Glass steps into a place of Joy at Four Seasons Resort Oahu, Hawaii

WE’VE arrived in Oahu, Hawaii’s most populous island and home to its largest city, Honolulu. This archipelago is the most northern in the Polynesian region and one of the most ecologically diverse places in the world.

My husband and I are staying at Four Seasons Resort Oahu on the rugged western shore of the island, a 30-minute drive from the capital, in the tranquil suburb of Ko Olina, which is Hawaiian for “place of joy”. As we step out of our taxi, the bellboys place floral leis around our necks, marking our arrival into paradise.

Resort at Ko Olina, Hawaii

This resort in the Aloha State sits beside a picture-perfect palm-fringed lagoon, surrounded by manicured grounds filled with a kaleidoscope of flora. Two family-friendly pools and one expansive adult-only infinity pool lead down onto a bleached sandy beach. Our favourite spot is under a gargantuan umbrella by the infinity pool, from where it seems as if the pool flows directly into the Pacific. We’re pampered throughout the day by the casual-attired poolside team, who serve icy drinks to keep us hydrated and provide SPF to ensure we’re protected from the rays.

Infinity Pool

The white-washed interior of the hotel is as bright as the omnipresent sunshine outside, with an expansive atrium reflecting the size of the property, comprising 371 rooms and suites across various categories. Our room feels airy and is decorated in neutral shades with pops of green, thanks to the palm-printed scatter cushions.  As dusk falls, we savour the unforgettable view from our balcony of the crimson sun setting over the ocean’s horizon.

Before dinner I experience utter indulgence cocooned in an oceanfront cabana with a Hale Lomilomi (loving hands) massage. Originally developed by Polynesian settlers who utilised local nut oils combined with relaxing breathing techniques for a therapeutic treatment, it helped me to drift off into a deep sleep, accompanied by the sound of the lapping waves.

One morning after an à la carte breakfast, we tear ourselves away from the resort to visit the historic memorial exhibition site at Pearl Harbour. It commemorates the surprise two-hour attack on December 7, 1941 by the Japanese Naval Air Service upon the USA, which led to the United States formally entering into WW2.


We then head to Honolulu to check out the Iolani Palace, the former residence of the Hawaiian Royal family, the only royal palace on American soil. Next stop is the tourist-y Waikiki Beach, where we meander along the promenade, passing the statue of swimmer Duke Kahanamoku, the first Hawaiian Olympiad, who also established Hawaii as the birthplace of surfing.

Back at the Four Seasons, we dine al fresco at Mina’s Fish House. This decked beachfront seafood restaurant is a collaboration between the Four Seasons and the award-winning chef Michael Mina. We have our first ever encounter with one of the world’s only fish sommeliers, the towering Hawaiian native Ryan Houser. With 75 species of edible fish in Hawaii, the guests need his expertise to guide them towards their perfect choice for their palate.

Aerial View

The following evening we’re immersed beside the dimly lit gardens to dine al fresco at Noe, the resort’s romantic restaurant, with Michelin-starred Japanese-Italian Ryo Takatsuka at the helm. The menu features standout Italian plates of seafood, meats and pillow-soft homemade pastas, which we accompany with a few glasses of chilled wine from Noe’s exclusive label.

On our final evening we join a rooftop yoga class to meditate in the warm stillness of the night. We gaze at the clearest moon and the most star-filled sky we’ve ever witnessed – this resort is where dreams become reality.

by Amanda Bernstein

Rates at Four Seasons Resort Oahu start at $895 excluding taxes.