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Four Seasons Hualalai Dining

k
krb Oct 18, 2006 01:56 PM

We will be at the Four Seasons for a week and don't intend to leave! I'm wondering if the Italian specialty night or the Sand and Stars Buffet at the Beach Tree Grill are worth our time? I'm not usually much of a buffet person...

  1. f
    FoodGroupie Oct 19, 2006 08:51 AM

    Don't eat at the Hualalai Grill. I had a really poor experience there.

    See the bottom of this thread:
    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

    2 Replies
    1. re: FoodGroupie
      susancinsf Oct 19, 2006 04:40 PM

      If you don't eat at the Grille, and you are there a week with no intention of leaving, and you are a Chowhound, you are going to go crazy! Indeed, the same is true if you do eat at the Grille. I love the Four Seasons but even if I could afford a week's stay after three days I'd be jumping out of my skin if I couldn't leave to eat elsewhere.

      1. re: FoodGroupie
        Bill Hunt Oct 20, 2006 06:40 PM

        Interesting. Just 18 mos. ago, we had a most magnificient dinner at Haualalai Grill. The exec. chef was off that night, and the sous chef was determined to serve us everything that he could produce. We had dined at one of the restaurants on the Hilton Waikola property, and our server was the sous chef's brother, so we probably got a bit of special treatment, as he made the reservations for us.

        There wasn't a dish in the entire "tasting menu" that wasn't first rate. From our experience, I'd place Haualalai Grill just below AS's King St., which is saying a lot.

        I suppose that one bad night (or one good one) can make all of the difference in the world.

        We had also done Pahuia, three nights before and gave a slight nod to it, over Hualalai Grill. Some of that nod was probably the setting on the patio at sunset.

        On our next trip to the Big Island, we'll definitely be staying at the Four Seasons, and plan on doing both of these, plus Daniel Thiebaut's, upcountry. As the Wiakoloa Hilton has gotten quite long in the tooth, even all my Hilton points cannot bring me back.

        Hunt

      2. yummyinmytummy Oct 20, 2006 12:17 AM

        The Grille is great, but I agree, after 3 days you will want something simple, like a great big kahula pork burrito, go to Killer Tacos when you go to the movies in town.

        Also I recommend going to Oddles of Noodles...one of hte best places ever.

        There is a Roys at the King Shops down the highway, as well as Merrimans and the Oar House.

        1. s
          scabbardgirl Oct 20, 2006 08:44 PM

          Oodles of Noodles doesn't exist anymore. It is now O's Bistro. Same location. It has some of the noodle dishes still on the menu, but has expanded other offerings. I haven't been there since the change, but I may go Sunday night. With the Ironman tomorrow, driving down to Kona isn't in the cards tonight - too much congestion.

          Daniel Thiebaut's survived the earthquake - didn't eat there, but passed by on the way to the KTA Market and there were 2 busses of people offloading there for lunch.

          1. m
            mrud Oct 20, 2006 08:57 PM

            never reealy liked the buffet nights at hualalai. however, over the course of our 6 visits pahuia was always incredible, if expensive. the grille has changed directions a number of times, but i wouldn't hesitate for a minute to eat there. at very least sit at the bar and try some app's.
            we always found the food outside of the hotel to be decent and certainly cheaper,but to pay the kind of $ hualalai costs it just didn't feel right to leave. especially for roy's!!!!

            never made it to merriman's, that may be worth it but quite a drive at night.

            1. k
              krb Oct 20, 2006 10:02 PM

              Wow, you are all giving us some great information. About how far is Daniel Thiebaut's from the Four Seasons? We won't have a rental car so any trip out of the resort has to meet with right cost of taxi vs. food experience ratio! Thanks!

              3 Replies
              1. re: krb
                Bill Hunt Oct 20, 2006 10:23 PM

                I'd give it a good 40 miles, so I do not think that a taxi would be the way to go. The dining is very good, but true value, without a car would be questionable. It is definitely worth the drive with an auto though.

                There also was a restaurant with a New Orleans/Creole menu in the golf course building at Waiakoloa Village. It was good, but then it's been quit a few years, since I last dined there.

                Though the Roy's in Waiakoloa was not up to the standards, that I remember (when the young lady from New Mexico was the exec. chef), it was still one of the better Roy's locations.

                Hunt

                1. re: krb
                  susancinsf Oct 21, 2006 04:37 AM

                  unless neither of you drive, I think you are making a serious mistake not getting a car for a week on the Big Island, both from a Chow perspective and from a tourist perspective. Rental cars are a lot less expensive than Four Seasons food. But, I think once you get there you will figure it out. Its a beautiful place, but the beach isn't that big (and often is unswimmable, and certainly has no good snorkeling), which can make the place a bit claustraphobic unless you are there only for golf, spa services, and time alone in your room....in which case I doubt if you are focused on the food...

                  As noted, Oodles of noodles isn't there any more. Indeed, I think it has been gone for several years at least.

                  You could check out the luau at the Kona Village Resort. It has been a long time since I've been, but the food was good. You can technically walk there from the Four Seasons along the beach, although I think they might have the connecting section of beach marked off....

                  1. re: susancinsf
                    t
                    torta basilica Oct 22, 2006 05:46 PM

                    You can definitely walk over to Kona Village Resort - give me KVR anyday! Great beach, cute turtles, super friendly staff & fun activities. I also really like their Hale Samoan (if that's the upscale restaurant - I get confused...).

                2. manomin Oct 20, 2006 10:19 PM

                  Well whenever we stay at Mauna Lani or the Four Seasons we always go to Merriman's, the
                  thing is we go right at opening. We even go earlier to shop around the cute stores there.
                  Going right when they open has it's advantages, no possibility of a special running out,
                  more time to chat with server, a dinner worthi savoring can happen versus worrying about
                  the time. Then, the ride back is earlier too which works for us.

                  Thw whole Kona/Kohala area is virtually paralyzed when the Triathon is happening and
                  in my opinion having been there as a volunteer - when not volunteering somewhat of an
                  incovenience for anything but that event.

                  1. s
                    scabbardgirl Oct 21, 2006 08:41 PM

                    I agree with the last 2 posters. Unless you are content to stay within the confines of your resort the entire time, then you must have a rental car. You will miss out on so much, activity and food wise, if you don't have a car.
                    For the Triathalon, well, you just have to plan that day. We don't go to Kailua-Kona Friday night or Saturday. We make plans to spend the morning at the beach at our hotel, then an afternoon of golf there, too. It's a lazy day. The Triathalon doesn't put a crimp into our plans. Tonight, we just decided to stay put at the hotel and eat at the Japanese buffet at the Hanoke Restaurant (at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel). After the bills for Merriman's and Harbor Grill, the $49/pp isn't out of line.

                    1. DebitNM Dec 30, 2006 08:52 PM

                      During our trip to BI in October we had dinner at Pahu i’a at the Four Seasons. It was husband's birthday. We had a table right by the edge, nearest the beach which had large spotlights on it and the ocean was a bit rough so the waves were breaking and foaming while we ate...so pretty. We had excellent service and food, as I had expected. A note – while the entire meal was expensive and we don’t mind paying for good food, I would pass on ordering appetizers. They were very expensive {I had coconut fried shrimp 2 for $20 and DH and Duck spring roll which I think was $18} and while tasty, certainly not worth the money. DH had the moi which was melt in your mouth and I had mac crusted mahimahi which was crispy on top and flaky tender inside. We split a banana trilogy which had Banana Lumpia, Banana Vanilla Chiboust, Banana Cake and Ice Cream and was yummy. Then they brought over some chocolate truffles on a special plate for DH with Happy Birthday written in chocolate on the plate!

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