Travel Agent's editorial director, Ruthanne Terrero, is on Hawaii’s Big Island this week, attending Classic Vacations' annual Marketing Partners event, which recognizes the luxury FIT wholesaler's top agencies. She stole some time today to review a luxury hotel in the area, the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai. Here is her report.
I've just taken a tour of the Four Seasons, Hualalai on Hawaii's Big Island. The architecture of this resort is amazing; its open-air main building is comprised of dark woods and open spaces. It's very understated and relaxing. On this rainy day it was truly tropical and luxurious in its feel, all at once.
The resort, which has 254 rooms, is undergoing upgrades under the direction of Hill Glazier, the original architect for the 12-year-old resort. Currently, there are 20 one- and two-bedrooms suites being added to the inventory. This is being done by building a parlor between two existing rooms to create a suite. These accommodations are being rolled out as they are completed and management expects them to be done by Spring 2009.
The demand for suites comes from customers who are traveling with their families, according to Donna Kimura, director of public relations for the property.
Also in the works is an expansion of the spa, which will include a couples hall with a plunge pool and soaking tub. In the meantime, a working spa with five treatment rooms is available to guests. The new spa, as well as the remodeling of the Beach Tree Bar & Grill, will reopen this December (2008), mid-month.
The room I toured, which is not under construction, is room #1102. This is considered an Oceanview Room. I liked the layout very much. When you walk in, you face a large walk-in closet. To your left is a bathroom with a picture window looking out to your own outdoor shower, which, of course, has walls for privacy.
To the right is the bedroom, which also includes a sitting area. The ground-floor, outdoor area seemed private enough with lovely views of the ocean which, at this property, is very active with lots of waves and rugged terrain around it. Note: It’s currently whale-sighting season on The Big Island. It runs from November through April, although you may see the occasional whale for a few weeks after that.
This room is priced in the $885-$935 per night range throughout the year, depending on season. The room above it, considered an Ocean View Prime, runs between $935 and $1,035 per night. These are 2008 rates; 2009 rates will be released soon.
Four Seasons Resort Hualalai is offering a deal for a fourth free night through December 15.