Close your eyes and envision paradise.
When I’m dreaming of a true R&R escape, my mind goes right to a white sand beach on a perfect 85 degree day. For me, It’s a masterfully crafted mai tai, clear blue water filled with vibrant sea life, and an even balance of indulgence and wellness… pampering and adventure. I want my hotel suite to be a sanctuary – a retreat – from the world. The grounds to be saturated with native fauna. I want to feast on healthy local cuisine and to catch each and every time the sun kisses the oceans edge and the sky turns a crimson red. I want to feel safe to venture off property and have the ease of exploration at my fingertips. I want a fully equipped state of the art gym, challenging fitness classes, and a spa that makes me audibly exhale ‘ahh’. I want every moment to feel tastefully curated and hand crafted just for me. I want the Four Seasons Hualalai.
This is where you go to honeymoon. To celebrate a new promotion, or that long awaited retirement. For your first family trip post baby. For that special milestone birthday. Or hell, when you’ve just been overworked to the point of exhaustion so debilitating that your eyelids require mental strength just to stay open.
Four Seasons always offers an elevated experience in luxury. But what really differentiates them in the lux space is the commitment to authenticity. What do I mean? Cut and dry, that they aren’t just a conglomerate offering the same exact experience at different zip codes around the world. Actually, it’s quite the contrary.
The Four Seasons in Santa Barbara is mission Spanish style meets old world regality – one of my favorite places to get a craft margarita and watch the world go by. But it’s so different that FS Jackson Hole, with it’s ski in, ski out access and no shortage of charming cabin decor, roaring fires, and free flowing hot cocoa bars. Which, of course, is drastically different than the magical eco FS Ubud in Bali, with it’s abundance of wild monkeys. Or the FS Marrakech and its long reflective pool leading out to the glamorous marble Hammam spa.
The point is, the magic of the Four Seasons brand, to me, is that they lean into the charm of each of their locations. And the FS Hualalai is no exception. Instead of removing the volcanic rock lining much of the beach, they’ve built in coastal running paths into it’s coarse black landscape. The cuisine at each of their five restaurants is heavily Hawaiian influenced, with many ingredients sourced from local farms. And the grounds? Don’t even get me started on the exquisite cultivation of native fauna and flora that promotes natural habitats for the variety of exotic birds.
We were lucky enough to experience the hotel for 6 nights as ‘work’ on a commercial job for their new expansive suite, the Loa Villa. It is the true definition of luxury, with every window of the two story mini mansion overlooking the pristine beach and crashing waves.
Here’s that commercial I’m talking about:
During our stay we took full advantage of the resort. And here’s our best tips:
1. If you’re staying the golf course rooms, opt for the first floor – the outdoor shower is stunning.
2. Go to the Resident’s Beach House. Get the sesame butter salmon. Die happy.
3. Book a massage. And a yoga class. The fitness center & spa are perfection.
4. Go snorkeling on property.
5. Go kayaking or paddle boarding off property.
6. Take a helicopter tour around the island.
7. Don’t miss the half papaya brekkie bowl at Ulu breakfast.
8. You can never have too many mai tais.
9. Catch every sunset.
10. Scan the beach at dawn and dusk for sea turtles.
And… if you can swing it… treat yo’self to the new Loa Presidential Villa!
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