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“This , IMHO, is absolutely the best resort ....period.” 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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Ranked #1 of 14 Hotels in Kailua-Kona
GreenLeadersGold level
New York City
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
“This , IMHO, is absolutely the best resort ....period.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2010

Having done a great deal of traveling over the last 40 years,and living reasonably well in NYC, I am fairly discerning about hotels. I must say this place was simply fabulous.
The room we had was lovely, with a double sink, a jacuzzi and two showers, one of them outdoors ( kinda) and surrounded by orchids and lava walls. I am a major "shower buff", this one gets the biscuit . Ask for a room on the first floor, which have the outdoor showers.
The service was superb, attention to every detail in every way. To be fair , they are a little slow but.....we were not running anywhere, and the leisurely service was actually helpful in that it got us to relax even more. The staff was helpful and friendly and it all added up to a lovely and relaxed time.
The food was superb We caught the surf and turf buffet which, although a bit expensive, represented great service. The food was terrific, plentiful and very well prepared.
The grounds are wonderful, the beach is great to swim in, and to sit by. The hotel provides you with cold towels, water and an occasional fruit treat.
There was a pool stocked with many different fish, among them eagle rays and snappers.....it was just outside our door and that was a real treat!
I am someone who needs to go to the gym and I fight going, though the adult in me sees the need. What I need is a gym facility like Hualalai! it was perfect....the lap pool was hardly used and I swam to my heart's content, the gym equipment was great and they do have organized activities for adults ( spinning, walking, yoga etc.) but even without it , it was great. The best part is the reward at the end.....an outdoor jaccuzi, outdoor showers festooned with orchids, a steam and sauna, and all you need to come back to the room smelling like a rose( LOL).

The resort is abit expensive bu t I look forward to going back there.

If you can afford it .....enjoy!

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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 (561)
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English first
Los Angeles, CA
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
168 helpful votes 168 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2009

I am in love with the Four Seasons Hualalai. I just love it here. The grounds are beautifully landscaped, with beautiful architecture. The bungalows are well spaced out so that you don't feel like others are even staying here. I was married here in May 2008, and Susanna Trujillo was our lovely catering manager/wedding coordinator. She did a lovely job, and every detail was attended to. The food was delicious, the room was perfect. All amenities are included (small fridge, various drinks, Off bug spray, sunblock). You can't even lift a finger if you tried. Oh, how relaxing to even think about being there. The food was wonderful here. The sunsets are beautiful here, and look simply spectacular even compared to the sunset view from just a few miles up the coast (at the Fairmont, where stayed in 2009). Turtles come and lay in the sand right on the beach. They're easy to spot, and just so amazing that they lay there. Everyone is gracious and the service is amazing. You feel as if they are really catering to you, and not faking a smile. I don't know how to explain it, but there's just a magic about this place. It makes you almost want to whisper when you're on the property. All you hear are the leaves blowing in the wind and the sound of the waves on the beach. Go, you won't regret it. Better yet, get married there =)

Random story, The parking lot security guard said the funniest thing to us in November when we went back...we were looking for a parking space (and there weren't any in self park). He pulled up behind us and "pulled us over". We thought he was going to bug us or say something weird. Instead, he said, "You know, you can valet. They park the car for you." I just thought that was so hilarious, since, that's kind of the meaning of valeting your car. He really meant it, though and was just trying to help us out.

  • Stayed May 2008
    • 2 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.
Chicago
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2009

Ok. I will do the pros and cons, but I must say this was NOT at all Four Seasons style service. And I am easy going and VERY forgiving when it comes to service; over the top, kiss butt service makes me uncomfortable. However, when paying this much to stay and averaging $400 to $500 a day on food/ drink, I expect much more.

Pros: The location is mind blowing. Beauty and paradise at its finest. The weather was perfect, the views incredible and the spread unreal.

2. The food was really good. Really pricey, but I expected that. I noticed we were one of the few families guzzling down drinks and food. I suggest a specially priced drink everyday. The prices turn a lot of people off these days.

3. The resort is very well kept, and you don't "see" the maintence occurring.

4. They have FREE child care. 8am to 5pm! I suggest tipping these girls. They are responsible for your children for God's sake and working for low wages to care for others bratty kids! Our girl was shocked by a daily tip.

5. They have 5?? pools. A snorkel pool, which is cool. The "tiki" pool was not impressive but we sat there everyday out of convenience. The quiet pool's a joke. Such a scene and no cells. It was WEIRDLY quiet.

6. The gym is fabulous and free as well!!!! (Not classes though)

Cons: The service was OFF!!! We would ask random ?'s like how do you get here....(Place is large and can be confusing) No one ever knew! Maybe 2x. The staff never knew what was in a food or drink either. I mean if I'm paying $50.00 for lunch per person, figure it out. We waited FOREVER for cocktails. HELLO?!?! At $15 to $20 a shot, it's called upselling. Also, by the end of the trip I think they noticed we liked our booze and food so you gun for those people. Another odd thing, we would stand confused at numerous times during the trip and staff would walk by us. SOOO not Four Seasons style. I must mention though, Tom the bartender from Seattle was FABULOUS. Genuine nice guy probably mixed w/ here these idiots come to spend $200 on a night cap.

2. The rooms are a NIGHTMARE. You hear EVERY SINGLE THING your 3 neighbors do. I mean my head was spinning. Water running, toilets flushing, walking, talking. One night I think upstairs neighbors were bowling! OBNOXIOUS. For the $ I don't want to hear crap!!! Our daughter barely slept and that's a huge issue for me. I mean I didn't bring her to Vegas and say this.

3. The front desk didn't know anything about anything. The suggestions were terrible. Thank God we had been there a few times. We never left the resort.

I will say the $16 valet is wonderful. Also RENT a car, even if for a day. It's HALF as much than a round trip drive to town. $100 plus to go to town and back. And if you do a boat thing, do the whale/ dolphin thing at KONA VILLAGE. Least cheesy, short and sweet and amazing!! They don't bother them in their natural habitat but we swam TWICE w/ HUNDREDS of them. Best time of my life!!!

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
washington
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2009

My husband and I traveled to FS Haulalai for the first part of a ten day trip for our anniversary. We stayed to last five days in Maui and the FS( see review at their website).
The property on Kona was amazing. We were upgraded to a suite and had a room that faced the King's pond and beach. The outdoor shower was so relaxing and refreshing. The beach isn't great for swimming or snorkeling but such a beautiful view! Also there are turtles that come up on the beach to rest. Very fun to observe. Many tide pools with great sea life as well. The gym and spa facilities are top notch and made it easy to exercise even on vacation! The Beach Tree Grill was a favorite spot to eat both for lunch and dinner. The only thing travelers should know is the entire resort closes down by 1000. Very quiet. The best lounge is the Lava Lounge. It is located on the second floor and has the most breathtaking view BUT is only open from 5:30 to 7:00! Apparently it is to the bartenders discretion to stay open later but the latest we were there was 8:30 Such a waste of a great location! The pools are nice. Not as nice as the Maui FS but still good service. We found the King's pond interesting. It had a variety of fish and even eagle rays but the water is dirty compared to snorkeling in the ocean! Good spot to teach first time snorkelers. All in all it is a wonderful property and very relaxing. Typical four seasons service(just not as much as the FS in Maui). We did go on the Star Gazing tour to Mauna Kea! Wonderful! I would highly recommend the trip.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chicago, il
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2009

It is indescribable! I love the fact it is a smaller hotel. All rooms are in bungalows and you walk outside to get to them. The views from most of the rooms are exceptional. I have been to this resort 10 times and I cannot go anywhere else. The staff knows us by name, Mr. and Mrs., and are oh so friendly and will do anything. From Terry who greets you when you arrive, to Dexter the bellman, Cora, Maggie, and the 2 chefs at Pahui'a for breakfast, Mehelani at the pool, Tom and Frank at the Beach Tree Bar and numerous other people who have worked there for years, they are all fantastic! It is beautiful, quiet and even when full, it never feels like you are on top of each other. The outdoor garden showers are the best! Took the kids for the first time 2 summers ago and they are begging to go back! Spent 4th of July there that year, spectacular fireworks on the ocean, fabulous buffet at Beach Tree. The spa has been recently remodeled and the hot rock massage is pure heaven and the ayurvedic foot massage, to die for. The golf course is so beautiful and only resort guests and residents can play on it, so it is not crowded. Again, I cannot say enough about this resort and I am planning my next trip back soon and I don't want to stay anywhere else in Hawaii. One thing I don't like so much is that they never used to charge for parking and now they charge a daily fee. When you come to a resort like that, adding such a fee is ridiculous. Then you tend to park yourself and it's not like you don't tip the valets anyway. This just started a couple of years ago. Also, no free internet, there is a daily fee for that as well. Again, a resort of this caliber should include such things. Will stay for years to come and hope this resort will always be 5 stars or better.

Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC area
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2009

I love this resort! The hotel totally has the aloha vibe.

My husband and I first came on our honeymoon, and just returned for our three year anniversary. (I have a great husband, what can I say!) This is by far the best Four Seasons in North America, (Punta Mita a very close second.) It is my favorite hotel in the world. The rooms are amazing, the staff is wonderful. The hotel is beautifully kept …I am not sure that there is not one thing broken, out of place, stained, dirty or ragged looking.

We were here on Thanksgiving week, so it was a bit kid friendly which hindered the quite atmosphere a bit. We never ate at the Beachtree for this reason, as I almost got burned by some unsupervised children running with burning marshmallow as there parents were enjoying a bon fire on the beach. Ideally if you do not have children and you can visit the resort when the kids are in school, it is the best thing you can do.

Great Spa- however the night I had my treatment was also movie night for the kids so I could clearly hear the movie while I was trying to relax which was not cool. Tip- coordinate your treatment on a night when there is no movie, and everything will be great.

The golf course is very forgiving; it is a great course and is very relaxing. Sid, the refreshment guy is a doll. The food at the Grill is great, and the Lava Lounge is a great place for drinks at night.

I am not into breakfast, but I highly recommend the bed and breakfast package in terms of value and quality.

The only problem with the resort is, it is so nice you don’t want to leave it to explore the rest of the island. This can create another problem, eating breakfast lunch and dinner here can sure add up. However after leaving the Four Seasons we island hopped and went to Kauai and stayed three horrible nights at the Hyatt. (see my review) What I realized via my Hyatt experience is that dollar for dollar, the Four Seasons actually is the best bargain around, in terms of what you are receiving in exchange for your money.

The Four Seasons really knows how to give their guests an amazing and memorable experience.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2009

You know that saying you get what you pay for? It turns out it's true. The Four Seasons is not cheap, but it's worth every penny. Get ready to pay up for drinks and food, because you will never want to leave the resort! We were there 5 nights and wished we'd stayed longer. After leaving we went to the volcanoes and then back to the west side, but trying to be frugal and instead of returning to the Four Seasons we booked another "four and a half star" resort via hotwire for less than half the price of the Four Seasons. The other resort really couldn't hold a candle to the Four Seasons facilities, rooms, location, staff, and overall experience. Especially if you are going to Kona for some type of celebration (i.e. honeymoon, anniversary, etc.) if you can afford the Four Seasons there is no where else I'd stay!

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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.
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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 Top resorts Hotel in Kailua-Kona
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Kailua-Kona
#1 Family Hotel in Kailua-Kona
#1 Green 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
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:
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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