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“Love the new menu since the remodel” 5 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
San Bernardino, California
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Love the new menu since the remodel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2013

I always love to stay at the Kona Kai Resort and Marina in San Diego. But since they revamped the menu it is such a pleasure to eat there as well. I don't remember the name of the dish I had last night but it was chicken with parmesan polenta. It was a completely amazing adventure for my tastebuds. Excellent flavor. I am not even certain how to describe it. It was that good.
I have on other occasions tried the chili rubbed snapper and the seared tuna. I enjoyed both of those as well. The service is always terrific. No matter what room I am given I enjoy the view. Do yourself a favor and relax at the Kona Kai.
I haven't been to the spa or excercise room but they do have both.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hugh H, Manager at Kona Kai Resort & Marina, responded to this review, October 20, 2013
Thank you so much for your loyalty! We’re thrilled to hear that our new menu was a completely amazing adventure for your taste buds. That’s a compliment that we will certainly pass along to the chef! We hope you can join us again soon for more great food, a relaxing massage, and top-notch service.
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890 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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
Yucaipa, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2013

For our most resent stay, I reserved 3 rms in the main building. I requested that they be close together and 2 of the rooms were just across the hall from one another on the first floor. The third room was on the second floor.
Room 136 was on the Marina side with a patio and close to the pool. The room smelled musty and moldy. There was mold in the tiny dark bathroom, the bathtub was disgusting and there was a roach crawling up the shower curtain. The carpet was wet all around the closet area. The refrigerator didn't work properly and froze the milk and other items stored in there. There was no hairdryer in the bathroom. There were cigarette butts all around the patio area even though it is suppost to be a smoke free environment. To add insult to injury we were charged extra for this "deluxe" room because of the gated patio (that doesn't lock) and the proximity to the pool area.
Room 137 was on the bay side with a view of the parking lot and the bay. There was mold in the bathtub, the light fixture in the bathroom was dingy and dirty. The bedding didn't smell clean and fresh. There was a roach on the curtain the size of a mouse. I did call in and report it & was moved to a room on the second floor at midnight. I didn't get much sleep that night, but the 2nd floor room was in better shape.
Some of the gates to the pool area don't lock and this is a security and liablility risk.
On checkout my bill was incorrect.
The restaurant service and food quality is very inconsistant. When they get busy, you are ignored and are expected to wait forever to get your order. Sometimes they get the order correct and sometimes they don't. If you try to bring issues to their attention it seems like they go into a tail spin and it can take even longer to get resolution.
We tried the bonfire on the 'beach' with s'mores. I was told the s'mores package would be enough to make 12, we got 8 marshmallows in our package and only 2 skewers.
On the plus side, the lobby, grounds, views, and pool area are spectacular. This place needs a serious cleaning and someone in charge that can pay attention to the details.

Room Tip: Be prepared to change rooms as often as necessary to get one that meets your expectations.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Hugh H, Manager at Kona Kai Resort & Marina, responded to this review, October 20, 2013
Thank you for completing a review. Please accept my apologies that your stay was less than perfect. Room cleanliness and quality of service are consistently at the top of our list, and I'm disappointed that we missed these basic requirements. I assure you we will use your feedback as a means to improve. I’m also happy to report that our maintenance team has fixed an issue with your room’s patio door that allowed this small, unwanted trespasser to enter the room. I’m so sorry for the inconvenience.

Please rest assured we are working hard to revitalize every aspect of the hotel and restaurant. I hope you’ll give us another chance after our bathroom renovation project is complete. I guarantee it will be a very different experience. I would greatly appreciate a moment of your time to further discuss your stay and to repair any mistakes on your bill. My number is (619) 819-8141. Thanks again for joining us.
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Wichita Falls, Texas
Top Contributor
130 reviews 130 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2013

Desk is not reliable with reservations, be sure to get an email confirmation and double check the dates. Most all rooms have good views. Hotel is showing signs of age. Staff is very polite and tries hard to make your stay a good one especially the food service people and the head bar tender. Restaurant prices are high, food is good and most meals large enough to split for those on a budget. There for a military reunion. If you have a large group banquet there avoid the London Broil, we have old boots in Texas that will cook up much more tender.

Room Tip: Ask for a Bay Side room on a ground floor, elevator, if one in the building, can break often.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hugh H, Manager at Kona Kai Resort & Marina, responded to this review, October 20, 2013
Thanks for joining us! The entire Kona Kai team enjoyed hosting your event. I’m happy to report that we are currently working on the next phase of our renovation, which includes some design changes to our guestroom bathrooms, meeting space, and fitness center. I hope you can join us again when the project’s complete. I’ll be sure to pass on your feedback to the chef, as well. Thank you.
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Scottsdale, Arizona
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2013

On our first stay we booked an all inclusive deal (parking and resort fee included). On our second trip I just booked at normal price. Wow! This place has a resort vibe, but $17 to park is insulting. No...make that ridiculous. Staying in the main building is fine, but if you get in an outlying building finding your room can be a challenge. Think....giant apartment complex with no numbers and endless halls and stairways.

There are (4) hotels on Shelter Island that share a common website (just search: Shelter Island Hotels). One of them always has a deal going. I stayed at three of the four several times this past summer and they are all decent....when you book their deal. At full price, not so much.

Room Tip: Unless you like to hike, ask for a room in the main building.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hugh H, Manager at Kona Kai Resort & Marina, responded to this review, October 20, 2013
Thank you for your review. Please accept my apologies for any miscommunication when booking your room. Like most hotels in San Diego that have limited parking available, we have an additional fee for overnight guest parking. Despite having one of the lowest rates in town, our guests receive unlimited in and out access to our secured parking area. Next time you’re in San Diego, please consider booking another one of our fun-filled packages--- many of which include complimentary parking and other savings--- from the hotel’s website. We hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back as our guest.
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Mishawaka, Indiana, United States
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2013

We recently had an opportunity for a very short vacation in San Diego, California. On our last night there, we stayed at the Kona Kai Resort and Spa on Shelter Island. What a beautiful, tropical feeling the hotel had. The lobby was gorgeous and spacious and gave you a welcome feeling as you approached the wide-open doors. The fireplace, always lit, was a welcoming touch. We had made a reservation the night before so all we had to do was check-in. The clerk was not overly friendly and was seeing to another task as we stood there waiting. She did say she would be with us in a moment. We waited several minutes for her to finish up. We asked for a quiet location and she asked if we wanted to be facing the Bay and we said yes. We finally checked in and headed upstairs to our room. The room was also like the lobby, spacious and tropical looking. The room was clean and the bed and pillows were very comfortable. We had control of our air conditioning so temperature was not an issue. We were able to sit on the patio for a bit and watch the lights on the water and of the city across the Bay. We did not opt to use the $5 bottled water in the room, but filled the ice bucket and used the glasses (not plastic) that were in the bathroom. We slept like babies and didn't hear a sound. Upon waking we wanted coffee and had found a small, one cup at a time coffee maker hidden in a cabinet near the television (we also had a mini fridge). We tried it and the coffee was horrible. I called the front desk to ask if there was complimentary coffee in the lobby. There was not, but they had a restaurant. We could not find a menu in the room so I called the restaurant to ask for one. They said they would bring one up. The room number on the phone was 201, so that is the number I gave them. After a 20 minute wait and no menu, I looked up the menu online and called back. Turns out the next guy answering the phone knew our room number was 203 and when I checked our keys, I confirmed this. For the first time ever, we chose to order room service. For two people it was $36, including the tip for a large pot of coffee and banana bread and croissant with spreads. While it was a little pricey, we thoroughly enjoyed this luxury, while sitting next to the open patio door by the Bay, hearing Seals and Seagulls as we sipped our coffee. After coffee, we took a leisurely stroll around the end of the island and it was lovely and the grounds were manicured and beautiful. We did not have a chance to use the pool or hot tub in the courtyard, but we took a walk around there as well and found it to be lovely and clean. The cost of the room??? $119 per night for a king on a Sunday night. This place was a steal for all of the amenities. Tip for travelers: take your own coffee or plan to go to the restaurant. Other than that just prepare to relax!

Room Tip: We did not use the spa or kids activities. I tried to undo that rating on the kids activities but co...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hugh H, Manager at Kona Kai Resort & Marina, responded to this review, October 20, 2013
Thank you for joining us at Kona Kai! It sounds like our tropical grounds, beautiful views, and 75-degree weather made up for those few bumps along the way. If you’re looking for a relaxing getaway in Southern California, there really isn’t a better place to stay. Please let us know if there’s anything we can do to make your next visit more enjoyable. Thanks again for your feedback.
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Lake Forest, California
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2013

Good hotel to stay.Very nice place . I will stay again in this hotel. Only thing is hotel atmosphere need to be change a little bit. People should stay in this place. it is worth of money you spend. I'll recommend.





Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hugh H, Manager at Kona Kai Resort & Marina, responded to this review, October 20, 2013
Thanks for joining us! We look forward to your return in the near future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2013

Let me first start with how filthy the room was and also the grounds. The only nice and decent place on this property is the lobby. We have stayed at several nobel house resorts and we thought that this would stand up to the standards. I was sure wrong. Dirty carpet, cracked tile in the bathroom, cracks in the sink, chips in the bath tub, musty smelling and an old tired mattress.
Extremely disappointed. Not only was the room old and tired, I had the unfortunate experience of money missing in our room. I brought it to the managements attention and he did deal with the situation at hand but unfortunately someone is lying and it is not me.
There are lots of properties in San Diego to go to that are quite lovely and do yourself a favor when making a choice. Don't go here!!!!!!!!! It is a disaster. The Best Western down the street is a much nicer property. Try this one if you need to stay on Shelter Island.

Room Tip: There are no good rooms here.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Hugh H, Manager at Kona Kai Resort & Marina, responded to this review, October 20, 2013
Thank you for your review. Please accept my apologies once again for your unpleasant experience. I’m so sorry you encountered a foul smell in your room, but I’m glad our housekeeping department was able to address your concerns after the issue was reported. To name a few of our recent upgrades, we’ve installed new carpet, custom furniture, 42” plasma screen TVs, and Egyptian cotton bedding in all our guestrooms. Our lobby, restaurant, and bar areas have also been refurbished. We are currently working on the next phase of our renovation, which includes some design changes to update our guestroom bathrooms. I hope you’ll give us another chance when the project’s complete.

The safety and security of our guests and their personal belongings is our first priority. When we received the report of lost items after your departure, our security team gave the alleged incident a thorough investigation. As we’ve discussed by telephone, we are confident that the misplacement or theft of your belongings did not occur in your room at Kona Kai. Thanks again for joining us and for your feedback.
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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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