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“In One Word: Perfection” 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
Mountain View, California
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“In One Word: Perfection”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2010

Yes, this hotel is expensive. Yes, this hotel is magnificent. Yes, this hotel is perfect (if you can afford it or if you get it as a wedding gift, like us!).

We taveled here for our honeymoon and were treated like royalty throughout our stay - and we are FAR from it! From the second you step off the plane, you can expect to be wowed by service, class and exceptional courtesy. Anyone who says the service isn't great is either mistaken or used to being waited on hand and foot and expects a free backrub along with the complimentary sunglass cleaning poolside.

Representatives from the hotel met us at the Kona Airport baggage claim, greeted us by name (how they knew, I have no idea - an educated guess, perhaps?) and told us to go get our rental car and they would take care of our luggage. We pulled up in our rental, they put the bags in the car and we were off on vacation in no time, flat. When we pulled up to the entrance, we were again greeted by name, and Mai Tais with fresh pineapple. They already had us checked in with a complimentary upgrade four tiers above what we had paid for and were off in a cart to tour the expansive property and go to our room. After the tour, we were welcomed with aloha to our temporary home with a bottle of champagne (which we saved for our last night and our romantic dinner at their restaurant). After settling in and exploring our room with outdoor shower (you absolutely MUST request a first floor room), we suited up and hit the beach and pool.

The next seven days pretty much went like this: wake up to birds singing and waves crashing, eat breakfast (we had the bed and breakfast package - two thumbs enthusiastically up), relax in the room, hit the pool/beach, eat lunch at the pool/beach, sleep/nap/read/swim/relax at the pool/beach, watch the sunset, eat dinner, sleep. Repeat.

A few tips: free coffee throughout the resort (lobby 6:30am - 8am, spa 6ish - 9ish, restaurant 6ish - 11ish), if you can swing it get a room at the King's Pond for a quiet and private place to stay, if you don't like to be woken up by birds or waves in the morning don't sleep with your windows/door open, the drinks are dangerously well made (and well liquored up) so drink with caution, and finally utilize the free amenities at the spa!

The rooms aren't cheap. The food isn't cheap. The drinks aren't cheap. If you are looking for a budget hotel, then look for a budget hotel - NOT the Four Seasons.

This resort is worth every penny, assuming you have those pennies available for the spending. I'm already saving mine for our next vacation there - perhaps our 10 year anniversary!

  • Stayed June 2010, 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
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1,814 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 (563)
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English first
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2010

We have been to the Hualalai many times thru the years and have thoroughly enjoyed each and every trip. This year we brought our parents and young children. The staff went out of their way to accomodate our us. We would highly recommend their family dinners on the beach -- it was the highlight of the grandparents stay.

Our advice would be to visit the property during slower periods. While we have always had excellent experiences, we have found that the service (check in/out, housekeeping etc.) can fluncuate a bit when the resort is full.

This is our favorite resort to hang out and relax. We have stayed around the world and have found Hualaiai has everything you need (beautiful scenery, excellent service, great food, relaxing atmosphere) all in one resort.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with family
    • 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
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Delhi
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2010

Excellent and widely spread resort right at the Beach.....Just beautiful. Everything is Perfect.....Extra Courteous Staff....Very Good choice of Restaurants. Highly Recommended

  • Stayed April 2010, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
san francisco
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
74 helpful votes 74 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2010

I have now stayed at this property three times over the last four years. in addition to other properties on the Big Island. This hotel - with few exceptions - does not render the level of service and resort experience one expects of Four Seasons or for the price tag. Three strikes and this hotel is out.

We dined two nights at the newly revamped Beach Tree. On both nights, service at the Beach Tree was exceedingly slow (about one hour for entrees to arrive) even if the food was fine. The Pahuia fine dining restaurant has not improved - and its food quality and service are slightly above average, but not on par with a resort of this supposed caliber. The Beach House - another casual dining option - is unimpressive in all respects. Again, other resorts on the Big Island have been dining options and service.

The Spa and fitness facilities are grand in scale and designed in part to accommodate those of the greater Hualalai resort community. The Spa, however, has always failed to deliver. The spa services themselves are average in quality. The separate men's and women's facilities at the Spa were not attended to and were generally dirty - with towels left everywhere. I did not see a single employee come into the facilities to make sure everything was in order and to pick up towels or replenish missing supplies in the two hours I was at the Spa. The Spa at the Four Seasons simply does not compare to the Spa at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel.

The rooms are pleasant enough, comfortable, and designed in a stacked-bungalow style. (Our air-conditioning did not operate and it was a real hassle to change rooms). The bathrooms are generous in size and nice, but surprisingly fitted with run-of-the-mill shower -heads (no rain or overhead shower in the bathroom). Be forewarned that the vast majority of rooms are situated such that the hotel's "back-house" operations and buildings run parallel to the rooms themselves. Thus, there is a noise factor and unsightliness due to this design. The lanai to the room is fine, but not as good as those offered by the Mauna Kea Resort.

There is a small place to swim - but do not come here for the beach or beach related activity. The shoreline is rocky and does not lend itself to swimming. Other hotels on the Big Island - including the Hapuna, Mauna Lani, and the Mauna Kea boost beaches that are more swimmable, prettier, and certainly more enjoyable overall.

Really, the only good thing to say about this property is that it has an outstanding infinity pool and service at the pool is excellent. The front desk is also helpful. If what you want is simply to lay by the pool then this place will suit you fine. (But you can do that anywhere so I don't find this a real draw.)

So after three stays at this property, my opinion is that if you are looking for a true resort experience - one with fine dining, overall excellent service, and an outstanding spa - then do not stay at the Four Seasons. There are better options on the Big Island and this resort just does not merit your vacation time - or for that matter, your money.

Overall, three stars out of five.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
ireland
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
74 helpful votes 74 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2010

Just spent two nights at this hotel and it is amazingly beautiful. The setting is fabulous. We had adjoining rooms facing the King Pond and they had wonderful views. We had chosen rooms with the golf/ocean view and were so glad to have upgraded. Our rooms were gorgeous and very comfortable. The beds are just so nice.
This hotel is famous for it's service and it deserves it's reputation. We felt really well looked after and all done with a smile. We were not crazy about the food and it was the only thing that would not make me want to stay there for a longer vacation. It is hard to rate the hotel for value as it is expensive but I expected it to be.
I am so glad that I did choose this hotel as I will not forget the experience and we were traveling a long way and may not get this opportunity again.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 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.
Honolulu, HI
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2010

This is the best resort that we have ever been to. We would come back here again with no doubt. We live in Hawaii and have been from Europe to South America to Asia. This is a place to relax, enjoy the sun, beaches, and pools. The food is excellent!! There are 5 pools, lap pools, children pools, snorkeling pool, and private adult only areas. There are lots of walking paths by the beachs. Everything is set up in separate areas, so if you have children, they will be with others, whereas if you are a couple and want to be alone, you will not even hear the children area. The rooms are perfect, large, comfortable bed and pillows, occidental bath products, etc. The room was quiet. The service was there but not intrusive.

Everything is expensive here and we mean everything, breakfast for two is $80.00, lunch is $100.00, and dinner is $200-300. Spa services are also very expensive, double the cost of a high end spa anywhere else. So how to save $, you get an empty small refridge in the room, go buy food and drink at the local grocery stores, there is one at Queens shopping center and lots of shopping towards the city, Kmart, Target, etc. Rent a car, it is cheaper than the taxis or limo services provided. There is free parking by the resort.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 4 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.
New York
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2010

Our first time was in 2003 as a couple and the experience made us want to go back ever since. The 2nd time around this year was with kids and grandparents and again, the experience has made us want to go back again (this being no small trip given we live in NJ). Service was spectacular (my father had a strained neck and a on-call doctor took care of him right away; my son fell and bruised his knees and bandages and followup calls were made by concerned hotel staff for several days). Food was spectacular (from breakfast buffet to in-room service to pool service to night time restaurants) and all kids were given complimentary ice cream every day at the pool. The resort location is quiet and the guests are very civilized (a rarity nowadays even in high end resorts). Rooms are spacious and thoughtfully laid out. Conceirge work very hard and were even able to book a fishing charter with little notice. Value is always a relative term - this remains in my mind the best resort in North America and offers tremendous value to even the most discerning travelers.

  • Stayed March 2010, 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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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 Green Hotel in Kailua-Kona
#1 Family Hotel in Kailua-Kona
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Kailua-Kona
#1 Top resorts 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:
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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