Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Upscale Luxury at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai

While visiting the Big Island of Hawaii, my business partner and I were fortunate to meet with Jenna, the wedding and event coordinator, at the beautiful Four Seasons Resort Hualalai. She gave us some great information about the resort as well as showing us the wedding ceremony and reception locations on the property as she took us on a guided tour. 

Photo courtesy of Muriel MacRae

Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, a five-star property, is built on the site of an ancient Hawaiian fishing village of Ka’ūpūlehu. It fronts the Kukio Bay on the North Kona Coast. It is located about 10 minutes from the Kona International Airport, which is the main airport for the Kailua-Kona area. While there are many nice resorts in the area, the Four Seasons is an incredible property for those wanting an incredible vacation. Most of the rooms have an ocean view, as well as overlooking the gardens and one of the pools or the golf course. The Kona-Kohala coast of the Big Island of Hawaii is the sunniest, driest and warmest of the islands in the Hawaiian archipelago. For those of us who live in a climate with long, cold winters, life cannot get much better than that.
 As soon as you turn off Highway 19 into the Hualalai property development, the barren lava rock, natural to the area, is transformed into a beautiful manicured landscape. Cul de sacs of luxury villas are interspersed with the lush greens of the Jack Nicklaus signature Hualalai Golf Course. 

Photo courtesy of Muriel MacRae

One can’t help but notice the deep blue ocean, seen in other areas of the island, turns into a sparkling azure blue as it gets close to the white sandy beach. A courteous gatekeeper welcomes you to the property and directs you to the hotel. As you drive up to the resort, you see all the verdant foliage, the palms and the tropical plants. It’s like being in an oasis in the middle of the desert.
The lobby is comfortable looking and huge! Since it was a beautiful day, the sliding windows were opened giving one the feeling of being outside rather than inside in a hotel lobby. Guests are welcomed upon check-in with a cool towel, fresh juice, and a fragrant fresh flower lei at the reception desk, and fruit, nuts, and fudge in their room.

Photo courtesy of Muriel MacRae

Our tour of the property took place using a golf cart as the means of transportation since the resort is so large. There are four main areas with the guest rooms and suites forming a crescent around a central pool. These included Palm Grove, Beach Tree, Sea Shell, and King’s Pond. The Ulu Terrace and Golf Ocean Bungalows arc around the golf course. Each area has a character of its own and is quite different from the other areas. The resort’s 243 expansive guest rooms, including 51 suites are built in two-storey bungalows. The rooms are relaxing and luxurious with a feeling of being away from the rest of the world. Bamboo, thatch and slate are prominent in the décor and the decorations and I loved the thatched headboards on some of the beds. Cheery wood doors open to view the beautiful blue waters of the ocean and the white sandy beach. The rooms are decorated with romantic Polynesian décor with walls and furniture upholstered in soft colors with crisp white linens topped with blue-colored throws. The rooms are bright and airy with windows that allow in a lot of light. The entire room has a minimalist look which creates a calm atmosphere allowing a person to rest and relax. 

Photo courtesy of Muriel MacRae

The resort has an extensive collection of art and artefacts throughout the resort which tell the story of Hawaii.
As beautiful and calming as the rooms are, the resort itself is beautiful and calming. The resort has six pools spread across the oceanfront which permit quiet lounging. Three of the pools are for scuba and snorkeling with thousands of brilliant tropical fish, and others for lap swimming and adults. 

The lap pool 
Photo courtesy of Muriel MacRae

Fitness facilities include a rock-climbing wall and eight tennis courts. The spa, with 18 treatment rooms, also has eucalyptus steam, dry sauna, and a cold plunge. Guests can explore Hualalai by land and water, with adventures from outrigger canoeing to shoreline fishing, and from rock climbing to fitness walks on the beach at sunrise. The Hualalai Cultural Center provided many activities to help guest learn more about the Hawaiian culture. There is also a children’s pool and a program where numerous children’s activities are provided. The golf course was definitely being enjoyed by many of the guests while we were there.
The resort has three restaurants and two lounges to choose from, with creative menus that change to reflect the seasons and to offer tempting variety throughout the week – from the bounty of Hawaii’s land and oceans to Tuscan cucina rustica or beachfront barbecues, from Asian-Pacific cuisine to Polynesian pupus
(appetisers) and mai tais. We ate lunch under a huge umbrella outside at the Beach Tree Grill and Bar and enjoyed the beautiful ocean view as we sat on plush chairs pulled up to a coffee table. We each ordered a hamburger which has to be one of the best that I have ever had. The service was incredible and we could see that the staff went out of their way to make the guests fell welcome.

Cathy reading the menu 
Photo courtesy of Muriel MacRae

At the Four Seasons, one can’t help but notice all of the extras that are supplied complimentary for the guests.  There are too many to mention but some of them are as follows: Since the shore is rocky and wana (a long-spined sea urchin) are present, complementary reef walkers (tabis) are provided.  Children’s toys and a shirt are left on the bed for the child guest. Sun tan lotion SPF 15 and SPF 30) and leave-in condition are provided at the pools as well as nice cold lemonade and a phone in case you need to make a quick call. Even the spa is kept at a certain temperature which is considered the most calming for the guests.

Gifts for the guests
Photo courtesy of Muriel MacRae

Four Seasons Resort Hualapai is known for its luxury and service. Anyone who stays here will feel that they have indeed found paradise not only in the beauty of the area but also in the way that they are treated and made to feel special. Thanks Jenna for the tour and lunch! Your resort offers so much to its guests, not much wonder it has been recognized in various magazines as the top resort and spa in the State of Hawaii. We’ll be back!

Entrance  to the main lobby from the beach area
Photo courtesy of Muriel MacRae

When you are ready to book your Hawaii vacation, call Muriel at 1-866-653-4055 or email at travelinfo@delsoltravel.ca.
Watch for  the continuation of this blog, Four Seasons Resort Hualalai  Part II, featuring the pictures of this lovely resort. 

Muriel MacRae plans exciting getaways and customized vacations  for honeymooners and families. As the owner of  Del Sol Travel, she offers romantic vacations with personalized service and unique itineraries. Getting to know and understand her clients is critical in helping turn their ideas and vision into a unique and memorable masterpiece when creating their customized vacation. Located in Calgary, Alberta, she plans weddings, destination weddings, and honeymoons for couples in and around the Calgary and Banff area and throughout North America. For more information about planning your wedding, honeymoon, or romantic getaway, please contact her at travelinfo@delsoltravel.ca   or phone 403-477-0643

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