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“Hawaiian Concert Getaway” 3 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 #100 of 271 Hotels in San Diego
Escondido, CA
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Hawaiian Concert Getaway”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2013

The hotel is in a great location on San Diego bay. The rooms have been renovated and are nice but the bathroom was dirty and wornout. The bathtub bottom was black and the bathroom door is split and paint peeling with the door fixtures rusted. The staff is extremely friendly and helpful and always say hello as you pass. The grounds and pool area are very nice.

Room Tip: Get a room facing the pool are as this also faces the bay.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 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 23, 2013
Thanks for sharing your review. I’m glad you had so many pleasant interactions with our team--- they’re the best in town! Please accept my apologies that your bathroom showed signs of age. I hope you can join us again after our bathroom renovation project is complete. Thank you for your business.
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797 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 (235)
Date | Rating
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English first
Manitoba, Canada
Top Contributor
426 reviews 426 reviews
69 hotel reviews
Reviews in 98 cities Reviews in 98 cities
147 helpful votes 147 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2013

Traveled to San Diego to participate in a training, and this hotel is the hotel of choice for the event, due to it's size and location. The room was nothing spectacular at all, but it was comfortable. With the training I didn't spend much time in it anyhow, so as long as I slept well, that was all I really was worried about. The grounds are lovely, and the area is wonderful. The last night just outside my window I got to witness the spectacle of the Harbour Christmas Parade of Boats! What a wonderful thing for a girl from the prairies to get to watch! I have no complaints. The hotel seems a little tired, but it suited my needs well and was reasonable.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled on business
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Hugh H, Manager at Kona Kai Resort & Marina, responded to this review, October 20, 2013
Thank you for your review! We’re located on a peaceful island that boasts stunning views of San Diego Bay and some of the country’s most elegant yachts. If you have more free time during your next trip, try exploring the island with one of our kayaks, paddle boards, or Segways! We hope to see you soon.
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Jefferson WI
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2013

Spent 5 days at this resort on Shelter Island in San Diego at the end of September 2013 attending husband's Navy Reunion. Hotel very nice, clean, beautiful grounds situated between the marina and the harbor. Skylar at the front desk very helpful when we asked to change rooms so we could be closer to our activities. Walking path just across the street that ran for miles - beautiful.

However, if you have any form of transportation, use it - don't eat in their restaurant except for maybe breakfast. Supper was terrible: cold chicken wings, sliders that were dry, although the clam chowder was excellent what there was of it.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Hugh H, Manager at Kona Kai Resort & Marina, responded to this review, October 20, 2013
Thank you for joining us during the Navy Reunion. We thoroughly enjoyed hosting your group. While I’m happy our property and our staff exceeded your expectations, I’m disappointed that you didn’t experience a typical dinner in our newly renovated restaurant. I apologize for the inconvenience. We’ll be sure to use your feedback as a means to improve our delivery times. Please let us know if there’s anything we can do to make your next visit more enjoyable.
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Colorado Springs, Colorado
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2013

We have stayed here before - under new management now. Our room was great, paid extra for Bay View, which was wonderful - great view - very private balcony. Pool and hot tub were very enjoyable. Now the "not so hot" - bath rooms need updating very badly, there was no "Tourist Rack" with brochures for San Diego Activities, no phone book in the room, no yellow pages even at the desk. No elevator. The Bar had a special activity having nothing to do with the hotel one night, and service was terrible that evening. Menus are very limited.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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 for being our guest! I’m so glad you enjoyed your room, our panoramic views of San Diego Bay, and our outdoor pool. During your next visit, please feel free to visit the concierge for brochures and discounted tickets to the city’s top attractions. Also, as you may have heard, we are beginning the second phase of our property-wide renovation in the next few months. We look forward to hosting you again once our guestroom bathrooms have been refurbished. Thanks again!
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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
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
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 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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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
33 helpful votes 33 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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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
#21 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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