I had hoped the hotel was better than most of the reviews -- had hoped that a Sheraton wouldn't be THIS sad -- but I was wrong. When I'm in Hawaii I like to snorkel, hike, enjoy the islands, then be able to come back to my hotel and find a peaceful spot to read & relax. That doesn't exist here. We've stayed at many different hotels through the years (this is our 11th trip to Hawaii) -- some nice and some not so nice -- but never at a hotel as poorly designed as this place, with a shamefully disgusting bathroom.
If your idea of relaxing is sitting by a noisy pool which could be anywhere -- then you won't mind this place. There was only one small corner (maybe 10 chairs in all) where you could actually sit by the pool and see the ocean -- but you had to listen to all the babies yelling behind you in the baby area of the pool -- and had to get there early to get chairs at this spot -- so if you go out to do something and want to come back in the afternoon, forget it.
There is no beach here, and no grounds you can sit on with a chair to look out at the ocean. The only peace I found was early in the morning I went down to their bar -- Rays on the Beach -- and could sit quietly by the ocean. We met some people staying at condos nearby who come here and do this as well. Just don't eat at Rays -- the food is terrible. The drinks are fine at Rays -- but the found that the drinks were better in the lobby bar.
While in Hawaii I always like to peacefully sit on my balcony -- but my balcony overlooked the parking lot and entry of the hotel. I don't find the sound of cars being parked, people entering and leaving the hotel peaceful.
Obviously, this hotel has problems. They seem to have partially updated it -- for instance the bathroom sink is granite but the separate tub/shower and toilet area is old, dirty and quite disgusting. But I'll start with the good parts. The location is really good. The volcano is a little under 2 hours away -- and absolutely worth the drive. This is the closest you can be in a hotel to the volcano on this side of the island. It's also a good central location. We have found hotel restaurants in Hawaii to be pretty awful and over-priced as a general rule no matter where we stay. We relied on Yelp and found some good places to eat nearby. There is an empty refrigerator in the rooms which we filled with fruit and yogurts etc. from the nearby market. The people in the hotel as a general rule are nice.
I paid for an ocean view room and got a mountain view/parking lot view which they called a partial ocean view because you could see a slice of the ocean from over the ugly roof of the lobby when you stood on the balcony. I was told we had no other options, that this was the only room available to us. Period. They would put me on top of the list should an ocean view become available. I waited two days then asked to speak with the manager. I had pre-paid through a Hawaiian Airlines package for an ocean view -- so I had to ask for an adjustment, which could only be to have the daily $25 additional resort fee waived, which they did. She also threw in one breakfast buffet. But I had to ask for this adjustment -- it was not offered. I suspect I was put in this room because I had pre-paid -- they said (derisively) through Orbitz -- but I paid through Hawaiian Airlines, didn't know it was Orbitz. Guess they don't like it if you buy from Orbitz.
When I was checking out I heard another person complaining that the hotel didn't give them the room they reserved. Clearly we weren't an isolated case -- though perhaps they just treat the pre-paid guests this way?
I realize we were staying at the hotel at the busiest time of the year -- and I did read the reviews before we left and did lower my expectations. But this toilet/shower room (the sink is outside this) is as bad as the one at the Motel Six I had to stay at once years ago. Bubbly cracked drywall around the dirty, filthy grout, filthy tub, old gas station-style toilet, lime crusted shower head with no water pressure. Gross. Some of the bathrooms must be better. Maybe they save these rooms for the pre-paid guests?
So the room, relatively speaking, was not that expensive for this time of the year -- because I pre-paid through Hawaiian Airlines. Then what am I complaining about? I'm complaining because I thought I was getting an ocean view and a hotel where I could relax and enjoy Hawaii. The only way to enjoy the Big Island -- and it's a wonderful place -- is to leave this hotel. I heard that the nearby Outrigger (I think) was being torn down. This one should be next.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Enjoy the diversity of Hawaii's Big Island with family and friends at Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa. From stargazing atop majestic Mauna Kea to tours of nearby Kona Coffee farms. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Sheraton Keauhou Bay Hotel Kailua-Kona
- Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort And Spa
- Sheraton Kailua-Kona
- Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa
- Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa At Keauhou Bay Hawaii/Kailua-Kona