This was the 2nd stop on our 3 week family vacation to the Hawaiian Islands. The first was 8 nights in Maui at the Wailea Beach Villas. The second, 7 nights in a villa at Hualalai.
Hualalai is a country club resort - I believe owned by Michael Dell. Part of the resort is The Four Seasons -- it is just mixed into the master plan of this beautiful community that is designed around lava fields. It is located on the Kona side of "The Big Island." It is just about 6 miles from the Kona International Airport.
Our children are 10 year old twins and a 6 year old. We enjoy staying in homes so that we can cook and not bother every day with breakfasts/lunches/dinner every day on long vacations and get a lot more space/bedrooms. But, we love resorts and so many times villas are the answer that are associated with resorts.
We rented a villa through "Villas of Distinction" with our AMEX Platinum travel agent. It is located in Hualalai and for an additional $50/day per person above 14 years of age - you get all access to The Four Seasons and Hualalai country club (just like Four Seasons guests). Plus you get a golf cart with a witty name to use. There is a wonderful gym, tennis, golf, and then, of course, all of the Four Seasons Pools.
Our stay was starting a peak travel period but since the pools have specific targets -- it never really feels that full. Plus, adults have an area away from the families which I'm sure they appreciate! Of course there is the kid's club and that's when parents can have alone time to do as they please.
We spent most of the time in King's Pond, the pool in the ocean (very creative), and the huge family infinity pool. The Four Seasons makes it very safe for children to snorkel and make it as authentic as possible.
I must say -- for 7 nights -- we could not imagine just staying at the resort. All of the Hawaiian islands offer so much we enjoy exploring, but, resort time is important, and we give ourselves enough days to do both.
For example -- my children will never forget going to Volcanoes National Park and seeing lava glow at night. Or my older son will not forget catching 150 pounds of Mahi Mahi with my husband off the Kona coast. The Hilo side of the island is just beautiful and quite different from where the resort is located. We also enjoyed a family session at Dolphin Quest.
We did make reservations for dinner one night at sunset at The Four Season's Ulu Grill. We really enjoyed our meal and we had a perfect table to enjoy the sunset.
So, if you want The Four Seasons, but, you want more room, a gourmet kitchen, etc. I highly recommend renting a villa at Hualalai. You can still get private catering, daily maid service, etc. if you want it -- it will just cost more. We would have paid the same or a bit less at The Four Seasons but we got so much more space and value, in our opinion, than staying at the hotel.
As usual, the staff at The Four Seasons is wonderful and most of the time would come up to ask for pool service. A few times we had to ask - especially at the family pool. Note: during peak travel times there is a clear pecking order to getting prime chairs: 1. Four Seasons guests 2. Hualalai villa owners 3. Renters of Hualalai villas (us). Only one time did that mean chairs a bit away from the prime area. Really not a big deal since we rarely sat in our chairs anyway and 'away' is just a few feet further. Again, this happened only once.
Just wanted to let everyone know that you have other options than staying at the actual Four Seasons -- you get more room, etc.
As on all the major islands -- there is Costco -- go there and stock up -- prices are about the same as mainland and it also carries local items.
Enjoy this resort!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greetings from Hualalai!
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What a beautiful picture you painted of your family's recent Hawaiian vacation! I am so happy to hear that the villa you rented was ideal for your needs and that you thoroughly enjoyed all of the Four Seasons amenities. There is something for everyone here at Hualalai, families with children, honeymooners, single travelers, retired people and we are delighted that you found your niche! We hope you will visit many times in the months and years to come. Thank you for your positive feedback!
With warmest aloha,
Executive Administrative Assistant
Four Seasons Resort Hualalai
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.