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Changing hotel plans from Kona to Kohala coast??

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florida
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Changing hotel plans from Kona to Kohala coast??

Hi everyone,

Still in the final planning stages of our Feb 2013 trip to the BI and Maui. I am debating a last minute change in the BI hotel, and wanted your expert opinions and advice:

I am on the BI for work at the Hilton Waikoloa (not my choice, just where I have to go for work). My husband is joining later and we are spending a few days on the West Coast of the BI, before heading to VNP and then to Maui. Our goal in our few days on the BI is to hit some nice beaches, which I hear are generally in the Kohala area (not Kona) and to do some off-shore snorkeling (we were shooting for a boat-based tour of Keelakekua Bay/Honaunau Bay area, for example).

Our original plan was to change hotels when my husband arrived, and stay two nights at the King Kam Marriott in Kona, as it was closer to the snorkeling sites/Kona. Plus, it seemed like a little bit nicer of a hotel in general, and not as "showy" as the Waikoloa, which isn't really our style. But, now I am realizing it is further from the beaches we'd like to hit, and has no real beach of its own. Plus, it is about $40/night more expensive that the rate at Waikoloa.

Given that most of the stuff we plan to do is outside anyway, does it sound like a better plan to just stay at the Hilton so we are closer to the beaches and maybe have better weather? Or, switch to a little better hotel in Kona (which is closer to the snorkel sites), but farther from beaches? Does it even matter?? Looks like they are about 40 minutes apart, so perhaps it isn't a big deal either way?

I know I'm probably overlooking some other factors (is the city of Kona itself worth spending time in? better dining options? etc etc...), so please weigh in on anything you can see that I've overlooked in making my decision. The only other factor I can think of, is that we are taking the Northern route around the island to get to HVNP, so it will be closer from Waikoloa.

Thanks in advance!!

Big Island, Hawaii
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1. Re: Changing hotel plans from Kona to Kohala coast??

I'm not a big fan of the Hilton or Waikoloa Beach, but I wouldn't move down to Kailua Kona. the CourtyardMarriott is not a better hotel than the Hilton and no, there's no great restaurants or other reason to stay in Kailua Kona. Plus, there are plenty of great snorkel sites on the Kohala Coast, although you should definitely plan a day trip to snorkel Honaunau Bay and visit Pu'uhonua O Honaunau. If anything, just switch over to a nicer hotel on the Kohala Coast like the Mauna Lani or Fairmont where you'll have better access to the snorkel beaches in that resort area.

Island of Hawaii...
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2. Re: Changing hotel plans from Kona to Kohala coast??

The Hilton is a better hotel, even though I know what you mean and I'm not a fan either, but any hotel in Kohala is better.

If you are getting a great rate at the Hilton, you can stay there and tour the area just fine as a member of the public. If you want to pay more and have a higher end hotel experience that is less artificial, then you can certainly do that as suggested by Shea. Depends on how much more money it is and whether it's worth it you. February is not a time to find great hotel rates, generally, but you never know.

No one can make any good predictions on ocean conditions for shore snorkeling in February. There will be some good and some bad. I was able to snorkel at Waia'lea last year, but it could also be crashing waves.

Maka'iwa Bay at Mauna Lani is one of the calmest options, but it all depends on when the swells arrive. Luckily the surf forecast can warn you ahead of time so that you can plan.

Chicago, IL
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3. Re: Changing hotel plans from Kona to Kohala coast??

The Kohala coast has great beaches. Stay there!!!! You can do a snorkel tour one morning. We went on Sea Quest and it was great. It was a piece of cake driving from the Hilton down to Kona-It's a fun trip and the spots they take you are great!!!!

LA
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4. Re: Changing hotel plans from Kona to Kohala coast??

The King Kam is certainly not worth paying more for than the Waikoloa rate.

florida
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5. Re: Changing hotel plans from Kona to Kohala coast??

As always, you guys are the best. Thanks for the tips - we'll stay in Kohala and skip the King Kam! Luckily, we can cancel with no penalty.

Now, on to the fun part! As I mentioned we'll only have a few days there so we want to make the best of it. Since we'll have easy access to Kohala beaches, what are the spots you think shouldn't be missed??

We are doing the snorkel trip offshore out of Kona, so we are just looking for a really nice beach(es) for swimming and lounging, though if you have any recs for snorkeling from the shore, we'd take those too! Of course, it will all be dependent on weather/surf, but we'll have to see what our forecast holds!

Big Island, Hawaii
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6. Re: Changing hotel plans from Kona to Kohala coast??

Look at the Top Questions for the snorkeling topics and a discussion of sites. For just great beaches for scenery, lounging, walking, I like Waialea, Kauna'oa, Hapuna, and in North Kona Kukio/Kikaua Point.

Island of Hawaii...
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7. Re: Changing hotel plans from Kona to Kohala coast??

My list is the same, although I love to walk the Mauna Lani shoreline. I would add Kua Bay as the water color is so beautiful, but it gets too crowded these days. It is a small beach, but still worth seeing.

California
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8. Re: Changing hotel plans from Kona to Kohala coast??

Just stay on the Kohala coast and unless you want to spend more money for a nicer hotel in the area just stay where you are.

9. Re: Changing hotel plans from Kona to Kohala coast??

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