On the Big Island, Hualalai Resort combines classic, local flair with the elegance of a luxury residential resort. by David Eisen
The Gold Coast of the Big Island of Hawaii gets its sobriquet from the lavish luxury resorts and getaways that dot the craggy landscape. One such is Hualalai Resort on the North Kohala Coast.
Homes and villas here—all typified by the local Hawaiian architecture style of kauhale—have views of the Jack Nicklaus-designed championship golf course and Pacific Ocean. Residents of Hualalai Resort share in the services and amenities provided at the adjacent Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, including use of its restaurants, beachfront cabanas, and four swimming pools. There is also the private 18-hole Ke’olu Golf Course, a Tom Weiskopf design open to Hualalai Club members only, and the newly renovated spa and fitness center, offering full spa facilities and treatments in an indoor/outdoor environment. The club also has an 82-foot lap pool, basketball and tennis courts, a rock climbing wall, and a 2,200-square-foot gym.
Another welcomed service: the residential concierge, which can handle everything from arranging housekeeping and grocery shopping to booking tee times, island tours, and dinner reservations.
It’s these services and amenities that make Hualalai Resort such an appealing investment opportunity. Another reason? Try the weather, says Rob Kildow, director of sales for Hualalai Realty. “Buyers know that, regardless of time of year or other commitments they have elsewhere, the weather will always be great here,” he says. “Buyers are looking for a sure bet, a safe harbor, and Hualalai Resort has demonstrated [that].” Kildow also points out the sense of ohana, or community, that is a constant thread through the resort and contributes to a very fulfilling lifestyle.
In total, there are 14 neighborhoods here, and Kildow says 23 properties are currently listed. The three-bedroom/three-bathroom villas average 2,500 square feet of enclosed space, plus lanais that offer additional outdoor living space. Homes at Hualalai start at $4.8 million; villas from $1.5 million.
Hualalai’s continued success reflects buyers’ confidence in the significant investments made, which include an extensive $40 million resort-wide enhancement. That, too, is why many from the mainland are making Huallai their second home.
“The resort has always looked attractive for buyers of second homes, and now is no different,” Kildow says. “During the downturn, our prices held up better than [most], as we had very few sellers. The net result of that decision was that the pricing of our sold homes over the last three years has been from $286 to $500 per square foot more than our competition.”
Hualalai also made the decision to pare down its inventory this year by 35 percent, which has had a significant influence on pricing. “As inventory levels continue to shrink,” Kildow says, “prices will continue to rise.”