By Allison Schaefers
Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina is ramping up hiring with the hopes of having 750 employees on staff by an anticipated May 27 opening.
Sanjiv Hulugalle, general manager of Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina, said transformation of the resort from the former J.W. Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa into the first Four Seasons on Oahu is nearly complete. The Ihilani, which was the first hotel built at the Ko Olina Resort, closed in January 2015 to make way for renovations and its re-branding as a Four Seasons. About 500 workers lost their jobs.
“We are anxiously counting down the days to our opening,” Hulugalle said. “Today there are somewhere between 550 and 600 construction workers on-site working seven days a week. We are very much on track for our May debut.”
The Four Seasons will open with 371 ocean and lagoon rooms and suites. The resort has added three pools for a total of four complex pools, including family-friendly and adults-only facilities. Six new restaurants and and lounges are under development. A spa and fitness center have been expanded. Jim Courier, a former No. 1 tennis player who won multiple Grand Slam titles, will operate a tennis academy, which will be open to the community and guests. The resort’s top-tier guests may also have access to the resort’s 75-foot-yacht, private jet and helicopter service.
“The former Ihilani was a beautiful resort. We couldn’t have asked for a better location. Now we are working on making it even more magical. We are in full flight, and the coast is clear for a landing,” Hulugalle said. “We began taking reservations in September due to overwhelming interest. It’s been very encouraging to see the demand.”
Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina
When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 26 and 8 a.m to 1 p.m. Feb. 27
Where: University of Hawaii West Oahu, 91-1001 Farrington Highway, Kapolei
How: Apply online for posted openings at jobs.fourseasons.com
Now that the resort is nearing completion, Hulugalle said the focus is on finding the right mix of employees. The resort, in partnership with Honolulu City Councilwoman Kymberly Pine’s Hire Leeward initiative and the Kapolei Chamber of Commerce, will host a career fair Feb. 26-27 at the University of Hawaii West Oahu. Four Seasons is expected to hire employees for a range of hospitality positions, including culinary, engineering, front desk, housekeeping, pool, recreation, restaurant, security and spa. Applicants who apply online at jobs.fourseasons.com will be eligible to schedule career fair interviews.
“We have a team of 30 employees already on-site and are looking to expand rapidly. We have already held a career fair for former employees of the J.W. Marriott Ihilani, and we are getting ready to hold our first public career fair, which will be the first of many. Even after opening we will continue to grow our talent base,” Hulugalle said. “Obviously, we believe our greatest asset and the success of our property rests with its people. The team will play an integral part in shaping the guest experience and will be the seed of all the success that we experience for Four Seasons on Oahu.”
Hulugalle said the company likes to promote and develop employees from within the organization. However, local hires will fill the bulk of the Ko Olina positions. Hulugalle said the company wants isle residents to help create a local sense of place that distinguishes the resort from other luxury properties.
“The Hire Leeward initiative is all about connecting Leeward residents with Leeward jobs,” said Pine. “The Four Seasons hotel has made a serious commitment to hire as many Leeward residents as they can. They have already hired many Leeward residents who were working in Waikiki. These residents are happy to have their life back now that they are not fighting traffic three hours a day. I encourage any hardworking resident to apply whether they have hotel experience or not as the Four Seasons has made it very clear that they are hiring by attitude first.”
Hulugalle, who just celebrated his 20th anniversary with Four Seasons, said the company also offers tremendous career opportunities.
“I started as a health club supervisor and have been globe-trotting ever since,” Hullugale said. “In addition to the pride that comes from working at Four Seasons, the company offers medical, paid time off and much more. One of the most popular perks is that all employees annually get a group of complimentary room nights that they can use at any Four Seasons anywhere in the world. You save a lot of money on family vacations, that’s for sure.”
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