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Kailua-Kona Area

Resorts by Name

Alii Villas

(877) 322-2407 or (808) 329-2140
75-6016 Alii Dr, Kailua-Kona

The pool is away from the ocean in the middle of the condo complex (but it’s heated if that’s important to you). Alii Villas isn’t the greatest place to stay; it’s pretty institutional-feeling, and the views feel the same from most units, but the location and price are fairly decent. The Alii Villas property doesn’t have a fitness center but some rooms come with a discount at a local gym. This property had a Solid Gold Value rating in previous editions, but we felt the latest price increase brought it more in line with what it’s worth. Units are fairly small. $89–$174 for 1/1 units (620 sq. ft.). 2/2 (761 sq. ft.) are $139–$229. 3-, 7- or 10-night minimum.

2020-07-10T10:48:29-10:00 Rating: No Award

Banyan Tree

(888) 780-4809 or (808) 329-6438
76-6268 Alii Dr, Kailua-Kona

All units are ocean front with the sound of the surf below you. Rooms are pleasantly furnished and well-maintained. End units have the bedrooms toward the back; others have the master bedroom facing the ocean closed off from the living room by shoji doors. There is a nice, open-air lanai on the second floor, a good place to sit and have a drink while you watch the sunset, and they often have weekly welcome parties there. Banyan Tree resort is near a surf spot, and there may be surfers and other colorful characters hanging around. This may make some guests uncomfortable. 2/2 units (950–1,176 sq. ft.) are $145–$237.

2020-07-10T10:45:08-10:00 Rating: Solid Gold Value

Casa de Emdeko

(877) 322-2407 or (808) 329-2140
75-6082 Alii Dr, Kailua-Kona

The design and décor is a weird, out-of-place Spanish permutation, but the rooms of Casa De Emdeko can be a good deal. Get as close to the ocean as you can. Units ending in 19 and 38 have spectacular wrap-around lanais facing the ocean. The rock-enclosed saltwater pool is very picturesque with a great location by the ocean. There’s a small, elevated, sandy sunning area and a clubhouse with BBQs. The price is right for what you get. Readers have pointed out a significant…crawling insect problem from time to time. Rooms vary in decor and many could use updating. Washer/dryer in some (the rest use coin-op laundry). Some rooms have showers with no bathtubs. It’s no palace, but you ain’t paying for a palace. Even though there is an elevator, you may still have stairs to deal with on the way to your unit. There’s a little shopping center right outside the gate which certainly adds points for convenience.1/1 units (640–896 sq. ft.) are $89–$176, 2/2 units (1,120–1,288 sq. ft.) are $188–$348. 3-, 7- or 10-night minimum.

2020-07-10T10:47:24-10:00 Rating: Solid Gold Value

Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel

(800) 367-2111 or (808) 329-2911
75-5660 Palani Rd, Kailua-Kona

The King Kam (as it’s known locally) is a Kona fixture. Located next to the Kailua Pier, the hotel is fronted by the tiny but calm Kamakahonu Beach. The Ahu‘ena Heiau is also on the grounds. This area was the home of King Kamehameha during his later years, and his legacy has been adopted by the hotel in paintings and artwork (they give tours).

Rooms can be described as modern and fresh. The design is rooted heavily in Hawaiian nature patterns and is reflected in everything from the coffee bean fabric on the chairs to lava pattern on the hallway carpets. This design works for us. Microwaves may be rented for $10/day. Rooms either have two queen beds or one king. The infinity pool is very inviting. They have activity vendors on-site to help with everything from yoga classes to parasailing, along with beach gear for rent and cabanas available for a full ($55) or half ($40) day. The staff shows a lot of aloha toward guests.

King Kam is the center of the universe every October when the Ironman Triathlon takes place.

2020-07-10T10:53:54-10:00 Rating: A Real Gem

Hale Kona Kai

(800) 421-3696 or (808) 329-2155
75-5870 Kahakai Rd, 
Kailua-Kona

This condo is broken into two wings (the short wing and the long wing) with no grounds. Rooms are pleasant and clean, and the living rooms and bedrooms both look out on the water from ocean-facing units. In ocean-facing units in the long wing, you will not get tired of watching the turtles in the tide-pools below. Many units have been updated. The pool’s so close to the ocean you’ll get sprayed on big surf days. Rooms ending with 07 and 08 have bedrooms that face each other, affording less privacy. The Solid Gold Value is because of their stellar ocean proximity and closeness to town. Definitely get an ocean-facing room here and avoid being next to the laundry room. 1/1s (648–696 sq. ft.) are $100–$250. Lots of repeat guests here. 3- or 10-night minimum.

2020-07-10T10:50:25-10:00 Rating: Solid Gold Value

Hale Pohaku

(877) 322-2407 or (808) 329-2140
76-6194 Alii Dr, Kailua-Kona

Although most of the condos are long term, a couple of vacation units are highly desirable. Large well-decorated units, killer oceanside location (you can hear the surf from all the rooms) and a tiny pocket beach make this property a winner. If your unit has a/c expect to pay $25 extra per day for using it. The tennis court is a short paddle tennis court. Their saltwater pool is small and mostly in the shade of the lanais above it. The property only has six units, and it’s close to the road, so you may hear noise from some of your rooms. But overall, you should be happy here. Free calls to the mainland and Canada. 2/2s (1,100 sq. ft.) are $249–$406. 3- to 10-night minimum.

2020-07-09T13:43:06-10:00 Rating: A Real Gem

Holiday Inn Express Resort

(888) 465-4329 or (808) 329-2599
75-146 Sarona Rd, Kailua-Kona

A three-story resort completed in late 2014 sitting behind Uncle Billy’s in Kona town. This is a familiar brand, and the one here is no different except they used a slightly more Hawaiian color palate in their modern room design. A couple of room features we really liked were the soft and firm pillow options (which they have cleverly embroidered on the pillowcases in case you can’t tell the difference) on the beds and the pullout desk on wheels. Fairly urban views from rooms at this hotel, and you are not on the ocean. The resort finishes feel cheap to us, so we’re not sure how things will hold up over time. The pool is kind of small here, and some rooms literally are at eye level with it. Their light buffet breakfast adds value and makes this an easy Solid Gold Value, especially if you get a good discount off the rack rates listed. Suites add a larger fridge and a pullout sofa bed. No lanais—just a few Juliet balconies. Rooms (350 sq. ft.) are $145–$222, suites (400 sq.

2020-07-09T14:04:26-10:00 Rating: Solid Gold Value

Kona Alii

(877) 782-5662 or (808) 334-0548
75-5782 Kuakini Hwy, Kailua-Kona

This condo building has the look and feel of a city high-rise, and the units are adequate. Floors four and above are better (traffic below is farther away especially on rooms facing the street). Units ending in 07–12 have pool/city view. This isn’t the place to stay if you’re looking for dreamy, tropical grounds, but it is the place to stay if you’re looking for a convenient, downtown Kona location. Free WiFi in most, a/c units and phones in some. 1/2 units (780 sq. ft.) are $140–$215 (some have a loft). 3- or 7-night minimum.

2020-07-10T10:51:09-10:00 Rating: No Award

Kona Bali Kai

(800) 367-5004 or (808) 329-9381
76-6246 Alii Dr, Kailua-Kona

With some units on both sides of Alii Drive at this condo property, the oceanfront units can be a very good deal, depending on which company you rent from. The complex is run by Castle Resorts, but units rented from Grand Welcome Big Island (listed below) offer cheaper rates. Castle provides housekeeping service for stays of seven or more nights. Units are smallish and adequate, but the views are excellent from the large lanais on the oceanfront units which lack a/c (you do get a nice breeze off the water though). The pool is annoyingly located behind the main building, and you probably won’t want to use it. Units across the street (with no elevator) are not worth the discount—go for oceanfront here. Washer/dryer in oceanfront units only, others use coin-op laundry; some units have room safes. Castle has the most units, but they’re overpriced at certain times of the year (hence the large price spread). Their prices for studios (586 sq. ft.) are $90–$193, 1/2s (651 sq. ft.) are $100–$293, 2/2s (806 sq. ft.) are $175–$499.

2020-07-10T10:45:29-10:00 Rating: No Award

Kona by the Sea

(855) 747-0763 or (808) 327-2300
75-6106 Alii Dr, Kailua-Kona

Adequately furnished condos (though some could use updating), quiet, with pleasant grounds. The pool has an adjacent sandy area that’s kind of nice. The oceanfront saltwater pool mentioned in Sights section is next to the grounds, but you have to access it off-property. This place is run more like a hotel than a condo (but rooms are individually owned). Though the buildings have three or four floors, the better views are from the second and third floors since palm tree crowns can block some of the fourth-floor views. This is a nice resort. Rack rates used to be crazy expensive, but these days you can get a fairly decent rate in the off-season. Plus, most can get a package deal or a discount. The staff is consistently pleasant here. 1/2 units (919–1,061 sq. ft.) are $247–$549, 2/2 units (1,263 sq. ft.) are $297–$699. 4-night minimum stay.

2020-07-10T10:46:39-10:00 Rating: No Award

Kona Hawaii Guest House

(808) 557-1420
77-362 Paulina Pl, Kailua-Kona

The Big Island attracts different categories of people. On one side of the spectrum, you have your Four Season vacationers, and on the very opposite side, you have your Kona Hawaii Guest House crew. This place is for the social, the curious, the independent and the non-luxurious crowd. Rumor has it that one time a guest caught 36 fish, and the resulting BBQ (in which everyone on the property was fed 10 times over) went on all night long.

The property has five rooms, and each layout is quite different. (Despite repainting every year, the outside of the property doesn’t do the rooms justice and feels a little cramped.) The Garden Room is the most private and often referred to as “The Writer’s Room” since its back entrance provides the most isolation. The Big Kahuna opens straight up to the community BBQ/hang out area and is absolutely massive in size (although they still limit occupancy to a family of four… meaning children, not your bros).

2020-07-09T12:54:56-10:00 Rating: Solid Gold Value

Kona Islander Inn

(800) 244-4752 or (808) 329-3333
75-5776 Kuakini Hwy, Kailua-Kona

Designed more like a hotel than a condo (but rooms are individually owned, so we’re calling it a condo), these basic rooms lack a full kitchen. Just a microwave, coffee maker and small refrigerator. Some units were in need of updating upon this visit. Bathrooms have showers only. They have a rating system from one to five. You may want to spring for a five and avoid anything rated from one to three. The number listed above is for the on-site rental agent. Parking is on a first-come, first-served basis. Rooms (372 sq. ft.) are $129–$149 or cheaper if you stay two or more nights. Priced about what it’s worth. Some units require a cleaning fee.

2020-07-10T10:51:43-10:00 Rating: No Award

Kona Isle

(877) 322-2407 or (808) 329-2140
75-6100 Alii Dr, Kailua-Kona

Very small condos, but for the price they’re a great deal. Units are extra clean, and the complex is oceanfront with very pleasant grounds. There’s a small sandy area with BBQs sprinkled about. Check out the genuine oceanfront saltwater pool next door, mentioned in the Sights section of our book and app. Oceanfront units are quite a bit pricier than others on the property. Some units may not have a phone, some have recently installed a/c. Units are 566 sq. ft. (That number was achieved by counting the squares of tile—hey, whatever it takes.) 1/1 units are $89–$262. 5- or 10-night minimum.

To view more agents’ units see:

2020-07-10T10:47:00-10:00 Rating: Solid Gold Value

Kona Magic Sands

(800) 244-4752 or (808) 329-3333
77-6452 Alii Dr, Kailua-Kona

You can see and hear the ocean right from your bed. Units are very small (450 sq. ft.)—a studio with a kitchen. The bed area is converted from the lanai in some rooms, so you may just have a railing outside your sliding glass door. Upper floors have better views. Units ending 01–04 have extra large 250 sq. ft. lanais. Units ending in 01 can see (and hear) the people on the beach next door, and they can see you. Rooms can vary a lot, so ask for a remodeled unit. The prices have gone up and down like the stock market and are currently $150–$250—a good deal. 3-night minimum.

2020-07-10T10:42:19-10:00 Rating: Solid Gold Value

Kona Makai

(877) 782-5662 or (808) 334-0548
75-6026 Alii Dr. Kailua-Kona

These condos are smallish but clean, and the price is decent. Some units are upgraded, while others feel dated. The grounds are pleasant. Only buildings 1 and 6 will get you close to the ocean; consider springing for them. End oceanfront units are certainly the most desirable with commanding views. Building 4 units ending in 01 or 06 have their views blocked by the buildings in front of them. If you are in building 1 or 2, expect to park far away from your unit. Most units have lanais off the bedroom in addition to the living room. Some units may not have a phone. This property is gated after 8 p.m. 1/1 units (687 sq. ft.) are $140–$200, 1/1s with lofts are $150–$225, 2/2 units (1,115 sq. ft.) are $185–$300. 3- or 7-night minimum.

To view other agents’ units see:

2020-07-10T10:48:08-10:00 Rating: No Award

Kona Nalu

(800) 367-5168 or (808) 329-6438 
76-6212 Alii Dr.

This is the condo oceanfront location you’ve been dreaming of. Their building sits right on the shoreline. Each unit has flawless ocean views from the master bedroom, as well as from the huge (300 sq. ft.) living room lanai. Open the drapes and the sliding glass doors, and soak up the view as you hear the pounding of the ocean. There is a nice sandy area by the water to park yourself and enjoy the sun. The units are large and well-furnished. Free WiFi in most, some units may not have a phone. Not cheap but a good place to stay. 2/2 units (1,196 sq. ft.) are $172–$275. 3- or 7-night minimum.

To view more agents’ units see:

2020-07-10T10:45:52-10:00 Rating: A Real Gem

Kona Pacific

(877) 322-2407 or (808) 329-2140
75-5865 Walua Rd, Kailua-Kona

This condo is located just up the hill from the main part of Kona town. There are not many views from these five buildings that vary up to seven stories high. Buildings A and B have some partial ocean views from even numbered rooms. Get a higher floor for a better view. The units are decent, and most have been updated—especially from main agent listed. All units are large with pleasing layouts (though some are a bit quirky) and generous-sized lanais. Something about this place makes you feel like you live here. It has an apartmenty-vibe that we kind of love. Prices dropped for this edition and the location is great making this an easy Solid Gold Value. 1/2 units (829 sq. ft) are $90–$250, 2/3 units (1,194 sq. ft.) are $150–$275. 3-, 7- or 10-night minimum.

2020-07-10T10:50:01-10:00 Rating: Solid Gold Value

Kona Reef

(800) 367-5004 or (808) 329-2959
75-5888 Alii Dr, Kailua-Kona

Buildings A and D at this condo property are fairly quiet (except for the sound of the ocean), but units next to Alii Drive get a lot of road noise. The rooms are not bad, not great. If you’re gonna stay here, try to get a corner unit—especially building in A. Although there’s a/c in most, it’s not in the bedroom, and it may get hot in there (and not the way you intend). If you need a room that’s elevator-accessible, you want Building F. That’s because in the other buildings, during a fit of design goofiness, the elevator only stops between floors, and there are a lot of stairs here. Your other option is a ground floor unit in Building A or D for access without stairs. In either case, you may need a GPS to find your way around. 1/1s (620–630 sq. ft.) are $149–$397. Few pay the listed rack rates. 2- or 3-night minimum. The agent listed below has overall cheaper prices, a couple 2/2s available and a 3- or 7-night minimum.

To view more agents’ units see:

2020-07-10T10:49:40-10:00 Rating: No Award

Kona Riviera Villa

(877) 322-2407 or (808) 329-2140
75-6124 Alii Dr, Kailua-Kona

This small, gated condo consists of three buildings in very close proximity to each other. Only the front one and part of the middle one have views of the ocean. The property has a plantation feel, and is quaint but a bit cramped. There are no real grounds here. The pool area is nice, almost touching the ocean.  Washer/dryer in most units others use coin-up. Some units have a/c in bedroom. 1/1s (650 sq. ft.) are $105–$205. 3-, 7- or 10-night minimum.

2020-07-09T14:05:28-10:00 Rating: No Award

Kona Seaside Hotel

(800) 560-5558 or (808) 329-2455
75-5646 Palani Rd, Kailua-Kona

This hotel is located across the street from Kailua Bay in the heart of Kailua-Kona. The buildings, built over time several decades ago, are immaculate but very dated. Tidiness is a welcome obsession here. The simple grounds are constantly groomed; the rooms are acceptable, but the mattresses leave something to be desired. Also, sounds do carry between rooms, especially the plumbing sounds. (The showerheads are perfectly mounted—if you are 5-foot-2 inches tall.) You won’t find waterslides, glass elevators or an atrium the size of Kaua‘i, but you will find a pleasant hotel with a central location and fairly reasonable rates staffed by friendly folks. If that’s what you are looking for—stop looking. Tower rooms with an even number on the high floors have distant ocean views. Prices include breakfast for Superior and Deluxe rooms (simple choices) at a nearby restaurant. Standard rooms in the oldest building are $149–$159. Superior rooms are $169, deluxe rooms are $179.

2020-07-10T10:52:47-10:00 Rating: No Award

Kona Tiki Hotel

(808) 329-1425
75-5968 Alii Dr, Kailua-Kona

This is a small old-style Kona hotel. All rooms have incredible oceanfront views right next to the water. How close? The swimming pool is permanently salty from waves washing over the rock wall and is available 24 hours “if you behave.” The guests usually end up forming a loose family of sorts and help light the tiki torches every night. You won’t find the usual array of amenities. Missing are phones, air conditioning, TV and laundry facilities. Need a beach chair, cooler, beach towel, etc? No problem—they will gladly loan them to you, if they are available. This is a good place if you’re looking for a smashing oceanfront location, friendly staff, mostly clean, very basic room with a small shower in bathroom, and reasonable prices that will keep you coming back over and over. And their guests do—often booking two years in advance. Rooms (450 sq. ft.) are $95–$159. Kitchenettes (450 sq. ft.) are $105–$179. Studio (approx. 900 sq. ft.) is $209–$229. Rates are per couple and they charge extra for children and adults staying in the same room.

2020-07-10T10:49:21-10:00 Rating: Solid Gold Value

Royal Kona Resort

(800) 222-5642 or (808) 329-3111
75-5852 Alii Dr, Kailua-Kona

Although this resort has a nice oceanfront location in downtown Kona (you can walk anywhere from here), the resort has a way to go in terms of updates as their last renovations were in 2006. Things feel a little dated. Of the three buildings, the Lagoon Building is the quietest in terms of human activity. Connecting rooms are only at corners of the buildings. They don’t have a beach, but there is a saltwater lagoon to swim in next to the Lagoon Tower and they have a bar that sits right over the water. The other big downtown Kona hotel is the Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, and between the two, we prefer the King Kam over the Royal Kona. However, we did find the staff attentive here. Their “Romance Center” is exceptionally helpful if you’re in need of wedding (or wedding-related) assistance. Even if you aren’t staying here, stop by Thursday nights when Don’s Mai Tai Bar has live local music.

2020-07-10T10:50:45-10:00 Rating: No Award

Royal Sea-Cliff Resort

(800) 688-7444 or (808) 329-8021
75-6040 Alii Dr, Kailua-Kona

This condominium is run similarly to a hotel, though units are individually owned and half are timeshare. Condos are fairly large. Note from the aerial photo that the middle rooms, though many are called “Partial Ocean View,” have poor ocean views. (Think of the resort as a tree and try to get a room on a branch, not the trunk.) Also, since the floors are stair-stepped, upper-floor units look down on the lanais of the floors beneath them. So behave yourself on the lanais, unless you’re at the top. Some of the rooms could use some updating, others have been updated, but none are in poor condition. Be sure to bring your sunglasses as the reflection off the white paint on the buildings can be blinding. There is an Aloha Party once a week with pupus. Their price spread is pretty significant but they have lots of packages available, so you shouldn’t end up paying rack rates. Studios (600–650 sq. ft.) are $145–$275, 1/1 units (850–925 sq. ft.) are $175–$389, 2/2 units (1,100–1,300 sq. ft.

2020-07-10T10:47:47-10:00 Rating: No Award

Sea Village

(877) 322-2407 or (808) 329-2140
75-6002 Alii Dr, Kailua-Kona

Quiet location for this condo, nicely kept grounds and rooms. There’s a large grassy bbq area next to the pool that makes a fine place to cook that fish you caught today (or bought at Costco). Lots of these units are timeshares, but there are still many vacation rentals available. The lanai’s privacy sacrifices part of the ocean view from some units, though corner units have particularly dreamy views. A few have a/c (ask for one). Some units may not have a phone. 1/1 units (780 sq. ft.) are $99–$224, 2/2 or 2/3 units (1,100 sq. ft.) are $140–$256. 3- or 10-night minimum.

To view more agents’ units see:
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2020-07-10T10:48:49-10:00 Rating: Solid Gold Value

Uncle Billy’s Kona Bay Hotel

(800) 367-5102 or (808) 329-1393
75-5739 Alii Dr, Kailua-Kona

If you’re just looking for a place to stay with no frills but a convenient downtown location, this may be worth considering. Rooms are very basic, but you may want to choose a Superior or Deluxe room because the beds are better, and you get fridge with a small freezer (also, Standard rooms don’t come with coffee; that’s our deal-breaker). By the way, where is Kona Bay? (The hotel is across from Kailua Bay.) Kitchenette rooms available but without a room safe. Rooms (400 sq. ft.) are $119–$155.

2020-07-10T10:52:11-10:00 Rating: No Award

White Sands Village

(888) 780-4809 or (808) 329-6438
77-6469 Alii Dr, Kailua-Kona

This fairly old building is right across the street from White Sands Beach Park, which is usually swimmable. Nice pool and grounds. The buildings are adequately maintained. They get a few extra points for the beach proximity (but don’t expect much of an ocean view from most rooms because of the orientation of the buildings). Smallish 2/2 units are mostly adequate. (The washer and dryer are located directly across from the toilet—that’s different.) The elevator doesn’t go to every room elevation, so you may have to deal with some stairs. 2/2 units (875–1,010 sq. ft.) are $110–$218.

To view more agents’ units see:

2020-07-10T10:41:58-10:00 Rating: No Award