This is a premier venue. The grounds are unique and a great representation of the area, from picturesque fresh-water and salt-water ponds, to wonderful-smelling trees and bushes, to golf-course-green-style grass around the pool and beach areas (making walking to the room with sandy or wet feet that much easier), to turtle-resting locales on the beach, to even a small pool with a sand bottom for youngsters to have a safe beach experience, complete with sand-castle-building toys.
Standing out the most, though, are the people working here. As part of an excursion plan, I made a joke about my wife getting sea-sick. Just a brief statement in the midst of many while making our plans. When the concierge delievered our itinerary, it had a small bottle of dramamine as well as some ginger candies that are supposed to help with sea or air-sickness. When my wife mentioned we tend to have an eating "sprint" when we share dessert, our shared dessert was divided onto separate plates.
The rooms were spacious cottages, complete with an indoor and outdoor shower. The food was very good, particularly the breakfast buffet. This is important, because it takes a bit of a drive to get to any other restaurants in the area. Of course, the prices are high, but I would actually say they were a good value (beware, my one exception: a standard tanquaray martini was $21 . . . be careful what you order in the alcohol department). The food dishes were creative and well-prepared. The poke appetizer is known as the best on the island.
For us, having a car was a must, as we tend to engage in a lot of activities wherever we go. They had on-site parking for free (there is also a valet option). I'm not a golfer, but the course here is world-class (they had the PGA tour here). It is in great shape, and wonderful to walk around at dusk.
The sunset views are fantastic, and the ambience is very, very relaxing . . . and very romantic.
I've stayed at a number of "#1" hotels (rated by various magazines or sites) throughout the world, and I'd have to say this ranked in my top 2 (tied with Singita in South Africa).
As an aside, for the potential honey-mooner (of which there were many here): there's a great shore-break beach for boogie boarding (or body surfing) just up the highway from here: we bought boards at the Kona Walmart and had a great time.
This is an expensive venue but well worth it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nestled along the legendary Kona-Kohala Coast of Hawaii Island, Hualalai is a Hawaiian destination unlike any other. Blessed with 863 acres of lush oceanfront beauty, authentic Hawaiian artistry and the highly customized services of the award-winning Four Seasons, Hualalai is a holistic, sustainable and globally renowned community that continues to set the standard by which all other resorts are measured. Hualalai - The Place of `Uhane inspires and enriches every experience, forever transforming and connecting the lives of all who come here. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- 4 Seasons Resort Hualalai At Historic Ka`Upulehu
- Four Seasons Resort Hualalai At Historic Ka`Upulehu Hotel Kailua-Kona
- Four Seasons Kailua-Kona
- Kailua-Kona Four Seasons
- Four Seasons Hawaii
- Four Seasons Hualalai
- Four Seasons Resort Hualalai At Historic Ka'Upulehu Hawaii/Kailua-Kona