Impressed? Pampered? Satiated? That is what Jason and I were, to say the least, after a fulfilling stay at the Four Seasons Oahu in the resort town of Ko Olina. We were nothing but enamoured by our time here, never wanting to leave and feeling as though 2 days simply wasn’t enough to enjoy everything the Four Seasons Oahu had to offer!
This post is written in partnership with the Four Seasons Oahu at Ko Olina. It goes without saying that all opinions are my own and I am beyond excited to share this experience with my readers!
Where is the Four Seasons Oahu Located?
You might think that all big-name resorts in Oahu are somewhere in or near Waikiki, but the Ko Olina neighbourhood of Kapolei, Hawai’i offers an exclusive and serene escape from the hustle and bustle of Honolulu. The resort is situated about a 30-minute drive from the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport and a 45-minute drive from Waikiki.
I do highly encourage you to rent a car for your time in Oahu, but if you don’t plan on leaving Ko Olina with your own vehicle during your time at the Four Seasons, you can definitely leave the driving for another time, save your dollars on the valet parking fee and use a taxi or rideshare service instead. If you’re here to splurge, Four Seasons offers private transportation and concierge services for airport arrivals. That entails choosing one of various luxury car choices or even a helicopter ride to the resort!
Ko Olina is also situated on the West Coast of Oahu, where climate is slightly drier than the rest of the island. As locals would put it, when it rains on the west side, it’s likely to be raining on all of Oahu. A benefit to this is that the odds are in your favour when it comes to having sunshine during your stay at the Four Seasons Oahu.
To book your reservation at FS Oahu, click here!
Our Arrival and Check-In
From the moment the valet attendants opened our car doors to the moment our host Cameran showed us the way to our suite, we were captivated by big smiles and warming hospitality. Colourful and fresh floral and kukui nut leis were placed around our necks and refreshing, cooled ginger lemonade was offered to us at the registration desk. We were thrilled to have someone as attentive and charming as Cameran greet and check us in, as his personality and enthusiasm made us all the more excited for our time in Oahu. He even took the time to write down all of his food favourites throughout the island, recommending a whole variety of local spots to try out!
After checking in and having the seamless RFID room key wristbands placed on our wrists, we made our way all the way up the large atrium to the 17th floor – the top floor.
Our Oceanfront King Room with Large Lanai
We walked across the open-air walkway on the highest floor to our Oceanfront King Room (#1710) and were given a lay of the lands of our beautiful space. A cross between modern luxury and dreamy Hawaiian comfort is what my words could describe how elegant the room was!
Upon opening the door, you’ll see a well lit marble countertop dressed with a Nespresso machine – yours truly’s favourite – with wooden drawers and a mini fridge underneath within flush cabinet doors.
The hallway then leads to louvered double doors that open to the grand, marble-clad bathroom. Tiled to my liking, it’s got a full-height glass shower (with a tiled bench might I add), a classic tub, two large single vanities to give couples their own space and a separate water closet. If I were to design my own master bathroom, it’d look something like this! Bulgari toiletries lined the sinks and shower, a staple at Four Seasons properties. My favourite feature in the bathroom was the mood lighting. Whether you wanted the bathroom lighting to be set for daytime, sunset, night or others, you could simply choose with the press of a button upon entering the bathroom. Lighting behind the bed had the same feature!
Now the bedroom certainly wowed us with the level of comfort and bliss it instilled in us just by our first glances. The king-size bed included Four Seasons’ signature bedding with their logo embroidered on their Euro pillows. Did you know you can actually purchase the Four Seasons luxury collection for your own home? Not only their bedding but their spa and bath amenities, candles and other accessories. How amazing to be able to bring the blissful Four Seasons experience right to your home for as long as you’d like!
Resuming from that side note (I got pretty excited there), at the foot of the bed that I still dream about you’ll find a homey longing sofa with the largest flatscreen TV we’ve seen in a resort room right across from it, sitting atop a wide wooden credenza. We’re thankful to the Four Seasons team for the welcome fruit platter and delicious smoothie! If you absolutely must get work done on your vacation, you definitely could at the extension of the credenza, but I encourage you to take yourself outside to your lanai where you’ll be graced with the most beautiful ocean view.
The plantation shutter sliding doors open up to a grand balcony that spanned the entire length of the room and featured two a chaise lounger and two padded chairs with a round wooden table where we could not wait to enjoy our in-room breakfast.
Four Seasons Dining
Dining choices were exquisite at the Four Seasons Oahu! They provided a more casual and tropical vibe setting whilst offering high-end menus curated by Michelin-starred and award-winning chefs. Waterman Bar & Lounge was the only spot we did not have the time to try at the resort. But let me share with you our experience at the other restaurants!
Where Capri meets Hawaii, Noe covers great ground in Southern Italian cuisine with a modern twist. Japanese-Italian chef Ryo Takatsuka elevates the flavours of traditional Italian dishes in ways you could not imagine until they touch your lips. In all honesty, I did not expect much as I typically view Italian cuisine as comfort food that satiates your hunger. But instead, each bite I took awakened taste buds I didn’t even know I had! The outdoor table the hostess seated us at also created an intimate atmosphere for me and my hubby to sit both facing the stream and greenery.
Our server Brandon was exceptional in explaining the menu to us, sharing his experience with each item, naming fan favourites (and why) as well as what combinations of antipasti, primi and secondi would go fantastic together based on our cravings. We decided to go with the Seared Squid, the Noe Signature Tagliatelle that they split into two, the Lobster Spaghetti and the Pescato del Giorno (Fish of the Day) which the name escapes me but was akin to a buttery swordfish. Squisito!
Brandon knew the very new cocktail menu like the back of his hand and gave us his recommendations based on our specific taste. I would’ve adored trying every single one of them because of how marvellous they sounded! But alas, that is unreasonable. La Donna Bella hit the spot!
Our selected dessert was the perfect fusion of Japanese Italian: Matcha Stracciatella. Doesn’t that sound delicious? It was! The kitchen also gave us a slice of the S’mores cake which certainly satisfied our chocolate craving. Suffice to say, we went to bed very content.
Mina’s Fish House
Celebrity chef and James Beard Award-winning Michael Mina brings us Mina’s Fish House. As a lover of seafood, this was a dream! A unique service Mina’s offers is a presentation of daily catches for you to choose from if you prefer to have the freshest line-to-table experience. We chose to stick with the à la carte menu as so many of their dishes stood out to us bringing water to our mouths.
One of our servers first brought us pita bread with the most delicious hummus I have ever had, and followed with a raw fish amuse-bouche. We then ordered the Red King Crab & Ewa Sweet Corn Bisque (so flavoursome), the Crispy Reef Squid (best calamari we’ve ever tasted), the Seared Yellowfin & Foie Gras (more of an acquired taste but they certainly did not go shy on the foie gras) and the Aromatic Steamed Mahi Mahi.
We were way too stuffed to order dessert, but if our hazelnut-chocolate loving hearts would’ve definitely gone for the Chocolate Rocher. Our cocktails were so tasty and thirst-quenching. They came in the cutest tiki mugs that helped prevent the drinks from warming up too fast, and held a large volume of cocktail within. My drink felt bottomless even though I was sipping on it constantly throughout our meal!
La Hiki offers a healthy variety for breakfast and lunch, but what we had for breakfast here lasted us until dinner. Though La Hiki normally offers buffet breakfast, during our stay they were serving their à la carte menu which I must admit was very appealing. My plating skills definitely are not quite as photogenic as the kitchen’s would be!
We went for some of our favourites to try Four Seasons’ twist: the Eggs Benny with a side of hash and Migas Con Huevos which was in simple terms a breakfast made with Mexican flavours atop a bed of tortilla chips. These alone would’ve made a fantastic and hearty breakfast, but our ears perked when our server suggested the Hawaiian Fruit Plate.
This platter was divine! So many fresh and delicious fruit slices within a pineapple boat with a side of honeycomb and banana bread. I typically am not a fan of papaya, but the papaya we’ve had at the Four Seasons Oahu has completely changed my mind about the fruit. We also wanted to try their chia seed pudding topped with fruit and the kitchen was kind enough to split it for us. This was surprisingly Jason’s favourite as he often prefers his breakfasts (or all foods) savoury and hearty.
Having a poolside breakfast by the Serenity Pool gave us ideas as to what we hoped the rest of the day would look like. In-room dining offered a slightly trimmed down version of La Hiki’s menu for breakfast and we opted to have breakfast served to our room the next morning! We went with a Japanese breakfast, açai bowl and pastry basket (with malasadas) and it was one of the most memorable mornings we’ve ever had on any trip.
Well, with all those rich and succulent meals, we have to find a way to burn off those calories! Luckily, the resort offers complimentary standup paddle (SUP) boarding and snorkeling at their beach lagoon. The lagoon is shared with neighbour Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, but you just know which beach lounge chairs belong to Four Seasons. When you’re ready to make your way to the beach, an attendant will help you select your space and will dress the chairs with branded towels that have fitted top pockets that keep the towels from sagging down. Another branded towel will be placed on top for your use.
For our snorkel gear, we went to the water sport shack and Zach provided us with everything we needed. Only condition is to bring the equipment back by 4pm, so you could hold onto your snorkel and mask for the entire day if you wanted to. The lagoon is plentiful in coral, but if you struggle to find fish here, you are welcome to walk further south to one of the other three lagoons of Ko Olina, or go further north to Paradise Cove where Zach said was a great spot for snorkeling.
Don’t forget that at Four Seasons Ko Olina they provide free reef-friendly Sum Bum sunscreen (SPF30 & 50) at dispensers by the beach and pools. Make use of this if you didn’t think to bring reef-safe sun protection lotion for your Hawaii trip!
The Four Seasons in fact offers 4 outdoor pools to relax in: the main, circular Serenity Pool, the shallow Kid’s Pool perfect for families, the Adults-Only Infinity Pool (our favourite) and the Spa Lap Pool on the 3rd floor of the Fitness Centre.
The serenity pool offers quick access to food and beverages at La Hiki or Waterman Bar & Lounge. It’s also a little cooler than the rectangular pools that sit further in the sun.
The infinity pool is the perfect adult zone with Dr. Mai Tai’s ready to serve you cocktails and drinks in the heat, and there’s a hot tub in the corner you can dip in when it’s cooler (perfect for the mornings and evenings). But one thing I have never seen before is the grand, private cabanas that line the back of the pool chaise loungers. They have their large sofas, games, fridge, counter space, ceiling fan and TV! You can rent these out for the day and it’ll feel like a poolside extension of your hotel room. So fancy!
I loved experiencing the Four Seasons poolside service where they come around with refreshments such as a delicious tropical fruit skewer dipped in coconut lilikoi (passionfruit) cream. It’s the little details that count!
The spa lap pool is a quieter getaway from the resort as it’s situated in the fitness building, a hop from the hotel lobby. It’s smaller and doesn’t have the same ocean views as the others do, but hardly anyone frequents this pool. I guess most people on vacation aren’t thinking of getting their fitness on, but we sure wanted to after feasting on all the good food.
The Fitness Centre
The gym occupies the two top floors of the fitness building and has everything you need for weightlifting, resistance and cardio workouts – the Peloton bikes certainly caught my eye! The top floor also features an outdoor space on the roof consisting of multiple tennis courts, basketball courts and even a small soccer field. We couldn’t resist testing our amateur tennis skills here for a great workout!
The service they provide for guests is impeccable. When we sought out to play tennis, the tennis instructor offered our assistance as well as set us up with the proper racket for our level of experience and comfort. She then proceeded to grab an entire YETI cooler filled with water and Gatorade bottles, a set of fresh towels and more tennis balls. How lovely!
The spa facilities was beyond my wildest dreams. The Naupaka Spa takes up multiple floors of the building with various treatment rooms, their outdoor zen spaces (so cool!) with fountains, lounge couches and swings but I could’ve spent hours in their locker rooms alone. Access to the spa facilities is open and complimentary to all guests, regardless of whether you’ve booked a spa treatment. The locker rooms house a sauna, a steam room, a soaking hot tub and cold plunge pool for your unlimited use.
The locker rooms also provided many amenities for guests to grab if need be. If you’ve ever gone to the spa only to find out that you forgot to shave your legs or underarms, you’ll be glad to know there are singular packaged razors at your disposal. Your locker will also be provided with your own bathrobe (the comfiest bathrobe of all time!), sandals, hangers, a towel and a disposable water bottle. You can then make your way to the waiting room for some light snacks and tea/water prior to your treatment, or take your time at the facilities. Be sure to wear a bathing suit for your treatment if you’d like to take a dip in the tubs!
After some time enjoying the facilities, I went in for my massage with Patty. I opted for the Ocean massage oil (it smells amazing) and a foot scrub add-on. I was happy to be able to select my firmness and areas of concentration at the time of registration, so she knew right off the bat what I needed! The massage and foot scrub left me feeling as zen as the outdoor gardens.
Four Seasons Tours
Four Seasons offers many private excursions in partnership with Keawe Adventures that are tailored to their guests’ liking and desires. A new tour Four Seasons Oahu offer to those with a little more land adventure spirit is the Maili Pill Box (or famously the Pink Pill Box) hike. We were honoured to join Jenny, our Keawe tour guide, on a privately guided hike along this gorgeous trail.
The hike is moderate with very little scrambling needed, but with a slightly steep elevation given the short distance. The path that is recommended by everyone to take consists of some switchbacks and is easy on the knees, but some daring folks might walk straight up the steep and narrow path that is completely exposed to the sun. We said no thank you to that (the morning Hawaii heat is not something we are used to) and Jenny wouldn’t have taken us that way anyway!
There are four main pillboxes at the end of the trail within close proximity of each other, all of different sizes and painted distinctively. I was wowed by the graffiti artwork created by local artists in the pillboxes, as well as the magnificent views of the Waianae mountain range and the sea views of Oahu’s West Coast. The second pillbox is very large and can squeeze quite a few people inside and on its roof, the penthouse pillbox as Jenny liked to put it. The third pillbox is the famous pink one, painted pink every year for breast cancer awareness.
During whale season, folks will sit here for quite some time staring into the deep blue in search for some humpbacks coming to the surface. You might be one of the lucky ones to spot one breaching or giving a whale wave! Be sure to wear lots of sunblock for this hike, especially if you are to do some whale watching yourself.
One thing we were so ecstatic that the resort offers was their outrigger canoe sail tour with Hawaiian Ocean Adventures right from their white sand beach cove. You can book your canoe sail excursion with the concierge for a 55 to 85-minute tour, and up to 8 people can join in on the fun at one time. They have multiple sail times throughout the day from 8am to 1pm, but you can also book a private tour on the Ka’aumoana (the name of the sailing canoe) and can even do a snorkeling experience right off the canoe.
Our ride along the Ka’aumoana was absolutely incredible, with Captain Zach and Nakoa leading us out of the Four Seasons lagoon and onto the open seas. Zach shared with us Hawaiian tales and culture and his own personal stories as we took to the deep blue and sailed along Oahu’s west coast on our coincidentally private excursion. It was incredible to hear that the Polynesians voyaged across the Pacific generations upon generations ago in a canoe sail much like this one. The owner and builder of this outrigger sailing canoe, Nakoaokalani Prejean, constructed it according to the traditional way just with modern materials. Apart from the motor and the bolt that held the motor to the canoe, all sections and beams were held together by rope alone!
The design of the sail itself has so much Hawaiian significance – with the mountain symbols lined vertically, the ocean symbols horizontally and the eagle interconnecting the two in the middle of the triangle. We felt honoured to be sailing on such an important part of Hawaiian culture.
As the winds took us to different parts of the open ocean and reef, we passed by the back of sea turtle who momentarily came up to the surface! And as we made our way towards Electric Beach, we peered over the canoe and saw right to the ocean floor as if the water surface were glass!
I honestly couldn’t have imagined a better way to end our time at the Four Seasons Oahu at Ko Olina. This was by far the top 48 hours we’ve ever experienced we hope you’ll have the chance to too! Much of what makes this our favourite resort stay must be credited to the people the Four Seasons is blessed to call their employees and contractors. It wouldn’t have been the same without every person we encountered from check-in to check-out!