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Reviewed 16 August 2021 via mobile

I’ve thought about giving our stay anywhere between 2 and 4 stars. I kind of settled for a 3 or 3 1/2 stars and I’ll explain why below.

I started coming here about 10 years ago. I came here because it was expensive by ten years ago standards but now it would be a bargain (golf ocean rooms in the 550-625 a night range instead of starting at around 1400-1600). Back then, there was a four seasons hualalai airport club. Evian spritz at the pool abounded. I’d leave sunglasses out in my nightstand and a sunglass cleaning cloth would be left under jt. There were manager receptions where management would make it a top priority to literally meet every single hotel guest. They’d even come by and move lounge chairs for you. Within a few days, every employee knew your name and room by heart. And, of course, pretty much 50% of the lounge chairs remained empty throughout the day.

Fast forward 10 years. Prices tripled. The rooms are remodeled (very lovely) but they were due for a renovation 7 years ago. You need to stake out lounges no later than 8am. Props go to how we were told we couldn’t use the lounge chairs at the beach because they were reserved for someone who was paying more money than us. I deducted one star for this. Service is very spotty. Sometimes a server comes to the pool and other times no one comes by for hours. No Evian. No sunglass cloths. No one offering to change your sand filled towels for you without you asking. Prices are supposed to go up to maintain a level of service. The prices have gone up but the service is not there.

Even more egregious is the fact that they are doing construction. The class act way of handling this would have been to close the pool areas down and not book those rooms out. But alas the day has come where the four seasons wants to be exclusive by charging exorbitantly high rates instead of offering the services that made it a four seasons.
Pretty much everything that made this a luxury destination resort has been replaced with high prices and no services.

Oh and the quiet pool is not quiet. People yell drunk I. It abs blast loud radios with horrible music.

Perhaps when rosewood opens up they will get thier acts together. But I highly suggest that everyone looking here take a look at the banyan tree, one and Only’s, auberges, and rosewoods in Mexico. It’s about 1/2 the price and the service is so beyond superior.

Would I come back? There is something special about Hawaii. I would come back if the price is fair. A starting rate of 1400 for a golf ocean view room is not fair as it’s unable to deliver the four seasons product.
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Date of stay: August 2021
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
8  Thank Lovz2Travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark Ley, Marketing at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, responded to this reviewResponded 17 August 2021

Aloha,

I want to thank you for sharing your experience with us, I sincerely apologize that your stay did not meet your expectations. We are looking into the issues you raised and appreciate you taking the time to show us room for improvement.

If you would like to provide any additional comments please feel free to contact me directly at any time.

With Aloha,

Mark Ley
Director of Marketing
Mark.Ley@Fourseasons.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 August 2021 via mobile

We have visited Hualalai many times pre-pandemic and now twice during the pandemic and believe the resort has done an amazing job maintaining the essence of what makes this one of the most sought after vacation spots in the world. The grounds are perfect. Not a grass or flower out of place. The room renovations are warm and inviting, quietly sophisticated yet not too delicate for families with boisterous children. The aloha spirit is alive and well from the security guards at the gate welcoming us back from a walk with ice cold water bottles, to valet attendants who remembered the names of family members and always greeted us with a smile. The resort was packed when we visited and stayed in a rental home in April and was still full when we visited the hotel in August, yet the staff is still good natured and did everything possible to make our experience feel cozy and intimate. Housekeeping was perfect and thorough twice a day. Camp Manitou was a godsend and accomodated our son on short notice - with staff that recognized and welcomed him from prior years’ visits. The remaining construction was contained and quiet. Were there challenges? Yes. Did I mention we are in a pandemic? The front desk staff was professional but reserved and not as joyful as the bellmen and waitresses. The restaurants, with the exception of Resident’s Beach House, would benefit from menu refreshes and much deeper wine and cocktail lists. Management ought to consider hosting a daily cocktail hour with invites for newly arrived guests or reaching out in a more personalized way a day or so into guests’ stay in light of covid. But these are nits. This place is special and worth every penny you pay.

Date of stay: August 2021
Trip type: Travelled with family
Thank TSPrufrock
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark Ley, Marketing at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, responded to this reviewResponded 17 August 2021

Aloha,

Wow, what a touching review! Mahalo for taking the time to share your experience, we will be sure to share this feedback with the fantastic team. We are grateful you chose to stay with us for your vacation, and we hope to see you again soon in paradise!

Mark Ley
Director of Marketing
Mark.Ley@Fourseasons.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 August 2021 via mobile

This hotel has a massive reputation. Here is what I’ve observed so far. The food is not better than an airport food court. Seriously. It costs 5 to 10 times as much, but will be the same in quality as your garden variety LAX meal. The hotel is completely understaffed. It takes an hour to get a drink by the pool and some of the staff you ask will openly say that you need to wait because if they put an order in it won’t matter. It’s a nice property for sure, but you will want to eat and drink while you are here, and the quality level based on what we’ve seen will make you want to cry when you realize what you’ve paid. It’s a gorgeous property and the natural surroundings are world class, but it feels like it’s running at half speed

Date of stay: August 2021
Trip type: Travelled with family
2  Thank Mrstarwood
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark Ley, Marketing at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, responded to this reviewResponded 13 August 2021

Aloha!

Thank you for providing such valuable feedback and I apologize that your stay with us has been less than ideal.

We would love the opportunity to turn your vacation around if you would like to reach out to me directly at any time.

Mahalo piha!
(whole-hearted gratitude)

Mark Ley
Director of Marketing
Mark.Ley@Fourseasons.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2021 via mobile

We stayed at this resort in 2 rooms as a family for 6 nights.

Property: Absolutely gorgeous! Loved our walks along the ocean & lava rock pools, past the villas. Green & beautifully maintained with abundance of flowers.

Rooms: The prime ocean view rooms were okay - nothing gorgeous about them & we felt were below par - compared to other properties we have stayed in.

Lava rock bath: looks pretty ordinary at first but taking a bath here is an experience. The baths are partially covered & it’s awesome taking a shower in filtered sunlight amidst chirping of birds in the morning. Evening showers feel like you are in a rain forest.

View of rooms: one of our rooms was on second floor with a balcony & the view was pretty. The view from the first/ ground floor was okay - nothing great.

Housekeeping: Not good at all. The rooms were well cleaned only one day during our stay, a day before we left. The other days it was pretty bad. Used cups & glasses were not taken away or replaced & we had to repeatedly call. The shower gel bottle in the bath was broken & we had to call too. These minor things may be common at other hotels but when we stay in Four Seasons we expect the value for the money spent. The towels look a little worn out too.

Breakfast: Standard, no wow factor. Service at breakfast is pretty bad, the servers are all over the place & there are delays in bringing in orders. The fruit & pastry section needs additional servers as there may be waits.

Restaurants: We enjoyed the food at BeachTree, both lunch & dinner menu/ food is pretty good although limited. The waiting staff is excellent, very professional & Frank is a gem, full of empathy & very professional.
We were not crazy about the food at Ulu although the waiting staff is excellent. It’s pricier but we have had higher quality of food at that price.

Once during our afternoon walk we asked for a bottle of water from Beach Tree & was provided one for $9! We don’t mind paying but this seemed a bit much!

Beach: loved the beach specially the huge lava rock pool. The water is warm & you can swim. In the pool areas & beach, there is room for everyone - it’s so expansive. Our kids thoroughly enjoyed snorkeling in the lava rock pool, teeming with fish. Almost every day we saw sea turtles swimming there. The beach cabanas, twin loungers are awesome & the beach staff is just super.

Pls use water shoes if you decide to step into the tiny rock pools as there are hidden sea urchins.

Concierge: We had a medical emergency during our stay. Security with medical equipment arrived within 15 mins, EMT soon after & nurse Julie (a sweet caring professional) made a room visit. However a family member had to be taken to the hospital for chk up & IV. The concierge called a cab for me(due to covid regulations I was not able to accompany in the ambulance), they were unable to provide any resort car. The drive is 45mins. I sat in the parking lot of the hospital for 8 hrs, the cab driver was kind enough to sit with me. The concierge just told me the cab driver would have all details of the hospital & return info. That was all. Imagine being in a strange place with no support - I have never felt so alone. Returned around 12:30/ 1 am & even next day no one from the front desk or concierge chkd. Sone resorts have a heart some are completely indifferent/ money oriented.

Luau: The resort organizes lovely luaus & dinner in a gorgeous amphitheater. We loved the interactive performance. Chk out the menu when you book & ask for replacements if you do not eat something. The performers are great & the setting perfect.

Plan a trip to the caldera - the surreal landscape there is worth seeing. If possible use Kalani tours & ask for PJ. He makes this long day tour interesting.

Date of stay: August 2021
Trip type: Travelled with family
3  Thank 12NP
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark Ley, Marketing at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, responded to this reviewResponded 7 August 2021

Aloha!


I want to thank you for taking the time to provide such valuable feedback as we're always looking for ways to improve. I sincerely apologize that your stay did not meet your expectations.

We are ecstatic to hear about your children enjoying their time in the ocean pool - what a precious memory! We also think that the outdoor showers are just amazing. We are so glad that you thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

We are addressing the issues that you encountered within the team and appreciate you taking the time to show us room for improvement.  

If you would like to provide additional information please feel free to contact me directly.

Mark Ley
Director of Marketing
Mark.Ley@Fourseasons.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2021

We were excited to vacation again after a year of COVID quarantine. We chose Four Seasons Hualalai as our first vacation spot after COVID. We’ve been here before (read my previous review) and had an amazing experience the last time around. However, after spending $25,000+ for our 6 night stay here, we left feeling really disappointed and unhappy with our experience.

Our experience this time was much different from our last and it has to do with inconsistency and lack of service, which is not what you would expect from a five star hotel. As soon as we were being checked in, things already felt different. The front desk staff was professional but wasn’t friendly and didn’t make us feel welcomed.

Room:
The hotel has 2 versions of their oceanfront suite. A lower level option and an upper level option. The lower level option has a large outside terrace, which makes the outdoor area a lot more spacious than the upper level option. However, the downside is that the view of the ocean is more obscured and not truly oceanfront. The upper level oceanfront suite has a true oceanfront view and the view is unobstructed but the outdoor balcony is small and narrow.

We booked the oceanfront suite and for the first few nights we stayed in the lower level suite and it was spacious and the view was decent, but I would not say the lower level room is a true oceanfront suite as there is a walkway right in front of the outside terrace and the room is actually quite far back from the ocean. In addition, every night you see couples having romantic candlelight dinners in front of your supposedly paid unobstructed oceanfront view. We’ve inquired about eating there ourselves since there were limited dining options, but they were unable to accommodate.

Another issue with the lower level suite is that we found 3 dead and 1 live cockroach during our stay there. We had to call the front desk on multiple occasions to clean up or kill the cockroaches. Yes, I understand that we are on a tropical island, but no I still don’t appreciate finding multiple cockroaches around our room. It makes me wonder if the rooms were thoroughly cleaned and this is especially important during COVID times. I believe that since our room is on the lower level and next to the ‘Ulu restaurant, the room was more susceptible to having cockroaches. We requested to move to a higher room floor away from the restaurant and we stayed there for 3 nights and did not find a single cockroach so it makes me believe the room we initially had was a magnet for cockroaches.

Another morning, at 7 am, we hear loud pounding from a room next to ours. It woke us up and we called the front desk to complain about the noise. They said construction wasn’t supposed to start until 9 am, but someone did not get the message. By the time they fully investigated and the noise stopped we were already wide awake.

Restaurants:
Let me start off by saying there are only 2 restaurants at the hotel as the grill was not open yet during our stay. There is also a 3rd option at the residents beach house. What they forget to tell their guests is that you should book reservations to these restaurants way in advance of your stay. We tried to book reservations for dinner every night when we got there and each night our reservation wasn’t until 8 or 8:30 pm. Part of the frustration of eating late was that menu items would be sold out by the time we ordered. The experience was also frustrating because the concierge made it seem like they were doing us a favor by getting us a reservation if at all, even though we were staying at the resort - where else are we supposed to eat?

Again, service was inconsistent. Sometimes you get a really great waiter and other times you don’t. Some of the waiters seemed to be new and not knowledgeable about the menu and the prices. When we ordered the seafood tower we were told it was $150, but it turned out to be $250. It was not about the money, but you would expect the server to know how much things cost especially since the menu is limited.

Pool/Beach:
The main pool is always packed and a lot of times you have to put your name on the waitlist if you don’t arrive early enough. Service at the main pool was good as servers tend to be available and attentive. Beachside service, however, is again, inconsistent. Sometimes we were met with really good service and other times you wouldn't see a server come around for hours. The beaches were not crowded so it was nice and relaxing, however there was construction going on so depending on where you decide to relax you can hear loud banging throughout the day.

Conclusion:
I think we should have waited until they worked out all of their kinks after their COVID shutdown before we dropped $25,000+ to stay here. We’ve been to 5 star properties all around the world and this is not it. One crucial thing that defines a 5 star hotel is consistently good and attentive service throughout your stay as well as going above and beyond to make their guests happy and satisfied. We didn’t feel like our complaints were well addressed and issues kept coming up throughout our stay. After multiple complaints about multiple issues during our stay, not once did a manager come to our room to apologize even after we spoke to a front desk manager about our issues nor was anything sent to our room as a gesture of good faith. Anything they would have given us would have been immaterial to the $25,000+ we spent there but even just the gesture of sending a bottle of wine or some fruits would have made us feel like they at least cared and acknowledged our negative experiences.

I hope they work out their issues and return to the Four Seasons Hualalai we’ve come to know and love.

Date of stay: May 2021
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank Diana K
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark Ley, Marketing at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, responded to this reviewResponded 7 August 2021

Aloha Diana!

I want to thank you for taking the time to provide such valuable feedback as we're always looking for better ways to improve.

We are disheartened that your recent stay with us was less than ideal and offer our sincerest apologies. Rest assured that we take all of your concerns seriously and will continue to work within our team to find remedies to these issues.

If you would like to provide any additional comments please feel free to contact me directly at any time.

Mahalo!

Mark Ley
Director of Marketing
Mark.Ley@Fourseasons.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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