The decadent modern luxuries at this beloved resort are tastefully infused with Hawaii's historical charms.
This Four Seasons is one of the best resorts in the islands, prized by repeat guests who book well in advance during the busy holiday season. The idea is to park yourself here at Historic Ka'upulehu and simply savor the services and amenities. The 865-acre resort was built on a lava flow from its namesake Hualalai Volcano on a half-mile stretch of the North Kona coast. With ponds, bays and one of the most prized beachfronts on Hawaii Island, it is an idyllic setting for romance, families and even relaxed corporate meetings.
Guest rooms are situated in low-rise bungalows with ground floor units offering outdoor lava rock shower gardens. All are outfitted with subtle tropical décor, dark woods and fine linens. One of the key factors in selecting a room is to pick the pool you want to hang out at. Choices include the adults-only Palm Grove pool with a swim-up bar and infinity edge, and the Beach Tree Pool, a salt-chlorine pool that feels like a beach club, complete with cabanas. Families will want to camp out near the Sea Shell Pool with its waterfall and small, adjacent Keiki Pool, featuring a sandy beach entry. Another option is the Fitness (lap) Pool at Hualalai Spa, but it's slightly more remote from any accommodations. Finally there is the Ocean Pool, which is carved out of the oceanfront lava rock and is a protected habitat for local honu (green turtles).
Activities abound at this gorgeous destination: horseback riding, tennis, hiking, rock climbing, basketball and volleyball. As well, the friendly ocean ambassadors of Alakai Nalu (Leaders of the Waves) are available for assistance with water sports such as snorkeling, scuba diving, stand up paddling and canoeing. Serious golfers come to this official PGA Tour Resort for the 7,100-yard, Jack Nicklaus course, where private lessons and free weekly clinics are offered. The course was designed to integrate the natural terrain and water features, making the links both challenging and visually appealing. As for relaxation, the 28,000-square-foot Hualalai Spa provides hale massage rooms, an open-air garden, fitness center and yoga studio.
Anchialine ponds are an endemic feature on Hawaii. They occur when sea water mixes with ground spring water in naturally shaped ponds. Their micro-environments serve as a natural aquarium, and Hawaiian kings capitalized on this concept and sometimes expanded them to support their population. Not only does the Four Seasons Hualalai have a few natural ones, it also built its very own King's Pond where you can swim and snorkel with some 4,000 fish including spotted eagle rays.
As to be expected, dining at the resort is a highlight. House restaurant 'ULU Ocean Grille & Sushi Lounge prepares artisan cuisine that relies on local purveyors, while Beach Tree delivers California-influenced Italian flavors. Additional selections include the Hualalai Grille (steak and seafood), Beach Tree Bar & Lounge (sunset drinks and small bites), and Dining Under the Stars (private meals on the beach).
The service at this resort is world-class, attentive and accommodating, always delivered with warm aloha spirit, as is highlighted by Uncle Earl and his knowledgeable associates at the Kaupulehu Cultural Center. The resort hosts many events, from daily lei making classes to winemaker dinners to concerts at the Hoku Amphitheatre. Should you want to explore the island, you can rent a car right on the grounds. The concierge will be happy to help with any reservations you'd like to make.
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