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.
-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.
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.
- 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