On the Big Island of Hawaii, you can spend more than $1000 for a standard room with no view at a 5-star big name property or you can find a tiny bungalow for about $100/night in a no-star beach community. My needs were specific… I wanted an ocean view room in a fab hotel convenient to shopping, and my budget was $200/night. The Courtyard Marriott King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel (www.konabeachhotel.com) was a perfect choice and my island home for five nights.
The beachfront property, completely renovated two years ago, sits on a small beach on Kamkahonu Bay right in the heart of Kailua Kona. While the location is central, the grounds are spacious and surrounded by lush greenery so you still get that relaxed beachy vibe that we all crave. There’s a large heated pool with jacuzzi next to the Billfish Bar & Grille where drinks are generous and the service is quick.
For $153/night plus tax, I had a beautiful room with lanai and partial ocean view. My bed was well equipped with a fluffy duvet and lotsa pillows (I requested down pillows when I reserved and I had four of them on my bed!) Other necessities included a big flat-screen TV, fridge, coffeemaker with Kona’s famous coffee and free Internet. The spacious bathroom had stacks of big white towels, a standard size shower-over-tub combo, and the new vanity was topped with granite. The Paul Mitchell shower amenities were tiny, but when I explained to the maid that it took two bottles to work up a shampoo lather, she giggled and left about a dozen every day.
There’s a good shopping center just off the hotel lobby featuring a day spa, beachwear boutique, coffee shop, art gallery, jewelry store and best of all, a big branch of ABC Stores. This store carries everything you need including groceries, booze, drugs (Tylenol, etc), sunscreen and yeah, a few t-shirts and muumuus. Prices are reasonable and I loved stocking my fridge with snack foods, Bombay Sapphire and tonic, yogurt, etc.
Like most beach hotels, the King Kam hosts a Polynesian Luau, complete with live entertainment and endless food. If, like me, you’re not a fan of these extravaganzas, book a dinner res at Honu’s on the Beach, the hotel’s signature restaurant. We dined on fresh Hawaiian fish while enjoying the luau music and entertainment from across the lawn. Perfect evening!
Book early on the hotel website for the best deals. I’m already planning a return visit for 2015!