COAST WITH THE MOST
White-sand beaches, culture-centric activities, poolside fun and divine island dining await guests at the family-friendly Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka‘upulehu.
After completing a $40 million renovation in 2009, the beyond-breathtaking Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka‘upulehu, set on the Big Island, offers more oceanfront opulence for the entire family than ever before. The awe-inspiring nature of the resort—which is marked by ancient black lava rock and sky-scraping coconut palms—starts from the moment guests pull into the lobby, where they are greeted with a tropical fruit skewer, a Mai Tai and, of course, a customary lei.
The warm accommodations make visitors even more welcome, thanks to each room’s array of natural materials (think bamboo and slate) and earthy palette. (Overall, Four Seasons Resort Hualalai has 192 guestrooms and 51 suites and villas.) Over-the-top touches like private lanais and outdoor showers, in first-floor units, allow guests to enjoy the gorgeous Hawaiian clime without leaving the privacy of their room.
As beautiful and accommodating as the rooms are, the sprawling resort, which is located along the Kona-Kohala coast, offers days and days of indoor and outdoor activities. Starting with its water pursuits, the resort is home to seven different pools that range from an adults-only area with a swim-up bar to a family favorite that is actually carved out of oceanfront lava rock and has a natural breakwater. The most unique swimming experience comes courtesy of King’s Pond. The pond hosts more than 3,000 tropical fish and a spotted eagle ray that guests of all ages are able to swim alongside with snorkel gear and waterproof fish ID cards.
Courtesy of cozy lounge chairs sprinkled along white-sand beaches, the beachfront property also hosts a front-row seat to the Pacific blue. Along the shoreline, guests are invited to frolic in tidepools or enjoy the sea turtles—from a safe distance—who are seeking respite on the warm sand. The resort also has snorkel equipment, kayaks, paddleboards and other gear on-hand for adventurous souls who want to enjoy all the turquoise waters have to offer.
During the renovation, the Hualalai Spa was transformed into a downright pamper palace that spans 28,000 square feet and hosts a whopping 28 indoor and outdoor treatment rooms. One of the many standout spa features is its Waiea or “Water of Life” garden. Before or after their treatment, spa-goers are invited to stroll along the garden’s gentle stream (which is peppered with reflexology stones that guests can step on), take in the vibrant flora and fauna and enjoy a few healthful treats. Hualalai Spa has also made a name for itself in the realm of relaxation due to its unique Apothecary treatments, which feature distinctly Hawaiian ingredients that have been custom chosen and mixed depending on the guest’s needs and wants. There are 40 from-the-earth ingredients to choose from, like volcanic mud and crushed macadamia nuts, that can be applied to massages, wraps and scrubs. For a quintessential Hawaiian treatment, the Polynesian Niu Coconut Scrub uses a house-made mixture of coconut flakes and coconut milk to exfoliate and nourish skin and leave behind a true tropical aroma. Next door, the Hualalai Sports Club hosts indoor and outdoor exercise equipment, tennis and basketball courts, a rock-climbing wall, a slew of fitness classes and its pride and joy, a 25-meter lap pool.
Dining at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai ranges from swimsuit-friendly and laidback to formal and high-end. The Hualalai Coffee Company dishes up a delectable variety of coffee drinks, to-go breakfast and lunch options and healthy smoothies (stop by the next-door trading post for great souvenirs) while the beachside snack shack is a cool place for kids to pop by for shave ice and fro yo. Also casual, the Beach Tree Bar and Lounge has the best seat in the house come sunset as well as tasty cocktails and an amazing lobster hot dog. Hualalai Grille offers kid-friendly dining (think burgers and towering desserts) and games as well as big-screen TV’s for sports-viewing. For a more fine-dining experience, guests turn to Beach Tree and Pahu i’a Ocean Grille and Sushi Lounge. At Beach Tree, diners feast of Italian and Mediterranean fare with a tropical twist and an almost-too-pretty-to-eat banana split. Fresh-caught goodness is on the menu at Pahu i’a, including a pan-roasted Kona Konpachi and a tempting selection of sushi. In the a.m., guests settle into one the restaurant’s alfresco tables and indulge in a buffet of local fruits, made-to-order eggs, sweet pastries and more.
As fantastic as the amenities are at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, the one thing that guests must experience while on the Big Island is the true aloha spirit courtesy of the on-site Ka‘upulehu Cultural Center. Uncle Earl and his incredible staff host daily activities and teachings so resort guests can learn about the history and traditions of the 50th state. Whether guests drop in to take a class on the Hawaiian language or simply peruse the display cases, a stop at the center is a great way to become part of the ohana at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai.
TO LEARN MORE
Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka‘upulehu www.fourseasons.com/hualalai.