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Ist trip to this island! need help near Kona

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delmar
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Ist trip to this island! need help near Kona

We are going to be flying into Kona for a week in August and need some advice... we would like to get suggestions for non bank-breaking accomodations on the water. We are VERY interested in snorkeling, on our on from the beaches or by good tours!

Also we will have a car and wish to see some island highlights.There are three adults in our group...any other help is appreciated!! Thanks

Big Island, Hawaii
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1. Re: Ist trip to this island! need help near Kona

Please list your nightly accomodation budget, excluding taxes and cleaning fees, and advise if you prefer a condo or hotel.

If you read through the threads here you will see there are two primary areas on the west coast to stay for access to snorkeling and on/near waterfront accomodation, Kailua-Kona area and the Kohala Coast. They are about an hour apart. Kailua Kona is "town" and has a lot more on the water accomodations, primarly condos, most of which are older, smaller, don't have air conditioning (although some do), and do not have ocean access. In August most people find "town" very hot, and so want a/c or direct oceanfront with good airflow. It does not have any beaches to speak of, although there is very good snorkeling in South Kona (about 25 minutes) at Honaunau Bay (no beach). The oceanfront condo options often have spectacular views with lanais right on/over the water.

I prefer the Kohala Coast which has many beaches, great snorkeling in summer off of beaches, more sun, less vog, and more breeze (but sometimes a lot of wind!). Condos are larger and newer but generally are not direct oceanfront and often don't even have any ocean views. So it's a tradeoff. For $150-200+ you can get a smallish direct oceanfront smashing view condo in Kailua-Kona. For that same price you're looking at no ocean view but much larger, nicer, newer condo on the Kohala Coast within walking distance or a few minutes drive to beaches. Some people (and rightly so) want the oceanfront lanai view and don't mind driving an hour every day to the beach, and also prefer the convenience of being "in town". Others prefer the ambiance of the resort areas and the tradeoffs that come from non oceanview resort area condos. Only you know what works best for you.

If you don't want a condo, your best oceanfront hotel in Kailua Kona will be the Courtyard Marriott, which has a very small not particularly nice beach, but it is sand, and does have decent snorkeling off of it (except you have to watch for boat traffic). Rooms are very reasonable at under $200 per night. RIght in town at the pier, so walking distance to lots of shops at restaurants.

On the Kohala Coast you have the resort area of Waikoloa Beach which aside from many condo options has the Waikoloa Beach Marriott. It's an OK hotel on an OK beach, but it is very reasonably priced although the rooms are very small and you probably wouldn't feel comfortable with one room and three adults. Waikoloa Beach has two outdoor malls and lots of shops and restaurants, but has a more upscale resort vibe than "town", although there are food courts and cheaper food options as well. It's more built up and touristy feeling than some of the other resort areas, but more spread out and cleaner than "town".

The Mauna Lani resort area also a lot of condo options, probably the best snorkel beach on the island, Makaiwa Bay and a very nice hotel, the Mauna Lani Bay. This area is important historically, culturally, and ecologically, and is a beautiful, Hawaiiana feeling place.

The Mauna Kea resort has a few condo options generally in the upper price ranges, and an expensive beachfront hotel located on a fantastic, beautiful beach, Kauna'oa, that doesn't have very good snorkeling but is great otherwise. The "budget" beachfront hotel is the Hapuna Prince which is on a large (for the Big Island), lovely beach, but again, no snorkeling to speak of.

So those are some of your options, first off would probably look at budget then decide which area and type of accomodation you prefer.

Island of Hawaii...
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2. Re: Ist trip to this island! need help near Kona

Great explanation!

In Kailua-Kona you can be on the water for not too much, but you won't be getting in the water to snorkel or swim. You'll need to drive 30-60 minutes to find a nice beach.

Or

In South Kohala, you can be a five minute drive or walk from good swimming and snorkeling, but you won't be on the water for a budget, as it's a very desirable area and oceanfront is premium there.

Probably the best way to get a sense of what there is and pricing is start right here at TA and click on hotels and vacation rentals while in the subforum for the area of interest. For rentals, survey VRBO and Homeaway or search for property management sites.

You'll quickly get the idea of your choices.

You will want to look around for the best pricing, but narrow it down a little first.

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3. Re: Ist trip to this island! need help near Kona

I would also add that there are some condos in kohala that do have ocean views for $200 per night before taxes and cleaning. But they are NOT ocean front. Again... Just ocean view.

delmar
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4. Re: Ist trip to this island! need help near Kona

Thanks sooo much for the info!! All this now needs to be read with a map in hand. We do want to say on the water, would like to be under 200$ and don't have a preference for condo or hotel. we will travel if necessary to snorkel. snorkeling on our own is fine...or are there good tours/boats to take us out to a nearby reef? we did our own snorkel safari in Maui and it was great!! had to travel some... thanks for the names of the areas to snorkel...that saves alot of research!

My husband mentioned the Courtyard King K ...i will look at it, as well as those you mentioned. If you have any other hints, on activities, local eateries, not touristy...thanks!

Big Island, Hawaii
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5. Re: Ist trip to this island! need help near Kona

As mentioned above, if you want a hotel, you can get beachfront on the Kohala Coast for just under $200 night at either the Hapuna Prince or the Waikoloa Marriott. Both are better beaches and weather than the Courtyard Mariott in Kailua Kona, however that is definitely your best choice in Kailua Kona. It has a very small beach with ocean access, but it's right at the pier so you have to watch out for boat traffic.

You can take many snorkel boat tours, I like the Hula Kai itinerary, but there is excellent shore snorkeling in summer on the Kohala Coast at Waialea Bay and the Mauna Lani (Makaiwa Bay). Look into doing the manta ray night snorkel. Honaunau Bay in South Kona is also very good snorkeling, no beach, combine with a trip to the Pu'uhonua O Honaunau historical park.

delmar
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6. Re: Ist trip to this island! need help near Kona

We are looking at the Kona Reef in Kailua Kona, we did go ahead and book thecourtyard , but am concerned about the weather . Definately want waterfront but cant seem to afford Kohala. Again, thanks!

Big Island, Hawaii
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7. Re: Ist trip to this island! need help near Kona

The Courtyard and the Kona Reef are in the same town. There's no weather difference.

La Mirada...
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8. Re: Ist trip to this island! need help near Kona

Take a look at Hale Kona Kai. You really can't get any closer to the water. We stayed in 213, but I really don't think you could go wrong with any of the condos. It's a small complex too - you have your own parking spot, there's on-site laundry, BBQ grills, A/C - we loved it!

http://halekonakai-hkk.com/

3Chihuahuas

9. Re: Ist trip to this island! need help near Kona

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