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Photography by Ready Set Jet Set
Aloha from Hawaii (or Hawai’i as the locals say)! Hawaii has been on the top of my bucket list so I was so excited to set aside some vacation time early this year. January and February are miserably cold in Austin, Texas so Hawaii was the perfect warm getaway. The weather was around 80 degrees F during the day and would get down to a low of 60 degrees. Be sure to pack a sweater or a windbreaker because the winds are strong.
EDIT: Four Seasons Hualālai just got named best hotel in the USA by U.S. News & World Report!
Ready Set Jet Set and I’s first stop on Hawaii was the Big Island where we stayed 4 nights at Four Seasons Hualālai. I’ve stayed at some beautiful properties but Four Seasons Hualālai tops the list. Cozy bungalows, 5 on-site restaurants, 7 stunning pools, Jack Nicklaus 18-hole golf course, pro-level tennis courts, fully equipped gym, and front-row, panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean with a white-sand beach and black lava landscape.
AMENITIES AT A GLANCE:
- evening turndown service
- golf cart drop-off and pick-up anywhere on the resort
- 24-hour in-room dining
- complimentary overnight self-parking
- daily coffee and pastries in the lobby
- beach towels for use off-property
- standard wi-fi
- twice-daily housekeeping
- cultural center classes and activities
We stayed at Four Seasons Hualalai for four days and then drove the loop around the Big Island.
FOUR SEASONS HUALĀLAI RESTAURANTS
Four Seasons Hualālai has several restaurants on property:
‘ULU OCEAN GRILL + SUSHI LOUNGE
We had the breakfast buffet at ‘Ulu every morning during our stay. The breakfast buffet is around $45 per person but it’s so worth it. Breakfast meats, hot miso soup, made to order omelets, fresh fruit from the island, housemade breakfast pastries, juice, coffee, and cereal. Do not miss the malasadas (I had several malasadas during this trip to Hawaii and the ones at Four Seasons were the best) and the banana bread (again, the best that I had on this trip). If you don’t want to do the breakfast buffet, you can order dishes al carte for breakfast.
For dinner, ‘Ulu’s calamari is SO good.
‘Ulu serves breakfast (complimentary coffee station), dinner, and the bar is open 5pm – 10pm. Chef’s Table is a five-course meal designed each evening with the finest seasonal ingredients of the island for 2 or up to 8 other dining guests.
Beach Tree serves lunch, dinner, and the bar is open 11am – 10pm. We had lunch here on one of the days and enjoyed the ocean view and stopped by for a late dinner on another night.
Serves dinner from 5:30pm – 8:30pm
HUALĀLAI TRADING COMPANY
For a quick bite to eat, coffee and smoothies go to Hualālai Trading Company by the spa. Open daily from 6:30am – 7pm.
Refreshments and sundries available 9am – 4pm.
Four Seasons has so many activities on the property at the Ka‘upulehu Cultural Center like la’i skirt making, ‘ukulele lessons, and hula lessons.
PRIVATE EAGLE RAY FEEDING
Four Season’s Hualalai’s King’s Pond is home to over 4,000 fish and 98 different species including their own Spotted Eagle Ray. We got to feed him resort-grown Hualālai oysters and shrimp!
We got to make our own lei’s from orchids and learned that every lei is always homemade by someone.
We also made our own sea shell bracelets at the cultural center and I ended up loving it so much that I wore it on the entire trip!
wearing Summersalt Sidestroke
FOUR SEASONS HUALĀLAI POOLS
Four Seasons Hualālai has 7 pools – 7 pools! And they’re all incredible and I highly recommend you to spend time at each of them during your stay.
BEACH TREE POOL
Relax and read a book with the sound of the waves at Beach Tree Pool. This pool is in a quiet zone.
PALM GROVE POOL
Haley calls this the sunset pool and as you can tell from the photos above, the Palm Grove Pool is incredible to watch and photograph the sunset.
This heated Olympic-style pool is located at the Hualālai Spa and has four lap lanes.
SEA SHELL POOL AND KEIKI POOL
This family-friendly pool with a waterfall and infinity-pool and a shallow sand-bottom pool for the kiddos is actually a great spot for the sunrise.
Protected from the waves and home to lots of sea life, I loved watching the schools of fish swim around in the Ocean Pool.
King’s Pond is located on the far right of the resort and is carved out of natural lava rock. You can borrow snorkel gear (for free!) and snorkel with all the aquatic animals, including the Spotted Eagle Ray.
wearing Johnny Was silk Tara kimono
FOUR SEASONS HUALĀLAI SPA
Treat yourself to one of Four Seasons Hualālai’s relaxing spa treatments. We started our service by walking through the river in the garden and taking in all the tropical foliage. I had a deep tissue massage in their outdoor spa hales, a traditional wooden structure that opened into the spa’s tropical gardens. You can also have massages by the pool, cabana, or Palm Grove Couples’ Nest.
wearing Johnny Was silk Tara kimono
Four Seasons has direct beach access and their own Ocean Pool where it’s sectioned off from the ocean so the water is calmer to swim and snorkel in. I liked exploring the little tide pools in the black volcanic rock. Just watch out for sea urchin.
There’s plenty of lounge chairs on the sand to take an afternoon nap to the sounds of the waves. Sea turtles even like to come rest on the sand – we saw one!