A Photographer’s Journey Through Hawaii
Explore the Hawaiian Islands Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts call home through the lens of Rich Stapleton, photographer and creative director of CEREAL
THE BIG ISLAND
Four Seasons Resort Hualalai is set on Hawaii Island’s Kona Coast, renowned for its wild beauty. “I was captivated by the black lava rock formations, active volcanoes, rugged coastline fringed with palms and the waves that continuously roll in and out,” says photographer and creative director of CEREAL Magazine, Rich Stapleton. The Resort captures the island’s unique elements, from architectural details including a pool carved from lava rock to cooking classes featuring indigenous ingredients. Visitors will also discover a welcoming staff including local treasure “Uncle” Earl Kamakaonaona Regidor, Manager of the Ka’upulehu Cultural Center. “When we met, he was teaching a little girl to play ‘Itsy Bitsy Spider’ on the ukulele,” Stapleton says.
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“Lanai has a relaxed charm to it,” says Stapleton. “It also has incredibly diverse scenery despite being one of the smallest Hawaiian islands. There’s the lush greenery around the coast and then, as you move inland, rugged, rocky areas like Keahiakawelo that feel otherworldly.” Four Seasons Resort Lanai sits on the island’s unspoiled southeastern shore, incorporating its natural surroundings into both its design and unique adventure activities: snorkeling in Hulopoe Bay, scuba diving to the Cathedrals – two underwater caves formed by lava flows and teeming with sea life – or exploring the island by UTV, via helicopter or on horseback. “Our guide on the horseback ride led us to a plateau from where we could look out across the entire island. It was awe inspiring.”
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“To me Maui is classic, postcard Hawaii,” says Stapleton. “Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea has gorgeous pools that look out over the water, airy cabanas perfect for lazing the day away in, pink sunsets, and the golden sand on Wailea Beach. As a photographer, it’s particularly fun to shoot as there are palm trees everywhere that frame shots and filter the light in pretty ways, and gorgeous mountains rising up in the background. And the light changes constantly, so you’ll see colors moving through the clouds that make them glowing and majestic.” Visitors can also take in the Maui scenery from the vantage point of the Pacific, with ocean activities like whale watching, stand-up paddleboarding, surfing, and private outrigger canoe tours.
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“Oahu is home to the state’s capital city and is by far the most urbanized island,” Stapleton says. “The contemporary architecture of Four Seasons Resort O’ahu at Ko Olina captures the modern vibe of Oahu while also highlighting its distinct natural elements – the blue and gold colors found throughout the décor reflect the the sea and sand surrounding the Resort. I particularly love the infinity pool, designed with drop offs around the edge that really accentuate the light and a view of the ocean, where the sunsets seem to last forever because you can see out so far into the horizon.”