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“Five stars but not quite Wailea FS”

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Four Seasons Resort Hualalai
Ranked #1 of 14 Hotels in Kailua-Kona
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed January 29, 2013

Great hotel, gorgeous property and individual casitas (hawaiian name for them is...) and picture perfect pools with FS service though cabanas face the pool I prefer they face the ocean like FS Wailea. But there is literally no beach, and the Big Island has amazing beaches like at the Mauna Kea. OK that aside, the restaurant, I have my issues. The waiter graciously pushed a fish special. He kind of over pushed it. Two of us got it and then we understood why. The fish was probably not fresh, not rotten but certainly not fresh, rubbery and overly salted. They were clearly trying to get rid of inventory in my opinion, (I worked in restaurants in college and this was common). There is no lobby so forget about getting on your couture and showing off, not like FS Wailea which is a bit of a fashion show with movie stars sprinkled about its glorious lobby. This location is for people whom like golf, and want to hide away in their rooms, and have a more primative experience, ( I know that doesn't jive with a FS) as Kona is definately less commercial than Wailea. But for others it'll be too quiet. I think the best thing is a 2-3-4 approach. Two nights in Waikiki to pick up some energy and they have Allan Wong's restaurant the best in the state, three nights at Kona FS to neutralize Waikiki, then finish with four nights at FS Wailea to get the best of both and park yourself in an ocean view cabana and send gloating pics to your buds.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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5  Thank Tomk626
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 28, 2013

I don't know if I can stay at a "normal" hotel again after experiencing the Four Seasons. Service and quality were truly exceptional. We stayed here two nights for our honeymoon, and it was such a perfect way to spend it. If you book through a preferred travel agent (you can find them via travel blogs of sorts), you can get additional perks like free brunch (REALLY GOOD) and meal credit at their fancy restaurant. Although their brunch is almost the same as that of the Mauna Kea Lodge Hotel a bit further up the coast, though Mauna Kea is overall "more affordable". I'm not normally one to want to stay on the resort grounds during a vacation, but that's all I wanted to do while at the Four Seasons. I was also surprised at how kid-friendly the hotel was, but they also have adult-only areas. Not that it was a problem to have kids around, since you rarely ever feel like the resort or its grounds are crowded. We also got a Lava Flow drink in the adult-only pool, which cost something like $16, but it was so worth it. So delicious. The waves were too strong for us to snorkel away from the shore (January), but they have the "King's Pond" which is an enclosed pool that has 4,000 fish apparently. They also offer various activities throughout the day, so sign up for those. There's staff manning every section of the resort, so you always have someone who offers you water or service -- very well-organized and a tightly run business. I would stay at another Four Seasons on my next vacation.... if we can afford it!

Room Tip: Again, if you book through a preferred travel agent, you might get lucky and get upgraded to a suite...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Wellesley05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2013

My family and I have visited this resort many times before and we just love it. It's a beautiful,outstandingly laid out hotel with so much to do! We booked the villa and it was magnificent. It was huge and had its own pool! We try to save up so we can come back here every other year. It's expensive, but most definitely worth it. Watch out for celebrities too! We once saw Hilary Swank here back in 2010!

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank Hope9876
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2013

We've traveled widely for over 40 years. The service and attention to detail here combined with the setting make one great resort. The dinner menu needs minor help.
Go off ground to Volcano national park, populu valley or scuba with Big Island Divers for more beautiful things to see

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank sngdoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2013

The hotel is wonderful, fantastic staff, great service. Lots to do. All extras cost lots. I guess this is what you'd expect. The restaurant menus tend to get boring after a week. Not enough daily specials. However with four swimming pools and the beach, plus 18 hole golf course I'm not complaining.
Fantastic holiday.

Room Tip: Ask for Ocean view.
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Peter H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2013

We had hesitated to come here from New York as we had heard that the beach was not very appealing (which is true). Guess what? It did not matter one bit. This property is amazing in every way and we certainly hope to return. We had a great room overlooking the ocean and the King Pond. Sleeping to the sound of crashing waves was hypnotic. The pools are all incredible. The spa and sports center were fantastic. Take classes with Beth...she makes them fun and effective at the same time. Loved the 7 am fitness walks each morning. The resort is first rate in every way!

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank lsd54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chris96740, Director of Sales at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, responded to this reviewResponded January 24, 2013

Aloha,

Thank you for sharing your experience and for choosing Four Seasons Resort Hualalai for your recent vacation to Hawaii.

We will be sure to let Beth know that you enjoyed her classes.

I am happy to hear that you experienced the Kings Pond, with 3,000 fish and the resorts Ocean Pool - a large protected beach and ocean area that allows our guests to safely experience the beach and ocean.

Looking forward to seeing you again in Hualalai.

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.
Reviewed January 23, 2013

All previous reviews speak about the beautiful, expansive grounds, the 5 varied pools and the impeccable service. And it is all true. But I have to stress that the coastline and surf were for me what will take me back there. FS is situated on some of the most beautiful, gently rigged beach I have ever experienced. It isn't a white sand beach; it is low groupings of lava rock that form tide pools and natural swimming areas. I swam with fish and green sea turtles right on the beach! The water is warm enough to snorkel in for 40 mins+ without getting cold.

Definitely treat yourself to ocean activities. All the guides at Alaka’i Nalu (the ocean activities center on premises) are wonderful with great attitudes, warm smiles and a wealth of knowledge about the water and the area. Mark spoke with us about the history of the island and the region at length and really sparked a deeper appreciation of the area for us, and he wasn't even our guide that day! It's information interaction that make this place not just a luxurious vacation getaway but a really special place.

And of course who can ignore the food! Yes, it's very expensive. We had never been to a FS property before so we were unprepared for the cost of food and drinks (e.g. $25 for a turkey club sandwich) but it was so gosh darn good! The food quality level was consistently very high. And if it's not on the menu, well, they will probably make it for you. One night we were at the Beach Tree lounge and didn't want to leave, we were so comfortable and having so much fun, but really wanted sushi, which is not on the Beach Tree menu. So the manager walked over to the Ulu, the seafood and sushi restaurant, and walked it back over to me. What a doll! I wish I could remember the name of our server that night too. All staff are wonderful but she was particularly great.

There are so many many details I could gush over but I will leave at, it is a place that pampers and coddles you while offering intimate encounter with gently rugged beauties of the natural world.

Room Tip: We had the northern most ocean front room, where the paved promenade ends, which is a turtle resting...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank mcm4055
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

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 Family Hotel in Kailua-Kona
#1 Romantic Hotel in Kailua-Kona
#1 Green Hotel in Kailua-Kona
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Kailua-Kona
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Kailua-Kona
Price Range: $877 - $1,970 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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:
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 Hawaii/Kailua-Kona

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