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“Love this Hotel”
Review of Royal Kona Resort

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Royal Kona Resort
Ranked #9 of 14 Hotels in Kailua-Kona
Reviewed October 7, 2009

The Royal Kona Resort is in a great location within the town of Kailua Kona. It is right on the ocean, making for wonderful views. You can walk through the town easily. I have stayed in the Alli Tower (Main Tower) 1 time and was upgraded to a corner ocean front room at just a small amount more a night. Well worth the upgrade. Ocean view from all windows, and the large mirror in the room provided a ocean view from there also, fit for a princess!
I have stayed in the Lagoon tower 2 times, I really loved waking up in the morning to the sea turtles swimming in the lagoon.
The Mai Tai bar is great especially for dinners as they give you many 20% off coupons at check in which makes for a wonderful reasonably priced meal. The Barbecue pulled pork sandwich, and French Dip is wonderful. The buffet is over priced for what you get.
The only problem I had on this trip was that they had very high surf for 4 days of the 8 days I was there, the hotel closed the lagoon ( main reason I stay here) so that was disappointing. But in Hawaii so can't complain. Do book the upgraded rooms, you will not run into problems that way. Absolutely would recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed: September 2009
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Thank Kalena50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,225 - 2,231 of 2,939 reviews

Reviewed October 5, 2009

The positive: close to shopping, night life, and restaurants; beautiful,clean grounds; resort restaurant is good only for lunch and dinner.

The negative: staff, including manager, are rude; drink prices are too high; the room was dirty when we arrived. We had all of the bedding changed and the room deodorized. The lighting in the room was equivalent to a dungeon, which I'm guessing to hide the dirt. They take better care of the grounds than the rooms! Finally, the room was outdated and the furniture looked like it came from a yard sale.; stay away from the breakfast "buffet"

Tips: Only book a room in the renovated tower. Those are the pics they show on their site.;Don't remind the resort that you booked with a travel site, such as priceline, if you have a complaint. They like to remind you how much less you paid for your room than other customers.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank RNOhio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 4, 2009

My husband and I stayed at the Royal Kona for our honeymoon (belated) / 1st anniversary. When we booked the hotel we were given a garden view room, but were upgraded to a partial ocean view room when the hotel found out we were there for our honeymoon. They also sent up a bottle of champagne. The staff was very helpful in assisting us with deciding what to do while we were on the island.

The rooms weren't in the best shape, but that wasn't a huge problem for me. I didn't come to Hawaii for the hotel rooms. The rest of the hotel was nice though. Very clean and comfortable.

I absolutely recommend eating at the hotel restaurant (Don the Beachcomber) Some of the food is a little pricey but based on what we ate (Surf and Surf & Sun of a Beach Filet), completely worth it. Our bill was only $84 and with the 20% coupon the hotel gave us it ended up only being $70. That's about what we paid to eat at all of the little local spots.

The location is fantastic. You are right on the water! I didn't see any other hotels that were that close. The majority weren't even on the same side of the street. There are a bunch of restaurants and shops all within walking distance.

There are also some great beaches and snorkeling spots along Ali'i Drive.

Kahaluu Beach Park is about 10 minutes away and has a bunch of sea turtles. Very cool.

Captain Cook Monument is about 20-30min away and is AMAZING to snorkel at! You can only get there by kayak or boat. I recommend kayaking over. If you choose to kayak check out Kona Boys for you rental. The people there are very helpful and informative.

Honaunau Place of Refuge is about 30-40min away. Very nice place to snorkel. Parking can be a little tough though.


If you stay at the Royal Kona and are there for a Sunday morning, I HIGHLY recommend heading over to Bongo Ben's (about a 2 minute walk) for their buffet. Probably one of the best breakfast buffets I've had in a long time and it's only $13.

If you have about 2 hours you can spare I recommend signing up for a timeshare presentation. You can sign up for the one we did (Shell Vacations) at the activity booth by the elevators in the Alii Tower. You can either get $100 cash or a "Diamond Card" which gives you up to 40% off a ton of the islands activities.

While we really enjoyed our stay, we do have a few complaints...

The hotel restaurant is closed on Monday and Tuesday. This was a problem for us because we enjoyed our dinner there so much that we felt like we just had to eat there one more time before we left on Wednesday. Because they were closed on Mon and Tues, this was not possible and quite disappointing.

The bar and restaurant stop serving food quite early. The bar stops around 9 which to me seems too early. If this is a problem for you too there is a place next door (Huggo's On the Rocks) that serves food until 10. If it's after 10 you're pretty much stuck with fast food.

There was a tsunami watch for Hawaii and none of the hotel staff informed us. There were no notices posted or anything. We were made aware of the potential disaster by our waitress during our breakfast over at Bongo Ben's. I just feel like the hotel had a responsibility to it's guests to inform us of a situation like that.

Lastly, was the parking. The hotel has a large parking lot, but requires it's guests to pay $10/day to park there. Not that $10/day is really a lot of money, but you would't think that a hotel that you are paying more than $100/day to stay at would make you pay to park there too. There is some street parking right in front of the hotel, but only enough for about a dozen cars or so.

Overall, our stay at the Royal Kona resort was great and we would definitely go there again.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank PG927
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 22, 2009

We stayed here in the Alli Tower - Room 437 and it was beautiful! This was not considered an oceanview but as you can see from our views we had a partial oceanview. The room was extremely nice and the staff was quite helpful. Great location!

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank tmrdmr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 25, 2009

Stayed 8 nights at the Royal Kona Resort and it was a wonderful hotel to book. Views are awesome, especially the Bay Tower side facing the entrance and garden/ocean view 2nd floor. Room had a large balcony, comfortable bed, fridge and very clean. I had no complaints the whole time there. Various entertainment, nice restaurant/bar and great Luah right on the ocean. This luah had alot to offer, which covered costumes and dance of many islands, presented beautifully. It made for great evening of entertainment and worth the money. Restaurant is expensive, but convienient for breakfast buffet right on the water. Other restaurants nearby, as well as the town of Kona for shopping. I highly recommend this beautiful resort because of the gorgeous views, plants, landscaping, and the feeling of real Hawaii. It is one of the oldest on the island, but redone nicely, especially the Bay towers side.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled on business
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1  Thank roadhound1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2009

My husband and I stayed there just last week for 3 nights. Before I booked this hotel, I read a lot of the reviews. The percentage was about 60/40 good against bad. I still took our chances because we got a really great rate for oceanview. A lot of the reviews mentioned not to stay in the Alii tower, but that is where they put us and it wasn't really that bad at all. We had a beautiful view of the pool and ocean. My only complaint really was the bad lighting in the bathroom. The hotel itself is older, but it was clean and nice. The location is absolutely perfect!! You can walk to many restaurants and souvenier shops.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank MishChicago_Illinois
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2009

As the last stop on a three-island vacation, the Royal Kona Resort was pretty disappointing, especially after staying at their sister property, the beautiful Royal Lahaina in Maui. When we checked in, they did not have a room with two beds available. When we moved to a different room the next day, they told us to check out of the first room in the morning and leave our luggage with them until the new room was ready later in the afternoon. This left us basically stranded for a good part of the day, with no access to luggage or facilities. We were booked for four nights, and should have been able to stay in our first room until the new one was available.
Basic accessability of the property is inconvenient. When checking in, you have to park in either a red zone, or handicap parking. You then have to move your car up a hill to their gated parking ($10/night) and walk back through the property and loop around to get to the towers where the rooms are. We stayed in the Lagoon tower, which is reportedly one of the "refurbished" towers, but the refurbishment seems to have been a pretty slapdash job. Shabby decor, chipped and peeling paint, and bad plumbing. The toilet was tempermental and the shower drained very slowly, leaving you with a choice of either turning the water off several times as you wash to allow the water to drain or bathing in a pool of your own filth. When I tried to call the front desk to report this, I discovered the phone did not work.
Housekeeping is very stingy with towels and toiletries (Just a sliver of soap, shampoo, and two towels. We asked for extra towels, but they brought them only once, and did not replace them daily). There was also no soap dish by the sink, making for a slimy mess, and nowhere in the shower/tub to place toiletries except for balancing them precariously on a one-inch bathtub ledge. Daily cleaning was also sub-par. We would return to the room to find hairs in the sink and tub, an unwashed coffee maker, etc.
The beds were comfortable, though the pillows were like bricks. The bed linens were clean and fresh and soft. Be advised that the ocean front rooms can be quite loud at night as the surf crashes against the rocks.
The best thing about this hotel is the setting. It's right on the water, with great views. The coast line along this area is just lava rock, though, so there are no beaches or swimming access nearby. There is a small saltwater lagoon on the property which provides some simple snorkeling. The bar/restaurant area is on a large, open patio right on the edge of the water which is also a nice place to hang out. The pool and spa were very small and nothing special. The location, within walking distance to the town was ok, but beyond that you definitely need a car to get to any decent beaches for swimming/snorkeling and other points of intererest.
As mentioned, the service was poor and the staff were generally lacking the spirit of aloha that we experienced elsewhere on the other islands we visited. Front desk staff gave the impression that we were more of an inconvenience rather than a guest, and the parking attendant was particuarly surly and unhelpful.
It would be nice if the Royal Kona were restored to a grand establishment with first-rate service and amenities, rather than a slightly run down property that has probably seen better days and staff that fits the same description.

  • Stayed: August 2009
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1  Thank uxsah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Royal Kona Resort

Address: 75-5852 Alii Drive, Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii, HI 96740-1310
Location: United States > Hawaii > Island of Hawaii > Kailua-Kona
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Kailua-Kona
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Kailua-Kona
Price Range: $164 - $290 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Royal Kona Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 436
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Royal Kona Hotel Kailua-Kona
Royal Kona Kailua
Royal Kona Resort Hawaii/Kailua-Kona

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