Hotel Review: Four Seasons Hualalai, Hawaii

Reviews : Accommodation

We have reviewed the best Four Seasons hotels in Hawaii, which includes the stunning Four Seasons Hualalai on Big Island, Hawaii. It may not be one of the cheapest Four Seasons hotels in the world but it is definitely one of the best!

Four Seasons Hualalai is located on Big Island, Hawaii, the one with the big and active Kilauea vvolcano which means that the whole resort is built on dramatic black rock, and that you can take a trip to the live volcano if you like. It’s worth bearing in mind that this island is pretty big, so the drive to see the volcano is lengthy if worthwhile.

I have reviewed the best way to get discounts, deals and special offers at Four Seasons Hualalai, the key is to book your next Four Seasons stay via our luxury travel concierge and we can give you FREE loyalty-style benefits, room upgrades and perks, at the cheapest rates.

When To Visit

Visit in Hawaii’s off-season, when the rates are cheaper along with three for two-night deals being available and the islands are less crowded. Ideally, travel is spring (April to June) and fall (September to November). Winter in Hawaii can be cloudy and wet from December to March but it is a popular time to travel so expensive simply because the rest of the Northern hemisphere is so miserable and cold.

Location

Four Seasons Hualalai is on the Kona (west) coast of the Big Island of Hawaii, close to the airport.

Why Four Seasons Hualalai?

With 243 rooms, there is plenty of choice at this Four Seasons. All rooms offer modern Hawaii décor, paddle ceiling fans (along with air conditioning) and each has a with lanai or terrace. We prefer the downstairs rooms which have private outdoor lava rock showers.

It is worth mentioning that even the cheapest room at the Four Seasons Hualalai is a great room, and you will have a similarly great holiday, whichever room you choose. If you book via our luxury travel concierge we can bump you up a room level for free (subject to availability on check-in, as well as offering a bunch of other free benefits!).

The Golf View room is undoubtedly the best deal as you get to enjoy all the benefits of the resort at the cheapest possible price. These are on the Golf Ocean-View Crescent on both the lower and upper level. As you would expect, these rooms look out onto the golf course which is a pretty nice view as you can see from the video below:

I love the outdoor showers and the terrace as oppose to a lanai, so you can walk right out onto the grass. I would therefore always pick the downstairs rooms as the best choice.

By booking a Golf View Room via our concierge you will get upgraded to the Poolside Room (subject to availability) which is on the lower level of the “bungalows” on Beach Tree Crescent. These rooms also have a full granite bathroom and are super convenient for the pools.

If you book into (or get upgraded to) and Ocean View room you can tour what your room and view will be here:

As you can see, fundamentally all the rooms are fairly consistent, with a high level of luxury and a very similar size and facilities. The best rooms are those on the Ocean Front (of course!).

The Best Things About Four Seasons Hualalai

Whatever deal or discount you manage to book, the Four Seasons Hualalai is brilliant for a number of reasons:

The hotel itself is perched on dramatic blackened lava from the Volcano. The entire low rise complex is dotted with palm trees and has a hugely long and private beach. The mix of the warm sand, deep blue Pacific waters, lush green tropical foliage and flowers means that the setting can only be described as breathtaking.

The design of this low rise hotel means that it never feels full even though this glorious hotel often enjoys 100% occupancy (it’s that good!). The mainly two-story buildings are spread out so you never feel like the hotel is particularly busy. By comparison, the Four Seasons Maui feels much more lively and busy, which is a good and a bad thing!

The large lobby is open air and when you arrive you get a sweet smelling lei (flower necklace) and oshibori towel which is a great start to every stay here. Communal areas are also always immaculate and the staff are always welcoming and often address you by your name (although I still don’t know how they manage to do this bearing in mind the size of some Four Seasons hotels!).

The Pools

The Four Seasons Hualalai has a wonderful garden that stretches down to the beach and it’s pools are an absolute highlight.

My favourite thing at the resort is the King’s Pond pictured above. Four Seasons brings the ocean into the resort for you with this pool, which is a quarry-like pond with a sandy bottom, carved free form out of the black lava and teeming with fish. It is right next to the beach and is one of the most unique resort features I have seen. It’s filled with seawater and is home to thousands of fish, including a couple of spotted eagle rays.

You can swim in this pool for as long as you like with complimentary snorkel gear. Swim with real fish and rays, a truly magical experience and all with the convenience of being just a short walk from your room. It’s a “must do” for your bucket list. After your swim, or between swims, laze on a pool chairs and have a drink or a bite to eat.

There are five other swimming pools some with sloping and sand bottoms, some with hot tubs/ You can look forward to complimentary frozen grapes poolside which is a lovely touch.

There is also a large gym with a lap pool and of course, there is an amazing beach. From November to May you are likely to spot whales and dolphins just offshore, and there are local turtles that meander about on the beach too.

If just laying on the beach doesn’t appeal, you can try watersports take outrigger canoe, swim or take surf lessons, or shoreline fishing.

<h3Spa

There is a garden spa with choose-your-own Hawaii ingredient treatment apothecary and outdoor treatment rooms.

Golf

The PGA-designated golf course is excellent, carved from oceanfront lava fields. This and the golf course at Four Seasons Lanai are probably the best golf courses on the Hawaiian Islands.

Hawaiian Heritage

Hualalai embraces its setting and heritage with daily traditional Hawaiian activities and talks in the cultural centre. You can learn to dance the hula, play the ukulele, make sweet smelling leis or carve bamboo stamps. Most activities are free.

Restaurants

Breakfast is only included with certain package rates. Book any package with our luxury travel concierge and breakfast will be added into your package for free.

Breakfast is served at the beachfront ‘ULU Ocean Grill serves an à la carte menu offering an incredible array of delicious breakfast items including all the berries under the sun, bear claws, scones, skillet filled with teriyaki beef or tradition Hawaiian Loco Moco (burger patty of local grass-fed beef topped with fried eggs and gravy). This particular dish may well be considered a heart attack on a plate for those who prefer a low-fat breakfast, but it is, as you would expect from this Four Seasons, ridiculously delicious.

At night ‘ULU turns is a sushi bar and lounge with 75 per cent of menu items sourced from the waters and farms around Hawaii. There is also an indoor Italian restaurant, a golf-side steakhouse and a mini-mart to stock up on snacks.

Kids Club

The complimentary Kids for All Seasons club runs daily activities for children ages five-12 including a daily feeding of the 21-year-old spotted eagle ray in the lagoon. The complimentary use of front loading washer/dryer units spaced across the property is useful along with 17 sets of connecting guestrooms.

Resort Fee

Most resorts in Hawaii charge a resort fee, even if you are paying on points. Book the Marriott in Wailea and you get your room rate for “free” (on points) but you are still charged an additional resort fee which makes a point booking here quite a bad deal. Unlike the nickel-and-diming resorts across these islands, Four Seasons Hualalai does not charge a resort fee. Yet it still offers a bunch of complimentary extras.

Will There Ever Be A Four Seasons Loyalty Program?

There have been rumours wafting about regarding a consumer Four Seasons loyalty program for years. The truth is that none of these rumours have come to fruition. At least not yet! The only way to get loyalty style benefits is to book through a high-end travel agency like our own luxury travel concierge.

Most luxury hotels have hidden travel agent loyalty programs which give you free benefits if you book with the right “Virtuoso” or hotel partner agent, including our own.

The benefits we offer at the Four Seasons Hualalai, Hawaii are:
Breakfast for two people per bedroom.
Food and beverage credit or spa credit of USD100 per stay (where you can spend your credit depends on the hotel but the value is always $100).
Upgrade of one category, based on availability at time of check-in (this usually excludes suites).
Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability.
Complimentary basic Internet in all guest rooms.
Complimentary welcome gift.

Conclusion

Four Seasons Hualalai is a brilliant hotel for couple and families. It lives up to its reputation as one of the greatest resorts in the world. The restaurants are fabulous. The pools and spa are world-class (The Kings pool is unique, you won’t find anything like it anywhere else). Staff are truly gracious, helpful and caring. To get the best possible discount and offers as well as free perks, book via our luxury travel concierge.

Disclosure: Most of our property, service & product reviews are sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced by any sponsor.

Location