Dreaming of a luxurious Hawaiian vacation, but feeling unsure about navigating the COVID-19 requirements? The Islands of Hawaii, and all five of the stunning Four Seasons Hawaii properties, are open and welcoming visitors! Get past a few basic hurdles with a little pre-planning, and your clients can have their toes in the sand, indulging in the family adventure of a lifetime before you know it.
Hawaii by Four Seasons
Four Seasons believes in creating experiences that impress and memories that last a lifetime. From the most stunning locations, to the personalized service, to their unique offerings and ensuring that guests have all the comforts of home and more, the consistency of the Four Seasons brand is unparalleled and makes for a guaranteed perfect vacation. In Hawaii, you can choose one of their five properties on the islands of Oahu, Maui, Lanai, and the Big Island. Each property is uniquely different and exquisite in its own way.
My family and I visited three of their properties (Big Island, Maui, and Oahu) in March, and I would be hard-pressed choose a favorite. Here was my take on each, and I’ll let you decide.
The Big Island
Known for its diverse climates and landscapes, the Big Island is home to the breathtaking Four Seasons Hualalai. In complete harmony with its surroundings, this oceanfront resort truly inspires the spirit of aloha. With its white sand beaches and lava rock tide pools, an award-winning golf course, and laidback elegance, it’s easy to see why the Four Seasons Hualalai is consistently named one of the best resorts in the U.S. by Travel & Leisure. Having been recently refreshed, the newly appointed accommodations offer amazing ocean views and expansive private lanais for enjoying them.
In terms of amenities, if you prefer a pool over the ocean, then you’ve come to the right place. The Four Seasons Hualalai boasts nine different pools, including a 1.8 million gallon swimmable aquarium called King’s Pond, where you can have the best of both worlds. It’s a wonderful place for the little ones to practice snorkeling. Make sure to include a visit to the new Kumu Kai Marine Center at King’s Pond and interact with a variety of sea creatures at the touch tank or get up close and personal with a spotted eagle ray! For golf enthusiasts, tee off at the newly renovated, Jack Nicklaus Signature Hualalai Golf Course. Also noteworthy is the new Golf Hale, where you can take your swing to the next level with a golf pro and the latest in instructional technology.
The Four Seasons property in Maui is a contemporary, beachfront resort with stunning architecture and arguably the best location on Wailea Beach. Adopting the motto “safe is the new luxury,” this property truly excels in its health and wellness offerings. Each guestroom is outfitted with a state-of-the-art air purification system, and they have a team of medical professionals available 24/7. The fitness center boasts an open-air cardio area, or one can request access to a private fitness studio or an in-suite Peloton bike. For the ultimate indulgence, book a traditional Lomi Lomi massage in one of their beachfront open-air hales, where you can relax and unwind to sounds of the crashing waves. The resort curates age-appropriate itineraries, including experiences at the Four Seasons Academy, where children can learn about Hawaiian culture and participate in activities such as lei making and palm frond weaving. The keiki will also love the different pools on property, especially the waterfall pool with a waterslide!
Dining at this stunning resort is an event in itself. Don’t miss the amazing Spago, home to Master Chef Wolfang Puck, and serving delectable Hawaiian-Californian dishes with panoramic ocean views. Or reserve a table at my personal favorite, Duo, where the delectable 35-Day Dry-Aged Bone In Rib-Eye is the piece de resistance and makes for easy sharing.
Our last stop in the Islands of Hawaii took us to Oahu, where we enjoyed a relaxing stay at the Four Seasons Oahu at Ko ‘Olina. This recently renovated property exudes a feeling of Old Hawaii with contemporary lines. The guest rooms and suites all afford ocean views, with the deluxe guest room being noteably special in that it has an outdoor area with spa tub and easy beach access.
The kids program at Camp Kohola is sure to be a hit with the little ones, or book a sailing canoe excursion that will be great fun for the entire family. Explore Hawaiian navigation from this double-hull traditional canoe that sails along the coastline, where you will spot dolphins and turtles. Truly active guests can hike the Realm of the Gods or even try cliff jumping at one of several sites nearby. I, on the other hand, decided on a day at the spa, with a traditional Naupaka Lomilomi massage and my girls were pampered with the Hawaiian Hula princess treatment. Looking for a fun culinary experience to top off your stay? Head to the new Mina’s Fish House for a traditional Hawaiian Fish House experience and toes-in-the-sand dining.
Making a Smooth Entrance
Visiting Hawaii is all about the QR code! As of October 2020, Hawaii introduced the option to avoid a quarantine period with a negative PCR test. Visitors age 5 and up must test at one of Hawaii’s approved testing partners* within 72 hours of their departure flight from the mainland. They must create an account on the Hawaii’s Safe Travels** website, add the details of the trip, complete a health questionnaire within 24 hours of their flight, and upload their covid test results. Finalizing the health questionnaire will generate an email with a QR code that visitors can screenshot on their mobile devices or print. This QR code will be scanned at the airport upon arrival.
Considering island hopping? Keep in mind that you may have to test in between islands. However, the travel requirements change often, so I highly recommend checking the up-to-date requirements prior to travel.
Now that we’ve broken down the travel process, your biggest dilemma should be where and how to enjoy the magical Islands of Hawaii.