This week, Oracle founder and billionaire Larry Ellison ($36 billion is his estimated worth) bought the Hawaiian island of Lanai, an island we didn't even know was for sale. Then again, with an estimated selling price of around $600 million, it's not really in our real estate market. The 141-square-mile island is one of Hawaii's least-developed islands — with nary a streetlight, a population hovering around 3,000, two golf courses, and the Four Seasons Resort. The tiny Hawaiian jewel — formerly known as the "pineapple island" for its main agricultural export in the 1920s — now depends on tourism to stay alive. While Ellison has kept mum, reports say he plans on making substantial investments in Lanai. With Lanai's gorgeous environment and our love for breezy escapes on the brain, here are a few things Ellison can do.
- Build a seriously massive home: Ellison already owns multiple homes in California, Nevada, and Newport, RI, including a home modeled after a 16th-century Japanese palace. With 88,000 acres now under his ownership, we expect Mr. Ellison will build something spectacularly grand.
- Lounge at the Four Seasons: The luxury resort sits along cliffs above a marine preserve and boasts one of the world's top golf courses. Might we recommend the Hulopo'e suite?
- Make it an "eco-chic" destination: Tulum paved the way for eco-chic travel — think rustic but beautiful cabanas, organic food, and lots of yoga. Ellison could follow suit — just take a look at Tulum's Amansala resort and breathe new life into Lanai's tourism trade.
- Pitch a tent in the Garden of the Gods: This arid landscape filled with boulders and rock towers is pretty dramatic. Accessible only by a four-wheel-drive car, Garden of the Gods is remote and not ideal for building, but who better than Ellison to plunk down a luxurious yurt and call it his own?
- Simply take in the view: Whilst building a spectacularly grand home, Ellison may want to rent his own, like this villa set above Manele Bay. It's also on the market for $4.5 million, should he want to invest in the view permanently.
Photo courtesy of Lanai Luxury Homes