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“Well served, well spent” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka'upulehu

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Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka'upulehu
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   72-100 Ka'upulehu Drive, Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii, HI 96740   |  
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Hotel amenities
Special Offer
USD 1000 Resort Credit
Ranked #1 of 15 Hotels in Kailua-Kona
GreenLeadersGold level
long beach, ca
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Well served, well spent”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2013

Our daughter was married there last month. Confident, calm and collected, Jenna Giles, the wedding coordinator helped us put together a sweet little, yet gorgeous, ceremony and memorably fun-filled and beautiful evening reception - a months worth of planning and coordinating that culminated in a fabulous time for about 80 of our families and friends.
Music, flowers, food, drinks, ceremony site - nothing was less than a warm "Hawaiian perfect" (well, okay, we would have enjoyed a nice breeze at the reception site).

Now that the wedding is over we are looking forward to returning. Ulu, the Beechtree, the beautiful grounds, pools... and the whole staff - all were welcoming and relaxing. A very beautiful experience.
The only thing I will do different next time is get a room in a better location. Room 2010 was a beauty inside and with a decent view - but (and this is my only but) it is to the rear of the Beechtree restaurant and grill. At night, when we went to open the balcony doors so we could hear the ocean, all we could hear was the restaurant venting (it was tucked into the garden between our room and the restaurant). It was only obvious at nights - and once during a day when some smoke and BBQ wafted out !
So - I'll be a little more choosey about the room location - but I'm in.! Best "vacation" and wedding ever!
Thanks so much, Jenna. You and your crews made it all look so easy. You're tops in our book :-)

Room Tip: Our first room had a tree blocking the ocean view. They were happy to move us. Our second room I d...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,620 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (480)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2013

Stayed here for 9 nights as a stop-off on a round the world trip and have to say I was underwhelmed compared to similar resorts that I've stayed in, in Asia for example. Overall it was particularly crowded in the common areas (beach / pools etc), kids running crazy noisy all over the place, staff a bit frazzled. I felt the resort had quite a corporate, formulaic feel to it, service felt fake/cheesy etc, and it lacked the charm and special touch I've experienced at other tropical resorts.

I arrived at lunch-time and despite the resort having had my arrival details for around a fortnight there was no room ready and I had to wait around three hours. I took lunch in the overcrowded Beach Tree Grill, was lucky to get the last table but then had to wait over an hour for a poor pizza with an undercooked base and flavourless toppings. Lucky I wasn't in a hurry, but the table behind me was and left without eating.

Dining in general was disappointing for a resort of this standard - there are three restaurants and they are all Grills of some description. The aforementioned Beach Tree has an Italian bias but the pasta and pizza were pretty average. Beach Tree is the only one open at lunchtime so it gets rammed and you often can't get a table. Don't understand why this is the only lunchtime dining option in a hotel of this size. The grill at the golf club was a steakhouse but again pretty average by American standards - I got served a mediocre steak with undercooked sides. The Ulu Grill is probably the best of the dining options with a good local sourcing ethos but the menu has thai/chinese/japanese/hawaiian/western influences and none of the dishes seemed to master any particular cuisine (plus the wind got up one night and they had to move everyone inside which led to a bit of a disintegration in service).

One great thing the Four Seasons has in its favour is its location for exploring the island. The airport is only 5-10 minutes away (but you don't hear the planes). The highlights of my trip were things I did outside of the resort and all were pretty easy to reach - Diving with Jack's Diving Locker (25 mins drive), golf at Mauna Kea (30 mins), helicopter tour with Hawaiian Blue (15 mins) and driving Saddle Rd at sunset.

The service at the golf club was good and the course and grounds of the hotel in general were exceptionally well kept. The hotel's golf course is overpriced in my view at $250 when Mauna Kea is a far better course and can be had for $150 after 11am. It was a similar story at the Spa where I just felt they were cutting corners - no choice of inside or outdoors treatment room, no foot bowl at start of treatment, no scent under the face rest, no choice of oils, loud TV in the relax area etc.

Nobody seems to swim in the sea and there are signs warning strongly against it owing to all the rocky lava and strong currents. The beach is very narrow and the on-site watersports crew have pretty much given up offering the diving options that I was expecting from the website, as they say it was pretty much impossible to get in and out of the water with the equipment. The pools are therefore really crowded. I used King's Pond a couple of times (snorkelling pool with tropical fish) which is a nice concept but it was pretty cold and had poor visibility (seemed like a lot of "fish matter" floating around). The adults pool had kids in every time I walked past so I more often used the lap pool at the spa. This is empty most the time as there isn't any staff/service there but this meant that a couple of times sweaty teens would come off the basketball or tennis courts and just jump in without showering or changing which is pretty disgusting.

The rooms on the Ocean have a lovely view and get the sunset in the evening. They are tastefully decorated and the beds are very comfortable. I noticed a lot of noise from neighbouring rooms - sliding doors and toilet flushes etc clearly audible but maybe I just got a bad neighbour. Again compared to other resorts I've stayed in, I would have expected some fresh fruit / large water bottles etc each day but this is another little touch that doesn't happen here.

This was my first time in Hawaii so I've no local benchmark, but for $800-900++ per night it just doesn't stack-up against the international competition for me. It felt like there were some corners cut and that they charge what they do because they can.

Room Tip: Rooms by King's Pond seemed a little quieter with good views of the ocean, and are near the car...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chris W, Director of Sales at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka'upulehu, responded to this review, July 18, 2013
Aloha,

Thank you, for taking the time to share your experience and for choosing Four Seasons Resort Hualalai during your recent trip to Hawaii.

We are deeply sorry to learn that we did not meet your expectations during your stay.

You have provided excellent feedback and we will take it seriously to improve.

Mahalo,

Chris White
Director of Marketing
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
El Paso, Texas
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2013

I have stayed at so many Four Seasons Hotel and Resorts (20 already and counting), but The Four Seasons Hualalai is the probably the best so far. Service was excellent. The resort was beautiful and breathtaking. There is so much to do and if you don't want to do anything but just relax, and read, it is still the perfect place. Hulu, at the concierge, arranged for us "The Umauma Falls and Zip Line" and "The spectacular Helicopter Ride". It was unbelievable. The food was excellent too. Expensive but worth it!!! The memories me and my son Kyle had at this resort will be treasured forever.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2013 via mobile

We got married at the Four Seasons Hualalai on the 4th of July. Brittany Arndt, the wedding coordinator at the hotel was outstanding. She assisted us arranging our wedding there from when we got engaged (February 2012) until we left the island on July 8th. We also would like to acknowledge, Tabitha (Brittany's assistant) for making sure the wedding party was on time and in the right place during the wedding. Heidi, the hotel's florist, did a wonderful job with all the floral arrangements for our wedding ceremony and reception. Thank you, Timothy (the night manager) who checked us in and also sent us strawberries with a chocolate dipping sauce for a wedding gift. We also would like to thank Rachel, the pastry chef, for sending us a chocolate assortment for our wedding. The hotel staff really do go out of their way for the hotel guests. There is a reason Trip Advisor ranked this hotel #1 in the World. We can't wait to return! Mahalo!

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rheba C, Executive Office at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka'upulehu, responded to this review, July 15, 2013
Greetings from Hualalai, the "Best Place to Get Married"!

I shared your lovely compliments with your Wedding Team, Tabitha, Brittany, Timothy, Heidi, and Rachel, and they sent their very best regards to you! Thank you for letting us know that we helped build a beautiful memory of your wedding day and we look forward to welcoming you back, perhaps for every anniversary!

With warmest aloha,


Rheba Crane
Executive Administrative Assistant
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Austin, Texas
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2013

We loved everything about this trip and resort. The staff personalized the trip for us and made efforts at every turn to ensure a memorable stay. When we arrived early, our room wasn't ready so the manager treated us to complimentary drinks and appetizers at Beachtree. When we commented about the iced tea and how wonderful it was, we had two free bags of tea in our room the next day with a handwritten note from the waiter. We stayed at a St. Regis on Kauai a few days before arriving at the Four Seasons Hualalai. There is no comparison. I can see why there were repeat visitors here.

Room Tip: Ask for a room near the quiet pool or the adults-only pool. Fast access to the pool and Beachtree re...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Worth, Texas
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

My husband and I have stayed at the Four Seasons Hualalai several times, and each time it keeps getting better. The service, the facilities and the entire ambience is beyond compare.
I have stayed at many wonderful hotels over my lifetime, but this is truly the best resort experience I have ever had.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rheba C, Executive Office at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka'upulehu, responded to this review, July 10, 2013
Aloha from Hualalai!

We are delighted to hear that you had another great vacation here at our resort. It is a delicate balance to keep things the same for people, like you, who have visited several times and to change things up a bit to make the Hualalai experience fresh and new each time. Thank you for sharing that you feel this resort is "beyond compare." What a lovely compliment! Please continue to visit with us to keep building happy memories.

With warmest aloha,

Rheba Crane
Executive Administrative Assistant
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2013

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!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rheba C, Executive Office at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka'upulehu, responded to this review, July 10, 2013
Greetings from Hualalai!

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,

Rheba Crane
Executive Administrative Assistant
Four Seasons Resort Hualalai
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka'upulehu

Address: 72-100 Ka'upulehu Drive, Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii, HI 96740
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Hawaii > Island of Hawaii > Kailua-Kona
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Kailua-Kona
#1 Green Hotel in Kailua-Kona
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Kailua-Kona
#1 Family Hotel in Kailua-Kona
#1 Romantic Hotel in Kailua-Kona
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka'upulehu 5*
Number of rooms: 243
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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 At Historic Ka'Upulehu Hawaii/Kailua-Kona

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