After much internal debate, I give this property a 4 out of 5 as a good, budget alternative to staying at the expensive resorts in the area. But believe it or not, all of the previous reviews, the good and the bad, are accurate. Keep in mind that my rating is for room 205 and the community areas only.
When I booked this over the phone, the lady told me she had a 2-star room with an ocean view, or a 4-star room with a garden view, for the same price ($89 per night).
The rating system was explained to me this way: Since each unit is individually owned, the property management firm had no control over things like how often a unit is painted, what kind of furnishings it would have, etc. Each room is equipped with a microwave, fridge, coffee maker, cabel TV and phone. Everything else could vary by owner.
In order to give guests options, the units are rated from one to four stars, four being the best. Now, really, how much difference could there be between two and four stars? I figured perhaps the furnishings would be older, maybe it would need carpet, but I preferred a room with an ocean view, so I opted for the two star room.
Upon arrival we were given room 148.
Boy, was I wrong about that rating system. Room 148 was a dump, no doubt about it. The furniture consisted of a beat up dresser that looked like someone pulled it out of a thrift store dumpster, a 30 year old rattan couch that smelled like mold and pee, and a bed. The sheets were clean, I checked.
The worst part, though, was the smell. I can only explain it by saying that if you put a wet bath towel in a hamper and sealed it up in front of a sunny window, after a week it wouldn't even come close to smelling as bad as this room did. My husband's eyes literally started watering, and he had to go sit outside.
I went to the office and explained, politely, that although I knew we weren't getting a fancy room, the smell really was horrible, and was there any chance we could move? The staff was very apologetic, and fortunately, there was another room availabe with a garden view and four star rating.
So we moved to room 205.
What a difference, it was like night and day. Lovely furnishings with a homey touch, a couch that didn't reek, fairly new paint and carpet, and a ceiling fan to circulate the air and keep the mold smells at bay. It was a nice place to spend the week at a reasonable price.
A few caveats: Condo is Kona speak for No Maid Service. Don't expect a tiny apartment, it is nothing but a converted hotel. Where there used to be a dressing room with sink and closet, they put in a kitchen sink with a small fridge and microwave, so even though technically you can cook in your room, you are limited to stuff that can be nuked or cooked on an electric appliance. The result of this set up is that the two grills in the pool area are very popular between 4:30 and 8, because a good portion of the guests are tying to cook dinner. We had the best luck by holding off cooking until 7:30 or so.
The pool/garden area is well kept up, and includes a spa. The grills and pool were cleaned daily by the grounds staff.
We saw nothing of the cockroaches other guests mentioned in their reviews, but keep in mind this is Hawaii, and the roaches are everywhere. We wrapped and removed our garbage daily, and any kind of wet waste like fruit rinds or banana peels, we wrapped before placing in the waste basket. Having lived in Hawaii previously, I can attest to the fact that if you don't take those precautions, you will get roaches no matter how clean a place may be. Shoot, we saw roaches scurring down the sidewalks in downtown Kona while we were out walking one night - they truly are just looking for an invitation to call your kitchen home.
Another note: Room 205 is near the office, and I did hear other guests at the office complaining about their rooms and asking to be moved, so I am quite confident that room 148 is not an isolated incident.
Mu suggestion is to book this complex only through the on site management at---------------, and then make sure you are getting a 4 star room. I would take nothing less. As long as you do that, AND don't expect it to be the Marriott, you will more than likely enjoy your stay, because it really is a quiet and pretty complex in a great downtown location, and once we changed rooms we enjoyed it very much.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.