These slightly older condominium units, spread out among three low-rises on the ocean side of Alii Drive, are situated at Kona's most popular surfing spot, Banyans, and also just a couple of minutes' drive from Kailua Village and within walking distance of the popular Magic Sands beach. Kitchens are fully equipped. Choose between the lower-priced mountain view, midrange partial ocean view, and more expensive oceanfront rooms. There's a great Hawaiian poke (chopped raw fish tossed with herbs and seasoning) café (Da Poke Shack) on-site, plus a liquor store across the street.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Many guests found themselves surprised by cleaning fees that weren’t always disclosed, especially when booking through third party sites.
Room options range from studio size to two-bedroom units, with guests choosing between ocean side and mountain side options. Ocean side includes great views, mountain side includes air conditioning, but most condos include washer/dryer and all include kitchenettes. Each condo is decorated individually, but typically the décor is a bit outdated, though gives a clear island vibe.
Makai (ocean) side rooms tend to have more amenities (except air conditioning) and of course ocean views. It’s worth it to spend a little extra to be able to watch Kona’s gorgeous sunsets.
Small, apartment-sized bathrooms are often illustrative of the aging of the building.
The outdoor reception area closes at 5 p.m. If you’ve booked anywhere besides directly on the website, be sure to check in before closing or you may not find your room for the night.
A small, courtyard pool with hot tub gives a nice relaxation option if the beach is off the table for the day.
Da Poke Shack can be found within the Kona Bali Kai resort, giving guests a quick, healthy food option that is about as Hawaiian as dining gets.
Though the hotel is easily accessible from the airport via a taxi, a rental car is needed to really explore the island.
Kaaloa’s Super Js (40-min drive) for one of the most onolicious, authentic Hawaiian food you’ll find on the island. If something looks mysterious but delicious, feel free to ask the very friendly staff what it is!
At Lava Lava Beach Club (30-min drive) you’ll find a menu that includes happy hour specials, daily fish preparations, and island twists on classic foods like hamburgers and ribs all right on the beach. The bar is also a huge draw, with delicious and strong cocktails (the “Big Bamboocha” will definitely get your vacation started well) and a nice wine menu.
Bar hopping on Alii Drive (20-min drive) includes Humpy’s, Laverne’s, and Ocean’s where you can grab a drink and enjoy some warm ocean air. The music gets loud and the dance floors are open on the weekends.
The Big Island’s newest brewery, community-owned Ola Brewery (15-min drive), offers brewery tours and tastes. Be sure to try the White Pineapple Cider!
WHY WE LIKE IT
The price is right, especially if sharing a condo with another family. The location is also nice – close enough to busy Alii Drive to access it easily, but far enough away to not be bothered when it’s time to rest.