Rounding the World – Day 37: Oahu, Hawaii (day 4 0f 7)…

The Hawaiian sunrise shined it’s oranges and yellows into the hotel room and it was time to begin the day. The Four Seasons includes an espresso machine in each of the rooms which combined with the fluffy soft robes and expansive balcony, was the perfect way to start the morning. The light breeze blowing up from the ocean and the sound of the waves just below us. Ko Olina is pure heaven, no question.

We made our way down the elevator to the lobby and through the open air staircase past the breakfast buffet, around the circular pool, down the stairs thru the outdoor lounge and past the kiddie pool (that has real sand in one section), and onto the lawn. The ocean lapping on the volcanic rocks just on the other side of the palm trees, we settled on the yoga mats for the daily 7am class. Luckily the resort caters to all experience levels as each time I do yoga my body reacts as though it’s the first time.

The breakfast buffet was the perfect reward after the morning yoga. With views of the circular pool and beach just beyond, the eating area is open air with beautiful walnut (or walnut looking) tables. There is anything and everything you could possible want to eat – waffles, omelets, benedicts, bacon, fruit, salad, Chinese food, yogurts, etc. I have no good reason for it, but when it comes to nice breakfast buffets I take it on like I’m preparing for hibernation. The goal to eat one of everything. Stuffed to the gills, we wobbled out both proud and disgusted by the amount we consumed.

It was my friends first time in Hawaii so a snorkeling adventure in the deep ocean to swim with turtles and dolphins was a must. With my immense fear of sharks, I elected to take point at the resort checking out everything available. My first task – lay by the beach. There are four coves in Ko Olina, the one the Four Seasons sits on is also shared with the Disney resort. They’ve partitioned the beach section though the water area is combined. Checking in at the beach hostess stand, they walked me to my seat, placed a fuzzy cover over the chair, gave me a towel, and a glass of ice water before putting my umbrella up. The sun in Hawaii is intense.

The waves this week were more active than normal with swells as high as 18 feet in the North Shore and 2-4 feet in Ko Olina. Though the reef just outside the cove protects it from getting too much wave activity, which is perfect for me. The beach was crowded with guests on almost every chair. We heard it’s illegal to own beaches in Oahu so every beach is public, allowing the locals to come and lay their towels down joining the resort beach area. Ko Olina is one of the better beaches in that part of the island so attracts a fair number of non-resort visitors.

After a few hours of gazing into the deep blue ocean pondering the meaning of life, I decided to take a quick dip in the adult infinity pool and hot tub. The adult pool is behind a beautiful wood opening with it’s own service desk. For $700+ per day they have beach cabanas for rent that include food, drink, suntan lotion, and a private pool front room behind curtains. The pool was a dark stone with an infinity edge overlooking the lawn followed by palm trees followed by ocean. As the water slid off the edge it fell into a rock drain below creating the sounds of a mini waterfall. The water temperature was comfortable and there was plenty of room to swim.

Just on the other side of the pool is the adult hot tub, which was quite sizable. At first the water was pretty toasty but after awhile it’s easy to adjust. Back out on the beach in my ocean front chair, I ordered two mahi mahi tacos and a mai tai. Happiness! The food at the Four Seasons is absolutely delicious and the staff are unbelievably accommodating and attentive. The couple next to me had a baby and the hotel brought out a little playpen for them to use on the beach. How cool is that.

Before I knew it the sun was starting to make it’s way to the west and it was time to head back to the room to tidy up from the beach. My friend returned and we enjoyed a leisurely afternoon on the balcony enjoying the absolute beauty before us. Looking at the hotel’s iPad we reviewed the menus of each of the onsite restaurants and decided tonight we would try the Fish House. We were able to book a table on Open Table (1,000pt – woohoo!) which was pretty cool.

Turns out the turtle and dolphin snorkeling didn’t give them a chance to actually snorkel with the animals. Their first stop they snorkeled with various fishes, though the turtles were only seen from the boat and the splashing of everyone’s flippers scared the dolphins away. Still a good experience to see some of Hawaii. We wondered if the Sandbar would have been better though there weren’t any tours from Ko Olina given it’s on the other side of the island. The Sandbar is a white stretch of sand about a mile from shore surrounded by the most beautiful clear blue water I’ve ever seen. It makes the Caribbean jealous and is certainly exponentially nicer than any water I’ve seen elsewhere in the Hawaiian islands.

The Four Seasons has only been open since May, in it’s former life it was the JW Marriott and one of my favorite go-to hotels. The Fish House is their mid-tier restaurant focused on seafood and took the place of the prior sushi restaurant. They blew out the wall and created a multilevel open air section on a beautiful wood deck with tiki lamps and fire pits. Very nicely done. I had the duck fried rice and although it sounds pretty boring, it was surprisingly quite delicious. My friend had one of the local white fishes which was also good.

After a perfect day of relaxing at the beach in pampered luxury, we opened the balcony closing only the screens and listened to the ocean as we fell asleep.



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