Firstly, don't disappoint yourself if you haven't done your homework. Aston Shores is in a gated community on a golf resort, and is several blocks away from the seashore. There are about 120 condos, mostly in three story buildings, with different owners, and in various conditions. Some are for sale, some have permanent residents, and some are managed and rented out. Our condo was in good shape with new appliances and new A/C unit with plenty of space and a beautiful view of the golf course contrasted against a lava flow separating us from another hotel.
Aston Shores is a great location if you want to visit the best beaches on Hawaii, or explore the northern half of the big island. There are plenty of restaurants, shopping, and a grocery store nearby, and you can venture North without mixing with a lot of commuter or airport traffic. If your interests are hiking near the volcano or the black sand beaches in the South, you might be choosing the wrong place, because you will have the Kona traffic, and 17 extra miles for every outing.
The staff at Aston Shores is friendly and helpful. Housekeeping was efficient and always left enough towels. The $10 / day resort fee covers wi-fi, movie DVD lending, pool privileges, use of propane BBQs, the key for the safe in the room, etc. It's a fee that was adopted in 2013 and may surprise you if you don't read the fine print when you book. I don't like resort fees, but they've been around a long time, and are generally more than $10 / day. I did see a young lady checking out that was very surprised when she saw her bill, and threw an absolute fit. It was probably the last straw in the sticker shock of Hawaiian hospitality where everything is expensive, so being prepared is important. Hope she knew about the fees on the rental car.
Some things to note and think about:
+Golf courses mow a lot. Early in the morning. Bring ear plugs if you want to sleep late.
+Condo had bamboo blinds. Sun shows up early in the morning. Bring sleep mask if you sleep late.
+Housekeeping may show up early. There's no "Do not Disturb" things to hang on door knob. Make one or save one from another hotel and use it if you want to sleep late.
+Kona is dry. Sprinklers water lawn. Early in the morning (4am) with loud "shooshing" sounds when they blow out air. Use ear plugs if you're easily awakened.
+Turn off your cell phone at night. Or your friends will call. And it will be early in the morning, like 4am.
Or just do what we did. Get up with the sun. Go out and do something fun. Get an early start.
The last two things could be important if you will be a late arrival.
First: The check in office closes at 10PM. Call them to make arrangements to get a code to open the gate (remember it's a gated community. The gate is not manned), and they'll provide instructions to get you in and find your condo.
Second: Get good driving directions. It's easy to get to Waikoloa Beach Drive from the airport. The signs on the side streets in Waikoloa are not reflective at night, and you can easily miss them. Your Garmin GPS will get you nearly there, It will get you turned onto the correct street and say you have arrived, but you will actually be short about a block or two and unable to see the gate. My GPS recorded the gate location as N 19 degrees 55.282' W 155 degrees 53.108' so you may want to try those coordinates if you have the same problem.
If the resort fits your needs and you stay there, I hope you have a great time, just as we did.
Go for a corner up high, for the best views. It's worth dealing with a small, hot, slow elevator...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Thank you for your business and the most comprehensive review since I have been reading them for almost 3 years. Really good information for someone considering the area. Just a couple of points:
A lot of people come to Hawaii expecting to be on or near a beach - about 15% actually are that. We are a short walk to a decent beach but the two nicest beaches in the world are just a few minutes drive away. And next time you check in make sure to ask for the coolest "beahces map" around - we have them at the Front Desk.
Our office does close at 9PM. But if you push one button you'll get a live person. We do thousands of these a year and about 1% go awry for varying reasons. Mostly it revolves around a long trip, late night and kids! We do our best and the late arrival instructions are available in at least a couple of places. Every agent we deal with has them and should provide them to our guests too.
We appreciate the detiled information you delivered to Trip Advisor users - we do the best we can every day and our staff appreciates your kind words. Danette is one of a kind. Her Aloha Spirit is almost unparalleled - she delivers what we try to and I preach about all the time - Five Diamond Service.
Hope you return and thanks for the recommendation.
Aston Waikoloa Colony Villas
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.