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“Kona Magic Sands 303” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Kona Magic Sands

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Kona Magic Sands
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Kona Magic Sands 303”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 26, 2013

Paradise on a budget!

I love the Big Island and especially Kona; fell in love with it 40 years ago on my honeymoon. The Big Island has, surprisingly, not changed too much over all those years. Although, like everywhere else, there has been some development. None-the-less, it is still a little piece of heaven and I try to get back at least once a year.

I dive and for many years dove with Dive Maki, but unfortunately the original family owned business was bought out by a mainlander who drove it into the ground. I have tried Jacks and they are good but I would also highly recommend Big Island Divers (same dive sites for less).

I personally like to rent condos and have tried a variety of properties over the years. I have stayed at Kona Magic Sands a couple of times before and always liked the location. There aren’t a lot of beaches in Kona and this property is right next door to one of the nicest ones. Note: nice night dive with super easy access from the beach.

The complex, in general, is nice with the usual amenities; however, the quality of the units varies from one to the next (if you are not too picky you can get some good deals). There are probably 2 or 3 dozen units total but only 8 of them have outside balconies (they call them lanais in Hawaii). The top 4 are opened and nice but the lower 4 are covered and a little dark for my tastes.

This year I splurged and rented one of them (Unit 303). It is on the top, 3rd, floor so you have a large open lanai and you’re practically standing over the ocean. Sitting out on the lanai you can watch dolphins and turtles at almost any time. The constant surf provides a pleasant backdrop and you can see an amazing amount of reef fish just by looking down into the water, we call it porch diving.

There is large table and umbrella for al fresco dining, a lounge chair and some other seating out there so it is all very comfortable.

The unit inside is very nice, everything looks new. It is kind of laid out like a large hotel suite, very roomy. My wife really really liked the place (she has not always appreciated some of my previous choices).

There is a big screen TV, which I never turned on, but I did use the WiFi all the time which was pretty fast (looks like a cable modem)

The kitchen appliances, like everything else, looked new and we seemed to find everything we needed. We brought our Costco card and packed the fridge, so we pretty much ate in, or packed lunches to go most of the time. The farmers market is on Wednesdays and great place to get local food cheap. BTW the fish at Costco is really good but I think the best fish can be bought at Safeway which is near the local Walmart.

The money we save eating in let us try some of the very nice restaurants on the island, although my taste tends towards joints for the locals we did hit one of the multi start resort restaurants north of the airport, I forget the name now - the meal was forgettable too. My advice is save the money and go to the Big Island Grill! And to be honest the Mahi-Mahi dinner at Denny’s ain’t too bad.

There is a restaurant on the property, although I didn't try it this trip. Tried it years ago and it was okay but it looks like it is under new management now. Something to try next year.

There was a washer/dryer in the unit which as divers came is real handy; because after a dive
almost everything comes back wet.

We rented thru VRBO and communication with the owner was quick and easy. My wife wants to re-rent the same unit next year which is fine by me - now I just have to find some cheap flights.

Room Tip: I would stay away from the 301 and 201 units (i stayed in 201 years ago). They are nice because they...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Leroy J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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139 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
Date | Rating
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English first
US
Level Contributor
96 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 22, 2013

Physically the KMS Kona Magic Sands Property 303 VRBO Property # 373935 met our expectations and I liked the firm bed. We got off to a rough start because I never received the check in/ lock box details and we had to problem solve with remote management to get into the condo. Don't expect an Aloha welcome from Stateside management. After dialing 5 different numbers with no one answering, I was able to get a hold of co-owner Jerry McConnell in Denver. After receiving multiple correspondences from Jerry, I was surprised to be phone screened by Jerry like I was some stalker, after convincing Jerry I was a customer, he warmed up. Even though Jerry's name is all over the owner correspondence, he wasn't able to give me the lock box code to get in. Sonia is the "hands on" owner and got back with us after her flight landed. Apparently multiple email addresses (3) during the process added to mix up. Don't expect any apologies for lack of service, the owners clearly think the customer is to blame. It is frustrating when someone has your payment in full and you spend half of your first day figuring out how to get in. According to local restaurant staff I guess it's a common event at KMS, luckily the seaside restaurant is a nice place to pass the time waiting. If we can save any future customers some telephone tag, Sonia's cell is 609 651 5801. Once you get a hold of her, she is responsive. As I said, the property is nice, but the owners are remote (possibly overloaded) and challenged to respond to customer needs on a timely basis. FYI, beware there are definitely some process disconnects between VRBO communications and the owners.

Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Taoze
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
kenmore
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 9, 2013

have dreamed of a tropical vacation for many years and finally for our 25th wedding anniversary we decided on Hawaii. After researching all the "fancy resorts" and having sticker shock for an ocean view I came upon Kona Magic Sands unit 314. The owners were very helpeful and extremely quick in response to my email questions prior to making our reservation. They even sent me a CD about the islands! Now to unit 314... when we first walked in my husband dropped our bags stunned at the phenomenal view. He said he could not believe the quality and the amazing view for the price. The unit was clean, beautifully and tastefully decorated. There were beach chairs, boogie boards and coolers for our use. We could not have asked for a more amazing place to spend our anniversary. One of the best parts of this location is the beach next door. The surf was manageable and fun. If you did not want to body surf you could wait for smaller waves, swim out a few feet and bob with the waves. We even met "Gertrude" the sea turtle that joined us in the evenings. The locals there were kind and considerate to us newbies and it felt more like a family beach not a tourist beach. The neighbor hood is great for a morning walk with a farmers market not far. I cannot say enough good things about our amazing trip and my dreams of a perfect tropical vacation came true! We are already in the planning stages to come back again!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank anitatune
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
114 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 26, 2013

Kona Magic Sands, Unit 301, Kailua-Kona, HI
Our condo here has been interesting...
It has an extremely impressive view. You walk in the front door and look out onto the ocean which comes right up to the bottom of the building. This unit is on the corner of the third floor and has a balcony that faces the water on two sides. Adjacent to this property is a public beach that is busy from early morning to late evening. There are tidal pools right behind the building. The sounds of the surf are a continuous reminder of the proximity of the ocean. That gives you an idea what the location is like, absolutely phenomenal! The TV works. The bed is comfortable. There is an adequate kitchen area with stove and refrigerator, both of which work. The furniture is comfortable, but desperately in need of refurbishing. It also has an adorable permanent resident, a little green gecko that comes out every evening to check for bugs.
On the other hand, the condo itself has some serious issues. The unit has an air conditioner, but it doesn't work. When I called the property management office to complain, the young lady there said "we didn't advertise it as having air conditioning." In the late evening when the trade winds are blowing, the condo cools down, but the first day we were here, the temperature was about 85 to 90 degrees and the humidity was over 80%. It was really hot! There are the four ceiling fans with lights, but two, one in the living room area and the other in the sleeping area do not have independent controls for the fan and the light. The only way to turn off the lights at night, while leaving the fans running, is to unscrew the light bulbs (did I mention it was hot?) As for cleanliness, the lenins, towels. floors, toilet and kitchen utensils were clean. However, the doors all have louvres on them, which don't appear to have been cleaned since the building was built. I backed into one of them and ended up with lines across my back. There are cob webs all over the place. The plumbing is interesting as well. The faucet in the bathroom is loose so we almost pulled it out of the sink when we tried to turn the water on. The shower oscillates between way too hot and way too cold, even if you don't touch the controls. The kitchen sink is very rusty as is the floor fan in the sitting area.
The views and the sounds of the ocean almost make up for it.......almost.
All of the units are individually owned so I can only comment on unit 301. Others may be different.

Room Tip: For a view, Unit 301 can not be beat, however, the condo has maintenance and cleanliness problems.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Brssjunk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mountain View, California
Level Contributor
422 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 25, 2013

Since we visited, we have reported the rental agent (the screwballs at Kona Islander Inn) to the Better Business Bureau - they lied to the BBB and falsified documents to support their lies. We disputed the credit card charge, and they lied to Chase, too. It's not worth it to try and sue them in HI, so I'll settle for warning everyone - you do business with these clowns at your peril.
If they misrepresent the room, as they did with us, your choices are VERY limited. You can:
- bend over and try and enjoy it.

- move, and dispute the charge. BUT, since you don't have a reservation, you'll pay TOP dollar for no-notice accommodations, plus have to screw around with this while you're on your vacation. If you do move, insist on getting everything in writing from the agent with a witnessed signature.

- move to a different room managed by the same agent. Expect to get screwed on any difference in the rate - if you paid for a 5 star room, you'll still pay for 5 stars, even if 2 star is all they have available. If they tell you they'll adjust/negotiate the rate, GET IT IN WRITING, with witnessed signature, or just throw your money in the street...

Room Tip: NOT 208! I would have a local verify the quality of the room, or check it out while staying elsewhe...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank David P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
74 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 25, 2013

My wife and stayed for a week in unit 311 and really enjoyed it. Think of it as studio apartment directly above the surf with a killer sunset view. The unit was well furnished. From the lanai we watched surfers and boarders, saw fish and turtles in the waves (the water is that clear), and enjoyed glorious sunsets. The unit does not have AC but fans and the evening breeze make it quite comfortable. The complex is far enough south of the busy tourist area of Kona to be quiet and within a short drive to shopping and restaurants. The complex is well maintained with gas grills and a pool. One word of caution--with the doors open and a high surf the wave noise is fairly loud. Hardly a large issue in the grand scheme of things.

Room Tip: Third floor rooms are quieter and have a better surf view. Choose a room with a lanai to enjoy coff...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank Zagtraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Placentia, California
Level Contributor
75 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 19, 2013

This is our second stay at Kona Magic Sands and we love the complex. The unit (#208) we stayed in the last time was a disappointment. This time we stayed in Unit 310 and loved it! When we arrived there were fresh flowers and I loved the way the unit was decorated. The murphy bed was comfortable and we left it down for our entire stay (it was not in the way). We usually snorkel in front of the condo but there was a large south swell which did not allow us to this time. When we arrived there was sand on the Magic Sands Beach but a couple days after the south swell hit, the sand was gone. Now we know why it is called Magic Sands. The one drawback: there is no elevator but the view from the condo is worth climbing 3 short flights of stairs.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank J P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kona Magic Sands

Property: Kona Magic Sands
Address: 77-6452 Alii Dr, Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii, HI 96740-2499
Location: United States > Hawaii > Island of Hawaii > Kailua-Kona
Hotel Style:
Ranked #24 of 35 Specialty Lodging in Kailua-Kona
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Kona Magic Sands 2.5*
Number of rooms: 15
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Kona Magic Sands Hotel Kailua-Kona
Kona Magic Sands Hawaii/Kailua-Kona

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