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“It's a Crap Shoot! Be prepared, they're not all alike!”

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Castle Kona Bali Kai
Level Contributor
17 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“It's a Crap Shoot! Be prepared, they're not all alike!”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 18, 2013

I was sooo disappointed with this condo! Each condo in this place has a different owner. We had number 216 on the second floor. You can't request, nor can you change places once you have reserved a room. The positive is the location. It is very near the town, almost walking distance. The rooms do have a lovely view of the ocean, a large balcony and parking is easily accessed beneath the building. So what's my complaint? The bed was truly like sleeping on a plank of plywood! I spent four nights trying to sleep on the couch. The shower was extremely tiny, so much so that I had to stand sideways. There was No Air Conditioning and we were there in December! The kitchen was extremely HOT. Some of the drawers were broken. The toaster didn't work. The electric stove was crooked. Minimal utensils and cookware were provided. The television was very OLD, small, out of date with a very poor quality picture. I'm not usually one to complain, in fact, this is my first negative report, but I really wanted to let you know what you might end up getting.

Room Tip: All of the rooms on the ocean side have a good ocean view. I was not able to request a room when I...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank DebbieT11_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CRHHNL, General Manager at Castle Kona Bali Kai, responded to this review, January 28, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to share some comments about your recent stay. The unit you stayed in has had some recent upgrades. The challenge with mattresses is that every person has different preferences. For any of our guest that have a concern during their stay the General Manager Stephen Hicks is always available should you not be satisfied with the response from our front desk. Our Ocean Front units do not have Air Conditioning and this is clearly stated on our Web Site. The cool ocean breezes are usually enough for most of our guests. If A/C is critical for you’re stay then I recommend our Ocean View Units. I have reviewed the unit and your concerns have been addressed. On your next trip to Hawaii please contact me prior to your arrival and I will ensure that we meet or exceed your expectation.


Stephen Hicks
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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429 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (127)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
94 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 17, 2013

This property is truly a mixed bag. The partial ocean front which I booked was across the street to ocean, a fairly busy street at that. We decided that this was to be a very local experience. It was not a two star hotel stay. The condo was old and dated but very clean. Cleanliness is our priority. The bed was comfy. Room size adequate. Lots of make shift repairs to keep it functional. If you want a place to eat and sleep with close proximity to ocean. This is it.
It is not by any means luxurious. We did get a local feel though, which we appreciate in our travels.
The reception desk was not particularly friendly. She did her job efficiently, but there was no welcome involved. I'm not sure where the aloha spirit was... But it was not there at that moment.
Let's just simply say, we grew to like it. We were on vacation and the island is beautiful. It's not a place to stay and hang out.... Unless you get the ocean front condo... It was affordable and mostly utilitarian.

Room Tip: If you get a partial ocean view, it's not really an upgrade. The view is negligible for the pric...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bdt61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester, New York
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 16, 2013

Originally, we were scheduled to stay at the Kona Reef. To find out that 'an owner wanted your room, and you are now at our sister hotel'. We found the Kona Bali Kai, and couldn't be happier. It was farther down from the 'main drag'. But the view was incredible! Couldn't ask for a nicer condo, and didn't want to leave the balcony! It was spacious, clean and would LOVE to go back!
Only down side, is you don't get greated with 'aloha and mahalo' as often on the Big Island, but can't wait to go back!
Mahalo to the owner who had to have our room at the Kona Reef. It ended up being a great vacation. Have to try Da Poke Shack....very good Poke...locals love it, so that says it all!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Dawn M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 8, 2013

Wow what have I paid for.
Smoke detector has been disarmed and is hanging unplugged from ceiling
Kitchen fitly
Cutting board, needs replacing
dishes so dirty ( need to boil water to wash dishes)
No water pressure (accidentally left sink on while in other room, came back 15 minutes later and sink was half full)
no hot water
No additional bedding, for hideabed/futon
pillows are atrocious
bed is terrible, a rock would have more contours
All window screens are broken
carpet is filthy
tile is broken and moves as you wallk across the floor
Lanai feels like it is going to collapse, or was built at a very obtuse angle
Everything is greasy and unacceptably dirty
no lights work in living area
tv is 15 inches, remote's don't work
Futon/ couch is disgusting, stained and smells
Unit has a very bad stale aroma
Bath and tile has allot of black growing in corners
No water pressure
Shower head needs cleaning, severely clogged
Shower head may be as old as this unit
blinds are stained with who knows what
No air circulation
AC is old does not work that well and sounds like a freight train when on
The grocery store has a better view
3 miles away from any grocery stores
front desk staff says NO before they check
You have to pay to have your towels or sheets cleaned per cleaning $45.00
$5.00 per day for safe key
$1.50 for (4 cup ) packet hotel style coffee package
Wow I feel juiced
Check in is at 3pm and not a moment before
Pool towels are only available from 8am-10pm and must be returned nightly, or they charge you??? let me pay a deposit and I will return them when I am done
Ethernet only internet in the room/ no wifi
Old style keys and locks.

Room Tip: Find somewhere else, Hawaii is full of decently priced, clean options.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Mahalo642
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CRHHNL, General Manager at Castle Kona Bali Kai, responded to this review, January 28, 2013
Aloha,

I would like to thank you for taking the time to share your concerns with us. It is disappointing to know that everything in your unit was unacceptable. We work with our team to ensure that every guest has a positive experience at our resorts. I hope that on your next trip to Hawaii we are able to provide you with a more positive experience.

Mahalo,

Stephen Hicks
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shoreline
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 5, 2013

We feted a condo through VRBO and were not disappointed!! The building is old but really well kept up. The location can not be beat. We watched the giant sea turtles from our lanai. We plan on going back in 2014.

Room Tip: Be sure to get an ocean front unit!!!!
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Nancy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palmerston North, New Zealand
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 4, 2013

DO NOT GO MOUNTAINSIDE. I booked mountainside and got a 'lovely' view of the roadside and oceanfront accommodation and accommodation behind me.

Areas of concern:
There was absolutely no mountain view.
Bed was like sleeping on a concrete slab.
Linen was not clean and duvet was covered in lint (ie like it had been washed with towels)
Bath tub and grouting had bad discoloration.
Severe lack of light in the room.
Room looked nothing like what was on picture.
Opened up cupboards and there was old paint containers, cleaning products, tiling. etc.
Internet cable given over reception desk did not even work!!
Reception shut over night and reopen at 8am.
I would rate this one above a backpackers...


Good notes:
Sunnys discount activities in the lounge area were fantastic with great deals.
If you take the time to head onto the beach infront of the ocean view rooms, the beach is lovely with deck chairs provided.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PhoenixBreeze
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
108 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 31, 2012

Based on previous reviews, we had identified there was a certain consistency in the way people experience this hotel because there are multiple buildings - some on the ocean side, and some on the other side of Ali'i Drive. Those with oceanfront rooms were very happy, whilst those with either partial ocean view or mountain view rooms in the building across the street from the primary building were less satisfied. We booked an oceanfront room as a result.

Alas, due to a plumbing issue in the room we booked, we were downgraded to a partial ocean view room across the street. This obviously was not the preferred room we wanted but given our choices were (1) a room with plumbing problems vs (2) a room which could still see the ocean and was problem-free, it was the best possible alternative that could be provided. The manager and reception staff were quite apologetic about needing to downgrade us, so we received good service on that front.

However, the main thing that really dragged down the review of this hotel is that paying customers are locked out of the lobby after 10pm. Apparently this is to stop people using the pool (which is located near the lobby) but when the only wifi internet provided is within the lobby, this means any guests wanting wifi end up sitting on the street kerb and holding their device close to the metal grated fence in order to get a wifi signal. There is no shelter from the weather so even a light misty rain makes this quite unpleasant. After a couple of nights of this, I found we could walk through a side carpark and into a dark corridor which got us out of the rain, but didn't give us any better seating - we still had to sit on hard concrete instead of comfortable seating. This seriously detracted from the sense of being a hotel guest - if you were in the oceanside building, you'd be able to drag a chair out of your room and sit on the area overlooking the pool and lobby, but those on the other side of the road were left to feel like second class citizens within the hotel hierarchy.

The second issue with the hotel was the lack of light within the room. Without a main bedroom ceiling light, for example, we had to feel our way through the gloom to the bedside lamp in the far corner. Due to the lampshade, there was not even enough light thrown through the room to check what colour shirt you were fishing out of a suitcase so we ended up using a flashlight to navigate inside sometimes. The living room was also odd - the ceiling light above the dining table was installed post-construction so turning it on involved following an extension cord along the floor behind some furniture, instead of just being a simple light switch. You could argue these aren't dealbreakers, but it's just a nuisance which could be easily avoided by the installation of decent/any ceiling light fixtures/switches.

On the positive side, the kitchen was extremely well-equipped with all manner of pots, pans, and cooking utensils so self-catering was a breeze. It even had a dishwasher if you didn't feel like doing dishes by hand.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MQ007b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Castle Kona Bali Kai

Property: Castle Kona Bali Kai
Address: 76-6246 Alii Dr, Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii, HI 96740-4614
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Hawaii > Island of Hawaii > Kailua-Kona
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #27 of 35 Specialty Lodging in Kailua-Kona
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Castle Kona Bali Kai 3*
Number of rooms: 154
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kona Bali Kai is a condominium resort located on the ocean's edge, displaying an uninterrupted vista of magnificent Kona sunsets. Choose from studios, one-, two-, and three-bedroom suites with full-kitchens, private lanai, and ocean or mountainside views. Amenities include a swimming pool, barbecue areas throughout the resort, and a laundry facility. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kona Bali Kai Hotel Kailua-Kona
Castle Kona Bali Kai Kailua
Castle Kona Bali Kai Hotel
Castle Kona Bali Kai Hawaii/Kailua-Kona

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