For as long as I can remember, visiting the Big Island of Hawaii had been on my bucket list and staying at the Four Seasons Hualalai was even higher! Good news: the resort exceeded every expectation. The Four Seasons Hotel brand never disappoints, and with every new visit, I am reminded why I am such a fan.
Luxe properties, no details are spared, consistency in hiring the best staff, offering the best activities and dining, and my personal favorite: the best beds. I don’t think I sleep anywhere as great as I do when I am at a Four Seasons Hotel – their beds are so plush and they give a lot of pillows.
If you are planning a trip to Hawaii, do not skip the Big Island! I was told by my driver when I landed at the airport that “this is the relaxing island” and he was not wrong. All of the Islands of Hawaii are so different (in my opinion) and all have wonderful things to offer visitors – but I do agree, this was just the relaxing experience I needed.
So let’s talk about the resort and all the wonderful offerings.
Four Seasons Hualalai
Know before you go
Although not connected to the continental USA, Hawaii is a US state. The US dollar is used as currency, credit cards are widely accepted, cell service from mainland providers was available, and access to Wi-Fi was easy. I use T-Mobile and had full service my entire stay.
If you are already coming from the USA, you will not need a plug adapter as types A and B are used. If you are coming from a foreign destination, make sure to grab an adapter so you can plug in your electronics.
Download the Four Seasons app to your phone before arriving and link your booking. You can make dinner reservations, see all the menus, chat with on the ground staff for bookings for golf, spa, etc. I swear by this app. You can easily plan anything at the resort well before you even arrive.
English is the primary language in Hawaii.
Everyone drives on the right side of the road and getting a rental car at the airport is super easy. Additionally, if you don’t plan to venture off the resort, you can arrange transportation through the resort or get a taxi.
There is an active volcano on the island that has ben erupting since 1983. Kilauea erupting is a must see from a helicopter or plane. The volcano is not erupting in a way that you need to evacuate – it has been erupting for 39 years. But that is a pretty cool fact and you will see hardened black-lava around the island.
When to visit:
I feel like there isn’t a bad time to visit Hawaii .. I have been through varying months of the year and sometimes it will rain for 10 minutes and pass and other times, no rain at all.
Unequivocally though, I say October has been my favorite time to visit (multiple islands!). Rarely rains, perfect weather (75-80 degrees), lower crowds, and better pricing. October is a great month since kids have gone back to school and the wetter season hasn’t really started.
The wettest months in Hawaii are November to March. This does not mean your trip will be pouring rain every single day. The busiest time to visit is actually the last two weeks of December over the Holidays. That’s because the weather is still favorable over the mainland.
There are plenty of daily flights and airline offerings flying to the Big Island everyday.
You can fly into Kona of Hilo. I flew into Kona because the resort was only about 10 miles away. I initially thought I would hear planes all day that close to the airport but I never heard one.
If you want to fly into Hilo, the drive is about 83 miles and should take just under two hours.
It is definitely easier to fly into Kona, but the decision is yours!
Four Seasons Hualalai: The Resort
One thing you will notice immediately when you drive through the resort is that it is big, beautiful and has a variety of landscapes.
From lush greenery, black-lava, white sand beach, and ocean blues. It’s really remarkable how beautiful the property is and if you plan to golf, you can experience so much of it all at once.
The property itself is big, but it is easily designed to walk around. However, one of the luxe amenities offered through the resort is a golf cart drop off and pick up anywhere on property. You can send a message through the app OR just call the front desk.
The food on site is unbelievable. From breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner, drinks, etc. There is a plethora of dining options to choose from and everything I ate during my stay was amazing.
Some of the complimentary services the resort offers to make your stay that much easier include: the Cultural Center and classes offered, daily coffee and pastries in the lobby (Kona coffee is the best!), Wi-Fi, overnight self parking, self service laundry, beach towels for use both on and off property, and so much more.
Four Seasons Hualalai is one of the those resorts where you never get bored. There is a lot to do on property or you can relax and do nothing. The choice is yours.
Just don’t miss sunset! They were spectacular my entire stay!
The resort offers 31 room categories to chose from, but I believe the property is amazing and you can’t go wrong with any room you choose.
During my stay, I checked into a Super Suite Poolside View. This room was located right behind the Sea Shell Pool with a nice walkout but it was not so close that I could hear anything at the pool. Perfect distance.
The room itself was about 1,050 square feet with a separate living and bedroom area, a full granite bathroom with a deep soaking tub and an outdoor lava rock rain shower, there was a second bathroom with a steam shower when you first walk in, and the patio had three seating options, including a table to eat at.
The room was also furnished with three tv’s, a minibar, coffee maker, full living room with couch and chair, a big table to eat or work from, a walk-in closet, a safe, and so on.
You walk right outside and there is tons of palm trees and amazing sunsets at night!
I know I said it above, but the food on property is really amazing. There are several dining options to choose from and everything was incredible.
The first night that I arrived I was so exhausted because I had been up and in transit for over 18 hours and did not have the energy to go to a restaurant. Lucky for me, the resort offers 24 hour in-room dining and a great menu.
I wanted something easy and I love pizza. To my surprise, the menu offered a Kalua Pork and Pineapple pizza and it was divine in every way. I also got a pineapple upside down cake ala mode and, chefs kiss.
I try to get room service at least once during my trips to resorts because if the room service is amazing, you know all the other dining outlets will be.
Ulu Ocean Grill
Ulu Ocean Grill was my favorite overall restaurant on property. I ate breakfast here everyday at sunrise, right in front of the ocean and there is nothing I enjoy more than my iced coffee, a sunrise and the sound of ocean waves.
My favorite breakfast items I think you should check out include:
Big island Acai Bowl – I know I have said this before, but no one does acai bowls like the Four Seasons Resorts in Hawaii.
Hawaiian Sunrise Papaya – the papaya was unreal and filled with goodies like granola, yogurt, pumpkin seeds, etc.
Loco Moco – this is a very savory local dish.
Macadamia Nut Cinnamon Roll – this cinnamon roll was out of this world and huge. Prepare to share this or take your leftovers back to your room.
Ulu Ocean Grill is also open for dinner. While there is a menu for the grill you can also order off of the sushi lounge menu or mix and match.
Two things you should not miss here are:
Seared Salmon Sushi
One day during my trip I was really hungry during the lunch hours and decided to get the “Super Grain Buddha Bowl” – and of course, it was amazing. It was filling, but also light and refreshing for being outside.
If you love Italian food, I highly recommend trying the Beach Tree Restaurant. I love that it is open air dining and again, food was fantastic. Come during sunset and see the sky ablaze with colors.
To be honest, I came in wanting the burrata appetizer and it was not available. My server convinced me to get the grilled octopus and it was 10/10. Highly recommend and it wasn’t even on my mind to order.
For my dinner I ordered the Agnolotti. The goat cheese just made this dish shine.
Hualalai Trading Company
On property, close to the spa and lobby, the Trading Company exists and it is basically a store. You can get food, snacks, shop, there’s coffee, ice cream, and so much more. I walked in there and left with two bags of gifts and I also got one of my favorite snacks, spam musubi and a lilikoi juice.
There are eight pools at property at the Four Seasons Hualalai! That sounds like a lot, but they all serve their own purpose, wonderfully.
Starting with my personal favorite: King’s Pond. This is a 1.8 million gallon aquarium with over 1,000+ fish that you can swim and snorkel with. I had the opportunity to see the eagle ray in there and while I was walking around, the puffer fish came right up to me in the water for like 10 minutes. I was outside the water and she was just there and kept coming above the surface. It was a really cool experience.
There is also an infinity edge pool overlooking King’s Pond.
Surrounding the pond and pool are plenty of chairs, cabanas, etc. You can get food and drinks delivered to you at the pool.
Sea Shell Pool
This family friendly pool offers an infinity edge overlooking the ocean, waterfall and a roofed hot tub. There is plenty of seating around the pool both chairs and umbrellas and some cabanas. There is a pretty big menu for food and drinks and here.
Surprise, this pool is in the ocean and carved out of the lava and has a natural breakwater, providing calm waters. You can actually see marine life here, including turtles.
There are umbrellas with chairs and some of the cozy day beds with the roof on the beach.
Beach Tree Pool
Considered to be the “quiet pool” and a place to come and relax. When I was here I did not see any kids and voices were extremely low. The pool is lined with cabanas and a great place to read, sunbathe, have lunch, and listen to the ocean waves.
Keiki Children’s Pool
What is really unique about this pool is that it is shallow, sandy on the bottom like the ocean and there are little loungers for kids. The resort also offers pool toys for kids to play with.
Palm Grove Pool
This is the adults-only pool on property, and in my opinion, the prettiest (not that they all aren’t pretty) – the way the palms stand tall and reflect onto the pool is beautiful.
The Palm Grove Pool has a swim-up bar you can enjoy while there. There are a lot of chairs and umbrellas here but given that this is an adults-only pool, I can see how it would get busy when the resort is at capacity.
If you want to be at this pool for the day, I would plan early to get your preferred chairs.
The Lap Pool
This pool is located in the sports club and spa but currently closed. It is an Olympic style pool that offers four lap lanes and will be available again soon.
If you need some self care or just want to relax, definitely book an appointment at the spa.
You will notice immediately in the waiting area outside, how calm you feel. There is a waterfall, a lot of greenery and plus seating. You will find that zen moment long before your treatment starts.
If you love to golf, I highly recommend playing the Hualalai Course. This course is over 7,100 yards winding through lush greenery, black lava and ending in dramatic ocean blue views.
The course is an 18 hole Jack Nicklaus-Signature Championship Course and should not be missed.
If you do not want to travel with your clubs, you can rent them on site or the concierge can arrange to have them shipped door to door. There is an amazing Club Shop if you need anything or want to take a souvenir home.
The course itself is really spectacular. If you do golf here, you will notice a lot of black lava throughout and winding greenery. Probably one of the more unique courses I have seen.
This is the only Four Seasons property in all of Hawaii with a Cultural Center and its such a great thing to offer guests.
You can step inside during open hours and look at art, learn from the staff, take various classes – I took a Ti Leaf Lei making class and learned to make a unique lei I had never heard of before.
But even better than that, I got a really great history lesson and was able to speak to a local about all the questions I had. He was a fantastic wealth of information and very passionate about his work and life in Hawaii.
I highly recommend stopping by and signing up for one of the man classes or activities they offer. You can take a Hawaiian Language Class, Ukulele Lessons, Hawaiian History, learn to dance in a hula, and so much more.
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Disclosure: this blog is written in partnership with the Four Seasons Hualalai. As always, opinions are entirely my own.