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“Housekeeping Steals” 2 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 #92 of 270 Hotels in San Diego
Alexandria, VA
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Housekeeping Steals”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2008

I just returned from a one week stay at the so-called Kona Kai Resort. My fellow co-workers and I were there for a conference that was held at the resort and felt it was best to stay on premises. Looking back, I would have stayed off-site and rented a car to attend the conference.

Upon check-in, the front desk staff was friendly and attentive. However, I was highly disappointed with the room. The room was a 1/2 step up from a typical motel room and for this being a "resort" I expected more.

The bedding and carpet looked worn, lighting was horrible throught the room and bathroom. The paint in the bathroom needed to be re-done and there were signs of mold on the ceiling. The back of the bathroom door was peeling and the wood was exposed. The tub itself was stained and looked like it needed to be replaced. The bathroom counter was decorated in green tile and was the main decor of the bathroom. However, the grout was cracked and in need of replacement. My co-workers saw these same conditions in their rooms ( approx 4 other rooms).

None of us used the gym facilities due to the additional $10 per visit charge. However, we did tour the facility and the equipment was in good condition. The Kona Kai website states that they are a beach resort. Yes, there is sand bank in the back of the resort that leads to the marina. Yes, you can lay out on the hotel provided lawn chairs but the water is very shallow and crowded with boats and you can not swim or walk in the water to cool off.

I did not eat at the "resort" resturant since it was expensive. I know they catered some of the conference meals and the food quality was average. The banquet facilites were spacious and the outside landscaping was well maintained.

In reference to the title of my review. I checked out of the hotel at the mandated check-out time ( 12:00pm). Upon checking out, I realized I had left some articles in the bathroom ( including jewlery). I returned to the hotel approx 3 hours later,..not the next day...not two days later...but shortly after our room had been serviced by housekeeping. The front desk attendent, front desk manager,security and houskeeping staff claimed that nothing was found in the room or turned in. At one point they told me they did not know who had cleaned the room, but then they told me the attendent that cleaned the room did not turn anything in. Not sure how they could be sure of that since they "did not know who cleaned the room".

Finally after the run around and lack of response from the "resort" staff, I informed the front desk manager that for insurance purposes I was going to file the items as stolen with the Bay police. The front desk manager then insinuated that I had no grounds for filing a report since I had signed a form when I checked in that I would not hold the hotel responsible for lost/stolen items. I still filed a report and the Bay police are investigating the situation.

Overall, I would not stay there again. Not only because of the below average hotel conditions but also due to the lack of responsible and ethical staff.

  • Liked — The location on the bay
  • Disliked — Room, staff and location was not good if you do not have a car
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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890 reviews from our community

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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 (266)
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English first
Temecula, California
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2008

I would highly recommend this hotel. We enjoyed our stay very much. The room was clean and the beds were super comfortable. We had a lovely view of the pool and marina area with several tropical plants right outside our balcony. The room was very quiet - we did not hear anyone walking up or down the hallway as we usually do in hotels. The pool was nicely heated and they had a nice little sand beach with a playground for the kids.

The only setback was the $10 charge for use of the gym.

Great experience overall.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Gym fee
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Southern California
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2008

This place should be called the Kona Why? It was certainly not what I expected after looking at the website and spending hours reviewing various hotels in San Diego. This appeared to be a good hotel on booking and reasonably priced for a 2 night stay for my family of 4 plus inlaws. The only plus was that the rooms had a water view. This place is in desperate need of a facelift, from worn and dirty carpets, scraped wallpaper in walkways, dirty grout around windows in the rooms and to make it even worse mold in the bathroom above the light fixture, disgusting! The breakfast room has a nice marina view but was pretty deserted for Spring break, I should have guessed, extremely expensive! We spent $105 for 6 people which I think is expensive for eggs. Save your money and go to the Point Loma cafe, (within 2 miles) where we spent $60 for the same thing and it was very clean and good service too. Another point to make is that this hotel charges you $10 just to use the gym!! I have never stayed anywhere where this occurs, what a nice perk for guests that was! The drinks machine also seemed to be out of drinks conveniently, so you are forced to go to the bar. A good ploy by management. This place is average but has the potential to be nice if the management cared. Not a resort though!

  • Liked — water view
  • Disliked — mold in bathroom
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Northern California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2007

I stayed at the Kona Kai for two nights for a business conference that was held on-site. Overall, the hotel was clean and well-maintained.

My room had been recently updated and contained new-appearing good quality furniture, nice bedding (good sheets, comfortable mattress, clean bedspread), and an adequate bathroom. The plumbing worked well. Carpet appeared new and was very clean. The room had a private balcony overlooking a beautiful pool area and a high-end yacht harbor. The air conditioner was a bit noisy, but maintained the room's temperature nicely.

The restaurant was very nice with sweeping views of the harbor and hills through floor to ceiling windows. The staff was courteous and efficient, and the food was of good quality, although pricey.

The pool area was exceptional for its views, comfort and cleanliness. The pool was quite large for a hotel, and the hot tub was very nice.

The conference I attended was held in three meeting rooms, which were kept quite cold. I needed a jacket to stop my shivering. The rooms were well equipped and spacious.

Overall, I was satisfied with this hotel and its very nice location. I will stay here again. I consider myself to be very picky.

  • Liked — location, views, room and pool
  • Disliked — freezing meeting rooms
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Ana, California
Top Contributor
167 reviews 167 reviews
88 hotel reviews
Reviews in 75 cities Reviews in 75 cities
130 helpful votes 130 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2007

I stayed at the Kona Kai for a conference with a conference rate that
was about $100 less than the normal rates. I would not pay the going rates to stay here. However, the hotel has amazing views from everywhere on the property. The grounds are nice and it's actually quite a small hotel. Shelter Island has a neat waterfront walkway with people jogging and walking dogs. It's truly what San Diego is all about....being outside and enjoying the water and sunshine.

The hotel is fine. I would say it is on par with any generic Doubletree hotel. The staff are generally nice and helpful. I had to wait until after 4pm to get my room even though others I was with got into their rooms at 9:30am. The next day my room wasn't serviced until after 4:30pm. But they were completely full and our conference was there after all.

About the room...I was given a ground floor room in the first building next to the main building. Every ground floor room has a patio and all other rooms have balconies, which is really nice. But my room was a wheelchair accessible king room, so the bathroom was extra large and the sink and toiletries were out of the toilet and shower/bathtub room. The toiletries are ok; the brand is Gilchrist and Soames. The bedding is terrible and has a bedspread that is the old type that probably isn't ever washed. The tv was old and the air conditioning is located under the window and is controlled from the unit itself. One night it was cold in the room and the other night it
was really warm and the settings were the same both nights. The patio
furniture was dirty and I didn't want to sit on it. My room faced the
bay but the building is lower than the parking lot in front of it, so
it's difficult to see much. If you want to see the bay, ask for a room above ground floor. The other thing that was not good about the room was that I killed about 4 spiders, and some of them weren't small. I lived in San Diego for 4 years, so I know about the bugs there, but for a hotel that charges a lot of money, they should do something about that.

I did not use the exercise facility this time but I did last year. It's nice and they have a lot of cardio machines. There is a "spa" there with a few treatment rooms. It seems like there are locals that
use the gym there, so maybe they have memberships.

On the plus side, the conference food is good. I didn't try the restaurant food. They do have free wifi about everywhere in the hotel and around the grounds, which is nice.

If you want an average hotel in a great location this is the hotel for you. It seems to be family-friendly too. I would not call this hotel luxurious though.

  • Liked — The views
  • Disliked — the room
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boulder
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2007

The Kona Kai is a nice hotel but the service is either very bad or very good.

We checked in to our non smoking room only to find that the previous occupant was definitely a smoker. The front desk would not give us another room because they were booked for the night even though the expected guests had not arrived.

We decided to tough it out and by the next day the smell wasn't noticable. Which was good because no one came to clean the room at all.

The room was a bit worn looking especially in the bathroom where the bottom of the door appeared to be disintegrating.

Finally, after we left I realized that I had left clothing in the room closet. The guy in lost and found went to the room to find the items and shipped them to me promptly. Interesting that the room cleaner hadn't found the items before the new guests moved in!

A last thought- it was fun to listen at night to the moaning and calling of the seals in the harbor and watch the boats cruise by- the water views are great!

  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Oakland, CA
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2007

We had to take our daughter to college in San Diego & needed a hotel for the weekend. Because I was busy with college preparations I put my husband in charge of making the hotel reservations. He found the hotel on Google & booked it because it had a lap pool. I checked the reviews on this site & because there were so many negative reviews I really didn't want to stay there; but the price was right & we didn't have time to find something else. I was pleasantly surprised to find the hotel was really nice. I was expecting a dump with indifferent staff & found just the opposite. We stayed in a room with 2 queen beds overlooking the pool & facing the marina our first night. The second night because our daughter was moving into the dorm we requested a move to a room with a king size bed. They had no problem accomadating us. This room was on the first floor & faced the harbor & downtown. Both rooms were clean. Neither had any of the smells that were mentioned in other reviews. Both rooms were spacious & nicely furnished.
My husband really enjoyed the lap pool, & I enjoyed walking along the water. I thought this hotel was great for the price. We paid $149 for Thursday night & $239 for Friday. Compared to some of the hotels that I had checked before putting my husband in charge, I thought it was a great deal.

  • Liked — The lap pool
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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:
#14 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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