Family vacations are an amazing opportunity to spend quality time together and to make priceless memories. For parents, traveling with your kids often means designing your trip around their needs with no time for you to rest and feel like you actually got a vacation too.
The Four Seasons Resort O’ahu at Ko Olina (translates to “place of joy”) is a total game changer. We were able to have fun as a family and also enjoy precious time together as a couple. When you’re in the Four Seasons eco-system, you’ll never want to leave, because they know how to treat their guests. The Four Seasons experience is centered around your comfort and happiness. And this incredible Four Seasons property did not disappoint in that department!
When we pulled up to Four Seasons Resort O’ahu in picturesque Ko Olina, we were warmly greeted by the bell-staff who shared the aloha spirit and welcomed us with fresh leis and kukui nut necklaces. The check-in team shared refreshing juices as the hotel manager Michael and marketing director Drew came to greet us. It was immediately clear from speaking with them and the other staff we met within our first few minutes at the resort, that everyone loves working there and wants to help make your trip memorable.
Our accommodations in the Oceanfront Junior Suite had all of the comforts of home with the most gorgeous view. The hotel provided us with swim diapers, wipes and a diaper genie for our daughter, Plus, our kids’ names were spelled out in colorful sponges alongside all-natural products for bath-time. With dual sinks, our morning and night-time routines were a breeze. Plus, the bathroom has a remote controlled Toto toilet which includes a bidet plus a dryer for your tushy.
We loved lounging on our private balcony with expansive views of the resort and the beautiful beach. There was tons of closet and drawer space and room to store our luggage, which was a huge plus. And housekeeping was always available within minutes to assist with whatever we needed.
As passionate advocates for the planet, we appreciate that the resort has incorporated sustainable practices. They provided us with complimentary reusable water bottles and also encourage their guests to re-use their bath towels and to have their linens changed every third day to conserve water. These small acts add up to make a big difference for the Earth.
The kids were so excited to receive a plush sting-ray to cuddle at bed-time. The suite had a cozy King size bed and a sofa that pulls out to a comfy Queen size bed. Movie nights were awesome with the hotel’s Chromecast system which allowed us to screen our kids’ favorite Disney+ and Netflix films on their 75 inch plasma TV. Plus, the nightly turn-down service delivered tasty sweets like gourmet macarons and chocolate truffles which we gobbled up.
As a plant-based family, we normally skip breakfast buffets because they aren’t many options for us. We were ecstatic that La Hiki offered a phenomenal breakfast buffet with tons of delicious vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free choices. The rainbow of fresh fruit included pineapple, papaya, watermelon, strawberries, honeydew, bananas and more! There was hummus, naan and a full salad bar.
All of the traditional fare of eggs, bacon, potatoes, french toast and waffles were included, plus specialty hot dishes liked sautéed veggies, a yummy fried tofu and eggplant dish and more. There was a cold cereal bar, an oatmeal bar, a pancake bar with tons of toppings and syrups and loads of breads and spreads. I don’t normally eat pastries, but the banana bread and the guava strudel were amazing! We paired our breakfast with freshly squeezed lilikoi, pineapple and grapefruit juices. The breakfast buffet was a healthy way to fuel-up and start our day.
On some days, our kids took part in the awesome Camp Kohola, an incredible kids camp at the resort. Led by the kind and professional counselors Sam, Jordan, Larissa and DeeDee, our kids participated in fun supervised activities like a scavenger hunt, nature walk, arts and crafts, sports, movie time and more. The Kids Club is a clean, modern and state of the art facility featuring a video game room, foosball, air hockey, ping-pong, a library and art corner. Our daughter designed her own beach hat and made a lei necklace. This program is FREE for kids ages 5-12 years old. That’s right, you heard me correctly.
Four Seasons Ko Olina wants parents to have the time of their lives, so they created this complimentary service for families and it exceeded all of our expectations. We had peace of mind, knowing our kids were having a total blast in a safe and nurturing environment, while we got a few hours to enjoy ourselves. For kids under five like our daughter, the hotel recommended a third party vetted baby-sitting service called Happy Kids. For a nominal fee, we booked a lovely nanny who shadowed our daughter during her time at the Kids Camp. You know it is a winner when our kids were excited to go back to the Kids Camp and hang with their new friends and favorite counselors.
Scott and I worked out at the fitness center which included state of the art machines, free weights and a stretching and yoga area. We used the steam room and sauna in the beautiful Naupaka Spa (another complimentary service) and felt totally relaxed. Plus, we treated ourselves to Warrior Massages (deep tissue) which were heavenly. I also spent some time mediating (and getting design ideas) in the serene Zen garden.
We hung out at the Adult Infinity Pool which was so serene and chill. There’s a swim-up Dr. Mai-Tai bar serving up cocktails and a jacuzzi which overlooks the Pacific Ocean. Every parent we met at the pool was in a great mood and enjoying themselves, all thanks to the incredible Kids Club team.
We’re used to meeting parents who also look totally wiped out on vacation, but on this trip, it was awesome to be surrounded by other Moms & Dads who were getting some much deserved rest and relaxation.
After some down-time, we picked up our happy kids and went to the Keiki Pool for some family swim-time. The pool even has a beach-bottom side which is perfect for toddlers to safely stand and splash around. The kids had some keiki meals for snack time which came with fresh fruit, their entrée and a homemade chocolate-banana pudding. YUM!
One night, we had a fabulous dinner at Mina’s Fish House under the stars. James Beard Award-winning Chef Michael Mina’s spot serves up beach vibes and seafood creations featuring lobster, oysters, mahi mahi and more.
Although, we didn’t partake in the fish, the chef kindly whipped up a delicious vegetarian meal complete with tofu, garlic fried rice, bok choy and broccolini which was so good! Plus, we enjoyed the potato puree and the roasted mushrooms. Our server Andrew took amazing care of our family and we enjoyed the musical stylings of Oahu artist John Helms.
One of the highlights of our stay, was the Ke Kai O Kahiki show. This was a free event the resort hosted in partnership with a local hula halau school. The performers shared Hawaiian legends, sang beautiful melodies and danced multiple numbers in celebration of their culture. The fire dancer’s performance was mind-blowing! He twirled two blazing sticks while flipping around as the crowd cheered.
Our daughter and I joined some other guests onstage to dance with the performers which so much fun. The show concluded with a performance by Hawaiian children showing the traditions being passed down to the next generation. It was a spiritual moment for our family to take in this beautiful expression of Hawaiian culture while sitting in such a protected and peaceful space on the island of Oahu.
On our final night at the resort, we enjoyed dinner at Noe, a gorgeous restaurant which celebrates Southern Italian cuisine with a modern flair. Now, as a couple who got married in Tuscany, we love authentic Italian food and the dishes we had at Noe were some of the best pasta we’ve ever had. Michelin-starred, Japanese-Italian chef Ryo Takatsuka absolutely rocked the flavor-profile of every dish.
We devoured the whipped ricotta with truffle honey on house-made focaccia to start. I enjoyed a pasta from their vegan menu which was simple but divine. It was a generous portion of hand-made spaghetti with garlic, olive oil, sea beans and chopped tomato.
Scott ordered the Noe Signature Tagliatelle with seasonal truffle, mushroom and parmigiana Reggiano which rivaled some of the finest pastas we enjoyed in Italy. One of the standout desserts was the Smore’s Cake brought to celebrate our son’s birthday which was good to the last bite.
We’ve been blessed to travel to some amazing locations, but this stay at Four Seasons Ko Olina is far and away, one of our best family vacations. We were smiling the entire trip and definitely found our joy here. We’re counting the days until we can return!