Dates stayed: 8/14/2012 to 8/18/2012
Room type: One bedroom suite on Kaneohe Bay.
My wife and I wanted to stay in a nice quiet place on the windward side of the island. Because of the mixed reviews we figured give it a try for 4 nights.
The best way to describe this resort is an inexpensive condo/motel built right on Kaneohe Bay in a local neighborhood fishing village. Part of the local feeling means you experience everything good and bad in the neighborhood. Stray cats are numerous perhaps because the neighbors have lots of stuff lying around. A guy in uniform walked up to the coffee pot, filled his mug, and left, so part of this experience is you are integrated into the neighborhood. The setting is definitely beautiful with the mountains in the background and gentle waves. However even as the staff was very courteous and helpful, the feeling of the inexpensive condo/motel showed through. I'll explain below.
We were very disappointed by the breakfast. They called this a "continental breakfast". It felt like everything they had out was purchased in bulk at Costco including the plastic silverware and plates. The pineapple was excellent and in season, but the papaya was bitter and underripe. The choices were also inconsistent; one day the oranges disappeared so I asked Napua what happened. She went into the office to ask someone and didn't come out for 10 minutes so I gave up. The oatmeal was the cheap instant oatmeal quite unlike what you'd expect from a good home cooked breakfast. All of the other items were just ordinary store bought breads and pastries. I've been at many B&Bs, and they always add a personal touch with some special cooked items but there was none of this here. Since we had the one bedroom suite, we ended up just taking a few items back to our room - the better fruit and some coffee. My wife tells me the coffee was mediocre - isn't Hawaii supposed to be famous for good coffee? I can't understand the deal with the papaya because we purchased this on our own and it was very sweet unlike the papaya they served at the breakfast here.
Our one bedroom suite was recently renovated and when we were there, other rooms were also being renovated. The room was definitely clean. It was a lifesaver to have a fully equipped kitchen because of the lack of a decent breakfast - my wife and I like eating full hearty breakfast on vacation :). There are still some things lacking though. The main thing that bothered us is the fridge was old and clunky, making a popping noise every 15-20 minutes. This combined with the poor building sound insulation made for some restless sleeping. A note for guests wandering around the resort at 5:30-6:00AM in the morning that your conversations, laughing, arguing, etc. can be clearly heard. The AC is similarly loud and old but fortunately with the ocean breezes it isn't needed at night. The shower curtain rings pop off every time you close the shower curtain making even the basic showering a bit of a challenge. The dresser for putting clothing has no rails which makes it difficult to use. The microwave was placed on top of the fridge because of a lack of counter space; would have been much better to have a built-in because the kitchen is a bit small. The walkway to the villa was poorly lit and probably treacherous for someone elderly.
Upon checking in we went down a really steep driveway to get to our room. The spaces were limited and often full, and it was a big challenge getting in and out of that lot. I ended up crunching my bumper trying to navigate between cars and getting up the steep driveway. The resort itself is very small. The swimming pool is barely big enough to jump in and cool off. But I did get to enjoy canoeing in the large bay. It's very peaceful and relaxing and free for resort guests. If you want to try this make sure you're in good shape before you go out because it can be a bit of a workout when you row against the current. The resort also had stand up paddle boards available for a fee which I didn't get to try, but I imagine that would be fun especially when the waves are bigger in the winter.
The service there was actually very warm and inviting. They always had great suggestions for things to do in the area and loved to tell stories. I do remember Napua and Kaylee who were very helpful in welcoming us to the resort and giving us suggestions of things to do. If the breakfast were better this would have been a true B&B experience ;). Things weren't so smooth when we first got there after a 14 hour flight; Napua told us "check-in isn't until 3PM" but after I explained that Tom told us they would try to make the room available if possible, she made up for it by getting housekeeping on it and walking down to our room with us to see if we needed anything. A nice touch for sure.
When we stayed there, someone rented out the resort for a wedding. Normally that wouldn't be a problem but since the resort is so small, it really detracted from the experience. The wedding took over the entire parking lot and barbecue area so we all had to fight for parking spaces on the upper level. Shame on the management for not letting guests know until we were actually staying there and had no other options.
Hopefully in my review I've painted a clear picture of what it's like to stay here. I really tried to have an open mind about this and have stayed in everything from one star basic motels to 5+ star hotels and resorts worldwide. While the Paradise Bay Resort is beautiful and relaxing, and the staff is very welcoming, the subpar breakfast, resort, & room facilities, and especially the nuisance of a wedding taking over the resort made this a real mixed bag experience and definitely not worth paying the 4-5 star resort price. This really doesn't provide the great "alternative to Waikiki" that it should be providing.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Aloha! We are very excited to announce the completion of our room and property renovations. We will continue to enhance the property as other resorts do, however the bulk of work is complete. We appreciate all of the input we received both positive and negative and we have used it to get to the point we are today. We were recently awarded the 2014 TripAdvisor Award of Excellence. We are blessed to be part of what we all consider to be the most beautiful tropical setting in the Hawaiian Islands. Now the property, accommodations and warm staff complement our surroundings. We call ourselves True Hawaii and what does that mean? Our setting reveals the answer. We are located in a panorama of spectacular natural and tropical beauty, from amazing Hawaiian mountain ranges and lush tropical landscape, to beautiful Kaneohe Bay, Chinaman's Hat Island and out to the Pacific Ocean. We border an ancient Hawaiian fishpond surrounded by lush tropical mangroves. The Kahuona Fishpond is one of the last remaining working fishponds and is designated a historical site. We are the only resort property with private access to Kaneohe Bay. Kaneohe Bay hosts the most abundant and diverse sea life and reef system in the Hawaiian Islands and our guests can access it safely right from the resort. Our design fits with the environment and has a contemporary and authentic Hawaiian look and feel. We thank our guests who have stayed with us in the past and helped to support us. We appreciate your patience with the renovations and know you will be delighted on your next stay. The property, guest rooms, new amenities, services and warm staff are here to take care of you. We offer our guests the same entertainment, special Saturday sand bar excursion and we have added a few more; a Friday evening Firedance Show, additional live Hawaiian music and surprise cultural classes. We have added some new things such as; a fitness room, Wi-Fi, on call spa service, new pool and hot tub, new floating lounge areas, conference room, intimate wedding ceremonies and we are pet friendly. We have renovated and upgraded our guestrooms with; new furnishings, artwork, premium pillow top mattresses, luxurious bedding and linens as well as new flat screen TV's and IPod docks.Kayak use is still included and we also have Standup Paddle Boards and private boat charter available. We look forward to seeing you the next time you come to Paradise. Warm Aloha, David and Stephanie Ryan ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Paradise Bay Resort Hawaii Hotel Kaneohe
- Schraders Windward Country Hotel
- Schraders Windward Country Resort
- Country Inn Kaneohe
- Kaneohe Country Inn
- Paradise Bay Resort Hawaii Kaneohe, Oahu