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“Our First Visit - Definitely Not our Last. Worth Every Penny.” 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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Special Offer
USD 1000 Resort Credit
Ranked #1 of 14 Hotels in Kailua-Kona
GreenLeadersGold level
Washington State
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Our First Visit - Definitely Not our Last. Worth Every Penny.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2010

We had been long overdue for a couple's vacation and were celebrating a special anniversary this year. Having had decent stays at the RItz Carlton Kapalua and at Kanaapali in Maui my husband was skeptical of trying something different but the rave reviews here and elsewhere were totally justified. After our stay at Hualalai he (and I) are totally hooked. We can't wait to return. While no resort is totally perfect (as other reviewers have commented, so will we) this one comes pretty darn close.

Positives:
-We requested an oceanfront room and were upgraded to an oceanfront suite at the "adult" pool area (I had made a point to tell the concierge several weeks prior that we preferred to avoid families and wanted a quiet location). Sure enough, we had a fantastic view from our bedroom and living room and a short walk to the pool/beach. Not once in six days did we experience any noise issues in our room or by the pool in the spacious cabana areas. We were surprised at the number of families onsite given it was not a holiday week, but this thankfully didn't impact us since there's plenty of space and activities for kids as well within the resort.
-The adult pool was terrific - perfectly heated, impeccably clean and totally deserted in the AM when we wanted to swim laps. We had it virtually to ourselves and even in the PM it was not very crowded or noisy. Poolside attendants are super-attentive and helpful.
-While the beach area is not huge, it is certainly adequate for a dip. Watch for sea turtles!
-Service is top notch, friendly and unobtrusive in all areas. We did not encounter the tipping suggestions or aloof servers noted in other reviews. Nor did we mind dodging the golf carts used by servers within the resort - they were all super-friendly.
-The Saturday evening buffet is not to be missed - if you're thinking steam tables at the Holiday Inn, think again.
-The morning breakfast buffet, while pricey, is also high quality with amazing variety. We never needed to consider lunch but the yogurt/smoothie bar near the pools was a nice alternative. Local coffee tasting and coffee service for walk-away was also a nice touch.
-:Little touches, including large size L'Occitane toiletries, poolside sunscreen, luxurious towels, laundry facilities and endless water bottles when requested free of charge.
-There are many daily activities, cultural and otherwise, to take advantage of onsite most of which are free of charge.
-The room service menu and service (for us, anyway) is way above average
-This really is a place you don't need a car (unless you want to venture to other Big Island destinations) and can pretty much kick back from the time you arrive. It's also a very convenient 15 minute ride from the Kona airport. We appreciated not having to pay (if you self park) for parking our rental car but next time, will use a taxi or limo service.

Liked less:
As others have noted, there's really not much near the resort worth driving to, especially restaurants, so you're limited to the two hotel choices and room service. While we adored the hotel buttets, we were less enamored of the Beach Cafe "Mediterranean" dinner menu (heavy on pastas, pizzas and Italian dishes like osso bucco which seemed out of place) and found the Pala'u formal (and very expensive) dinner venue with its limited Asian-seafood menu less inviting. For us. the room service menu was the best option for a more casual "American" evening meal but that might not be your cup of tea.
-Also, we would have appreciated being able to provide a group tip since we found ourselves running out of small bills on a regular basis. Next time, we'll ask.
-The spa/massage service was nothing special and overpriced. I would skip next time.
-Finally, you would think they could throw in free Internet service - how about it?

But all in all, we had a wonderful time, and will definitely be back. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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 (520)
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English first
Tampa, Florida
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
106 helpful votes 106 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2010

We stayed here for 4 nights/5 days in October at the end of our honeymoon following a week on Maui. We absolutely LOVED this hotel. In fact, we originally were only going to stay 3 nights and extended our stay. Our original room was on the second floor on the Beach Tree crescent. We had a nice ocean view and the room was extremely convenient as this was our favorite pool area. Since we extended our stay one night, we had to change rooms since our room was already booked for that night. To make up for the inconvenience, they upgraded us to a suite at the King’s Pond area. This was a little farther away, but we had a closer view of the ocean here. I really think anyone would be happy at any area. The suite had 2 full bathrooms and a separate living room with a larger balcony. We did not have the famous lava outdoor shower since both our rooms were on the second floor. We did have lovely ocean views from both rooms which I’m not sure you’d get on the first floor. There are outdoor showers at the spa which I utilized. Of course, they aren’t “private”, but they are there. Personally, we’d rather have ocean views.

POOLS: We spent most of our time at the Beach Tree pool. This is the “quiet” pool. Cell phone use is discouraged. Children are allowed I believe, but must be quiet. I didn’t see any children here when we were there. There were a few well behaved children at the Sea Shell pool. There were always chairs available even when we slept late or came to the pool late after visiting sites. The service was excellent. Someone often came by to offer a smoothie, or Evian spritz, or popcicle, or sunglass cleaning. They bring lunch out on little trays, so you can remain lounging on your chaise while eating. They also have suntan lotion and magazines or books available for you to use while at the pool. We also snorkeled at the King’s Pond. Snorkeling gear is free to use. This is a great way to snorkel if you are at all nervous – no waves and no sharks!! We had an underwater camera and got some great shots of fish and the ray. We went into the ocean also and saw a turtle! This area is quite quiet with lots of chairs and private areas. There are marine biologists there to answer questions about the fish. We happened to be there when they were feeding the fish one morning and were able to feed some fish also – fun!

RESTAURANTS: We enjoyed all of our meals that we had at the Beach Tree (more casual) restaurant. We had the breakfast buffet a few mornings and it was quite good with an omelet station and waffle station. We also had room service breakfast a few nights – they actually make the toast in your room so that it’s fresh! We also had room service dinner and it was very good and hot. I believe they have an oven in their cart to keep your food hot. We had dinner one night at the upscale restaurant (I think it’s Pa’huia?). I was a little disappointed – I actually liked the Beach Tree better. Only con is that the food is quite expensive at the resort (as expected). There are not many other options for food unless you drive about 15 minutes away.

SPA: We had a couples massage and it was very nice. All of their rooms are in little huts outside – very tropical! They have a larger room for the couples services. I could have loved this spa if we hadn’t just been to the spa at the Grand Wailea on Maui – this just couldn’t compare. There is a small hot tub and cold plunge and a steam room. There are also outdoor lava showers for you to use (not private), as well as indoor showers. You are able to use the facilities even if you don’t have a spa appointment. We utilized this on our last day, as our flight didn’t leave until 10:30 at night.

GOLF: I’m not a golfer, but my husband played and really enjoyed the course. I rode along in the cart and it was a beautiful course. I can’t say much else. I believe the Mitsubishi Open is played here. I also read that only guests of the hotels or residents can play here.

Overall I loved the place. If I lived closer and had more money, I would come here a ton. There were several honeymooners here during our stay and it’s a perfect spot for that. It’s secluded, yet you can drive 15 minutes and be in Kona or Waikoloa. We took a helicopter ride from Waikoloa and it was a highlight of the trip. I will say when you are paying these prices, they should include internet for free. There is plenty of free self parking and it’s quite close. I’d highly recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed October 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Scottsdale, Arizona
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2010

We have been going to this resort for over 5 years and absolutely love it. The grounds are beautiful, the rooms are wonderful and the entire staff is extremely friendly. The service is impeccable, however be prepared to pay through the nose for the amenities and everything else! The room prices are quite high, and there are only 2 restaurants on the property both of which are extremely expensive. Additionally, if you want to enjoy a Martini be ready to pay at least $21.00 for it!! Food & Beverage costs at this hotel are ridiculous and really take the luster & enjoyment out of the stay. If we ever do back to this hotel I will say we will get a car so that we are not held hostage to the ridiculous costs. Plan on spending at least $200-300/day just to survive!!

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 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.
Hercules, California
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2010

Wow.

You can't imagine a better, more perfect setting than this resort. There truly are no words to describe it. I could write for days on how great this resort is, but the truth is, you have to experience it. It is the best resort/hotel at which I've ever stayed, and I've been to some of the greatest resorts in the US.

Check out their web site - it is wonderful, but will just give you a mere taste of what you're going to get.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Vancouver, Canada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2010

I found this hotel to be superb!! The grounds were immaculate and so were the accomdations... our only complaint would be was that the bed had a dip in it.... For those of you looking to save some money on parking... you can self park in the same lot as where they valet the cars.. if you have them valet it for you it is $20/day. Internet is $14 day unless you get 5 days or more and then it is $12/day. the have free washing machines and dryers to use which comes in handy...

We fed the spotted eagle ray & saw lots of turtles!!

We came to relax and found that the hotel was well spread out... we stayed at the adult pool area as we didn't want to be near the kids pool. We stayed overlooking the kings pond and had a beautiful oceanview room.. we didn't have a lava shower but we didn't mind.

It was a great trip and very relaxing... we read many reviews on trip advisor and we are so happy that we stayed there.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Hamburg, Germany
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2010

what a great place !
we stayed here for one week after a prior visit to the Hyatt at Kawaii - no comparison possible really as the Four Seasons óutperforms in every single aspect.

Great rooms, great beack, private snorkling area, good restaurants and bars - just what we expected.

The concierge service was very helpful on any questions and acted quick and relaible.

The hotel is obviously in the upper priceband but it very good value for your money

  • Stayed May 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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California
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2010

My husband and I recently stayed at the FS Hualalai. I will try to sum up things that may help someone make a decision as to whether to stay here or elsewhere on the Big Island. If possible, I would have given it a 4.5/5 stars.

The day we checked in, the resort was only at 65% occupancy. This was quite shocking as it was a week before the Ironman. Check - in was prompt with complementary beverage, lei, and short golf cart tour before being taken to our room.

First of all, the grounds are absolutely beautiful, lush, and immaculately maintained -enough said.

The workout facility is very nice/clean. Not crowded, plenty of treadmills, ellipticals, and cycles. Also has a very nice lap pool. We did not have any spa treatments, so I can't comment on the spa facilities. There is a small general store next to the gym and a coffee/juice stand. The paths surrounding the resort provide plenty of walking/jogging opportunities.

The rooms are spacious and clean. The furniture did show some wear and should be repaired or updated. We had a premium ocean view room on the second floor around the adult pool. I don't know if the lava showers that everyone raves about in the first floor rooms would be worth giving up the view that we had from our second floor balcony. The rooms around the adult pool are closest to the ocean, very quiet, and appear to have the best views.

On average, lunch and dinner at the Beach Tree is not as good or as consistent as at Ferraro's at the FS on Maui. I also found that the service seemed less polished and a little slower. It is open for lunch and dinner. I think the most disappointing meal during our stay was their Saturday night buffet at Pahu I' a. This is the only dinner we ate in this restaurant - sub par. You will do better to skip it. Breakfast was much better. We never had the breakfast buffet, only ordered off of the menu. The resort is isolated from other restaurants/resorts, so plan on driving if you want to dine elsewhere. News flash - yes, the restaurants are expensive, even for those of us from the Bay Area.

The beach is beautiful/rustic. Very relaxing. Not crowded. You do not have to get up at the crack of dawn to get chairs/cabanas around the pool or beach. FYI, this is NOT a swimmer's beach. There is too much lava and a rough surf. The beach is also very difficult to walk on due to slope and sand consistency. I knew this prior to making my reservations, but this may be a deal breaker for those of you who prefer the ocean to the pool.

To sum it up.... this is a beautiful resort to get away from it all. Beautiful grounds. Not crowded. Quiet beach/pools. The things that knock my rating down to a 4.5 are the restaurant inconsistencies, driving distance to other resorts/restaurants, and the crazy staff golf carts that you will be dodging on the walking paths around the resort.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 3
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 ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Kailua-Kona
#1 Family Hotel in Kailua-Kona
#1 Romantic Hotel in Kailua-Kona
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Kailua-Kona
#1 Green Hotel in Kailua-Kona
#1 Top resorts 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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