My wife and rented a 1-bedroom, 2-bath unit in the south building for four nights ending Christmas eve. We enjoyed our stay.
Aston Kona by the Sea is about 3 miles south of the center of Kailua-Kona, one of two resort areas on the west side of the big island. It gets excellent weather, especially as compared to Hilo on the northeast coast, which gets a lot of rain. The other major resort area on the west side of the island is at Waiulua Bay, where you can find the Hilton Waikoloa Village. That area is much more upscale, but it's quite a bit farther from the airport and more of a contained village, with many fewer restaurants and shopping venues -- really a self-contained property. After visiting it, we decided that we had made a good decision to stay in the Kailua-Kona area. That said, Kailua-Kona has its drawbacks. Most of the action is along Alii Dr., which gets tied up with traffic almost all the time as you approach the city center. We avoided it at all costs. The area near the center of town is very touristy. But, other parts of the city are quite normal.
The common areas of the property seemed well maintained. Of course, the quality of individual units will vary. Ours was in good shape. My only complaint was that the clothes drier did not turn off by itself, so we needed to set a timer so that we didn't forget and burn our clothing. There was a sign on the dryer to this effect to remind us. Still, the guest book in the unit indicates that the drier has not been working properly for at least two years. The unit owner should have taken care of repairing it and the property manager should have insisted that this be done.
Our unit, and I believe all the units in the south building, ran the width of the building from the east side, where an exterior hallway leads to the condo entry, to the west, where the lanai overlooks the ocean. The ocean view was great, and we often sat on the lanai in the late afternoons taking in the view and the sun.
The professional photo on the TripAdvisor page for Kona by the Sea showing the beach area makes it appear that the sand goes right down to the water. That is not the case. The shore area is rocky and not good for swimming. But, the sandy area sports lounge chairs, as shown in the picture, and is a comfortable place to spend time.
We examined from the outside several of the condo complexes that were potential alternatives to Kona by the Sea and, although it's hard to tell from the exterior alone, Kona by the Sea seemed to be one of the best if not the best, from the city center to about five or six miles out. Beyond that, there seemed to be some very good alternatives.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- An intimate, oceanfront resort with breathtaking views and spacious suites. This condominium resort fronts a magnificent rocky shoreline with its own sandy lounging area, outdoor barbecue facilities and more. Located just south of historic Kailua-Kona with its charming shops, dining and nightlife. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Aston Kona By The Sea Hotel Kailua-Kona
- Kona Sea
- Resortquest Kona Sea
- Kona By The Sea
- Aston Kona By The Sea Hawaii/Kailua-Kona