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“Lacking Bang for your Buck” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Four Seasons Resort Hualalai

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Four Seasons Resort Hualalai
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   72-100 Ka'upulehu Drive, Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii, HI 96740-5610   |  
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Bed And Breakfast
Ranked #1 of 14 Hotels in Kailua-Kona
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GreenLeadersGold level
San Jose, California
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Lacking Bang for your Buck”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2014

We've stayed at the Four Seasons in Maui. The FS in **Maui** is the best hotel experience of my life so we were wondering if the FS Hualalai could outdo it.

Short answer: I don't think so.

First off, I'm not a fan of the Big Island itself. The ride from the airport to the hotel felt like a drive through a volcanic war-zone. Yes, I get the whole history of the volcanic island, and I can appreciate a little black lava rock here and there on the landscape for contrast, but the lava rock is literally everywhere. I guess that doesn't bother everybody, but I'm just saying I didn't like it--at all. I probably would have liked the Hilo side better since that is considered to be the lush, green side. But it's rainy there, so maybe not.

FS Hualalai tries very hard, and don't get me wrong, is an exquisite hotel by anyone's measure. And it does have some features that overshadow the Maui location. But if I was going to choose between the two, FS Maui is unbeatable.

Here are the PLUS POINTS of FS Hualalai:

* Resort is very close in proximity to the beach. Restaurants and some of the rooms are literally steps from the sand. The ocean view is IN YOUR FACE, and isn't that what you want at a resort? Let me answer this one for you. Yes, it is.

* Once you get to the hotel, the landscaping is green, green, green. Lots of greenery everywhere. Rainforest-like.

* The size of the resort is expansive and private. Everyone you see is a guest of the resort. You don't have people from other resorts cutting through your hotel property.

Here's where FS Hualalai fell short:

* CHECK-IN
When we arrived, the check-in process was awkward. We had to wait for our room to be cleaned, so we had a delayed check-in. The timing of it worked out fine since we had not eaten lunch yet, so we went to get a bite to eat while they prepped the room. When we got back from lunch, a gentleman in a hawaiian shirt that looked like he might be part of the check-in staff, barely introduced himself and handed me a cilpboard with a form to fill out. There was no "...I'll be checking you in..." introduction. He just gave us his name and kept standing there with the clipboard. Then, after a few more painful, awkward moments, he motions for us to fill out the form on the clipboard. All the time, we're wondering, is this the guy that's checking us in, or is this a bellman just getting some info before the main front desk staff person shows up?

Well, as it turned out, this guy in the hawaiian shirt **was** the main check-in guy. He didn't do a good job of welcoming us to the hotel. For me, it wasn't a good first impression at all. The bellman who met us a few minutes later was much more accommodating. He took us on his golf cart and took us to our room. We asked for a tour of the grounds before bringing us to our room and he agreed to do that for us.

* RENTAL CAR
Our rental car that we secured through the hotel was brought to us dirty--unwashed with trash from the previous guest still inside the car. If we weren't in such a rush that day, I would have said something, but we had to get on the road, so I didn't. Never expected that to happen at a hotel of this caliber. This is something I should have brought up to the front desk at check-out but I didn't feel like getting into it!

* COFFEE/CROISSANTS
The hotel supplies coffee and simple pastries in the lobby every morning. We would routinely go down to the lobby every morning to drink some coffee and relax a bit before getting the day started. Almost every morning of our stay, I had to go to the front desk to tell them that the coffee (and pastries!) were out, and that they needed to be replenished. Once I can understand, but every morning? It's all about the attention to details in the luxury hotel!

The room was nice and spacious, the bed comfortable, and the balcony very wide and private.

The food in the restaurants was hit and miss. For the most part, pretty good, but it took some time to figure out what was good on the menu. We found the Resident's Beach House to be the best for food. The desserts there were great and when I told the waitress how much I liked the dessert one night, she told me she would try to get the recipe for me. The next day, it was emailed to me. I found out that Resident's Beach House is not a part of the Four Season's resort.

Overall, a good experience but not great for me. I didn't feel like the price for the room was worth it. The best part of the hotel is the fact that the beach is so close to the hotel and the wait staff for the pool and beach area do a very good job of making sure you're taken care of.

I was going to give them a three star rating, but when I told my wife and daughter that, they freaked out and scolded me for ever having such a thought. So I'm giving FS Hualalai four stars since I'm factoring in my whole family's experience.

Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
Helpful?
6 Thank Darien2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
58 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2014

My husband and I flew to Hawaii from the UK and booked a couple of days at the four seasons to recover from our jetlag before beginning the more serious business of exploring the islands. The service was absolutely impeccable from check in to check out. We loved the congratulations bottle of champagne on arrival, our beautiful ocean facing room, the beach, the quiet pool, the turtles snoozing, the food at ulu, our massages in the spa and the beautifully manicured grounds and gardens. Only complaint (and it's really not one) is that it's so completely divorced from reality it feels a bit surreal!

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Klgvdb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rheba C, Executive Office at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, responded to this review, August 7, 2014
Aloha!!

We like to think that Four Seasons Resort Hualalai is a magical place and reading your review, I think you felt the magic! Even the turtles enjoy the peace and tranquility of the resort and I loved your comment that they were "snoozing."

I hope you will visit with us many times in the months and years to come, perhaps for every wedding anniversary!

Mahalo for writing!

Rheba Crane
Executive Administrative Assistant
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chester NJ
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2014

Visited the Four Seasons Hualalai in mid-July of this year and it was spectacular. Our room was a two-bedroom suite with beautiful views of both the ocean and the grounds/pool - it was hands down the nicest vacation set up I have ever experienced. It even had a steam shower with aromatherapy, a personal favorite of mine. My kids LOVED the snorkeling area, and we all LOVED the pool. It was very large, and never felt crowded. Although my kids are tweens now, I saw the toddler section which was a mom's dream come true - including mini cabanas and adirondack chairs and a zero entry sand bottom pool. As a side note - each collection of rooms had an building outside it with laundry facilities and all the supplies you could need - I was able to throw a few loads in before the end of our trip making our return home even relaxing!!! The staff is truly amazing, and should be the example of Customer Service for all other businesses - they are all kind and accommodating. ULU had the best breakfast buffet I have ever experienced - and we had some amazing lunches by the pool, and dinners at the Beach Tree. I highly recommend this resort.

Room Tip: Our room was close to the Hotel Lobby which seemed like a great location and pretty central to every...
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Green Features: I loved that they are eco-friendly ~ a very fitting quality to have in paradise.
  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank five4travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oslo, Norway
Level Contributor
12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2014

Incredible location. Turtles everywhere and we had close encounters with hundreds of dolphins during morning snorkelling trip. We booked oceanfront deluxe room by the kings pond, not impressed by the view. It was not oceanview and a quite busy gateway in front of our room was annoying. No privacy on the balcony/lanai. Loved the outdoor lava garden shower.
Good quality of food but reservation was needed, no table at the restaurant for us the first night. Gym and spa fascilities was impressive.
Overall good service and friendly staff.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ola V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rheba C, Executive Office at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, responded to this review, August 7, 2014
Greetings from Hualalai!

I loved your observation that Four Seasons Resort Hualalai is not only a lovely vacation spot for people, but even the turtles, dolphins and whales enjoy visiting! Since there are 5 different crescents of rooms and suites, please inquire about an accommodation in a more private spot on future visits.

We hope you will visit many times in the months and years to come. Please do not hesitate to contact me if there is ever anything I can do to assist you.

With warmest aloha,

Rheba Crane
Executive Administrative Assistant
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
La Jolla, California
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2014

The Four Seasons Hualalai Resort is a luxurious five diamond beach front property that extends genuine Aloha to their guests. The rooms are beautifully appointed and the lush, tropical grounds are truly spectacular. We had dinner at their highly-rated "Ulu" restaurant overlooking the ocean and both the food and service were excellent. This resort earns its reputation as being one of the top resorts in the world not only because of its stunning location but also because the staff really go out of their way to provide the guest(s) with the best possible service. One can tell that they really love working at the resort which says a great deal about management and the resort itself. From reservations (Jessica) and throughout the duration of our stay (Damon and Joe) everyone made us feel welcome. Even after we departed and returned to the Mainland the Aloha spirit continued as I had inadvertently left some personal items in our suite. Upon notifying the front desk, Rebecca in Security, very graciously sent them back to me via FedEx and was also very kind and considerate to enclose some beautiful Hawaiian greeting cards in the box. All in all, a wonderful stay at a superior resort with outstanding service and attention to detail.

Room Tip: Discuss your needs and expectations when booking your reservation.
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Meleana22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
18 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2014

Loved this hotel. Stayed here after several friends had shared their great experiences. This is a beautiful and serene place to stay. Room was AMAZING, I never wanted to leave. Service was wonderful and the food/ambiance at the restaurants was great. We enjoyed the hotel's snorkeling area - got to see some really great fish in a semi-natural environment. Golf course was wonderful, with breathtaking views. Overall, my husband and I just loved being here and it was the perfect place to end our trip to Hawaii.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank jesswc779
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Villa Hills, Kentucky
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2014

My wife, granddaughter and I were at this resort July 9th through the 18th - it was the finest resort experience of my life. The facilities are excellent but it is the service and attitude of the staff - across the board - that set Four Seasons apart. I give this resort my highest recommendation. My thanks to the staff for delivering a memorable stay ......really special.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Joseph S
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 96740-5610
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
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Kailua-Kona
#1 Family Hotel in Kailua-Kona
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Kailua-Kona
#1 Romantic Hotel in Kailua-Kona
#1 Green 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):
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 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 Hawaii/Kailua-Kona

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