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Harriman Jan 9, 20 4:41 pm

Four Seasons Ko'olina vs Halekulani Oahu?
Trying to decide between the two. Any folks here been to both and have a preference??

vprp Jan 9, 20 4:54 pm

I grew up in Honolulu and have stayed at both. Their locations are very different.

The Four Seasons is on the West side of the island. If I were visiting Oahu for at least 4 or 5 nights, I would split my time. The Four Seasons is better located to most of the better golf courses on Oahu. You have Ko Olina, Kapolei and Ewa Beach golf courses. You can explore the West side of the island and it might be a tad more convenient to explore the North Shore from Ko Olina. Halekulani is right in the midst of Waikiki. You're going to have a better selection of restaurants and shopping nearby and it would be easier to explore the East side of the island like Lanikai, Hanauma Bay. The Halekulani is going to feel a bit more crowded than the Four Seasons.

It really depends on your personal preference and I think it's the location rather than the actual property and service provided that's going to be the big differentiator.

DavidO Jan 9, 20 5:34 pm

The problem with FS Ko Olina is that it's right next door to Disney's Aulani on the same man-made sandy beach along a lagoon. There are hundreds of chaise lounges belonging to the two resorts... It's also uncharacteristically large for a Four Seasons. If you do stay in Ko Olina, definitely go for a west-facing ocean view room (a view away from the lagoon).

Halekulani is renowned for great service. However, it's in downtown Honolulu on an even more crowded beach, Waikiki. Rooms are a bit on the bland side, though perfectly comfortable.

I'd also consider The Kahala Resort. Though its service is not at the level of Halekulani/Four Seasons per reviews on FT, I've always been happy with my stays there. What I like about The Kahala is that it's on a much more secluded beach.

All three resorts have Preferred Partner and/or Virtuoso amenities.

Your choice falls to the kind of setting you prefer for a vacation. Do you want seclusion? Do you want to be "in the action." Only you can answer that!

KatW Jan 9, 20 11:24 pm

Thereís no beach at the Halekulani. Just rows and rows of sun loungers on grass. Yes, there is a little gate on one side of the hotel thst will let you out onto the very crowded public beach. Surf was too rough to swim, float when we visited.

Service is good but not great when we were there three years ago. LOTS of weddings. Do eat as much coconut cake as you can.

Iím not wild about Oahu.

Goodmorning2U Jan 10, 20 7:05 am

DavidO has helped me book beautiful rooms at both the Halekulani and the Four Seasons. Thank you, David! My personal preference is the Four Seasons.

The Four Seasons has a large gym with multiple rooms for exercise and sports, 4 peloton bikes, and tennis courts, and lap pool, and infinity ocean front adult pool, and family pool. There are also multiple jacuzzi spread throughout the property.

The Halekulani has one very small but beautiful pool, and a very small gym.

The Four Seasons has a multi-floor spa with separate gender sauna and steam and whirlpool. Amazing therapists, especially massage therapist Bronson.

The Halekulani has a very small spa, with no suana, steam room, or jacuzzi anywhere on the property. They do have good therapists.

The smallest room at the Four Seasons is 550 sq feet which would be a suite at the Halekulani.

Hands down the service is better at the Four Seasons.

The Four seasons has a wide and deep beach which is part of a man made lagoon, and a ďsecretĒ very quiet private beach in the other direction. I captured a celebrity Hawaiian seal sun bathing one morning on this beach. Their lagoon side beach has lounge chair food and drink service.

The Halekulani has no beach, though it does have access to an ocean front side walk behind the hotel, and a gate leading to the most crowded beach part in Waikiki.

Both have very good arrival and departure lounges.

The Four Seasons has a morning outrigger program run by local Hawaiians who grew up in the area. Its a fantastic way to start the day.

The Halekulani is short walking distance to Cartier and Tiffany.

My order of hotels for a Hawaii vacation, when taking location into consideration for Hawaii is as follows:

1. Four Seasons Hualalai
2. Four Seasons Maui (a few tips before going need to be followed)
3. Four Seasons Ohau
4. Four Seasons Lanai

Feel free to ask any questions about Oahu and what to do via pm

KatW Jan 10, 20 2:07 pm

I would never return to Hualalai.

Larkin Jan 10, 20 2:48 pm

I like the Halekalani a lot but recognizing it is a city hotel. Great restaurants in the area including the hotel’s la mar. , lovely views from the hotel if you get diamond head view. But it is a city view hotel. If you want a better beach but still close to the various restaurants ( by car) kahala is better. In a premium residential area as well. But the only Hawaiian resort I really love is Mauna Kea. Not for everyone but the best beach in Hawaii. I will say I’m anxious to go back to both Lanai resorts now with Larry E’s renovations.

WheelsFirst Jan 10, 20 3:17 pm

Will be interesting to see how people here like the Mauna Lani once it reopens as an Auberge.

KatW Jan 10, 20 3:57 pm

Originally Posted by WheelsFirst (Post 31934569)
Will be interesting to see how people here like the Mauna Lani once it reopens as an Auberge.

Iím curious, too. It could be best in the islands.

muran Jan 10, 20 5:53 pm

Originally Posted by KatW (Post 31934705)
I’m curious, too. It could be best in the islands.

A couple of my cousins worked as subs on the project and they said that it is now the nicest hotel on the island. I'll still take Mauna Kea because its so much quieter.

muran Jan 10, 20 8:10 pm

As someone who lives on Oahu I generally agree with DavidO and GoodMorning.

If you want to do beach activities then Ko Olina is a good choice. The resort is always busy because Aulani is right next door. You can explore the West Side beaches but there is not much to do on that side of the island. But be aware it is at least a hour drive to most of the popular tourist attractions. If you leave or come back to the hotel during rush hour, good luck.
Stay away from rooms that overlook the pool/open grassy area in the front of the hotel. Every time we have stayed there there has been a wedding or party that goes on until at least 10pm.
I do remember a few issues with the service but overall it was fine. The valets seem to be indifferent if you don't pull up in a car. If they are not busy you have to go up to them and interrupt their conversation. One time there was no iron in the room. The one they brought was broken and the replacement one leaked badly. When I complained they did rectify it by ironing our clothes for us.
If you do stay there, eat at Noe. My wife says it is the best Italian restaurant in the State. La Hiki's Sunday Brunch is among the best on the island. Skip Michael Mina's Fish House unless it is for Happy Hour.There are decent places to eat in the resort complex and there is a shuttle that goes around.

Halekulani is in the heart of Waikiki and all the tourist stuff. If you want night life or the hottest dining options then it is close to Downtown and Chinatown. Obviously it is always really busy. I haven't stayed there since their recent renovations but 4-5 years ago it was clean but looking kind of worn. I do remember that the elevators were really slow. I can't really comment on their service I remember it being fine.
La Mer is really good but it is the only restaurant in the State that requires jackets. Orchids Sunday Brunch is on par with La Hiki. There a lot of different dining options in the area. It is Waikiki so don't go walking around late at night.

If you are ok with the captive dolphins then I'll put in another vote for the Kahala. They just renovated so most things are new, at least in the common area. In my opinion it is in the best location to stay if you want to do tourist stuff. It is just outside the main traffic areas and it is easy to plan to go against rush hour traffic. Its right on a beach that is not really that busy compared to most others. The resort clears out during the day so it is usually relatively quiet compared to the other two hotels.
I don't remember any service issues when I stayed there pre-renovation. The only issue that I can come up with is that if it is busy the driveway/valet can become a zoo because the driveway is so small.
If you want to eat off the hotel grounds you have to drive. It is close to Aina Haina/Kaimuki (gentrifying area) and there are a lot of good places to eat. I think that since the renovation, Arancino is better than Noe (don't tell my wife). Hoku's Sunday Brunch is below Orchids and La Hiki because the isn't as extensive.

Larkin Jan 11, 20 8:27 pm

Originally Posted by muran (Post 31935029)
A couple of my cousins worked as subs on the project and they said that it is now the nicest hotel on the island. I'll still take Mauna Kea because its so much quieter.

I donít care what they do to Mana Lani will always offer Mauna Kea for the beach alone. Although I have enjoyed dinner in the past at the Canoe Club.

Larkin Jan 11, 20 8:32 pm

Originally Posted by Larkin (Post 31938981)
I donít care what they do to Mana Lani will always offer Mauna Kea for the beach alone. Although I have enjoyed dinner in the past at the Canoe Club.

I mean prefer Mauna Kea to Mauna Lani! Iím not an agent, Iím a guest fir many years of the former and love itís beach and sunset views. Not the best ď luxuryĒ hotel but such an incredible experience in my humble opinion.

mktozd Jan 17, 20 9:03 pm

Originally Posted by KatW (Post 31934358)
I would never return to Hualalai.

Hualalai has lost their Aloha.

Our family moved on a couple of years ago. What was your experience?

mktozd Jan 17, 20 10:05 pm

To your question on Oahu, we have stayed at both properties and there is not even any comparison. Stay at HALEKULANI! The area around the Four Seasons Oahu is not tourist friendly and far from everything. While the property is very attractive, the service level is nothing like other Four Seasons resorts.

Hekulani is fun and is uniquely Oahu, close to everything, PERFECT service. I recommend their back of the house tour if you are a luxury hotel head, it is offered once a week, I recall on Fridays, and shows you how HALEKULANI does everything from their own on site bakery (yes they offer samples) to their laundry, print shop, and a whole lot more. The beach is a bit smaller, but very swimmable and the pool area is a lot of fun.

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