Filed under: Luxury Travel & Hotels
Perhaps the most kid-friendly of Luxist's best winter family vacation nominees is the Four Seasons Hotel in Hualalai, Hawaii. The island resort, which sits on a picture-perfect stretch of beach on the Big Island's Kona Coast, and its surrounding areas, offer a range of experience that will suit everyone from baby to grandma.
Situated between the roaring Pacific Ocean and a lush jungle with volcanoes beyond, Hualalai makes for quite the dramatic setting. Nearby attractions include an on-site beach, spa, and two restaurants including the elegant beachside Pahu i`a. Guest can work off dinnertime decadence at the Hualalai Sports Club, which boasts cardio equipment, free weights, basketball courts and a 25-meter outdoor lap pool. There's also a private 18-hole Jack Nicklaus-designed signature golf course that winds over 7,100 yards.
Myriad options beckon beyond the bounds of the Four Seasons' grounds. A half hour drive takes you to Kauna`oa Beach and its snorkeling and surfing opportunities. Those willing to endure a 2.5-hour car ride can explore Volcano National Park, home to Mt. Kilauea, the world's most active volcano. The 11-mile Crater Rim Drive is a scenic attraction for all ages; the more adventurous can spring for a helicopter ride over the crater. Local legend says the volcano erupts whenever the goddess Pele is angry, and she must be livid – Kilauea has been erupting continuously since 1983.
Amenities geared toward the younger set include a complementary children's program that includes such activities as treasure hunts, sand sculpting, volcano building, and canoe and tennis lessons. For the family, there's Hawaiian arts and crafts, snorkeling, and organized beach games.
The resort's 243 guest rooms, including 51 suites, are expansive and have private, furnished lanais and stunning ocean views. There are 20 new ocean-view deluxe and superior suites that are one and two bedrooms in size. Deluxe suites have private steam showers, while most lower-level guest rooms and suites have outdoor gardens and lava rock showers.
Airfare to the Big Island often approaches $1,000 per person when traveling from the mainland, since most require a stopover in Honolulu. Once at the Four Seasons in Hualalai, rates for a standard room start at $725 per night; while suites start at $1,300.
Vote now for what you believe is the best of breed for each of the Winter Travel categories. Readers' Choice Awards for the Best in Winter Travel will be announced on January 31st.