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Big Island Hotels

Royal Kona Resort

  • 75-5852 Alii Dr. Map It
  • Practical Base

Pros

  • Convenient location
  • Waterfront pool
  • Low prices

Cons

  • Can be crowded
  • Parking is tight

Updated 01/06/2014

Fodor's Review

This is a great option if you're on a budget—the location is central; the bar, lounge, pool, and restaurant are right on the water; and the rooms feature contemporary Hawaiian decor with Polynesian accents. The hotel is adjacent to numerous shops and restaurants in the heart of Kailua Village. A luau with Polynesian entertainment (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday) is fun and quite popular, and the Lotus Center spa offers massage, facials, and chiropractic, plus

there's a fitness room on-site. Don the Beachcomber and Don's Mai Tai Bar (check out the restaurant's classic South Pacific architecture and authentic tiki decor) unveil incredible views of Kailua Bay.

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Hotel Information

Address:

75-5852 Alii Dr., Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, 96740, United States

Map It

Phone:

808-329–3111; 800-222–5642

Hotel Details:

  • Credit cards accepted
  • 436 rooms, 8 suites
  • No meals

Updated 01/06/2014

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Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating

By liesa

  • Service

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Oct 9, 2014

"What a View"

My sister and I spent 10 amazing day's. It couldn't have been any nicer. Our room was a corner king. Clean! We didn't stay in our room much. My sister did a lot of dry land tours. I spent most of my days being adventuress in the ocean. Never a dull moment !!! The food and booze was great.. I didn't want to leave.

By Palani

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Oct 17, 2007

The Best of everything!

The Royal Kona Resort has the Best location, the Best food and drink at Don the Beachcomber Tiki Grill and Don's Mai Tai Bar, the Best little private lagoon, the Best People (Everyone has been very helpful and kind each of our 3 visits),The Best Luau, and the Best Sunsets you've ever seen. I recommend the Royal Kona to all our family and friends for their visits to the Big Island.

By boge

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Apr 25, 2007

Clean and convenient

We just returned from Hawaii. We found the Royal Kona Resortto be a very pleasant experience. We checked in late at night. We found the staff to be very pleasant and helpful. We were in the Ali'i Tower. The room has been redecorated and found it to be very nice. The bathroom could have been cleaner. The shower had gunk on the walls and we had to wipe the top of the toilet off. Refrigerator had sticky stains on the door shelves. Otherwise

the room was clean. A microwave in the room would have been nice. The renovations are not complete but what has been done looks very nice. The Bay Tower is in the process. New flooring in the reception, bar and lanai area is about done and looks very good. Close to lots of restaurants and shops. Which is handy as I thought the prices at the on property restaurant to be a little pricey. Parking is available for $10 a night. Off premise parking is hard to find. I would stay again and would recommend it for those on a budget.

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By Harry

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Aug 7, 2006

No catchy headline

We found it perfectly ok. Nothing special, pool is small and the lagoon is only worth visiting when tide is up. The restaurant was good, service was friendly, the room was nice and clean.

By Robert

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  • Value

Jan 28, 2006

Spirit of Aloha ~ missing at the Kona

My stay of 26 Dec'05-01 Jan '06 ~ It hasn't changed any from the report posted by Beth Bernat. The little beach area was awash with flotsam and jetsam as well as closed and padlocked. We checked in at about 1 am. Desk clerk was grouchy. Bar service was the same as mentioned, SLOW... I had to hunt down the waitress, tell her what we wanted, wait for that to arrive,and then wait for our change. When it appeared we we forgotten, my wife chased the waitress

down again! and retreived our change. The story of the place undergoing renovation seems to be a lame excuse because it was still in the same condition a year later as decsribed by Ms Bernat from her 2004 trip. Will we ever stay there again ? NO!

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By Beth

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Jul 20, 2005

Don't Believe the picutures!!!!

From our trip Dec 2004: I could go on and on, but hands down this is one of the worst hotels I have ever stayed at! MOLD MOLD MOLD!! Don't go if you have allergies! There is no beach, don't believe their pics and claims of a lagoon. There is a lagoon, that is only open periodically and its TINY! The food was good, the cleaning staff nice. The front desk staff was RUDE! The luau was ok, not as good as at their sister hotel on Maui (by the way

a great hotel, apparently a very distant relation to Royal Kona). Service at the restaurant was good, but in the bar area EXTREMELY SLOW! We would have changed hotels, but at Christmas time that is not an option. I don't know if the other hotels downtown are any better, but I would think twice about staying here. They say they are renovating, but I didn't see any signs of that. What did I get when I complained 2 free nights to be used by the end of 2005 - doesn't do me any good. Since that was their only response to the horrible accomodations my family endured (we had 4 rooms and all were bad) I definitely can't recommend them. Please think long and hard before you decide to stay here!!!

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By Dina

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Jul 5, 2005

Royal Kona Was Nice

My visit to the Royal Kona Resort was my first ever to Hawaii, and I have nothing but great memories! It's a little Outdated, It's OLDER. But The room was fine, with a great view of the Ocean/Bay. We watched ManaRays dance at night in the lights from Huggos' Restaurant ( Don't miss out on Huggos! It's a MUST!!) The Lanai was great! The Pool was nice but VERY small, and no BEACH nearby--Hapuna Beach at least 40min. drive but worth the drive! The Food

was good, the Buffett, was a Buffett nothing to RAVE about. But the Burgers at the lounge, TO DIE FOR! Peolpe were friendly and Helpful. It was a nice place to stay IN the Center of town. If you want Upscale, this is not the place. If you want comfort OLD Hawaiian, You get it here.

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By Frank

  • Service

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Jul 8, 2004

Wonderful place to stay, check it out...

My Wife and I just returned from celebrating our 30th Anniversary on the Big Island. We chose to stay at the Royal Kona Resort and are very happy we did! You can't beat the view and sunsets from the Lanai. We highly recommend the buffets both breakfast and dinner. RKR is close to everything, restaurants and shops or just a short lovely walk. The grounds were very well kept and there is a private lagoon where turtles enter around dusk. We even

saw manta rays feeding just off the reef right in front of our room. The staff was very helpful and kind. We spent 8 nights there and experienced as much of the island (both sides, north, and south)as possible, we can't wait to get back to Kailua-Kona and we'll be staying at the Royal Kona Resort, truly a great value.

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By Denny

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Feb 16, 2003

Royal Rundown

We didn't think anything could ruin a vacation to Hawaii, buth then we stayed at the Royal Kona. Rundown and outdated are understatements. This hotel is worn-out. We changed rooms and that didn't help. We would not stay here again if they paid us!

By Martin

  • Service

  • Food

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  • Value

Jan 23, 2003

What do you want for $85?

We paid $85 a night for two nights in December. We had read all of the reviews and were even ready with another reservation if it was a dump. I'm not sure what all of the previous reviews expected. Perhaps they paid a great deal more. My wife travels extensively on the mainland and pays more for less. The "renovation" seemed to include new carpet and furnishings, all of which were very nice and new looking. But the small stains here and there

on the ceiling and bathroom tile indicated it was not a thorough renovation. Nonetheless, the room was clean and large with no odor and a beautiful view of the bay. The lanai was very nice and the grounds well-kept. The location is excellent if you want to be in the heart of the action on Ali'i Drive. Service was very friendly: We split our two nights with a night at Volcano in between, and our luggage was stored for free. This was our third trip to the Big Island. We try to save money and stay close to the airport for our arrival day and sightseeing so we can splurge at The Four Seasons for the rest of the trip. The Royal Kona was the best affordable hotel choice we've found yet for that purpose. I just don't think you can expect a resort at that price. So it seems unrealistic to complain about a nicely situated, clean room with a lanai overlooking the ocean and brand new furnishings, doesn't it? We'll stay again for sure.

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By Jeff

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Nov 15, 2002

Lackluster but Adequate-Great Location

Just returned from honeymoon and spent 4 of our nights at the Royal Kona Resort. I had read numerous reviews regarding this hotel and was nervous about what we would find. We were very pleased considering the cost for a room compared to most other places on the Big Island. This hotel is in a great location and makes it easy to access numerous activities. The hotel staff treated us very well, upgraded us to an oceanfront room in the Beach building

and sent up a bottle of wine. The breakfast buffet was great at a reasonable price for Hawaii. The room was rather lackluster I will admit but the bed was clean, the bathroom was clean and the "slight" musty smell disappeared after having the fresh ocean trade winds in for a few hours. We actually slept better hear than at the Hapuna Prince Hotel (which costs 2-3 times as much) due to the ocean sounds you get at the Royal Kona but barely get at the Prince Hotel. If you want a hotel with numerous amenities and big, fancy rooms - go to Kohola and spend big money but if you want an adequate room with good value for Hawaii and a great location the Royal Kona is the place to go.

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By Myra

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Jan 26, 2002

The Royal Kona has returned Royally.

We stayed there last summer (first time since 1993) and we were disappointed. Since then they have renovated the entire hotel. Our daughter and son-in-law "risked" staying there at the beginning of January and they were delighted. Their room was terrific, all the public areas have been redone, and the service was good. I am glad to report this.

By David

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Dec 28, 2001

Might be improving????

Have been there numerous times over the last few year. Has definitly gone downhill. HOWEVER, just read that they are completly refurbishing all of the rooms by 1/31/02. Will check it out this February.

By Dona

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Jul 5, 2001

a Grand old Lady from a bygone era!

We stayed 10 days at the Royal Kona in June 2001.. Location is excellent. Convenient to town and all the shops and restaurants.Service at the desk in the lobby is definately"on island time". Our room in the Village building was clean, and the maid service was good.A renovation should be done,to update the carpet,lighting fixtures and the bathrooms.We found no bugs,as previous posters.Food in the Tropics restaurant wasexcellent.The buffets presentation

and quality of food was superb.We found service to be very good. We had no problems with extras on our final billing. The pool was small but nice,very few people used it.The view from our lanai was stunning.I got some really good sunset shots. The room did a a slight musty odour,i think this is due to the type of air conditioning system they use.We thought the grounds looked very lovely.For the 100.00US per night price, this was a bargain for us Canadians.We came to Hawaii to see the flora,fauna and meet the local people-we were not in the room except to sleep.We feel the value was very good.We met lots of wonderful people from all over the country!

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By Janice

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Jun 28, 2001

Sad Goodbye to Hawaii

We weren't absolutely crazy about Hawaii in general. Overall The Big Island was our favourite. But when the last day at the Royal Kona Resort, we asked to keep our room for a few hours more and they charged us $90 U.S. (we are Canadians) we felt really ripped off. The hotel was almost empty and of course they didn't have to make up the room. The worst is that I keep very close tabs on any bar drinks I sign for. We had a package with $150. bar

allowance and wanted to make sure we used it all (and that's all). The drinks were quite expensive. I wrote down every one and when I signed it was bang on. Almost a month after we got home we got a letter with no copy of a bill that said another room had been charged with two mai tais and had refused the bill because they weren't theirs. They determined that these were our drinks (not unless we had already been charged for someone elses' drinks). They put the charge through on our visa without the courtesy of even enclosing the bill. $12 U.S. ($18. Cdn) My husband wanted me to write and complain but I didn't. I will never ever go back to Hawaii. Never felt so ripped off in my life and this was our last farewell.

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By Todd

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Jun 8, 2001

Not Recommended

We just returned from a 2 week honeymoon in Hawaii, we had planned on spending 4 nights at the Royal Kona, but cut it short after we arrived. The hotel is in bad need of matenence and updating. Our room was dirty, musty, outdated, sparse,and had bugs! The pool is small and not well maintained, the service is poor and the atmoshere is terrible. This hotel is like something out of a bad dream, aside from the location, there is nothing noteworthy

about this place. I would advise anyone to aviod it, you will be disappointed.

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By Lori

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Jun 5, 2001

Disappointed

My husband and I booked a room at the Royal Kona for 3 nights of our honeymoon trip. We booked it based on brochures, web sites and word of mouth. We were very disappointed. The hotel COULD be absolutely beautiful, but it needs to be completely overhauled. The rooms were very dated, the windows to the lanai dirty, and the grounds kept in poor condition. Even the outdoor pond for the tropical fish was dirty and unkempt. We would not stay there

again and were disappointed. Sure we saved money, but we wished we had spent the money and stayed at the Mauna Kea instead. We were overall disappointed with our trip to the Big Island after having spent 8 days on GORGEOUS Maui.

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