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“The best hotel in all of Hawaii”

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Four Seasons Resort Hualalai
Ranked #1 of 14 Hotels in Kailua-Kona
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“The best hotel in all of Hawaii”
Reviewed July 10, 2012

I've stayed at this hotel three times in the last five years. The hotel just keeps getting better and better. They continually upgrade entire areas of the resort including two new pools.

The thing that sets four seasons apart is the staff and the service they provide. They are incredibly friendly and smiling all the time. I think its the closest to royalty one can get.

I love Hawaii and have been there ten times in the last 5 years. This hotel is by far my most favorite across all the islands and personally is my favorite hotel in all of the world.

  • Stayed July 2012
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank HawaiiTravellr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (815)
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Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed July 9, 2012

Awesome is what are kids would say. They would've stayed another week if we let them. The oldest at 9, has already decided he's going to work there and drive a golf cart around. Our youngest was 3 when we went last summer and there was as much or as little as each of us wanted to do. You have to swim in the Kings pond at least once, and they have touch tank sessions and the staff is all very helpful from equipment to knowledge and information. And don't miss the eagle ray feelings - the boys got a big kick out of that! The breakfast buffet for the kids and the lunch buffet at the pool were the easiest and best for kids and parents alike.

Make sure you visit Holly at the Beach Tree Lounge and order a Freddie's Broken Flipper . . . We haven't found a good representation stateside yet!

Room Tip: Pick one on the first floor with the outdoor lava rock shower. If your with children pick a room ne...
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Travelista67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Director of Sales at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, responded to this review, July 13, 2012
Aloha,

Mahalo for your review and for choosing Four Seasons Resort Hualalai for your recent family vacation.

I have been waiting a long time for someone to mention, "Freddie's Broken Flipper" on Trip Advisor. It is the hidden gem of the Beach Tree Lounge, right after the amazing service and stunning ocean views. The Hendricks Gin, Cucumber and Lime Leaf make the perfect refreshing combination to enjoy the epic sunsets.

The drink was named after the famous carved turtle that sits on the edge of the Beach Tree Bar. The ocean front and lounge area was damaged during the tsunami in March 2011 but "Freddie" held on strong, only suffering a slight break to his flipper. This inspired the Bartenders of Beach Tree to craft this amazing, not to be missed, cocktail.

We look forward to welcoming you back.

With warmest aloha,

Chris White
Director of Marketing
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
21 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed July 9, 2012

We stayed at the resport for 5 days around July 4th and now understand why people rave about this hotel. The resort is incredible and more than impressed us at every turn. I am generally not a fan of huge resorts and went on this trip expecting what we got at the Maui Four Seasons a couple of years ago--hit or miss service, over-crowded pools and mediocre food. We could not have been more wrong. The resort is huge but because it is so spread out, it doesn't feel crowded at all (they were almost at full capacity when we were there). The grounds are magnificent and spotless, and the service will blow your socks off. They cater to your every whim. For example, we ordered off menu at every beachside/poolside lunch and it was not a problem, and valet filled up our car with gas before we checked out so we didn't have to stop at the gas station. Our ocean view room was huge and stocked with all of the amenities you expect from a Four Seasons. The room had a lovely balcony where we could watch the sunset and was serviced twice a day. The property has several pools and lots of chairs on the sand, all of which are regularly serviced by pool/beach attendants that bring around fruit kabobs, smoothies, cold towels, etc. The food at the resort was the best we had on the island. I strongly recommend the Pahu i'a's Saturday night buffet. Not a huge fan of buffets, but the grilled lobsters and steak, fresh seafood, and sushi stations made this an amazing meal. Finally, there is free WiFi throughout the resport. Overall, this is an incredible resort, with service that is above an beyond anything I have ever experienced.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
7 Thank 1LATraveler1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed July 9, 2012

Based on recommendations from friends, I had high expectations of this resort. It exceeded them. It has the nearly flawless service, tasteful decor and comforts that you would expect from a Four Seasons property. But the stunning, beautifully landscaped location right at the water's edge transforms the resort in to an extraordinary experience. And it works for the whole family. We spent spring break there with our young daughter (along with a lot of other families), and the resort's thoughtful features for kids --kids' pool, family pool, daily kids' activities, kid-friendly (but not dumbed-down) menu options at the restaurants-- help adults and children keep up a happy, relaxed coexistence that's truly feels like a vacation for everyone. The resort was full, but never felt crowded, with the possible exception of the restaurants which were short of bookings at mealtimes.

Room Tip: Try to get a first floor room with an outdoor shower.
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank TravelDaddy65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed July 9, 2012

We had a great time and experience at this hotel. They did a wonderful job catering to the kids, and the level of service was extremely high. They left little gifts for the kids in the room, and had the kids names chalked onto the bathtub which was a very nice surprise. The room was excellent, and the facilities were wonderful. Kings Pond is really cool for easy access to decent snorkeling, and the Seashell pool is wonderful for noisy children to have a good time without worrying about it.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank SSB110
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lexington, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
20 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
Reviewed July 6, 2012

My husband, two daughters (ages 12 and 18) and I arrived for 10 nights on June 21 at 8 pm. It had been a long day of travel from Toronto, through San Francisco. I saw a representative from the Four Seasons when we landed and I gave her our name before heading to Avis to pick up our rental car.

It's a short but dark ride from the airport to the hotel. We managed fine but I know older people may be disoriented by the lack of light. (We're in our 40s.) They were ready for us at the hotel when we arrived. You are brought over to a couch in the beautiful open air lobby to check in. (If you arrive at night, you won't fully appreciate how lovely it is until morning, but it is stunning in the night time light.) As there were 4 in our party and the hotel only allows 3 to a room, we had booked 2 golf ocean view rooms. I requested the ground level so that we could have the outdoor showers. We were told at check in that we had been upgraded to two ocean view rooms on King's Pond. Lovely. After some cool towels and refreshments, we were taken by golf cart to our rooms.

They were lovely - the girls were each left a present on their bed; a stuffed state bird of Hawaii for each girl (thank you for knowing that an 18 year old girl still likes getting a stuffy!) and our younger daughter was also given a bracelet and our older daughter a robe to take home! (A short version of the robes kept in the room for use during our stay.) Later during the week, housekeeping brought a robe for our 12 year old's hawaiian bear that she had brought on the trip - sweet touch!! (BTW, housekeeping was great. They came twice day. We were also left two goodies trays during our stay; cheese plate and chocolate plate.)

The decor in the rooms is lovely. The l'Occitane products are kept in large bottles (good for the environment, which made us all happy) so don't plan on bringing any products home with you. We loved the beds and the showers and I took a bath each night.

After unpacking (ample space), we went to Pahu i'a for a drink and some munchies. The kitchen was closed but they offered to open it for us - very sweet but we said no. Instead, they brought us some flat bread with our drinks, which was perfect. We climbed into bed by 9 or 10.

The next morning I was up at 5 - that's my norm. I found my way to the lobby, which was a short walk away. The hotel layout is such that rooms are really part of small clusters of bungalows, none higher than 2 stories. Though spread out, everything is rather close. Anyway, in the lobby, they had coffee, tea (lovely organic teas from Canada!) and muffins out. They did this each day - other Four Seasons that we have visited do this too - wonderful touch. After having some coffee, I went for a run. The running trail along the water is beautiful. Serene. I had brought my Garmin (I ran the Kona half marathon while we were there) but only used it the first day. They have 2, 3 and 4 mile routes mapped out for guests. I highly recommend heading out for a run.

When my family woke up we headed over to the Pahu i'a brunch - wonderful. We had purchased a bed and breakfast package. More choice than ordering off the menu and breakfast a la carte is pricey. If you're not big breakfast people and get up early, you could go get a muffin and coffee in the lobby gratis, but they do run out. Lovely fruit, homemade granola and yogurt, eggs to order, pancakes, french toast, pastries . . . the buffet breakfast is amazing.

We ate lunch on the beach a few days. If you sit by Pahu i'a, the menu is the same every day. There's also a great lunch menu at the Beach Tree Restaurant. I preferred that. I believe that the people that sit on the section of beach by the Beach Tree have a different beach menu. I don't know as I never sat there. But needless to say, you'll find something yummy. Drinks are very good too.

We swam in all the pools - we preferred the quiet pool by the Beach Tree Restaurant and my husband and I enjoyed a drink while sitting in the adult only pool. If we went alone, we'd have spent more time there.

We had dinner at Pahu i'a (sushi - loved it, loved it!) and spent the $80 per person to each at the Sea, Sand and Stars buffet. We are not big buffet people, except for breakfast. This is not your average buffet. Sushi, lobster tails (I ate 3 - the night before my race.), crab legs, ocean salad (a seaweed salad that is beyond fabulous) . . . a full dessert table - just do it. Is it expensive? Yes. But it's worth it.

We had two delicious dinners at The Beach Tree too. They have live music and entertainment while you eat - makes for a wonderful Hawaiian experience.

Off-site, we enjoyed a great dinner up the mountain in Waimea at Merriman's. We also went to the Manta and Pavilion Wine bar at the Mauna Kea, which has a lovely beach, but the hotel looks like The Contemporary at Disney and it is just not as nice as the FS. Plastic white chairs and tables in sitting areas just doesn't cut it for us. The beach there is gorgeous and the restaurant was nice as it has a special wine storage system by which they can serve a large number of wines by the glass in 1,2 and 4 ounce pours. I loved that. Food was good, view was great. We probably wouldn't return though - we loved the food, convenience and ambience at the Four Seasons.

The resort grounds are stunning and well-maintained. There are always people working and pruning and painting - the facilities are very well maintained.

We went to the cultural centre 4 mornings to make shell bracelets - lots of fun and our girls made some to bring back for their friends. Our younger daughter and I took ukelele lessons - what a hard instrument to play! There are so many activities to take part in - it's up to you how much you want to do!

We shopped in the resort store by the spa and workout area. Some nice things there and they are not as pricey as the clothes in the gift shop under the lobby. The golf shop had some great men's shirts - coming from Canada, we took advantage of a holiday from 14% sales tax.

We learned that the spa is actually owned by the Hualalai development - they have what appears to be a great partnership with the FS. I did not have a spa service, but our daughters and I used the spa facilities the day that we checked out to shower and change. When you arrive, ask for a tour and you may use them more. Supposedly, they do not allow people under 14 in the locker rooms. We were not asked how old our daughter was on the last day.

My husband golfed two days at Hualalai (loved it - scored a 70 and a 72, I believe). He's a very good golfer. He also loved golfing at Mauna Kea - 75 there. He enjoyed Mauna Lani (similar score there) but did not like Waikaloa. If you're a good golfer, skip that one.)

Our daughters and I did a day trip to Hilo. We drove up to Waimea, drove to the Waipo outlook (stunning), continued on to the Akaka Falls (walk the loop - fabulous!) and went on to Hilo for lunch and a visit to the Pacific Tsunami Museum - very small but worth some time. We ate at Cafe Pesto in Hilo - decent food - before heading back. We left around 9 and got home at 4.

We found that many guests repeat each year. We will definitely return. July and August are more expensive (we came in June because of our younger daughter dances all of July and heads away to camp in August) but also more crowed. We noticed that the resort was getting busier on the Saturday that we left. A lot more people on the beach and around the pools. I spoke with someone in reception and she said May and June are less busy.

This was truly one of our best holidays ever, if not the best. The service was pure perfection. The only two recommendations that we have: install toilet bowl seat lids that don't slam (we've done that through out our own house) and have fans in the bathrooms in the rooms. Otherwise - perfection.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank CaseyandRileysMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego
Level Contributor
22 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed July 4, 2012

Best vacation to date. Staff goes all out and is extremely helpful and happy. Great for kids and families. The resort is huge and offers lots of exercise options and relaxing options. Will be back as soon and often as possible. Check for upgrades to suites, they are amazing. And the outdoor showers are a must for your room.

Room Tip: The suites are amazing, and make sure you get an outdoor shower! Golf course views are quiet and ha...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank cjbsandiego
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

Property: Four Seasons Resort Hualalai
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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#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
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Kailua-Kona
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Four Seasons Resort Hualalai 5*
Number of rooms: 243
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Resting on the picturesque Kona-Kohala coast of Hawaii Island, the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai combines the warm aloha of the Islands with the impeccable signature service recognized by Four Seasons guests worldwide. With 243 guest rooms, an award-winning golf course, and seven pools, Four Seasons Resort Hualalai is the only Forbes Five Star and AAA Five Diamond Rated Resort in Hawaii. The Resort offers five dining options, including 'ULU Ocean Grill + Sushi Lounge, the only Forbes star-rated restaurant on the Island. Chefs in each dining outlet work with ingredients from over 160 local farms, and 75% of the food served is from Hawaii Island. The comfortable and spacious accommodations at the Resort are housed in intimate two-story bungalows arranged in small crescents along the beachfront and golf course. Additional features include an Ocean Adventures team, seven tennis courts, a spa with 14 treatment rooms and salon services, and a Cultural Center with classes and activities highlighting Hawaiian culture. ... 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 Hawaii/Kailua-Kona

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