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Four Seasons Resort Hualalai
Ranked #1 of 14 Hotels in Kailua-Kona
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 6 September 2010

I stay at many Four Seasons in North America but this one tops the rest. It is beautiful, well run and set up for a non crowded luxury experience. I thoughts the rooms were clean, updated and had every convenience available. hotel is pread among many acres and thus the guests are spread out among 4 pools, a beach, glof, tennis, and a spa. I enjoyed the adult pool which is basically self serve. Main pool has more action and is staffed. Thought the dining venues were excellent and as usual for 4S, pricey. Spa certainly deserves their reputation for one of the best in North America. I had a cocunt scrub/wrap and recommend it to anyone at the end of a week in the sun. Close to the airport, responsive staff, dry weather....what more could you want?

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank WaupacaTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,311 - 2,317 of 2,837 reviews

Reviewed 5 September 2010

I stayed at the Four Seasons in Kona with a group of nine. Unfortunately, my mother-in-law got sick and we had to shorten our stay. (She's okay) We only stayed for one night. I was told that my credit card would be credited for 3 rooms at one night. I did not receive this credit after one month and I had to call everyday and finally after 2 months I was credited!! I have stayed at other Four Seasons hotels all over the world and I have never had any issues like this. A five star hotel needs to process requests like a five star hotel period.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
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3  Thank jillo22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 September 2010

From the location to the staff to the accommodations, everything about this resort is top notch. I have stayed at many nice resorts.This is the top of the bunch.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank RIKNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 September 2010

I've been coming to Hualalai off and on for about 9 years now with my wife and children and after seeing descriptions like "Amazing", "Spectacular", "Best Resort Ever", "Exquisite", "Perfection", "Heaven on Earth" from other reviews compelled me to write my first review on Tripadvisor. If you haven't stayed at Hualalai before or other special places in Hawaii or on the Big Island for that matter I can understand the use of such descriptions but it's changed dramatically in the last couple of years and has become unfortunately just another high priced resort with an attitude or as my wife said "It's Just Not Like it Used to Be."

Valet - Perfection thanks to old timers that still take care of the cars and bags

Check-In - Perfection again but the juice and leis are becoming fairly standard

Grounds - Perfection especially at night

Beach - One of if not the worst beaches for any major resort in Hawaii unless you like choppy surf and lava rock. It's only good for the covered chaise lounges that sit on on the steep man-made sand berm. The protected beach is only usable during low tide for swimming, turtles and kids. You can go down to the state park or up to KVR but otherwise forget it, you might as well be in Hana. I go up to KVR to snorkel when I am at Hualalai (Kings Pond isn't snorkelling) and my kids spend all day on the beach (sand castles, ocean petting zoo, chasing fish, etc.) and in the ocean up the coast at another resorts condo area past Hawaii's own Disneyland. Not at Hualalai. This is not an ocean beach resort, not as bad as Disneyland up the road but close. This is a pool/activity resort.

Pools - Unique but overly crowded and under or unmotivated staff. Before the ownership change, the new suites, and the notoriety, they were perfect. Clean, plenty of space, Kings Pond ice cold beautiful with lava rock and sidewalks on fire and cabanas available at every pool, all 4 of them. A week ago (late Aug. and 1-2 weeks before school in SoCal) no cabanas, chaise lounges doubled around the pools, 2 eagle rays gone from Kings Pond, otter pop wrappers on the ground, out of towels in the afternoon and beds in Palm Cove, I might as well be in Vegas.

Rooms - Perfection if you get a ground floor unit, "Partial Ocean View" with a lava shower otherwise they are like any other but with bigger bathrooms. It's really not a special experience at the 4S Hualalai if you don't get a lava shower

Food - Alright but not spectacular and don't get me started about the $16 Mia Thai's at the pool or at the bars (the $22 Mia Thai at the Resident's Beach Club by comparison is still great). Pahu i`a - Go once for dinner and that's all you really need, Brunch hasn't changed in 9 years and is still great. Beach Tree - An upgraded design and menu but I miss the bar in the sand and the waits are unacceptable. The Grill has gone from Alan Wong to a a third rate sports bar (not 4S quality or even Hooters for that matter) and that is being generous. Do yourselves a favor and go down to the Members Beach Club sit in the blue chairs for a little bit and get lunch and/or dinner with an order of onion rings, the Hawaiian Pizza and a Mai Thai. If you want one meal at the 4S then it would be the Saturday night Buffet whether you are staying at the resort or not, still magical despite the fact that it has gone upscale at Pahu i`a and is no longer really in the sand.

Amenities - Nothing beats the cultural center for the young and old.

Staff Attitude - It's a tale of two staff types:
Old Timers at Valet, House Keeping, Security, Pahu i`a, Cultural Center = Perfection and still say Aloha at every turn
College Kids at the Pools, Beach Tree, Health Club = Next Question

Guest Attitude - Once upon a time this used to be a place where the guests including celebrities didn't have an attitude. Everyone knew that it was a special place and it was no big deal. Today it's more about how you dress, nannies/au pairs taking care of kids instead of their parents (isn't this why people go on vacation in the first place), not giving a crap about other guests, discussions about getting kids into Harvard/Westlake and how "exclusive" the resort is.

Would I recommend Hualalai for honeymooners, first-timers and the like, yes for a couple of nights but not more than that. For those of us old timers like topaccommodations, myself and the like there are other options on the Big Island and in Hawaii for that matter that can be just as nice for half the price. If you know the right condo or house to stay in on the Big Island then the 4S at Hualalai is a 1 or 2 night treat at the end of a week with late checkout before the red-eye home. It's better than the 4S Maui for most, not as cramped as the rooms on Lanai but it's not perfection, the true magic is gone.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled with family
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4  Thank 43,221
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 September 2010

I have followed Trip Advisor reviews over the years but never took the time to post a comment. We are from Southern California and frequent Hawaii often. We have stayed at many high end hotels on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island. Nothing compares to the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai. If you want to completely relax with absolute authentic Hawaiian beauty and with first class service this is it. The gym/spa is the best with its own 4 lane lap pool surrounded by beautiful work out rooms. We have taken Spin classes that are excellent and really appreciate the chilled towel they bring you towards the last 10 minutes
of your workout. Your every need is anticipated and everyone who works here generally loves it here and is beyond nice. No one has the forced smile or fake Aloha greeting, they really enjoy you and are wonderful.

The two restaurants are gorgeous and the food is great. Yes it is expensive but when you enjoy the many perks throughout the day it is well worth it.
At the pool you are kindly offered smoothies, water, evian mists, chilled washcloths and are even asked if they can clean your sunglasses all as a courtesy. I could write pages about this Hotel, bottom line - someone knows how to run a hotel WELL. It is over 90% full here but you wouldn't know it as it seems very private.
If you are looking for night life or lots of shopping or more of a "scene" don't come here. This is an elegant, beautiful, sophisticated hotel for those who wish to exercise, enjoy the best food and truly relax. Worth every penny and I congratulate the Four Seasons for respecting Hawaiian traditions and keeping it real, this is a really special place. I am now at the pool and it is sunset, stunning! Also if you are worried about the weather not being perfect, out of all the Hawaiian Islands this is the most dependable perfect weather, I believe it only varies 6 degrees throughout the year!

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank wanderlust92037
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 August 2010

One has to be a little skeptic when so many people give such high marks for a hotel or restaurant on Tripadvisor. However, for the Four Seasons Hualalai, the high marks are well deserved.

First, I can definitely understand some of the negative marks when the hotel was under construction and renovation. I was not at this hotel when those things were going on and will not argue with the reviews that were during that time. However, with the renovations done, I strongly disagree with any negative reviews on this hotel. Granted, no hotel is perfect and there may be, the most likely rare, incidents where the hotel could not cater to the individual. But the overall experience of this hotel is nothing short of spectacular. The reason I see for the negative reviews would be individuals having closed minds and not wanting to open them simply because they are paying a lot of money for something. Simply put, if you are that type of individual who cannot get over paying alot of money for a hotel, then do not go here and spend your nights at a motel.

However, for those who treasure the experience with an open mind and believe you get what you pay for, then I highly recommend the Four Seasons.

We were greeted first with a cold fruit drink with a lay. Then given a tour around the enormous resort in a gold cart. The resort is huge with over four pools and the beach. They have gone to the extent of making a wave break around their area so the waves are small and makes for easy enjoyment. The pools run from kiddie pools to the adult pool and cater to all individuals. They have small huts were you can lay down and relax and take a nap if you wish. Of course, being the Four Seasons, it comes with the water sprays, fruit, cucumber for the eyes, etc. And one thing deserves mentioning.. as with Maui Four Seasons, you do not have to rent a cabana or the hut. It is first come first serve and included in the rates. Many hotels will charge for renting a cabana. Sea Turtles will come right up the shore and great for those pictures to take home.

The Paia restaurant is excellent. The buffet breakfast is great with so many things to choose from. Only the Maui Four Seasons out does the buffet breakfast here. Unfortunately, this buffet does not have a pancake making station but only an omelet bar. Dinner at the restaurant is romantic where you are seated right in front of the ocean and the waves breaking on the rocks. The food is Four Seasons quality and nothing short of it.

So many things to write about, but all positive. Definitely, the best Four Season experience with its peacefulness and service. If you enjoyed your stay at Maui Four Seasons, this one is definitely worth a try for you.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Five_Seasons
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 August 2010

Just returned from our 4-night stay at Four Seasons Hualalai. It was our 4th visit and it gets better each time. This time we booked a family package which includes breakfast, dinner and 1 family activities. Although the package price seemed very high at the time of booking several months ago, it was one of the better value deals we've had. We opted for a family canoe trip. As it turns out, the canoe trip is run by Kona Village resort, located next door to FS. As with everything else on the resort, the service and amenities were top notch and everyone had great time, especially snorkeling with dolphins.

What we like the most about Four Seasons Hualalai is the fact that once we're on the resort, we can completely relax and be pampered. We've been to other resorts where each time we turn we need to pay either for activities or other amenities. At FS, there is no one to nickel and dime you. From children's activities, laundry facilities, to feeding eagle rays, many amenities are already included in the room rate so you're not shelling out cash each time.

There are plenty to do for all ages (golf, tennis, pool, spa, rock climbing, ukelele lessons, hula lessons, bracelet making lessons, yoga - just to name a few). Then again, there are several pools to sit around and do nothing at all. We liked strolling around the resort and admire the gorgeous view, sweet fragrance of tropical flowers, and taking in the serenity of the resort.

It's hard to imagine anyone not liking this resort. It is pricey, but for the level of service, amenities, it is top notch and definitely worth every penny.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled with family
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Thank momoftwo_NJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Four Seasons Resort Hualalai

Address: 72-100 Ka'upulehu Drive, Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii, HI 96740
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Hawaii > Island of Hawaii > Kailua-Kona
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Kailua-Kona
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Kailua-Kona
#1 Romantic Hotel in Kailua-Kona
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Kailua-Kona
#1 Green Hotel in Kailua-Kona
Price Range: £608 - £1,414 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Four Seasons Resort Hualalai 5*
Number of rooms: 243
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Resting on the picturesque Kona-Kohala coast of Hawaii Island, the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai combines the warm aloha of the Islands with the impeccable signature service recognized by Four Seasons guests worldwide. With 243 guest rooms, an award-winning golf course, and seven pools, Four Seasons Resort Hualalai is the only Forbes Five Star and AAA Five Diamond Rated Resort in Hawaii. The Resort offers five dining options, including 'ULU Ocean Grill + Sushi Lounge, the only Forbes star-rated restaurant on the Island. Chefs in each dining outlet work with ingredients from over 160 local farms, and 75% of the food served is from Hawaii Island. The comfortable and spacious accommodations at the Resort are housed in intimate two-story bungalows arranged in small crescents along the beachfront and golf course. Additional features include an Ocean Adventures team, seven tennis courts, a spa with 14 treatment rooms and salon services, and a Cultural Center with classes and activities highlighting Hawaiian culture. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Four Seasons Resort Hualalai At Historic Ka`Upulehu Hotel Kailua-Kona
4 Seasons Resort Hualalai At Historic Ka`Upulehu
Four Seasons Kailua-Kona
Kailua-Kona Four Seasons
Four Seasons Hawaii
Four Seasons Hualalai
Four Seasons Resort Hualalai Hawaii/Kailua-Kona

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