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“Kona Kai Resort on Shelter Island in San Diego” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Kona Kai Resort & Marina

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Kona Kai Resort & Marina
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1551 Shelter Island Dr, San Diego, CA 92106   |  
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Ranked #94 of 270 Hotels in San Diego
Riverside, California
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Kona Kai Resort on Shelter Island in San Diego”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2012

The hotel was fine at the discount price of $150 per night for the room with a nice view of the harbor. The staff was friendly and accommodating. The only real drawback was the slowness of service in the dining room. The free breakfast is above average. However, if you order the fritata, ASK THAT IT NOT BE OVERCOOKED TO DRYNESS. The next day, the eggs sunnyside up were done correctly.

Room Tip: Second story rooms (no elevator) have excellent views of either the harbor or the bay.
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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881 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    88
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (263)
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English first
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2012

Nice place very relaxing n romantic not much to do but very relaxing n thats what we were looking for.

  • Stayed February 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairborn, Ohio
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2012

My one night stay here was average at best. The location on Shelter Island is great. The grounds and common areas were well done and the front desk staff were friendly and helpful. However the room left a lot to be desired. It had a scent of hospital disinfectant mixed with cigarette smoke from years ago. Stained curtains and sheers, worn out carpet. The desk chair had noticeable stains on the fabric and with only two table lamps in the entire room, it was dark and depressing - no light enough to read or do work. The standalone cabinet in the bathroom was so worn the paint was coming off and corners were rounded down, it looked to be about 25 years old. The grout in the shower was dingy and the bathroom probably has never been remodeled. The HVAC system consisted of a very old in-wall unit with tiny knobs that were located at floor level - odd, considering this was supposed to be an accessible room. It did a poor job of maintaining a good temperature.

Had I been paying out of my own pocket, I would've left after seeing the room, to be honest. I've stayed at nicer Red Roof Inns. I almost hesitated to write this, as I feel like one of the overly-picky reviews that I hate. I normally don't care if things are a little older, etc but this just felt dirty and not maintained. And in 2012 I'd expect decent lighting and a workable HVAC system at the very least.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2012

I wasn't looking for a luxury stay while in San Diego, just an affordable one. I travel with cats so when I first tried to book online via one of the 'discount hotel' websites, I realized I better call the actual place and find out if the cats would be ok. While inquiring, I spoke with Jessica at the Kona Kai who not only said 'sure, the cats are fine as long as we know ahead of time' but also informed me that she could get me a much better rate than the one I was about to purchase.

Of course I booked the room! When I showed up, I was delighted to find it located across the bay from downtown and to find the views spectacular on either side of the place! For less than I would have paid for little more than a bed sized room downtown, I got this beautiful spacious room complete with a balcony overlooking the beautiful harbor at Shelter Island!

The breakfast tickets were a plus as well! Real, sit down breakfast each day, with a decent selection to pick from and add on items available as well. I am an avid cyclist and was thrilled to find such great road biking on the island and to find it just a few short scenic miles to get to the downtown area or a few hilly, challenging miles to get to Ocean Beach! My legs are grateful for the location of this place!

Jessica and everyone else I encountered at the resort were wonderful to work with, very helpful, and I never had a bad encounter with any of them. In fact, I ended up extending my stay because I loved it there so much!

Room Tip: I was given a room that was not overlooking the parking lot, and that made the stay even better, be...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, NY
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
45 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2012

My wife and I stayed for three nights in February. The hotel is located at the end of Shelter Island, across the street from the San Diego Bay waterfront and a sidewalk / jogging path. The back of the hotel abuts a marina. Parking ($15 a night fee) is between the hotel and the street, and note that the outdoor seating area for many of the standard rooms face the parking lot. The grounds and plantings were well maintained.

Check-in was efficient and the room easy to find. Fortunately, our standard room was in the last building in the complex with a small outdoor seating area overlooking a grassy area, not the parking lot. Although there were a few nice touches, such as a tiled sink area, the room was fairly typical - did not stand out positively or negatively. Carpeting and furnishings were in good shape, although some of the wallpaper in the bathroom was beginning to peel. King bed was comfortable, but not very substantial so that any movement on the bed caused it to shake. The room had a mini-fridge but no coffee maker (a cup of coffee in the restaurant to go was $3). Free wifi worked well. Use of hotel gym was $10/day per person (better off driving 10 minutes to a real gym and spending $15). There was a small 'beach' area facing the marina on the back side of the property, but even if you could swim there, you wouldn't want to with such close proximity to boats and related pollution. If you want to swim in the bay, there is a public beach about a 10 minute walk away. The property does have a nice heated swimming pool with plenty of chaise lounges.

Staff was courteous and helpful. When we reported a burnt out lightbulb and squeaky door, they were fixed the same day.

In short, the Kona Kai is just another hotel by the water. Not a resort and not a lot of charm, but not a bad place to stay if you can get a good rate.

Room Tip: If you have a standard room, try to get one facing the marina instead of the parking lot.
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2012

I just recently got back from Afghanistan and i planned on surprising my girlfriend and also proposing. I had the best service at the front desk. I will probably plan on coming back over and over again and possibly plan my wedding here just because of four people who helped me out.Their names are Patrice, Mike, Tina, and Chrissie. These four wonderful people deserve a raise or at least a bonus because if it weren't for them i would have not been able to plan the best night of my life. Thank you!

Room Tip: Rooms are a great get away from the world. They feel inviting and safe.
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pinon Hills, California
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2012

As the Reunion Chairman for the USS Will Rogers Veterans Association, a Navy submarine crew from the Cold War era, our stay was wonderful. It began with proper planning with helpful reservation staff. This included estimates on number of rooms, banquet facilities, entertainment, activities, transportation, limited mobility considerations, etc.
I never heard one employee use the word "no" or "I'm sorry." Our wishes were carried out and with a smile.
The scenery was magnificent with view of wonderful boats next to their private beach to the East and harbor view to the West side even including across the harbor to the Submarine Base and Coronado (North Island).
While our visit was one of a reunion for a bunch of submarine sailors, I would stay at the Kona Kai if it were just my own family. It is close to everything you could want within a 15-minute drive or less.
Try it; you'll like it. Tell 'em Ed sent you.

Room Tip: Grab a ground floor room facing East near the pool/grassy area. EZ access and nice private patio.
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kona Kai Resort & Marina

Address: 1551 Shelter Island Dr, San Diego, CA 92106
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Diego
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#15 On the Beach Hotel in San Diego
#18 Spa Hotel in San Diego
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Kona Kai Resort & Marina 3*
Number of rooms: 129
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
At the tip of Shelter Island, the southern California vibe emanates at our beachfront hotel in San Diego. Sun, surf and sea create the tropical essence of our beachfront hotel in San Diego. With a rich history steeped in the beat and bravura of Polynesian and Spanish Colonial, Kona Kai is a restyled creation of fresh, fun elegance punctuated by casual luxury. Perfect for an executive meeting, a surprise getaway or a romantic wedding, Kona Kai offers the right space for the right occasion. You'll find that space amidst quiet, private beaches, lush tropical gardens, astounding bay and marina views along San Diego's most magnificent stretch of waterfront. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kona Kai Hotel San Diego
Kona Kai Resort San Diego

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