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Four Seasons Maui or Hualalai for Family

Chicago
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Four Seasons Maui or Hualalai for Family

Hi, so I know this is the Maui forum and I am posting for a resort on the the big island but you can't post in both so I decided to go for Maui. I have a 14 year old, a 12 year old, and a 9 year old and am looking to go over the summer. Is one designed more for families or would they both be fine? Thanks!

Burr Ridge, Illinois
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1. Re: Four Seasons Maui or Hualalai for Family

I vote 4S.

Hayden Lake, ID
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2. Re: Four Seasons Maui or Hualalai for Family

You can post on both and they are both 4S.

Kapaa, Hawaii
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3. Re: Four Seasons Maui or Hualalai for Family

bump

California
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4. Re: Four Seasons Maui or Hualalai for Family

Both resorts are about as good as you can get and would be about the same for families. If this is your first trip to Hawaii (or the kids) I would always pick Maui first as much as I love the Big Island.

Big Island, Hawaii
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5. Re: Four Seasons Maui or Hualalai for Family

There was an extensive thread on this about six months ago that talked about both hotels and the differences in detail. You might want to do a forum search to find it. If you strike out, PM me and I'll track down and send you the link.

I've stayed at both, with and without kids, Hualalai about two dozen times and FS Wailea four times. I prefer Hualalai immensely, In fact I think it's one of the best Four Seasons in the world, and I've stayed at many of them. But both are fantastic properties and a lot depends on what else you want to do while in Hawaii and what your personal tastes and preferences are. One big factor for many is that Hualalai does not front a beach like Wailea. It is oceanfront, has lots of sand, and has a large ocean lagoon to swim in, but to get to a beach and open ocean access you either have to walk about 5-10 minutes north to Kahuwai Bay (grey sand, decent snorkeling, good swimming, fronts the old Kona Village) or walk 15 minutes south to Kukio Bay and Kikaua Point (great turtle watching, ok swimming, no snorkeling to speak of unless you walk another 10 minutes to Kikaua Point).

As far as the properties go, to sum up the previous thread, FS Wailea is a lot like FS Las Vegas. It's beautiful but could be anywhere in terms of architecture, rooms, restaurants, and the fantasy pools. Hualalai has stayed remarkably true to its location, built around fish ponds, only two story buildings, lots of wood, a cultural center, and very Polynesian luxe in feel. The restaurants at Wailea are great but more LA, while at Hualalai they have a commitment to local produce, have a garden on site, and are more casual.

Hualalai has a saltwater pool/pond with eagle rays, two adult pools (one is small but with a swim up bar), and a family pool that has a small waterfall. Wailea has a big fountain pool, a waterfall pool, and an over the top adult pool with swim up bars, underwater music and cabanas with TVs.

If Wailea was in California, I'd probably like it a lot more and stay there more. In Hawaii, it doesn't appeal to me as much, if that makes sense..

The kids program at both places, as at most Four Seasons, is excellent. Game rooms, Hualalai has a rock climbing wall.

Also, obviously as I live here, I prefer the Big Island to Maui. Quieter, less traffic, easier to find yourself alone on a beach and in the water, better snorkeling, diving. But that's more personal preference. Maui has a lot more and bigger beaches that are more kid-friendly, more restaurants.

In many ways the styles of the two hotels reflect the styles of the two islands. I find more to do on property and within walking distance of Hualalai than Maui. It's easy not to drive off the property and still experience a lot of what the Big Island is about, from the fish ponds and wetlands, to the snorkeling at the aforementioned places, and beaches where turtles outnumber the people.

Edited: 27 February 2012, 18:45
Belfast , Northern...
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6. Re: Four Seasons Maui or Hualalai for Family

The Four Seasons Maui would be much the better . It is a lovely place set on an excellent beach - much better than that at the Hualalai - and there are more great beaches , and shopping , to explore just a few minutes walk away . There are enough places to visit within easy driving distance to keep your party happy for a month .

The Hualalai is beautiful , but is very spread out , the beach is not so good , and it is some distance from places of interest . It is a great for mature guests who would enjoy the laid - back peaceful atmosphere and those who will take advantage of the resort's good golf facilities .

Long Island, New...
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7. Re: Four Seasons Maui or Hualalai for Family

Just got back from our 3rd stay as FS Maui. Last two with kids. We tried to stay (in one room) at the FS Hualalai, but were actually discouraged to do so by the resort as they said it would be cramped and not a true FS experience. So we stayed 5 nights at the Mauna Lani which was great (but no where near FS Maui).

My 6 year old daughter loved the Kids For All Seasons program. We LOVE the Outrigger Canoe program, done it every year since we've been there and my 9 year old son had his first Canoe trip this year. He also got his first try at snorkeling right off the beach which he also loved.

He was slightly jealous of the "cooler" pools at the Grand Wailea and even the Fairmont.

I do agree that the FS Maui does seem more "Hollywood" or "LA" than Hawaiian (which is how I would describe the Mauna Lani).

I'm still trying to get over the post-Hawaii blues. One day I hope not to have to take the return flight.

Carlsbad, CA
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8. Re: Four Seasons Maui or Hualalai for Family

I agree with SheaG about the feel of Hualalai but the non-swimmable beach is a deal breaker for me. Four Seasons Maui routinely tops lists of the best hotels in the world. Hualalai is on those lists too, but not usually as high as Maui.

Big Island, Hawaii
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9. Re: Four Seasons Maui or Hualalai for Family

Well, not that I'm sure it matters all that much, but I don't think it's accurate that Hualalai is "not usually as high as Maui" on 'those lists'. They often alternate or are so close as to be statistically meaningless ( CN Gold List 2012, FS Maui scored a 93.9, Hualalai a 93.4:). Hualalai routinely beats out Wailea by quite a bit on the T&L list (was first in the state in 2011, FS Wailea was fifth, behind the Lodge at Koele). Hualalai was also just named by US News and World Report as one of the top ten hotels in the U.S. (The Lodge at Koele, IMO, inexplicably, was the only other hotel from Hawaii on the list). Anyway, they're both popular hotels, and for good reason.

Also, as set forth above, there are swimmable beaches at Hualalai, just a few minutes walk to either side rather than out in front, although I understand this being a major priority for some. I spend a lot of time in the ocean and I actually prefer the ocean environment around Hualalai because the snorkeling and reef is better than at Wailea, but it does definitely require more effort, plus for just lounging in the surf or at the edge of a long, golden beach, which for many people is ideal, and understandably so, Wailea clearly has a huge edge.

I found the link to the other forum topic on this subject from a few months ago:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g29220-i86-k484403…

Edited: 28 February 2012, 22:34
10. Re: Four Seasons Maui or Hualalai for Family

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