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“Recommendable hotel with good appartments close to the city...” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Kona Billfisher

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Kona Billfisher
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75-5841 Alii Drvie, Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii, HI 96740   |  
Hotel amenities
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
213 helpful votes 213 helpful votes
“Recommendable hotel with good appartments close to the city...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2009

Even though it is a bit old fashioned it was ok... I enjoyed it a lot, and I don't stay that much in the appartment anyway. I slept there and made my dinner.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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45 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
California
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2008

Over the course of of tweleve years I've stay at the Bill Fisher Condo's as our friends guests in Kailua-Kona, Hi. Our recent trip turned into a disaster of sorts.

We'd traveled fourteen hours due to airline problems from California. After arriving at the Bill Fisher our room wasn't ready they were steam cleaning the carpets at 4:30 pm, way past check-in of 3:30 pm and obviously wouldn't be ready until the next day if then. What we didn't know they just fumigated the units. They allowed us to stay the night in another condo while updated was dark, and dank moldly smelling. By the next day we moved ourself into 0-3 the condo we always stay from an associate. When we arrived the secretary, then resident manager explain numerous new policies which never existed prior. They "demand" a $50.00 registration fee although we're guests of the owner, having paid all our funds to the owner we hand't booked it through the managing grou and had paid the owner in full. The manager informed us you must pay for the airconditioner at $10.50 a day we were booked for seven day's or use fans.. humidity wise and facing west it would be impossible to survive it, we refused stating it wasn't explain to us prior by the owner, nor had we ever paid such fees prior nor were we informed such fee's existed. We found out they no longer had housekeeping come for anything exception tuesday's and thursday's your towels, you have to pay for clean sheets I found that to be totally hillarious, you pay for extra towels which I could understand. One had to take out all trash, sort all your plastic, from the glass. After we moved into the unit we found the carpets still wet, the refrigerator exterior rusted, the bedroom fan on high would click kept us up all night, the air-conditioner turned off with such a loud thud when used it shook one deeply. The second night we lay in bed the large oil painting above the bed flew off and hit my spouse knee bruising it severely. Next, the toilet chain broke off the plunger on our second day you could not rig it.. we informed someone employed there but no one came to repair it so we continued flushing it by hand inside the tank until the day we left, even though telling the resident manager again prior to leaving. The towel bar kept falling off the wall, the units apparently had been fumigated just prior to our arrival and dead roaches lay everywhere outside and inside the cabinets still. The fumigation made us both sick from the residue so we had to air out the unit everyday and clean it down upon arrival although it was really cleaned by an obviously great staff the residue remain which was the problem you could smell it obviously in the air system, walls, etc. After a time there a demand came to us to leave our credit card number another thing never done before with the office. The day before our departure we were told we must pay the charges demanded of us prior to leaving.. A heated battle insue with the resident manager whom quickly turned it around making it sound as if my spouse was threatening him yelling it aloud when that never occured. We found the resident manager and his secretary had told other owners that my spouse threaten him.. when it was the opositie that took place. The resident managers body language was threatening and he slam a glass door twice in efforts to make it sound as if my spouse was threatening him.. obviously covering his bases, I heard it all from the pool area next to the office. We end up paying daily tax which we'd never paid previously even though we didn't rent it from them, a registration fee, a air-conditioner fee because of the threat that this manager would call the police. We're not young people, neither one of us has a heated, or quick temper, but obviously this resident manager is a loose cannon. We will never go there again, nor recommend them. We spent two glorious day's just down the Alli in another condo immediately after leaving the Bill Fisher which so far exceed this property for the same amount of money The Kona Bali Kai with far more amenities, breathtaking view, incondo wash facility, ocean waves hitting just below the unit, housekeeping, coffee, free towels everyday, etc., nice pool and plenty of kindness.

  • Liked — Nice view, clean although older units
  • Disliked — New regulations..many unit problems went unrepaired the entire seven day's
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zurich
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2008

The Kona Billfisher is the oldest timeshare in Hawaii. They sold months rather than weeks and there are some people who bought condos before they went timeshare. So, it's a place that is full of old hands, giving it much more of a neighborhood feel than most resorts. It is right across the beach from Huggo's, one of the best (albeit priciest) places in Kona, their next door place "On the Rocks is reasonable). It's on the edge of the village, you can walk to the pier in less than 15 minutes. I walked into the village at least a couple times a day. There is a fantastic beach less than 2 blocks away. If there were a grocery just a bit closer, it would be a resort where you could skip a rental car. Don't expect high luxury, but everything is nicely done. They also charge for "high energy use" including a charge if you want to run A/C (I live in Switzerland and didn't need it there even though the condo was on the top floor). I liked the feature that they push conservation that way, but someone else might well feel like they were being nickeled and dimed.

I'll be back!

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — It's 3 stories without elevators, that was fine with me, but beware if stairs are an issue for you.
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled solo
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
southern CA
1 review
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2008

I do not think there is a better value on the island than the Kona Billfisher. However, it is not for everybody. We are activity freaks and adventurers and therefore require a jumping off place to stay. So it was perfect for us as our main goal is to have a perfect time ON THE ISLAND, and NOT in the condo. If you want a ritzy hotel experience than go to the Four Seasons and spend $700 a night and then top it off with a per day per person restaurant bill of somewhere in the range of $200 - $300 PER PERSON. If I paid that kind of money for a hotel I do not think I would leave it for one minute. But then I would miss, well...., the whole reason for going to Hawaii! We stayed two days south of Hilo at the tide pools which was unforgettable. We did a half day ATV waterfall tour. We drove south to the state parks and swam with turtles. We took the road to the end to see the volcano pour into the sea. (This was an absolute bust, they do not let you walk out to the lava flows any longer, you look from afar and see only steam rising from the coast. And the state volcano park was closed due to excessive VOG). The only way to really see the flow is to take a helicopter tour. Two couples we met said it was unbelievable and well worth the cost. But not for us, too expensive and we like our feet either on the ground or in the water! So I guess you get the picture by now, we were not in the condo all that much except for sleeping and one day of rest. If this is your lifestyle then I would heartily recommend the Billfisher. If not, pay up and stay in a hotel or find a different condo.

The good points: landscaping, pool, patio & barbecue very well maintained; parking was always available near our unit; office staff very friendly and accommodating; room was clean but not in new condition, I would rate it an 8 out of 10 as far as island condos go; linens were plentiful, the good size (full size for a condo) kitchen was well stocked with all the necessities, we found nothing lacking; cable TV worked well, definitely not a big screen but we got to see the NBA playoffs no problem; unit was large and roomy and since on first floor we had a large courtyard outside with table and chairs (2nd and 3rd story units have a small lanai a third of the size. If you are traveling with more than 2 to a unit I would definitely get a first floor unit); bed was large and comfortable - I had no backaches; basic but clean bath with shower was fine; Walmart (no groceries in this one) and Safeway (expensive) are minutes away on Henry Street and K Mart is a little further and lastly the location is walking distance to the seawall and all the shops and restaurants and luaus. Note: Costco is near the airport, we did not go there but just a tip if you need provisions in mass when arriving on your way to the condo. Also, there is a Long's Drugs nearby (more reasonable than Safeway for maitai provisions) and in the same center is a L&L's restaurant where you can get pretty good local Hawaiian / Asian fast food that comes in huge portions for reasonable price.

The not so good but not so bad points: you will have to pay a registration fee of I think around fifty bucks when registering. We knew about this but some people are not aware of this; the traffic on Alli Drive is terrible and there is only one way in and out so you will have to deal with it and be patient; we heard about the traffic noise problem and yes, it is so. The condo sits between upper and lower roads so all of the easterly facing units gets the traffic noise from the upper road. If you want quiet you will need to stay in the westerly units but they may get noise from the lower road, so hard to say, if traffic noise bothers you one will need to ask the specific before putting down hard cash; air conditioning costs $10 a day if you want it. We visited last week of April and just kept the doors open and the wind flow kept it pleasant.. At least until the last day when we packed up it was way humid and I was sweating like a pig. But if traffic noise bothers you just plug down an extra $10/day and you will have quiet and cool. I mean for what the condo cost us an extra $10 a day would be a no brainier - if we were uncomfortable - which we were not; the average age of the renters was - ok let's be nice here - somewhere in the upper senior bracket. So if you are looking to cruise, forget about it, but just next door is Lulu's bar and grill and the Hard Rock Cafe ;o). they have a laundry room but it is pricey at $1.50 per wash or dry but thoughtfully there is a change machine; and I guess that is it for the not so good not so bad points, not bad, huh.

So would we go back? At the same price I would jump at it. If the price went up substantially I would probably shop around to get a different experience elsewhere.

Last tip: absolutely indispensable - buy this and study up before you leave – “Hawaii: The Big Island Revealed” by Andrew Dougherty and Harriet Friedman - Wizard Publications - we had the 2002 book I think there is a more recent 05 or 06 book now. You can get them off Ebay cheap. The best guidebook, enough said. And lastly, if you go to the Champagne Pond or any other volcanically heated fresh water spring fed pool on the south east side of the island, resist the temptation to get in with open cuts or sores or get your head in the water. The water is crystal clear but full of bacteria. (the guidebook failed to point out that little tidbit!) The only reason I am sitting here writing this long review is because I could not go back to work after returning to the mainland today as I picked up a nasty case of Pink Eye and had to spend half a day in the Hilo Hospital ER. Oh, and for those who had heart conditions or any other health problems that might require immediate intervention, you won't get it in Kona. Although there is a small community hospital in Kona the only real hospital is in Hilo (a surprisingly BIG town compared to Kona), which is an eighty mile drive or expensive medevac helicopter ride away. The second best hospital is 270 miles away in Honolulu. Something to keep in mind that we take for granted here at home.

Hope this review helps and if you go you that you also have a pleasant experience. Aloha!

Stayed April 2008
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2008

We just returned from Kona and spent 5 nights at the Billfisher. Sorry to say, I will not stay there again. Every time we went to the pool, it was closed. They do not allow you to take the pool towels to the beach (and were quite rude about it also) and therefore we had to use our bathroom towels at the beach. Our condo was poorly stocked, no cooler, DVD did not work, no spices for cooking; plus the bed was just awful, hard as a rock. I did not like the 3 panel wood doors to close off the bedroom from the family room. I had my 20 month old sleeping in the bedroom and was worried about waking her up the whole time. You can hear the music from the bars at 1 am even though ALL the windows are closed. If you want to turn on the a/c, it is an additional $10 a day fortunately; we did not have to turn it. I felt the staff was rude to me during the check in processes. To try and put a positive spin on it, the proximity to town is good but you have to walk down a busy street with no sidewalks. I would not recommend it, sorry.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — too many to list
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southern California
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2007

This was our first trip to the Big Island, following a 4 day stay in Oahu at the new Wyndham Resort @ Waikiki Beach Walk. So...with all the "wow" from the previous timeshare stay, we weren't at all impressed with the Kona Billfisher. After a couple of days, it grew on us... It did it's job; definitely didn't hang around to do anything else but sleep (too busy with all the fun things to do on the Big Island).

The condo is definitely dated, but maybe that's the case with a majority of the timeshare units in Kona? Clean enough (I did, however, run a set of dishes through the dishwasher in order to use them). Again, the bathroom was clean "enough"...didn't mind what seemed to be permanent soap scum stains, as long as their wasn't mildew! :P The coffee pot was rusted at the base, so couldn't really enjoy the Kona coffee we bought to have in the mornings (next time we'll buy a cheap one at Walmart for the weeks use).

As for the fees, we were surprised with a $50 check in fee (which was not noted ANYWHERE). There was another guest who booked through RCI that was upset with this. Also, you should know that a/c is OPTIONAL; be prepared to pay $10/day (not the $5 listed all over their paperwork in the room)...otherwise they will "lock" it.

The location is GREAT! A great plus is the AWESOME restaurant across the street - Huggo's. The seafood sampler was delicious; so was the filet mignon! And the ahi tuna....m'mmm!!! Make reservations; ask for a table by the rail....enjoy the sunset and terrific service!
Also, the condo is across Snorkel Bob's - a great place to rent all your gear (chairs, umbrellas, snorkel equipment, boogie boards, etc). Do a weekly rental - save lots!

Would we stay here again....probably, just for the location and value. Otherwise, I'd check out some resorts on the Kohala coast.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — extra fees
  • Stayed June 2007, 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elgin, Illinois
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2007

We spent 5 days at the Billfisher during our 40th anniversary trip to Hawaii last year, and were very satisfied. The condo with king size bed was clean and attractive, the little kitchen was well equipped, and the price was very reasonable. Our lanai had a garden view, with flowers and birds. We paid extra for air conditioning, but didn't really need it - the breezes kept us very comfortable.
Although the condo is not on the beach, it is a short walk from the restaurants and shops of Kailua Kona, and we were very happy to be able to avoid parking hassles in town!
There is a pool on the grounds, though we never tried it, and barbecue grills for the tenants, which we did use. We especially appreciated the staff's directions to the fresh fish market at the pier when we were looking for fish for the grill. The caretaker is also helpful, and takes orders for Kona coffee direct from the farm if you order early in the week.
Our only problem might be an advantage to younger vacationers -the Kona Billfisher is a short distance away from one of the town nightspots, and the sounds of music and partying were audible, especially on the weekend nights. Our unit was near the street, and on the town side; perhaps it would be less audible in other units.
I would be definitely stay there again.

  • Liked — Attractive, comfortable room in a convenient location.
  • Disliked — Noise from nearby night club.
  • Stayed May 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kona Billfisher

Address: 75-5841 Alii Drvie, Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii, HI 96740
Location: United States > Hawaii > Island of Hawaii > Kailua-Kona
Amenities:
Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #24 of 32 Specialty Lodging in Kailua-Kona
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 50
Also Known As:
Kona Billfisher Hotel Kailua-Kona
Kona Billfisher Hawaii/Kailua-Kona

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