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Reviewed August 26, 2019 via mobile

We visited FS Hualalai for our anniversary after so many people had recommended the property. The resort is huge — 3 pools, hot tubs, restaurants and plenty of beach access. The grounds are nicely manicured and the staff is friendly and accommodating for the most part. Overall, the resort is nice, but it fell short in a lot of ways for us, especially considering the price. I think the bottom line is that it’s just so expansive that it’s hard to deliver luxury every single time, which is what we’ve come to expect from FS. When we checked into our room, it smelled horribly of mold and housekeeping agreed. Unfortunately, their remedy to this was installing a humidifier into our room and essential oils, which is nice but when you’re paying $900/night a super noisy dehumidifier isn’t ideal. The next morning they had a room available and transferred us, which was nice but meeting with the front desk, packing up, transferring our luggage, etc took a good part of our morning and could have been avoided had they dealt with it the day before. We had our best meal at the Grill in both food and service. We loved the menu at Beachtree, but it was swarming with kids who were dancing on the tables, screaming and running back and forth through tables to the surrounding lawn on our first night. We decided to eat there on our last night and our food came 1. With the wrong order and 2. Cold. The manager was gracious but we had already lost our appetite. As a side note, there is also very noisy construction happening near King’s Pond that we weren’t aware of prior to booking. This is definitely a family resort, which is great, but don’t come expecting solitude or luxury. Having stayed at many other FS properties both in the islands and elsewhere, we were disappointed.

Date of stay: August 2019
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
4  Thank ByKaitHanson
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SHinsch, Manager at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, responded to this reviewResponded August 26, 2019

Aloha Kait Hanson,

I want to thank you for sharing your experience with us, I sincerely apologize that your stay did not meet your expectations. Thank you for the kind words regarding our grounds, staff, and Grill experience. We are looking into the issues you raised and appreciate you taking the time to show us room for improvement.
If you would like to provide any additional comments please feel free to contact me directly at any time.

With Aloha,

Sebastian Hinsch
Resort Manager
sebastian.hinsch@fourseasons.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 26, 2019

We stayed here for a coupe of nights after staying at the Mauna Kea for a few nights. We were expecting it to be the highlight of our stay at 3 different locations on the Big Island - the last was a lodge in Volcano, HI.
Unfortunately it was our least favorite spot on the island. We were expecting a unique experience and something a bit magical for the price point but it was neither of those things. It was pretty, but definitely not unique nor magical.
First off, it's tight. Everything feels squeezed in. There are no big vistas as everything is low and there is no elevation change to the resort. You are right on top of your neighbors. This was a huge difference between FS and the Mauna Kea. What we loved about the Mauna Kea the FS could just not compete with.
The beach was a huge letdown after the Mauna Kea resort. We knew they weren't known for the beach going in but didn't expect it to be such a disappointment. It felt like we were tripping over people.
This is a pretty resort that feels like it could be anywhere, very formulaic. It's all about the pools and they are lined up along the waterfront in between the restaurants.
The restaurants are not great. They are definitely not worth the price. I paid $35 for a plate of linguine with very overcooked seafood.
The staff were very friendly for the most part (but not all). Chris (the tall, slim one) at the pool was fantastic! A true credit to the resort.
The rooms were just ok - again, not worth the price point. I missed our amazing room at the Mauna Kea that was half the price of this room. It was so well designed and very spacious and private. We actually had a golf view room at the Mauna Kea and an ocean view at the FS too so that says a lot.
For the record, we are more than able to pay for a resort such as this so it's not that we are uncomfortable with the cost, just uncomfortable paying for something that is clearly not worth it.
It's interesting that this resort gets such high reviews. I don't get it. I wonder if it's because it's full of Four Seasons devotees who don't stay anywhere else?
It definitely did not capture the essence of Hawaii. We won't be back.

Date of stay: August 2019
2  Thank paurora
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SHinsch, Manager at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, responded to this reviewResponded August 26, 2019

Aloha paurora,

I want to thank you for taking the time to provide such valuable feedback as we're always looking for ways to improve. I will certainly pass on your sentiments to Chris, and appreciate you highlighting him.

If you would like to provide additional information please feel free to contact me directly.

Sebastian Hinsch
Resort Manager
sebastian.hinsch@fourseasons.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2019 via mobile

First and foremost, I want to thank the families who chose to leave their nannies at home thinking everyone else will be watching their children. Because of them, the family pool was closed on multiple occasions. Closed more often than it was open during our stay. If you can’t tell when your future masters of the universe is having tummy trouble, you should make sure you travel with someone who can.

Beach is visually appealing, but it’s not really a swimmer’s beach and therefore not a substitute for the pool being closed. While I appreciate the resort making sure that the rest of us would not get sick from this, they could have handled the guests complaining around the quiet pool better. They should have offered to set them up around the adults only pool while the families were sent to the quiet pool. We were told numerous times between 3:40 and 3:59 that the family pool will reopen at 4:00. My standard response was that it was not 4:00 yet. They need a better protocol for handling brown outs.

The breakfasts were great, both the buffet and the individual meals. After a bad experience on our first night at the Barefoot (cold risotto and watery pizza sauce), we chose to pay the ride share tax and eat in Kona and Waikoloa the rest of the trip.

As expected, the service is top notch. Housekeeping and the turndown service were great. Check-in was welcoming. The little treats around the pool like the frozen grapes and alcohol blue raspberry ice pops were nice touches. My son to advantage of the camp to take his first surf lessons in Kona at a black sand beach. A really cool experience for him.

Rooms were spacious and well appointed. We especially enjoyed having the outdoor shower in our bathroom, the robes and the human sized toiletries. Surprised to find a toaster in with the coffee maker. Turned to my son and said “good thing we bought Pop Tarts at the store.” Only room complaint was the thermostat. We could not get the room down to our comfortable sleeping temperature of 66 degrees. I know resorts are trying to be eco-friendly, but with a good amount of the island’s power coming from renewables they should be concentrating more on conserving water than the electricity.

Aside from the pools issue, another great Four Seasons experience.

Date of stay: August 2019
Trip type: Traveled with family
3  Thank arthurc309
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SHinsch, Manager at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, responded to this reviewResponded August 26, 2019

Aloha arthurc309,

I want to thank you for sharing your experience with us. I sincerely apologize for the pool situation and we are certainly looking into the protocol moving forward, thank you for giving us the opportunity to improve. I appreciate the kind words regarding our rooms, breakfasts, and overall service. I'm happy to hear you had an overall positive experience with us, and look forward to welcoming you back.

With Aloha,

Sebastian Hinsch
Resort Manager
sebastian.hinsch@fourseasons.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2019 via mobile

The #1 resort in Hawaii hands down, ok, Koele Four seasons on Lanai is a close second, but there’s no beach there! Hualalai Is on my least favorite island, but for couples, families, anyone this is where it’s at. From the moment you pull up at valet, there is always someone attentive, welcoming you, and ready to help get you to vacay mode! They will lei you, Hawaiian style to welcome you to their property! The check in process is nice, you don’t need to stand at a counter, they seat you and your family on a couch and serve the adults a mai tai (alcohol mixed with POG) and the kids POG (passion orange guava mix) in coconuts and cool refreshing towels, confirm the details, take your cc, and you are on your way. The property is a little spread out, we arrived at night, and though our room wasn’t far from the lobby, they shuttles us there on golf carts, my kids always enjoy that part! They happened to upgrade us, pleasant surprise, and since it was our anniversary there was champagne, desserts, and toys for our kids. The room was such a treat for our family of 4, it was a one bedroom suite, but the couch pulled out and since we arrived at night, the bed was already made. We had two bathrooms, the one in the living room had a shower, the one in the bedroom had a tub, a shower, and a fabulous rock wall, rock step OUTDOOR shower! The closet was a small walk in with ample space for all of our bags! The breakfast is phenomenal at Ulu Grill! Buffet breakfast with everything you can think of, an omelette bar, fruits galore (exotic ones too) meats, oatmeal, miso soup (Japanese breakfast) pancakes, waffles, and matcha lattes, coffee, and a kids bar with tater tots, confetti waffles, eggs! The water activities are supreme here and endless!!!! The property is fronted by a swimmable beach and it’s protected by the reef, so it’s safer for the kids, I saw a canoe in the little protected cove as well, there are also rocks/reef that have formed tide pools, and where my 4 year old wanted to frolick and hang the whole day looking for little fish, sea animals and playing with the torpedo fish the hotel gifted him. There are so many pools, one that’s for adults only, much quieter and next to a restaurant we never ate at since we have kids, although it was really good the last time we visited. A short walk away there is a ping pong table, and a water activities desk, I’m sure you could rent snorkels, tubes, water gear although we failed to visit during this trip, and right next to this is another pool with a waterfall, Tahitian hut that covers the jacuzzi, and a short distance away a kids pool with sand on one end, little sun chairs and mini umbrellas for the littles! They also had a mini kid bar, complete with Mac and cheese, chicken fingers, fruits for $12ish close the towel stand and kiddie pool. The night we were there, a Friday summer night they set up an inflatable screen, popcorn maker, candies at the bar and you could swim and watch the movie after sunset at the pool. The last pool, Kings pool is our absolute favorite!!! It’s a salt water heaven of fishes and an eagle ray that you get to snorkel, snuba, or swim with! There are feeding fish times you can participate in, they have a touch pool where you can hold brittle stars, sea cucumbers, and other sea animals and if you get there a little before they open around 10 am and sign in before the spaces fill up, you can personally feed the eagle ray (sting ray no stinger) the kids loved this experience it made the whole trip! We ate at Ulu for dinner, I have another review just about the restaurant, it was outstanding! There’s so much for every age to do here, I didn’t mention the gym, the golf course, most of all just the absolute beauty you are surrounded by! Sunsets are stunning here and life is perfect, worth the cost, to you won’t be disappointed you did!!!

Date of stay: August 2019
Trip type: Traveled with family
4  Thank Alohaoe808
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SHinsch, Manager at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, responded to this reviewResponded August 23, 2019

Aloha Alohaoe808,

Wow what a touching review! Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us, we will pass your sentiments on to our staff. We agree they really make this place so special. We hope we get the chance to extend our ho'okipa to you again sometime.

Sebastian Hinsch
Resort Manager
sebastian.hinsch@fourseasons.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2019 via mobile



We just returned from our second stay at Four Seasons Hualalai, and it was even more magnificent than the first. It was an anniversary surprise for my husband, and we enjoyed five lovely days together in paradise.  Of all the hotels on the Hawaiian Islands, Four Seasons Hualalai is truly my favorite. When I wrote my review, I had the Judy Garland song, Somewhere Over the Rainbow stuck in my head because to me, Hualalai is that magical place. If you read my review to the tune of Somewhere Over the Rainbow in your head, it may make more sense. Aloha!

Somewhere over the rainbow 

Way up high 

There’s a land that I dream of

Four Seasons Hualalai 

Somewhere over the rainbow 

Skies are blue

And the dreams that you dare to dream

Really do come true

Check-in really is a breeze

The staff will make you feel at ease

So charming 

Chilled towels, cold drinks, you’ll sit and chat

Wishing all check-ins were as pleasant as that 

It’s perfect timing 

Somewhere over the rainbow 

Ocean views

Pristine grounds to wander 

Which pool will you choose?

Palm Grove, Beach Tree, King’s Pond, Sea Shell, 

Ocean, Lap Pool, or Keiki pool options 

You’ll never need to leave the pool

The food is fab, the water cool

That’s where you’ll find me 

Somewhere over the rainbow 

Way up high

I’ll be dining at 

Four Seasons Hualalai 

Each restaurant is quite unique 

Serving everything but the kitchen sink

Superb options 

The only thing as rad as the food 

Are the excellent staff and ethereal views

That’s where you’ll find me

Somewhere over the rainbow 

Way up high

In a perfect lux bubble

Chillin’ at Hualalai 

Ulu is a breakfast delight

And dinner is out of sight

Shrimp dumplings!

Hualalai Grill, a gastronomic thrill

Beach Tree is also great with me

And don’t forget Residents’ Beach House 

Somewhere over the rainbow 

Private outdoor showers exist 

Who would have thought that vacation 

Could ever be as spectacular as this?

Rooms are large, spacious, and plush

You’ll never be in a rush 

To leave them

With beds and pillows fluffy as clouds

Hualalai never has crowds

So peaceful 

Surprise treats and turndown every night 

They always treat their guests just right

That’s where you’ll find me 

Somewhere over the rainbow 

Hearts will soar

Troubles and stress dissipate 

While gazing at the sandy shore 

Receive royal treatment, here you’re a VIP

Even if not a celebrity 

You’ll spot one

Aloha spirit permeates 

The Hualalai team really makes you feel great

Refreshing

Kalai, Keo, Bronson, Ty, Chenin, Ayano, Summer, Anne, and Thomas too

You can’t go wrong with this super crew!

Wanda’s sweet voice will put a smile on your face 

And make you look forward to visiting this incredible place!

Colin Clark, Sebastian Hinsch, Alessandro Cartumini and Paul Jennette

You really can’t get better than that!

Somewhere over the rainbow 

Skies are blue

If you come to this magical hotel

All your dreams really will come true!

Date of stay: August 2019
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
59  Thank grlgrdgate
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SHinsch, Manager at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, responded to this reviewResponded August 27, 2019

Aloha,

Wow! This has left me speechless, it has brought a huge smile to all of our faces! We are honored you chose to celebrate your anniversary with us and truly appreciate your incredibly creative review. We are looking forward to welcoming you back - hopefully soon!

A hui hou - until next time!

Sebastian Hinsch
Resort Manager
sebastian.hinsch@fourseasons.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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