When it comes to where to stay in Hawaii for a honeymoon, special occasion, family vacation, or just a quick relaxing getaway from the west coast, Hawaii’s Big Island has always been a favorite destination of mine. While most people flock to Oahu or Maui for their first trips to Hawaii, and many Hawaii honeymoon bound travelers opt for Kauai, the Big Island remains a little less discovered by the tourism masses, a dreamy volcanic island oasis reserved for the elite few who are in the know… and tend to vacation there every year. Those people are probably mad I’m writing this post… but you guys deserve to know. IS THE BIG ISLAND BE HAWAII’S BEST ISLAND TO VISIT? A lot of signs point to yes. And top of the list of reasons why is a world-renowned hotel called the Four Seasons Hualalai.
Four Seasons Hualalai is an oasis on the Big Island’s super dry Kona coast. It is only 15 minutes from the airport (huge win), boasts one of the most stunning golf courses in the world (Jack Nicklaus-designed), a stunning coastline and stretch of beach, and, my favorite part, SEVEN pools. That’s right – seven!
The adults-only pool faces the ocean and has an amazing swim-up bar and my favorite sunset view on the island.
There’s another adults only beach tree pool surrounded by gorgeous cabanas and a quiet atmosphere throughout the day. There’s an oceanfront hot tub there too which is great.
The lagoon-shaped family pool is an infinity pool with gorgeous views and a bunch of adorable little families bopping around their toddlers in the water. The beautiful spa has a lap pool for those wanting to get some exercise. But the coolest pool on property is called King’s Pond—a 1.8-million-gallon natural aquarium, with a stunning infinity pool perched above it, too!!! King’s Pond is home to thousands of beautiful tropical fish and one spotted eagle ray, as well as a learning center with marine biologists to teach kids (and parents!) all about the marine life of Hawaii, ocean preservation, and what they’ll see while snorkeling in King’s Pond. The marine center is equipped with a touch tank and digital displays, and offers daily eagle ray feedings, which I’d definitely recommend signing up for. There are also a ton of other activities on property like ukelele lessons, lei making, and, a family favorite, the Kids for All Seasons day camp for kids.
The hotel recently underwent a huge $100 million dollar renovation, revamping all of the rooms with new furnishings, and three of the property’s most luxurious suites were remodeled with second stories, stunning indoor-outdoor living spaces and private plunge pools (amazing).
The rooms at the Four Seasons Hualalai are contemporary, bright, and Four-Seasons-level luxe. I feel at home here and I know I’m not alone. Also IMHO the best part about the rooms is that ground-floor oceanfront rooms have a gorgeous tropical outdoor lava rock shower – so definitely splurge for that upgrade.
The food at FS Hualalai is a huge highlight – Ulu is one of the best restaurants on the island for seafood, steak, and island specialties. We got a wagyu steak that was MOUTH-WATERING and out of this world, as well as a bunch of sushi that was to-die-for. Our waiter was amazing – especially when it came to his wine recommendations!!! At Ulu, you can also get a beautiful big island breakfast, or you can head to the Trading Company for a quick acai bowl, fresh juice, bagel, or anything else grab and go. Beach Tree restaurant is a great choice for beachfront dining, great cocktails that are a little more casual than Ulu. The full menus of Beach Tree are also available for in-room dining. Plus, guests can opt to reserve a special dinner on the beach for one or two couples, or up to 12 people for a family setting, featuring private servers, your own exclusive oceanfront location, and floral centerpieces or leis!
I also loved the poolside menu – with specialties like fish tacos, tuna tartare, and french fries being some of the highlights. My drink of choice at FS Hualalai every day of vacation was Beach Tree’s spicy margarita served in a pineapple with a spicy rim (yes, they put a spicy rim on the pineapple! I loved that so much!).
For fitness enthusiasts (or to work off all those mai tais and spicy margs), there’s a great gym, rock climbing, and separate rooms for yoga, Pilates, and spin classes. There are also eight tennis courts, two of which are lit for evening play, and a full-service tennis pro shop, plus a basketball court! I also definitely highly recommend booking a tee time at their golf course – no matter what level of golfer you are! It was SO much fun. I’m not the best golfer by any means, but my fiance and I had a blast golfing together here.
FS HUALALAI FAQ
What are some fun things to do off property from the Four Seasons Big Island?
While you definitely don’t need to leave the resort on a vacation to the FS Hualalai, some of my favorite things to do are the Volcanoes National Park, and drinks and dinner at Lava Lava Beach Club (go early!! it is POPULAR!).
What is the best time of year to visit the Big Island of Hawaii?
The benefit of visiting Hawaii’s big island is that it’s dry year round – and is Hawaii’s driest island. You can go any time of year and get nearly perfect weather!! Temperatures remain constant throughout the year – generally in the high 70s or low 80s – and the priciest season to visit is high season from December to March, and after memorial day in the summertime. The best time to catch ‘shoulder season’ in my opinion would be September through November!
What is the clientele like at the Four Seasons Hualalai?
The clientele at the FS Hualalai was one of my favorite parts about staying here. Everyone was SO nice and friendly, from couples on their honeymoon, to families who had been vacationing there for 15 years in a row, to couples celebrating a 25th anniversary, to young families bopping around in the pool. Everyone at FS Hualalai seems affluent, but not showy at all, they’re there to hide away, not see-and-be-seen.
Is the Four Seasons Hualalai kid friendly?
Yes!!!! There are separate kids and family pools, as well as the extremely kid friendly King’s Pond for snorkeling. They are also famed for their kids club! That being said, it’s an expansive property so if you’re honeymooning in Hawaii and not wanting to be bombarded by kids, you definitely won’t be here. There are plenty of separate adults only areas.
How far from the airport is FS Hualalai?
The resort is only 15 minutes away from the airport! But feels a million miles away.
Should you rent a car when visiting Four Seasons Hualalai?
It totally depends on how much you plan on leaving the resort. There is not much uber on the island, and cabs are expensive, so it can definitely be worth it to get a car if you like to explore.
What other questions about staying at the Four Seasons big island do you guys have? Leave them in the comments!
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