What this big concrete structure lacks in intimacy, it makes up for with its beautifully manicured grounds, historic sense of place, renovated interiors, and stunning location on Keauhou Bay. Longtime Big Island visitors might remember the hotel as the old Kona Surf. Today it has a beautiful lobby lounge where wine tastings are held each evening. Many rooms have great views of the bay and feel like they're right on the water. Each is decorated in a modern Polynesian style
inspired by renowned Hawaii designer Sig Zane. Those traveling with kids appreciate the pool, one of the coolest on the island, with a slide, waterfalls, and an ocean view. Culture vultures like the historic walking tour with the resort's cultural liaison. A luau, on a grassy lawn with a backdrop of coconut trees, features a live Polynesian show. But perhaps the best part is Rays on the Bay restaurant, which has outstanding food and mantas that glide below the lanai in the glow of a spotlight.
Jul 20, 2007
We stayed during the middle of June 07 and had a great time after a couple of minor setbacks. We received a room overlooking the pool, which was too loud for a napping infant and they gave us a bay view room. It turned out to be very pleasant to look over the bay and up at the volcano with some hot java in the morning. As it turned out the luau at night was right below us, this was acceptable to us and fun for the kids. The pool was awesome
for the kids, and they stayed in for most of the days we were at the hotel. The big slide was fun for kids and the adults. The pool bar food was good, basic beach fare. I was partial to the Kona longboarder, at least one per day while on vacation. We didn't eat dinner at the hotel, but found some good place in Kailua and locally on our own. Hotel staff was very helpful when not busy, and they could answer all my questions, get me my newspapers, more room coffee, more towels, etc. The self parking was a bit far, so consider valet, i ended up getting the car and picking the family up at the lobby. The grounds were nice to walk around, there's a couple of gardens, lots of grass for the kids to play on, manta rays at the bar deck at night, and i even saw a turtle on the rocks. I didn't make it to the spa or workout room, but they looked as nice as any gym/spa, with new machines. They did have pool tables, foosball, ping pong by the smaller pool which helped kill some time while waiting for the others to shower and dress. Although there aren't any beaches like here in california there was awesome snorkeling, more turtles and fish than maui and lanai. Amazing landscapes to see, volcano, waterfalls, old lava flow, rain forests. Now if someone could get me some trojan tix...
May 28, 2007
The hotel was actually NOT on the beach as described on the website and we find this unacceptable ! We have 2 small kids and booked the hotel because we wanted to stay on the beach. We complained with the manager and all we got is "...we are sorry if you were not given the correct information !". We filed a complaint with Starwood and were told that there was a mistake in the description on the website ... how convenient ... Not a great response
from Starwood either ! Some of the romms have been remodeled while others look very tired. Will never go to this hotel again ! Not worthy. The manager has no idea of what "customer service really means !
Nov 17, 2005
We stayed here for 8 days in May. The location of the hotel is excellent. It is just south of downtown Kona and we could drive easily to most places. The hotel site is beautiful - on an old lava flow overlooking the ocean. The hotel was remodeled from an old hotel. They did a great job on the pool which is really awesome, but the old bones of the hotel still show through. We were upgraded to a huge oceanview suite because my husband is a Starwood
Platinum member. We had 2 bathrooms and a large living room w/ plasma TV. It was a good thing we had 2 bathrooms because they were tiny! One sink w/ a small counter. The tub and toilet were in a separate area. Looked like an old motel to me. It will never compete w/ the 4 star hotels in Waikoloa. On the positive side, service was excellent. Everyone was very friendly and attentive. Food was mediocre at best. We ate outside the hotel for most meals. the breakfast buffet never changed and there were limited lunch selections offered at the pool. Since we only paid for a mountain view room (and at the Starwood discount for Platinum members) and had a huge 2 room ocean front suite, we feel the value was excellent.