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“Best in Hawaii—But Not the Best Value” 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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USD 1000 Resort Credit
Ranked #1 of 14 Hotels in Kailua-Kona
GreenLeadersGold level
Salt Lake City/Utah
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“Best in Hawaii—But Not the Best Value”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2004

After years of anticipation and several forced cancellations, my wife and I finally stayed at the Four Seasons Hualalai. I was a little worried that the resort would not live up to the hype—particularly in light of the fact we had really enjoyed the first part of our trip at the Mauna Lani. As it turns out, I had nothing to worry about. The facilities are fantastic and the staff is wonderful. In fact, every aspect of this hotel seems well thought out from the fitness facilities to the general store to the restaurants and pools to the complimentary laundry facilities. Highlights for us included morning and sunset walks along the beach paths, breakfast at Pahui’a, snorkeling with and feeding the Eagle Rays in the Kings Pond, relaxing in a chaise under the tree at the beach, and an extremely enjoyable round of golf. The only shortcoming is, as others have mentioned, the extremely beautiful rooms should be more soundproof than they are. This was not a significant issue for us but it could be since the resort runs close to capacity most of the time.

We could not have been happier with our stay. In fact, we did something we have never done at a resort in Hawaii—we parked our car and never left. However, this may not be the best resort for those who are value conscious. The Four Seasons cost us more than double per night what we had paid at Mauna Lani earlier in the week (which was a very good deal) and it certainly was not twice as nice. Nor was it worth hundreds of dollars a night more than some other wonderful places we have stayed like the Orchid, the Hyatt Kauai, or the Kea Lani or Ritz on Maui. Good deals are rare because the Four Seasons is extremely popular and they don’t need to offer them. Once you check in, the prices for food etc. compare to other high-end resorts and the quality is generally better. I suspect many or most of the people who stay here would not care about this kind of value analysis but we do (I'm pretty sure our disposable income is lower than most guests). We are extremely glad we decided to stay here and will undoubtedly return, but we could not justify it every time we go to Hawaii.

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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
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A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2004

My wife and I went to 3 hotels on our honeymon and found this Four Seasons beyond compare. Most nice resorts have some poolside service, but here they cleaned your sunglasses, gave you cucumbers for your eyes,, ice pops, cold towels, water and fruit kabobs. Dinner at Pahuai was amazing too and it was the best breakfast brunch out of the 3 hotels we visited. We have absolutely no compalaints and only praise for this hotel. This is what a honeymoon destination should be.

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Boston, MA
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2004

My wife and I spent four nights on our honeymoon at the Four Seasons Hualalai and we wish we stayed for more. We loved every aspect of the Four Seasons, but for us the most important part was the relaxed, but refined feel. Our room was a first floor room and we loved being able to shower outdoors, but in retrospect the view from an upstairs room may have been a better choice. We never experienced problems with noise from neighboring rooms, but we did have an end room. In fact the only night sounds we heard were the crashing waves on the beach (we kept our patio doors open every night). The service was attentive, but not cloying. It did not feel like the staff was trying to impress us, but they were just happy to serve us. Our favorite restaurant was Pahuia and it was exceptional. The food was outstanding, the wine list was great and the setting was beautiful. We played 18 holes one day and loved the cookies at the halfway point. We did not bring our clubs, but found the rentals (which were free because two of the holes had alternate greens) to be top notch. We moved on to Maui after our stay here and wished we had remained at the Four Seasons Hualalai. Next time we will.

  • Stayed October 2005
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Danville, CA
Level Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2004

This was our second trip here, and we went for 7 nights instead of 5 last time. We had the exact same room this time as 3 years ago (the bellman said they try to do that if possible...). We arrived at 3:30 and our room was not ready, so they whisked us down to the Beach Tree Bar and we ordered two mai-tai's. Kinda thought they'd be comp'd, but no, $25 later, we're off to our room. Here were some of the little things that were just slightly off. We did not have turn-down service the first night, and then no maid service until we called at 3:15 on the next day. Housekeeping said that the maid service is from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. So, we missed housekeeping that day; they just did a turn-down that night. Next day again no service at 3:00 p.m., so I called the G.M. to complain. We had no towels, one of the small bars of soap left, and were not feeling we were at a Four Seasons. So, what we had to do was set a maid service time for 10:00 a.m. and a turn-down time for 6:00 p.m. That worked fine for the final 4 days. Another thing was that on the first morning, I saw that we didn't get a N.Y. Times fax, which we've really gotten used to as a short form of news daily while drinking our morning coffee. So I phoned the bell desk, asked for that daily, along with a USA Today every morning. Nothing showed up the next day. Back to the G.M., and he said he'd fix it. Next morning, everything's fine, and then the NEXT day nothing again. Call the G.M. again, and it finally gets worked out. Remember, this is at $675/night plus 11.25% tax. The next thing is that we did not like the new Alan Wong Hualalai Grill at all. My wife ordered the rib-eye and it was so tough it was inedible--all gristle. My appetizer was so far-removed from the description that I was shocked when it showed up. It was replaced. All the food is very stylized and precious. It seems that this resort has two "signature" restaurants vying for top banana, when what we and the residents always loved was the very normal Club Grill that was there before. We heard that a lot of the residents won't eat there anymore, and now go over to the Residents Beach Club, which was much more to our liking. Make sure you go and say hi to Karlee, Brittany and Melo...they're awesome! The next weird thing was that Wes, the pro at the golf shop, asked me if I'd be interested in rounding out a group on the new, private Weiskopf/Hualalai course. I said, sure, so the next day, at the appointed time, I show up at the bell desk for a short ride to the course. My clubs and shoes were not there, as they'd been promised, so we had to wait while they were brought up from storage. Off to the course...much more difficult, as expected, than the Nicklaus course. We never sign for anything, get treated royally, have a caddy with us, and we have fun. We were wondering what the deal was; were we being comped, or was it going to be $300, or what? Well, upon checkout, I see that it's $250 for the round added to my bill, as well as the $50 we each tipped the caddy. Nicklaus rate is $175. Finally, we had to check out, and I'd asked the day before for a 10:00 a.m. ride to the airport. I check out, and the guy at the bell desk says, "oh, we made a taxi appointment for 10:30, as requested". Sorry guys, not true; not with an 11:25 flight. I guess overall I'd have to say that our expectations were not exceeded. It is a wonderful property, and we'll probably be back again, but it's just gotten very pricey, while the service has slipped a tad. Do not miss the Seafood Buffet on Saturday night!!! It is possible to explode from too many grilled lobster tails (6, thank you very much)!

  • Stayed December 2004
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Patchogue, NY
Level Contributor
18 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2004

Stayed here 10/29 to 11/01 and absolutely loved it. We are a couple in our mid thirties, not married and we weren't celebrating anything. We stayed in the Palm Grove section on the first floor with the outdoor lava shower (Room 2801). I had requested that section along with a first floor room. Room was large and the bathroom incredible. I thought the little touches they had in the room were something you don't find elsewhere. Book lights on each nightstand, flashlight, static guard closet and an umbrella in the closet were thoughtful. The flashlight came in especially handy at night while we were walking the beach looking for the sea turtles, which we saw every night. The food was incredible at both restaurants, the highlight being the beach barbeque on Saturday night. We went to Maui for six nights after our stay at the Four Seasons and we didn't have one good meal compared to what we ate while we were at Hualalai. We had the bed and breakfast package which was a great value. The breakfast buffet was very well done. Service overall was impeccable, from check in to check out. The pool service was exceptionally attentive and yet not obtrusive at all. The only small complaint I have would be the soundproofing of the rooms. I agree with another post that said for almost $700 per night, you should not be hearing your neighbors. I did not see that many children, but we avoided the sea shell pool and that area in general. We did see a few during meal times, but they were generally well behaved. This is an expensive hotel but I felt it was worth the money and would definitely stay there again. We only left the hotel once and even then, we quickly returned to the confines of this beautiful hotel!! If you go, make sure to get the outdoor lava shower, it made our stay that much more special. We never used the indoor shower or tub once.

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NJ
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2004

we stayed there very recently and this is a top-notch resort. here are the highlights:

- gorgeous grounds and vast. you can easily avoid people if desired. beautiful, lush plants and grounds.

- rooms. very clean and spacious bathroom. we had the lava rocks outdoor shower which was simply the highlight of the room. our lanai (room 3001) was never used since it faced a pond which reeked without a breeze. so i'd strike some points for that. but many rooms do face the several ponds on the property. some are nicer than others.

- pools. the main, rectangular infinity pool was the best one. the next biggest pool was for the kids which my wife and i avoided. certainly the nicest kiddie pool i have ever seen. the other "adult" pool was simply perfunctory and not once used by anyone. too small to be considered a pool.

- service. impeccable for the most part. we were greeted by our last names everytime. most impressive was when we pulled in from dinner off the grounds one night and the valet greeted us by our name. the staff goes above and beyond the call of duty to greet you. pool service was impeccable and always available, yet not obtrusive. the usual stuff such as cold, mint towels, cucumbers for eyes, evian spritz, fruit skewers, iced water every 15 min, sunglass cleaning, iced popsicles, 35 sunlotion (sun's very hot), and books and recent magazines.

-golf. very good golf course despite 3 temporary holes (they allowed me not only to play 3 extra holes, but play more holes if i felt so without additional charge). clean clubs at driving range and after your round. titleist golf balls for the range. this is a country club atmosphere.

-gym/spa. nicest gym i have ever been to at a resort. exceptionally clean and excellent "plasma-like" tvs on all cardio machines with headphones provided.

-food. alan wong was awesome. went twice. highly recommend it. also had lunch at the resident's house which is a tad less expensive than beach tree but just as good and bigger portions. also literally right on the ocean. pahuia for buffet breakfast was best deal there (if you do the bed and breakfast which makes the breakfast buffet only $10 as opposed to $31 per person). anyone's crazy not to do this.

-laundry. this was such a smart move on their part. there are many laundry rooms near all the bungalows which provide all the necessary detergent for free. laundry was free and so easy and convenient to do. an excellent, complementary service. what other hotel has this? i can't think of any.

-people. you will find high class guests. everyone's quiet and respectful although you get many young honeymooners from NYC. on our trip, there were 5 of them, some of whom were a bit loud. but that's what you expect from young (25-30ish).

pure relaxation and bliss. luxury at its finest. my only complaint was the maid missing one night of room turnover. other than that, worth every penny i spent.

also, kona airport is 10-15 min away (you can see the planes come and go from the resort and can't hear them). such an easy commute.

we ate at huggo's in kailua which is highly recommended.

you won't regret it.

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Topeka ks
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2004

Returned a few weeks ago and we are already planning our next trip to Hualalai. The most relaxing week I have spent in my life. Thanks for the memories.

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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 ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Kailua-Kona
#1 Romantic Hotel in Kailua-Kona
#1 Family Hotel in Kailua-Kona
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Kailua-Kona
#1 Green 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
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

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