Fodor's Expert Review Four Seasons Oahu at Ko Olina
92-1001 Olani St., in the KoOlina complex, Kapolei, Hawaii, 96707, USA See on Map
The competition just got a little stiffer in the luxury hotel category on Oahu with this luxurious new offering at Ko Olina, created from the extensively renovated former JW Marriott. Nearly every room and suite in the 17-story hotel has floor-to-ceiling windows and a private lanai, all with an ocean view. And although the behemoth Aulani resort complex is next door, you'll still feel secluded. The resort has an infinity pool, a tranquil garden with koi ponds, and private, beachside cabanas. It also offers five restaurants, including Mina's Fish House, a seafood restaurant, and the Italian-inspired Noe. Since the resort is in Ko Olina, hotel guests have access to the Ko Olina Golf Club and the Ko Olina Marina.
There are a variety of luxury rooms to choose from, with mountain view, ocean view, or oceanfront view options, a variety of suites, and even a room with a patio hot tub. Each room has customizable Four Seasons bed, a pillow menu, Wi-Fi, and most have private lanai.
Try to get a room away from the Disney resort next door if you want to ensure a serene stay, as noise can sometimes spill over.
Large, decadent marble bathrooms can be found in all rooms, with separate tub and shower, modern fixtures, and beautiful vanities.
The lobby of the Four Seasons is quite grand, with a triangular atrium in the center that stretches up to a skylight. There are a few chic reception desks and a seating area off to one side, but for the most part the space is mostly accented by its grandiose open spaces. Guests receive a lei, tropical drink, and cold towel upon arrival.
The adults-only infinity pool is long and rectangular with sweeping views of the ocean, surrounded by loungers and private cabanas. Besides the fun family pool that can be found steps away from the beach and lagoon, there is also a serenity pool, and a lap pool at the spa.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The adult’s only pool can get a bit packed, especially during busy seasons, and getting a chair can be a bit tricky. Head to the pool early if you want to make sure to have a spot for lounging.
Naupaka Spa digs deep into the ‘aina (land) of Hawaii to create therapies that honor the wisdom and healing of the land and its people. Services include variations on the Hawaiian lomilomi massage, tropical hair and scalp treatment, volcanic foot and leg treatment, and Sodashi face therapies. A special keiki menu is also available for children.
The gym is very chic and modern, with wood floors and city views to accompany the cardio and weight machines. In addition, there is also a lap pool, tennis courts, oceanfront yoga and fitness classes are offered daily.
La Hiki Kitchen serves up breakfast (daily) and dinner (Tuesday through Saturday) that digs deep into Hawaiian roots and includes family style plate options. In addition it hosts special dining events like an exquisite brunch buffet available on the weekends from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and steak night on Fridays. Light, refreshing lunch fare can be enjoyed poolside at Waterman Bar & Grill, next to the family pool. Another wonderful dinner option is Noe, the Italian outdoor dining venue that incorporates local flavors with Italian staples like fresh-made pasta. In addition, 24-hour in-room dining is available.
The centerpiece restaurant of the hotel is Mina’s Fish House by James Beard Award-winning Chef Michael Mina, an upscale version of the traditional Hawaiian fish house with incredible views, fresh fish and seafood, and tropical cocktails. It’s only open for dinner (and happy hour), so opt for an early reservation so you don’t miss out on the views.
The Hokulea terrace lounge allows guests to linger with a cup of coffee at the start of the day or relax with a drink from the wine-by-glass menu, pre-dinner cocktails, or beers as they take in the surrounding seascape. Guests can also enjoy cocktails poolside at Waterman Bar & Grill from 10 a.m. to sunset. Mina’s Fish House hosts a daily happy hour from 3 to 5 p.m. called Punches, Pupus, and Paradise with a selection of food, punches, cocktails, beer, and wine. For one of the best Italian wine menus in the islands, grab a glass at Noe -- the bar is open from 5 to 10 p.m.
You’ll need a rental car if you want to explore the island, but you can get to the resort community with a shuttle if you don’t plan on leaving much.
One of Chinatown’s standout spots is trendy The Pig and the Lady (36-min drive), a Vietnamese/Asian fusion restaurant with creative dishes that appeal to a variety of palates. They are even able to modify many of their menu items to meet the dietary needs of vegetarians. Their dessert menu is quite stunning, featuring island flavors and a rotating soft serve program, as is their cocktail menu full of quirky drink names and ingredients.
Venture outside of your ramen comfort zone at Agu Ramen (43-min drive) by adding their signature “hot mess” – a heavy dose of parmesan – to your bowl. No really, it works! Their offerings include classic ramen bowls, options for vegans and vegetarians, and a ridiculously unctuous curry that will have you thinking about it for days. They also have a great happy hour at their multiple locations that includes 50% off appetizers and draft beers.
Enjoy live jazz music with your cocktails at Lewers Lounge (45-min drive) inside Halekulani Hotel. Music happens every night of the week from 8:30 p.m. to midnight (and until 12:30 on weekends). It’s a great option for dessert and a nightcap. Be sure to try the “Lost Passion,” a tequila/passionfruit/champagne concoction that will get you in the island spirit.
Even if you’re not staying at The Modern, you’ll want to sneak behind the bookcases in their lobby to grab a drink at The Study (46-min drive). It may look small from the outside, but this bar with yummy cocktails, incredible live music that gives way to a DJ, and diverse crowd is large and inviting. Alas, you will definitely not get any studying done.
WHY WE LIKE IT
The Four Seasons brand lives up to its reputation at this fairly new property -- luxurious, beautiful, relaxing, and family-friendly. Incredible dining options, amazing views, luxurious rooms, and little extras like an arrival and departure lounge all make for a wonderful vacation option.