Hualālai Members and frequent guests share their insider tips for the best experiences at the resort and beyond.

From idyllic beaches and incomparable cuisine to boating adventures and oceanfront golf, Hualālai has much to offer—maybe too much if you’re trying to decide what to see and do during your stay. To help narrow down your list, we spoke with a few Hualālai Members and frequent guests of the Four Seasons Resort Hualālai and asked them to share their favorite spots, cherished activities, must-try menu items, and other Hualālai highlights. Following are a few things they love about the resort and Hawai‘i Island at large—and what keeps them coming back time and again.

What’s happeing at Hualālai Resort this Spring? Download our Spring Brochure.

Golf

With two world-class golf courses set against a striking backdrop of lava rock, crashing waves, and native foliage, Hualālai makes it hard for its Members and guests to pinpoint just one favorite hole. If Members are partial, perhaps it’s to their private Ke‘olu Golf Course, a Tom Weiskopf design featuring caves, arches, and lava blisters, among other dramatic natural features. Member Joe Schneider singles out Ke‘olu’s 18th hole, while homeowner John Saul points to the sixth hole (right) with its ample room for a long drive. Member Toshiya Higashi favors the second hole for its panoramic ocean view, but he is also a fan of the Jack Nicklaus–designed Hualālai Golf Course, especially the 18th hole, which carries over a marsh. One of his fondest memories at Hualalai is of “playing with Tom Watson and winning a Mitsubishi Pro-Am,” says Higashi. “We received great roars of cheers from the spectators on the 18th hole when we both made a birdie.” He notes that he still has a letter from Watson praising his golf as beautiful.

Leisure

When it comes to spending time at Hualālai, it’s all about finding a balance between activities and relaxation. For water sports, frequent guest Spencer Castillo says a paddleboarding session in Kūki‘o Bay is the perfect way to start the day. Member Teresa Schneider prefers the property’s Ribcraft, a rigid inflatable boat designed for rough or choppy seas that takes guests offshore for snorkeling and dolphin watching. “I also like to walk from our home through most of the Hualālai property, including the beach path, and stop to put my feet in the ocean,” says Schneider. “It’s the best way to say ‘farewell’ and the best way to say ‘hello’ upon returning.”

Four Seasons regular Jenny Tatum also enjoys walking the path around the property. “I’ll take it all around the resort and to the highway,” she says. For many a Member or guest, relaxation means lounging at any of the property’s swimming pools. John Saul loves to “people watch” at the resort’s main pool, while Members Barrie and Maureen Rubin prefer the Beach Tree pool. “It offers the most shade and is the most quiet for reading and relaxation,” says Barrie. “It’s also where we have met most of our friends at the property.” Of course, the spa is a haven for those seeking total serenity. Tatum prefers its lap pool, even if just for sunbathing, while Saul is a devotee of the classic massage, and Schneider favors the deep-tissue massage. “Therapists Dani and Michelle are my favorites,” says Schneider.

Dining

Thanks to a host of delectable dining options between the greater resort and the Four Seasons, Hualālai Members and guests stand little chance of going hungry or thirsty during their stays. Of course, the myriad food-and-drink choices go beyond serving basic needs, delighting diners with the unforgettable tastes of Hawai‘i. Menus highlight local ingredients, many of which are fruits and vegetables grown right on the resort’s grounds. “Our favorite restaurant is the Beach Tree, which is always our last dinner before we depart,” notes Barrie Rubin. “We love ordering the local fresh fish and having it pan-fried.”

Beach Tree is also a favorite of Jenny Tatum, who says that even a simple vodka soda is magical when consumed while enjoying the views of the calming Kohala Coast. Toshiya Higashi favors Beach Tree, too—a location he likes to savor with a Bloody Mary in hand. Four Seasons fan Spencer Castillo recommends heading to the Residents’ Beach House for the grilled fish tacos. “Best I’ve ever had,” he says.

For morning coffee, the Hualālai Trading Company is the go-to spot. Joe and Teresa Schneider like to be there when it opens at 6:30 am to help jump-start their days. John Saul also enjoys the coffee selection, which emphasizes local beans.

Excursions

It’s difficult to imagine ever wanting to leave Hualālai’s 865-acre property, but Hawai‘i Island—with its 4,028 square miles of terrain that include volcanoes, rainforests, and both black- and green-sand beaches—beckons. John Saul recommends seeing the W. M. Keck Observatory, which features a visitors’ gallery where the public can view one of its famed twin telescopes. Jenny Tatum notes that one of the best off-property experiences she’s had was taking a helicopter tour of the island, which can be particularly stunning when the lava is flowing.

No matter how many trips she’s had to the island, adds Tatum, there’s always something new to discover. “I still haven’t been to the seahorse farm yet,” she says, referencing the Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm in Kailua-Kona, where guests can observe firsthand the operation’s efforts to save endangered seahorses from extinction.