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“Longboard Studio #302”
Review of Kona Magic Sands

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Kona Magic Sands
Reviewed January 5, 2014

This a a great convenient condo with everything that you need. The kitchen and bathroom are stocked with supplies and the large lanai has great views of the ocean in the mornings and evenings. I found the afternoon sun too hot (it is the on the top floor with little shade) but that is a great time to go use the pool downstairs. The magic sand at the beach next door had disappeared when we were there in December. If we were stay again again I would avoid late Dec to March so that we can enjoy the beach! The best was the comfortable tempurpedic mattress and hearing the ocean at night. There is also a small washer/dryer so you don't need to go to the laundry room and the Wifi access was great. The stove is electric which I never really got the hang of and I would bring your own knives if you plan to cook. All in all it was a great home base to explore the east coast of the island. Nearby stores are not walking distance so you need to have your car. It was nice to have the restaurant downstairs when we didn't feel like cooking or driving.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank bkMary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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43 - 49 of 145 reviews

Reviewed December 15, 2013

This hotel appears on the outside like all the others in Kona but once inside the condo was fantastic. We had a great view of the ocean and a small beach to the left and a park on the right. The price is affordable but the best perk of the room is it's location. The beach located next door has some fantastic snorkeling. I would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank jbethany446
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 10, 2013

We stayed at the KSM 303 and this was the ideal location to stay on the big island. You have the best beach on Kona next to you so you don't have to worry about finding parking. Even the snorkel tours bring their people here. The room is fully loaded with a kitchen and full refrigerator. But more importantly it has air conditioning. Shopping is just a few miles away. This is one of only a few units that has a balcony so you can enjoy the sun sets each night.

Stayed: September 2013
4  Thank kpdbennett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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6  Thank Leroy J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
2  Thank Taoze
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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3  Thank anitatune
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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3  Thank Brssjunk
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

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 36 Specialty Lodging in Kailua-Kona
Price Range: $171 - $193 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Kona Magic Sands 3*
Number of rooms: 15
Also Known As:
Kona Magic Sands Hotel Kailua-Kona
Kona Magic Sands Hawaii/Kailua-Kona

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