The arrival of summer always brings a feeling of excitement and possibility. What will you do? Where will you go? What kind of stories will you get to tell when you return home? If you’re currently daydreaming about your next summer getaway, we’re right there with you.
This summer, we’re putting our focus firmly on joy – something the dedicated concierge teams at Four Seasons specialize in. They’re passionate about creating memories that will last a lifetime and making sure your dream getaway becomes a reality. Armed with expert knowledge, these talented Concierges are well-versed in creating custom itineraries, often with thoughtful surprises along the way. Whether it’s a family vacation in Orlando or a milestone celebration in Hualalai, Four Seasons knows how to make each and every stay unique and memorable.
We talked to Concierges at five different resorts about what tailor-made itineraries could look like at their destinations, along with their recommendations for the perfect summer stays.
Home to an alluring mix of natural beauty and outdoor fun, Maui – Hawaii’s second-largest island – is a haven for adventure seekers who appreciate a laid-back lifestyle. From exploring waterfalls and hiking to the summit of Haleakalā to kayaking alongside a pod of dolphins, it’s easy to fill your days with wonder here. “There’s a reason the saying is ‘Maui nō ka ʻoi’ (Maui is the best), and we encourage everyone to get out and discover this very special destination,” says Margaux Pfeiffer, Director of Concierge and Guest Experience at Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea.
From the moment you arrive, you can expect to feel a genuine sense of welcome and the connective spirit of aloha. Pfeiffer recommends stopping by for cocktails and pupu in the Lobby Lounge during the sunset ceremony – which includes hula and live Hawaiian music – before heading to dinner at DUO Steak and Seafood on your first night. “It’s the perfect way to set the mood for your tropical escape,” she says.
Depending on your preferences, the Concierge can arrange for a day of adventure or create a custom itinerary for your entire stay. “Maui is a spectacular destination for summer travel,” says Pfeiffer, “and due to the Resort’s prime location just above Wailea Beach, guests have easy access to a wide range of ocean activities, shopping, golf and restaurants.” Favourites include helicopter tours, hiking trips, snorkelling excursions and surfing lessons.
Rise early and enjoy one of the Resort’s many complimentary cultural offerings, such as the outrigger canoe experience. Then spend the day lounging on the golden sands of Wailea Beach or poolside. Reserve a Luxury Cabana at the adults-only infinity-edge Serenity Pool while the children attend Kids For All Seasons, or choose an Ocean-View Luxury Cabana for a family-friendly option. Enjoy a treatment at the Spa and Wellness Center or visit the Next|Health IV lounge for a vitamin therapy IV drip to ensure you are feeling your best for your vacation. As the day draws to an end, Pfeiffer suggests enjoying a sunset dinner at Ferraro’s Bar e Ristorante, where you’ll find house-made pastas and a menu filled with the island’s freshest ingredients.
Be sure to sign up for the Resort’s newest unforgettable experience, A Wayfinder’s Journey. This private and customizable three-hour catamaran experience celebrates the history of Hawaii’s wayfinding ancestors. First, you’ll enjoy a multi-course meal inspired by canoe plants (the 24 original plants brought to Hawaii by Polynesian voyagers) plus wine pairings, all prepared on board by a Four Seasons chef. Afterwards, you’ll be immersed in a Hawaii stargazing experience that is part storytelling and part astronomy. Your host for the evening is the distinguished navigator Kala Baybayan Tanaka, who uses the stars, swells and other natural elements to guide her, just like her ancestors centuries ago.
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An avid canoe paddler staying at the Resort had mentioned to the Guest Experience Manager that he would love to paddle with a Hawaiian team. When word got to Tyson, a Banquet Attendant, he offered to take the guest out for a paddle with his own canoe team to share his skill and knowledge.
Carve your own path in Maui
Families travel to Orlando for a magical experience, and the team at
Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World® Resort is always on the lookout for opportunities to bring a little extra joy to every stay, whether it’s with a custom-decorated cabana for a recent college graduate or arranging a private meet and greet with a Disney princess.
The thing on everyone’s mind here is, of course, the theme parks, and John Dechmerowski, Concierge Assistant Manager at the Resort, strongly suggests booking a guided Disney VIP Tour through the Disney Planning Center. “We recommend that all our guests use these tours,” he says. “It’s so much easier to navigate through the parks.” VIP Tours need to be booked 60 days in advance, and the on-site team can make all the arrangements for you. Once they know your preferences – like which character your kids are dying to meet or what show you’d like front-row tickets to – they’ll call on your behalf to book experiences as soon as they’re available, leaving one more thing off your travel to-do list. Summertime is actually a great time to visit, notes Dechmerowski, since the crowds are calmer than they are during holiday peak season.
Want to retreat to some Four Seasons–style family fun? The Resort itself is a sprawling 26-acre oasis filled with a variety of amenities and on-site experiences guaranteed to keep guests of all ages smiling. Spend at least a day splashing around the Resort’s 5-acre waterpark – Explorer Island – complete with pools, a lazy river, water slides, splash zone, and a multitude of games and places to hang out together or with new friends.
Explorer Island is also home base for the award-winning Kids For All Seasons program, where kids ages 4–12 can take part in engaging activities, both indoors and out, such as superhero training, crafting, beach games and swimming. Drop them off in the morning and enjoy some quality time together at the adults-only pool, relax at the Spa with a personalized treatment, improve your tennis game with a private lesson, or play a round on the Tom Fazio–designed, 18-hole Tranquilo Golf Course.
For an adults-only evening, you can have the Concierge arrange for a babysitter while you stop by The Lobby Bar for happy hour before heading to dinner at Capa, the Michelin-starred steakhouse perched on the Resort’s 17th floor.
Try the private pizza-making class at Ravello. “These are really a big hit with families,” says Dechmerowski. For larger groups, the team can even arrange for a class in the demo kitchen. The chef will come in and guide you through making your own pizza from scratch, including how to roll the dough, add the toppings and cook it to perfection.
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A young guest was particularly fond of one gelato flavour at Lickety Split. She had it so often that the team renamed the flavour after her for the duration of her stay, written on the chalkboard for all to see. Her face lit up each time she walked into the café.
Create your own magic in Orlando
Surrounded by the white-sand beaches and the black lava landscape of the Kona-Kohala coast, Four Seasons Resort Hualalai offers a unique perspective on what the Big Island has to offer. “Everyone has their own story,” says Chef Concierge Manon Neller, “and our role as Concierges is to provide each guest with a customized itinerary curated specifically for them.” The ties to tradition, nature and island culture are felt everywhere at the Resort – from the daily programming at the Ka‘upulehu Cultural Center to the on-site swimmable aquarium known as King’s Pond – and Neller and his team are well versed in helping you create your own stories, traditions and once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
“Whether it is a first-time guest celebrating a one-year anniversary or a return guest celebrating a 50th anniversary, our aim is to exude love and aloha,” says Neller. In fact, the Resort is known as a favourite Hawaiian destination, one that people flock to time and again. Spend your days filled with a variety of experiences such as playing a round of golf at the Jack Nicklaus signature Hualalai Golf Course, enjoying traditional Hawaiian treatments at the Spa, dining at one of the Resort’s seven restaurants or embarking on a custom ocean adventure.
If you’re in Hawaii to celebrate a milestone, you’re in luck. “We’ll help you celebrate a monumental occasion with an over-the-top experience on or off the Resort,” says Neller. “A helicopter ride to see the most active volcano in the world, a picnic under a waterfall, a romantic dinner under the stars prepared by one of our Resort chefs – nothing’s off the table.” Travelling with a group? The Resort’s villas and specialty suites offer added space and privacy, a dedicated Concierge, and custom inclusions that will tailor your stay even further.
Neller also recommends taking advantage of the Only at Hualalai experiences available exclusively at Four Seasons. These unique curated experiences are offered in partnership with local craftspeople and experts. Meet champion free-diver, spear-fisher and conservationist Kimi Werner for a thrilling free-diving experience; work with third-generation Hawaii Island blacksmith Neil Kamimura to forge your own knife; or join caretaker Justin Lee for a tour of Háloa Áina’s native Hawaiian ‘Iliahi forest on the slopes of Mauna Loa.
Join world champion longboarder Bonga Perkins for the Resort’s wooden surfboard experience. You’ll not only learn about the history and significance of surfing in Hawaii from Perkins, you’ll also shape your very own wooden board and learn how to surf on it. This one-of-a-kind, two-day experience is a must for anyone who’s interested in the sport or the culture, not to mention the incredible souvenir you’ll get to take home.
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To celebrate his wife’s recovery from cancer, a guest wanted to create an unforgettable dinner under the stars. One team member worked hard to make sure everything was perfect, complete with photos all around and an extra-special surprise – an emerald ring hidden in a custom chocolate dome.
Make special a tradition in Hualalai
When describing Four Seasons Resort Seychelles, Director of Guest Relations James Edwards has two words: true paradise. “You are always reminded of the beauty of the little cove we’re nestled in when you look out onto the horizon and see the sprawling sea,” he says. “Surrounded by mango, takamaka and kannel trees, the raw nature of the Seychelles is felt everywhere you go.”
Located just north of Madagascar, Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands comprising white-sand beaches, lush green mountains, coral reefs and granite outcroppings, all largely untouched by humans. Four Seasons has two resorts here, one on Seychelles’ largest island, Mahé, and another on its very own private island, Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island. One amazing way to explore the mountainous forests of Mahé, suggests Edwards, is on foot. Embark with a guide on a journey through the forest, learning more about the abundant variety of locally growing fruits, and stumbling across some incredible views of the island. “Whether you are keen to test your limits with a strenuous trek or simply want a stroll to learn more about the local flora, there is definitely a hike for you,” says Edwards.
Seychelles also offers plenty of ocean adventures. Point your kayak towards the horizon at the best time to view the sun as it sets on Petit Anse Bay. “It’s an absolute must,” Edwards says. Or have the Concierge arrange for a cruise to some of the local islands in the archipelago. With so many islands and experiences to choose from, you can easily make this trip your own. “For those wanting to stay active, there are snorkelling, fishing and stopping off for a bicycle ride on the beautiful island of La Digue,” says Edwards. “Otherwise, you can visit Praslin Island and the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve – home of the indigenous Coco de Mer – relax on a beautiful beach or take in the sunshine from the cruise itself.”
Back at Four Seasons Resort Seychelles, reconnect with your mind, body and spirit at Le Syel Spa’s Konekte Shack. Here, the expert team can help you deepen your meditation practice, rebalance your energy and even create your own body scrub with natural ingredients such as cinnamon (known here as kannel) that’s harvested and dried on-site. “The team will help you make the perfect scrub for you, using butter, oils or soaps,” Edwards says.
Sink your teeth into the Castaway All-Inclusive Package at Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island. As you explore the island paradise that surrounds you, this brand-new offering lets you discover the flavours of the Mediterranean Riviera, Japanese izakaya, and, of course, the fresh seafood found at the Resort’s six restaurants and bars with all-inclusive food and beverages.
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A guest visiting for her birthday was eager to taste local exotic fruits. The team organized a surprise tour around the Resort grounds so she could select the fruit she’d like to try. When she returned to her villa, a basket of her selections was waiting for her, followed by a custom fruit-themed birthday cake.
Uncover paradise in the Seychelles
“When it comes to nature, you are really investing in the future,” says Aidi Abdullah, Senior Naturalist at Four Seasons Resort Langkawi. Located within the Langkawi UNESCO Global Geopark, the beachfront Resort is a gateway to the natural wonders of Southeast Asia. Here, you’ll have the chance to connect with the on-site team of experts who are passionate about the environment. They’ll show off the region’s unique flora and fauna as well as the diverse habitats ranging from rainforest and mangroves to ancient salt-water lakes and towering sea stacks.
The Resort’s Geopark Discovery Centre is an excellent place to start. Stop by for one of the regularly scheduled nature talks or peruse the interactive exhibits at your own pace to get a sense of the local ecosystem. When you’re ready to experience it all first hand, Abdullah recommends taking in Langkawi’s inland beauty on a guided bicycle tour. Ride past traditional villages with stilted wooden houses and keep an eye out for water buffalo lounging in the mud. Tours can be fully customized to your preferences and activity level. Plan a stop at a nearby waterfall for a picnic lunch or opt for a ride through lush paddy fields with the mountains as your backdrop – whatever route you choose, the scenery is guaranteed to inspire.
Once you’ve explored the land, it’s time to set off on a seafaring adventure. Tour the three islands located in the Resort’s bay on a private Bay Cruise, or head to Pulau Payar Marine Park for a snorkelling excursion in the park’s crystal-clear waters. For a truly unforgettable evening, the Resort can arrange for an intimate sunset charter around the southern archipelago, complete with champagne and light bites. Fishing is also a huge part of the local culture in Langkawai, and the Resort offers a variety of ways to take part. Catch sea bass, grouper and trevally from your perch on one of the sheltered islands in the southern part of the archipelago, or try your line on the northern side at the tip of the Resort’s beach. At the end of the day, return to your villa and enjoy a barbecue feast with your very own catch on the menu.
In Langkawi, the deep connection with the surrounding world also inspires the urge to look inward. Head to the Geo Spa for their Elemental Balance ritual, a custom three-part program that’s designed to bring your mind, body and spirit into a state of harmony. You can also take your pick from the variety of signature treatments inspired by 5,000 years of Ayurvedic knowledge.
The Mangroves and Eagles Safari gives you a front-row seat to one of the most unique ecosystems on the planet. Get to know the incredible variety of natural wonders as you glide amid 550 million–year-old cliffs and tangled mangroves. Venture into Kilim Karst Geoforest Park as a naturalist leads you to close encounters with exotic animals and Malaysia’s most ancient geological formations. Let the naturalist know which creatures you’re hoping to see and they’ll be happy to customize the route for you.
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The Adventure Team curated a special experience for a young family interested in the local culture. They spent an afternoon at the Resort’s Rumah Ikan Fish House fishing with a local fisherman, playing traditional games like chongkak and enjoying snacks inspired by the childhood favourites of a Resort chef.
Explore a geopark in Langkawi
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Where will you find yourself this summer?