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Reviews (3,133)
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Reviewed April 2, 2018

We've been visiting Kona for nearly 20 years and have made 14 trips to Hualalai. We've witnessed multiple changes to the 4S @ Hualalai over the decades some for the worse and some for the better. We have visited during slow seasons (between Thanksgiving and Xmas) and this trip, during the busy Spring break season. We have traveled there during weak tourism years and strong tourism years. There is no doubt that the 4S @ Hualalai has substantially increased their prices over the past 10 years to the point where it is exceedingly expensive for families.

What has not changed over the decades is the wonderful people that work there and make it the wonderful place to vacation in Kona. Going into this trip, we kind of expected a little less personal service that we received during "off seasons" when the resort was less busy. And, there were some minor annoyances which are not characteristic of the experiences we have had in the past likely due to the resort operating at full capacity. For instance, we had some issues with housekeeping coming late for both services. We also had an issue at breakfast with a mislabeled pastry that actually contained Mac nuts (we have a child with severe nut allergies). However, in each instance, the Four Seasons staff proactively went out of their way to address the situation and rectify it. I'd especially like to recognize Thomas Bellec, the Executive Chef at 'Ulu for his personal attention.

Some issues such as lounge chair availability is always going to be more of an issue during busy seasons such as spring break and one should plan accordingly. But, as frequent travelers to Kona and the 4S @ Hualalai would recommend some tips which help tremendously during busy seasons and some other quick tips.

1. If a very close ocean view is not necessary, the golf-ocean villas are a better bargain and have a partial ocean view (just farther away) and a beautiful view of the 18th green. They also have parking right in front of the villas which makes it very convenient if you have a car. The rooms themselves are identical to the standard (non-suite) rooms on the complexes around the pools. We reserved 2 adjoining rooms (1 with a king bed and 1 with 2 queens) for our family.

2. Breakfast at 'Ulu is our favorite place for breakfast in the world for the breadth and quality of food and the location. Just plan on getting there before 8 am if you want seating right away. It's easy for us jet lagged midwesterners.

3. Dining in Hawaii is amazing, and we can recommend 'Ulu and the Hualalai Grill unequivocally at the 4S. But, there are amazing places outside the 4S definitely worth checking out. Roy's at Waikoloa and Merrimans in Waimea are other more fine dining options definitely worth the trip. But, ABOVE ALL, email the 4S concierge (who usually sends an email weeks before your arrival) to make all your preferred dining reservations especially during busy weeks.

4. The Spa is bar none, the best spa we have experienced in the US. Also, email the concierge for preferred times for treatment appointments especially during busy weeks.

5. The golf course is a very nice resort course that is never too busy and can be played very quickly usually (I got around in 2 hours as a single). I haven't really made tee times during even busy seasons and have never had an issue getting on. If you need an early tee time, I would make it in advance however. The course itself is pretty easy with wide open fairways. The greens are really slow however when I've played which is a little annoying. The course is not really oceanside with really 1 hole (#17 par 3) that plays along the ocean. For golf on the Big Island, do not miss Mauna Kea.

Overall, given the cost of staying at the 4S and the minor annoyances we experienced during this trip (our 14th to Hualalai including once renting a house), I was considering a 4 rating. But, the response of the fantastic 4S staff, really do make this a 5 rating experience even at this price point IMO. The best endorsement I can give? We're already planning our return trip to Hualalai in 2019.

Room Tip: Best value are the golf-ocean view rooms which have their own parking lot right in front of the villas.
  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
5  Thank Albert L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Allison T, Public Relations Manager at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, responded to this reviewResponded April 5, 2018

Aloha Albert L,

Wow, what a touching review! Mahalo for taking the time to share your experience, we will be sure to share this feedback with Chef Bellec and the fantastic team that makes this magic happen for our guests. We are so grateful you consistently choose to stay with us for your holidays, and we are looking forward to seeing you again in 2019!

Allison Tan
Public Relations Manager
allison.tan@fourseasons.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 1, 2018 via mobile

Don’t get me wrong — this is a 5 Star hotel. But for what we paid, I really expected more. Given the location on the Big Island, you can enjoy the ocean views but you can’t swim there. The service is fantastic as you would expect for a luxury resort, but everything is overpriced.

Stayed: March 2018, travelled with friends
4  Thank Travellightworker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Allison T, Public Relations Manager at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, responded to this reviewResponded April 2, 2018

Aloha Travellightworker,

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 service. If you would like to provide any additional comments please feel free to contact me directly at any time.

Mahalo,

Allison Tan
Public Relations Manager
allison.tan@fourseasons.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 1, 2018 via mobile

It's gorgeous. It's service as exemplfied. The staff are courteous, professional and excellent. It's designed to perfection. It's just that 1% thing that bothers me. I must verify. We are only Resident guests in an on resort condo stay through Luxury Retreats. It's peak season and packed. It's still running very well and a lovely, chill family escape.

Stayed: April 2018, travelled with family
Thank Meredith M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Allison T, Public Relations Manager at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, responded to this reviewResponded April 2, 2018

Aloha Meredith M,

Thank you so much for taking the time to leave us such a wonderful review! We appreciate the feedback and are so happy to hear you are having an overall positive experience with us here at Hualalai. We look forward to welcoming you and your family back again one day!


Allison Tan
Public Relations Manager
allison.tan@fourseasons.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 1, 2018 via mobile

Our kids were dreaming to come to Hawaii during spring break. They have never been there. So, we thought ok- especially when 4 seasons is there with such great reviews. But what a huge disappointment! Never again!
Four seasons- if you can not provide service to all the guests, do not sell rooms! Do not book to your full capacity when you can not provide service. Do not rip off you long term clients!

Lines and wait lists.. to have a breakfast - 20-30 min wait! And then wait for 30 min to get your breakfast! What a lounge chair - need to get up at 6 am to reserve! Otherwise no luck. We are sharing 2 chairs only in the afternoon. When we arrived I tried to reserve dinners. No luck! Booked for whole week! All the restaurants. Wait lists.. we started to joke - maybe a waitlist to complain too.

If we went to all inclusive 3 star resort- ok expected. But at 4 seasons, paying top dollars you expect good service. Now it is a struggle to get food or relax.

Shared my experience with other guests - they feel the same.
Extremely disappointed and never going to be back.

Stayed: April 2018, travelled with family
9  Thank irinaseattle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Allison T, Public Relations Manager at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, responded to this reviewResponded April 2, 2018

Aloha Irinaseattle,

I want to thank you for sharing your experience with us and providing us this opportunity to improve. I sincerely apologize that your stay has not met your expectations.

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

Mahalo!

Allison Tan
Public Relations Manager
allison.tan@fourseasons.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 1, 2018

we loved our visit. The workout facility was to die for, Inside, outside, cargo equipment, weight lifting options. it was wonderful. Food was fantastic. Adult pool with swim-up bar was a great way to spend the day.

  • Stayed: February 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Four Seasons
Thank Karrie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Allison T, Public Relations Manager at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, responded to this reviewResponded April 2, 2018

Aloha Karrie S,

Thank you so much for taking the time to leave us such a wonderful review, we are so happy to hear you loved our recently renovated workout facilities! We appreciate the feedback and hope to see you again soon in paradise!


Allison Tan
Public Relations Manager
allison.tan@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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