I'll begin by saying that after reading many of the reviews of this hotel I was apprehensive about staying, but it was budget friendly, and it was where the rest of my family was staying. It was my Mothers birthday, so a group of us went and we all stayed at the resort. So please keep in mind when I am reviewing this hotel, I am speaking for 6 rooms and 14 people. My particular room was myself, my wife, 3yr old son, and 13 month old daughter.
After reading reviews, I expected old, musty Bates motel style living for the week we were there. What I got, and saw in the other 5 rooms were spacious accommodations, with an excellent view, a decent TV, and comfortable beds.
I am not the type of traveler that requires palatial accommodations - I went to Hawaii to see Hawaii - not spend a week in the hotel room.
Carpets - old, but not 20 years as has been mentioned. Comfortable on bare feet, and clean enough I let my 13 month old daughter crawl around.
Beds - Comfortable. Clean. Slept just fine.
TV - Shouldn't matter, but some people care. It was a flat panel TV, not sure what size. Stayed a week, TV was on for 30 min a day. (Cartoons for the kids before bed.)
Bathroom - Clean, a little tight for space when bathing the kids, but otherwise it served it's purpose. Hot water was hot, shower pressure was a little much for my wife.
Balcony/Lanai - Large (ran the length of the room), only complaint was from my brother, in the room next to us, that there is very little privacy from one room to the next.
That's the room. A great place to sleep and relax on a lanai while visiting Hawaii.
Ate breakfast there a couple of times. (Just me, wife, kids) Service was lacking - by the end of the meal we had a few dirty plates stacked on the table, and at no point did a server collect them, although at least 3 walked by the table. My brother had the same complaint. The breakfast buffet was not a large buffet by any means, but the items they did have were excellent. The only complaint I had, as well as quite a few members of the group was the lack of an omelet station. Also, I did not charge it to the room, so I paid up front. my suggestion to you is leave no tip when paying, but keep a few bills in your pocket to leave on the table if it is deserved. My parents tipped up front when paying, and regretted it later. A little pricey for a family on a budget though.
Ate dinner there once, and everything was great. My brother complained about slow service - said he waited almost 30 min before he was served. Hit and miss, I guess.
Drinks were drinks. A little booze, a little mix, a little conversation, a great time was had by all. I would suggest the samplers though, before committing $10 to any one Mai Tai or Lava Flow. Try them all. Only complaint was the inconsistency in the garnish. (My Mom's drinks came with an abundance of swords, monkeys, and fruit, but my wife, when ordering the same thing, got a single slice of pineapple.) Food in the lounge was priced well (some is happy hour priced as well), and was quite good. Overlooks the pool and the ocean.
Food was quite good - a nice sampling of some of the local dishes.
Show was great, entire family was impressed - some great pictures, some pictures with the dancers after the show. Some people complain about the free Mai Tai being served punch bowl style, but with the amount of people in attendance - it really is the best way to do it. I recommend going. It's a great way to spend an evening.
Guest services (to be fair, we only needed them for check in/check out) were quick, efficient, and very friendly. A special Mahalo to Michelle, a manager, for making my Mom's birthday extra special, and for ensuring the family was close together. (We took over the North side of the Ali'i tower on the 5th floor - rooms 506 thru 514)
Pool was great, never too busy, and the kids loved it.
Lagoon was a great touch, kids enjoyed it, and some of us older ones enjoyed snorkeling.
Some quick points:
Smoking areas - resort is non smoking, but there are 3 designated areas. One of them is poolside, which confused me a little. Seemed like poor placement. But I guess smokers like the pool too...
Parking - $10 a day. Stop complaining, most resorts charge for parking. The only suggestion I would have is designate an area for hotel guests, because if I am paying the $10, I should not have to search for a spot for 15-20 minutes every time there is a Luau.
A hot tub would be a nice addition, next to the pool. (Heard quite a few comments from various guests about this one) Perhaps right where that smoking area currently is...
The town is very walkable, and an enjoyable walk at that. But unless you want to spend every day walking that same strip - a rental car is a must.
Better signage for the pop/ice machines (a request from my dad)
WiFi - More and more places are starting to include it, but there are still quite a few that charge. This is one of those places. Can't remember the weekly rate, but daily was $10. Honestly, I didn't get it, but again, I didn't go to Hawaii to update my Facebook. I did that when I got home.
Go to Walmart, Target, or Safeway. Buy some munchies. After 9/930PM, unless you want to go eat gas station burritos, there are not a whole lot of places open to eat. Safeway is 24hrs.
Now Jay is going to say that they are not the newest kid on the block, but they are budget friendly, and best location in town. he's right. If you read my whole review, you know that my complaints were minor. Go. Enjoy Hawaii. Stay at the Royal Kona. For a family on a budget, we got, in my opinion, much more than we paid for.
Didn't post a lot of pictures, but figured there were already a lot. More than willing to send or post additional photos upon request, and feel free to message me with any questions you may have.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.