polynesians used the stars to navigate open oceans. 

"Our Love Lanai team dedicated many hours of learning not only about the operations of the telescope and the skies but importantly about the history of ancient wayfinding as well as methods of traditional, non-instrument navigation that Native Hawaiians and people of the Pacific utilize today in attempts to retrace the voyages of our past so we can reclaim ancestral knowledge," said Alastair McAlpine, the resort's general manager. "We look forward to sharing this unique experience to explore the stars and discover another aspect of Hawaiian culture."

The experience will cost $35 for adults and teens and $17.50 for children ages 4 to 12, who must be accompanied by an adult. The resort also has plans for future additions to the program, including featured guest speakers and collaborations with 'Imiloa, Hawaii's top astronomy education center.

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  1. Four Seasons Lanai. "Four Seasons Resort Lanai Introduces Astrotourism with Debut of the Lanai Observatory." February 28, 2022.