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Sophie Elkus

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Four Seasons Hualalai

Vitamin A & L Space bikinis, Vitamin A romper, Vix dress, D'Blanc sunglasses, Yestadt Millinery hat

People come from all over the world to visit the shores of Kona-Kohala and I can see why.

The natural beauty of Hawaii is just hard to beat. Vibrant, pink-orange sunsets, turquoise water against black lava rock, and an insanely clear night sky full of stars. I was lucky enough to discover this part of the big island with Bollare and The Four Seasons Hualalai, and work with some amazing swimwear brands that were perfect for the destination. For three days, I joined a fun group (including Jill and Francis in my photos here) for snorkeling and whale watching, shooting and a whole lot of eating.

When I found out I’d be staying at the dreamy Four Seasons property, I was expecting something spectacular, but photos don’t do it justice. The hotel is expansive (I’d repeatedly get lost walking to dinner) but there are few wide open areas which make your stay feel secluded and private. At each turn you’re met with another gorgeous nook or view. The architecture feels very true to traditional Hawaiian style yet in tune with every modern luxury the iconic hotel is known for. My favorite place we shot was the famous King’s Pond, a big fresh/saltwater pool built into lava rock that is filled with four thousand fish (and an eagle ray!) freely swimming about. The pool is filled through small subterranean channels.  I don’t think you can get any closer to swimming in the ocean without actually doing so – and covered by lush trees, it feels like you’re in a tropical jungle.

I’d go to bed every night pretty pumped for breakfast in the morning – the food is easily one of the best parts of the hotel. A menu of freshly squeezed juices and sweet pastries, and I loved how the room service staff would come take a toaster out of your bedroom closet then toast your bread outside on the balcony (is there an outlet out there just for this?! They think of everything).  Jill and I ordered room service our last morning and ate outside, which was going pretty well until we went inside to change and returned to a massive cluster of confident birds going to town on our food… at least we got the shot 😉 Dinners were fresh sushi (some of the BEST, freshest fish I’ve ever had) and we didn’t leave a meal without at least one round of dessert. It was an ongoing joke that we were here to wear and shoot so many bikinis, yet everyone was also on some kind of crazed last supper marathon food tour… you can’t help it when the food is this good.

Bikinis and coverups for the trip were lightweight and colorful, like this silky tie-dye romper and red ikat maxi dress. You can’t not wear a tropical Hawaiian print against scenery like this – I loved this lavender print. I kept it simple and wore minimal jewelry and my round frame sunglasses every day.

Did we nail the towel shot vision? I initially wasn’t so confident in my towel-tying abilities but I loved how these group photos came out. I had so much fun with these girls!

If you couldn’t tell from past posts this summer, off-the-shoulder is a style I’m not letting go of for a while.  This navy ruffle bikini comes in several other colors and is so comfortable to wear (some off-the-shoulder bikinis are not, and who wants to be tugging at their shoulders all day). It’s a great option for petite frames since the ruffles add some oomph to a smaller chest, but it’s also flattering and flirty for those who want some more coverage at the pool. Obviously not the suit of choice if you’re planning on some serious water activity, but for the cocktail and chill crowd, ideal. I wore this high-neck bikini on our boating day when I knew I’d be swimming, jumping and snorkeling. It’s perfect for an active day and the lace up top shows enough skin to feel more sexy bikini and less wetsuit.

The trip went by in a flash and I’m so grateful to have been a part of it. Thank you to the Four Seasons and Bollare for hosting such a fun adventure – I’m hooked on Hawaii and can’t wait to be back. Find all my outfits in the Shop the Style bar below, and for anyone planning a trip, feel free to reach out!

 

Photography by Megan Spelman
Vitamin A & L Space bikinis, Vitamin A romper, Vix dress, D’Blanc sunglasses, Yestadt Millinery hat

 

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