Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka'upulehu
Travel Blogs from Kailua-Kona
Today was the day for our 2 hour helicopter flight to the volcano caldera, so after an early start, we were there all prepared to get on the helicopter when they deemed it too unsafe to fly today because of the weather. We were disappointed, however we then decided to do it by car and hired Dennis to drive us the 7 hour round trip to the volcano. …
This morning we hired a car and Dennis, our driver from yesterday, took us to the Captain Cook monument. We went south on the Queen Ka'ahumanu Highway and once again the lava flows are so different to anything we have seen and come from Mount Hualaliai which erupted in 1801. We travelled through the town of Kona on a very good road. In this Kona …
It was a non-customary early start to be ready to catch the Mokulele plane from Maui Island to the biggest Island Hawaii. It was an excellent flight over the islands. We could see the lunar-like surface of the volcano (Haleakala), on Maui and see the areas we had driven to a few days before. This shield volcano forms 75% of the island of Maui. It …
... pics (Lochie lost a flipper in the excitement) and I got a pic of one hanging out on a rock (I like to think he went up there especially so I could see him). Sadly my photos of Mr Turtle are on my actual camera, so I don't have any to upload to the blog right now. I'm not sure if it was an altitude thing, but I started to feel a bit fluey, so we went back to the resort and I had a nap while the boys had a few Happy Hour drinks in the pool ...
... the coastline and fantastic waterfalls.
We are picked up by the tour company & I quiz our driver about the various landmarks of Ironman, what the town is like during the lead up to the race, etc. He was fantastic. On the way back he detoured to show us some of the spots.
Once we arrive at the airport we receive a briefing and safety demo, along with an outline of the tour. After take off the ride was fairly smooth, taking in the coastline of ...
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Historical Traveler Reviews Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka'upulehu Kailua-Kona
Love the Hotel but tons of kids!
The amount of children at this resort staggers the mind! Kids morning, noon, and night!!! I came here to get some long awaited R&R and what do I find but families at every turn. Kids eating food while in the pools, two babies swimming sans bathing suits (and defecating) in the adult pool with mom, screaming children at night while I try to sleep, whining kids in the restuarants, etc...
What a bad experience, and one which I did not expect as I had a wonderful quiet time at the FS Maui.
Go to Four Seasons Maui instead
Our stay at the Four Seasons Big Island was very, very disappointing.
The "quiet pool"/Adult pool was very crowded and everyone had cell phones out and in use. The pool staff tried in vain to curtail the cell phone abuse. It is not relaxing to hear multiple phone conversations going on at the same time. I blame this on the guests, not the staff.
We have never seen so many cell phones at the same time.
The guests at this hotel seem to have an attitude of "entitlement" and really did not care about anyone else. This attitude extended to the various restaurants. Those guests with children did nothing to quiet their children or prevent them from running and yelling all around the resturant. This was especially true at the breakfast buffet. The kids would run right in front of us while the parents were on their cell phones. This I do blame on the hotel staff which I believe should have intervened to curtail this situation.
The guest rooms were spacious and well-decorated, but the sound proofing is less than adequate. If people are out on their decks talking, you can forget about your room being quiet. This seems to happen anytime between 5:30 am and 11:00 pm (and later).
We much prefer the Fours Seasons Maui, where you can even save some money, compared to the Big Island.
Beautiful property and rooms...........
checking in as an obviously childless couple wishing to enjoy a quiet 20 year anniversary celebration, we were thrilled with our beautiful room and comfy bed only to be terribly disappointed that they had stuck us right in the middle of the "family section" right in front of the kiddie pool - AAAAAaaarg!!!!!!
There's nothing like being awakened at 3am EVERY morning for 4 days by a screaming baby and dad never failing to let that front door slam as he left the room every morning at 5 or 6am to soothe the continually screaming baby. Waaaay too many families at this resort.
We requested another room only to be told none were available. It truly ruined our "romantic" mornings.
Luckily we were able to catch up on lost sleep lazing in the great private cabanas on the sand with evian spritzes and cool drinks. We would stay here again, but if you are looking for peace and quiet be sure to request a room in another area.
Where's the Aloha?
As a travel fan who grew up on the Big Island - and who loves the 4S Wailea - I couldn't wait to check out the Four Seasons and see what everyone was raving about. While I think many - no most - people will love this resort, I found it a very disappointing experience.The biggest physical problem for me is the beach, or lack thereof. The last big resort to hit the Gold Coast, the 4S is stuck on a rocky peninsula that gets pounded by an endless series of waves, making it a very uninviting place to swim. The resort has tried to compensate with numerous pools. But my feeling is if you want a pool, there are many just as nice in Los Angeles that don't require a flight. But my bigger disappointment was how everything is focused not on giving you the best experience, but on attaining that additional marginal dollar. For example, there actually are some pretty good diving spots near the resort where you can actually get in the real ocean. The resort won't tell you about them, however, because they're hoping to sell you on expensive (and short) sailing trips to get to them. There are wonderful local restaurants nearby, where you can really see what actual Hawaii life is like, but all the staff wanted to do was sell us on the resort spots (one of which is good but very expensive). Those restaurants are so far away, why should we bother? It's a like a casino - they don't want you to leave. Which brings me to the staff, who have had all the Hawaiian-ness drilled out of them. The spa employees, however, are lovely, as was the staff at the golf course.Good things: big rooms, nice pools, one great restaurant and a really wonderful spa. But this is resort could be in Phoenix or anywhere else. It is not Hawaii.
Great place, but the kids.....
Just stayed at the Four Seasons for the second time. It's a gorgeous place. Beautifully laid out, fantastic landscaping, wonderful (if pricey) restaurants. The rooms are very nice, and try to get a ground floor room so you can take an outdoor shower! The service was top-notch. So, I have no suggestions for improvement except....they need to find a way to accomodate families with children AND people who are there to get away from children. At times it felt like we staying at a kid's summer camp. We ate at the most expensive restaurant on the property, and there were small kids running around unattended, right among the tables. It's the parent's responsibility to watch their kids, but the hotel must also find a way to make sure other guests aren't disturbed. Perhaps some sections of the restaurant reserved for families? Or even times when kids under 10 aren't allowed at the resort? I understand neighboring Kona Village does that sometimes. I'm not trying to be anti-kid, but this ain't Disneyland or McDonalds. When I'm paying these prices for a room or a meal, I don't want to hear kids yelling and crying. I love this hotel, but this problem will give me serious pause next time I think about a trip to the Big Island.
This Four Seasons was a Disappointment
We found the Four Seasons Resort on the Big Island to be just as the "Hideaway Report" had warned: it felt like a sprawling apartment complex with no sense of center. Rooms were fair, but not nearly as plush as on Maui. Ground floor rooms were noisy when the upstairs guests dragged heavy teak furniture around their deck every night. Outdoor showers sounded cool in the brochure but in fact were dark (we never used ours). Worse, they were the source of a parade of insects that crawled under the shower door and into the bathroom each night. One particularly creepy critter looked and acted like a cockroach: it would crawl on the bathroom mirror and dart around the countertop when we turned on the lights at night. The hotel offered a consolation prize (bath salts) but this visitor was left unimpressed. The health spa is very nice, but not enough to compensate for lousy rooms and the lack of a beach.
Truly Beautiful Resort
This is a gorgeous place with incredible, friendly service. The rooms are simply beautiful and those located on the lower floor have outdoor showers surrounded by lava rock - loved this! The food is excellent, although quite expensive. The resort has created a somewhat protected "pool" in the ocean that will allow for swimming during calm seas but its very rocky and reef shoes would be advised. This is the only place at the resort where swimming in the ocean would be possible. There are wonderful tidepools to explore along this part of the beach though and many different kinds of shells to inspect. Overall, the resort has a country-club feel and in fact many patrons visit only to play golf and use the spa and fitness facilities. When I return to The Big Island this is definitely the hotel I'll book.
The only complaint about this property is the lack of a truly swimmable beach.... but other than that, this 4 Seasons is truly remarkable. The layout of the hotel is such that you enjoy great privacy and escape the more "hotel" feel. The service is top notch, and the spa is bliss. You will definitely pay the price to enjoy the property... significantly more expensive than the Maui property... but worth it.
Utopia (without the ocean swim)
We stayed there for three days/nights as part of our honeymoon, having spent the first three days/ nights on the Big Island at the Prince Hapuna Beach. Everything that is said about the Four Seasons is true -- the serenity, pampering, kindness, and attention to detail is without parallel, anywhere.
The only downside to the resort is that the beautiful Hawaiian ocean is, for all intents and purposes, unavailable to its guests -- at least to those who want to enjoy the amenities for which the hotel is so well known. One might consider doing as we did -- spending a few nights at the Hapuna Beach Hotel (around 40% the price of the Four Seasons, reserving on the Hapuna Beach "Hot Deals" website), and afterwards (definitely afterwards!!) going to the Four Seasons. (The Hapuna Beach/ Mauna Kea beaches are, deservedly, ranked among the best in the world.)
If it's enough for you to lie on the sand (though even the sand is finer at the Hapuna Beach/ Mauna Kea part of the island) or by a gorgeous pool, and money isn't a factor in your vacation plans, then by all means, go to the Four Seasons and enjoy the utopia offered there!
Heaven on Earth
Pampering at its finest!! Adult pools that emphasize quiet and relaxation. We consider our stay at the Four Seasons, Hualalai a complete holiday with 5 star service in a 5 star resort.
The infinity edge pool is designed to eliminate waves when one swims which minimizes disruption to other patrons. The water temperature in the pools is the most perfect I've ever been in. You can float for hours undisturbed.
The acommodations in most units include an outdoor lava shower. We stayed at the resort for five days and never used the bathtub or the indoor shower.
The restaurants are fantastic. One restaurant features 4 or 5 separate tables that floats on the sand at the beach.
The beach tree grill features outdoor dining and provides live contemporary hawaiian music at night (something we looked forward to).
We visited the resort in August and planned on returning during the December. The resort is sold out for the next three years with a wait list of 200 people during the holiday season.
The price we paid to stay at the Four Seasons is worth every penny!!!
My wife and I still talk about our vacation months after returning home.
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