We found this place on trip advisor, and booked it as part of a holiday we did hopping around the Hawaiian islands. We picked up the hire car from the airport, and arrived, expecting it to be a simple resort hotel - it's not!
The front office is fairly uninspiring, but the staff at the front desk were very friendly, giving us the usual map of the facilities, pointing us to our unit, telling us where to park, and giving us our keys etc. They then pointed us to their concierge desk.
The concierge seemed nice enough while he told us about all the trips he could organise for us. It was then that we got the sales pitch; he could get us any trip we liked for cost price (about 30% off I guess) if we agreed to go to a timeshare presentation at their neighbouring resort. My wife and I were slightly caught out by this (we hadn't been expecting it), and so told him we'd think about it.
In the end we chose not to take any organised trips, so we didn't have to avail ourselves of the timeshare presentation option (and indeed it's questionable as to whether we'd have been eligible as we aren't from the States), but I guess this is an option people can pick for themselves. If you're a family and you're in the market for doing lots of trips, then this could easily save you an absolute fortune - but whether it's worth it to you depends on a) your tolerence for a (presumably) hard sell and b) whether you're prepared to give up 2 hours of your precious holiday.
The 'unit' itself was not the simple hotel room I'd been expecting, but rather a well equipped condo. The main room was a large, comfortable lounge with a big TV, DVD player and surround sound system. Off this was a kitchen (with dishwasher, fridge, microwave, stove/hob, plates etc), a bathroom, a utility closet (with washing machine and tumble drier), and a large bedroom (with another TV).
Both lounge and bedroom had large sliding doors opening onto a patio area. The whole appartment was nicely furnished, and spotlessly clean.
Parking is in a 2 level parking structure (that happened to be opposite our condo). Most of the grounds are pedestrian only (you can't drive up to your condo), so if you happen to get a condo further away from the parking garage, you'll have to transport your bags etc from the car. I did see some golf carts etc, but am not sure if these are available to help guests move in - I didn't see any evidence of this.
Scattered around the grounds are several different pool/spa areas - all basically the same, but you are free to use any of them. We found the whole place very quiet and had one of the pools all to ourselves for a while. Being picky, the pool could perhaps have used a new coat of paint, but that's only a minor complaint.
There are tennis courts on site, the place is surrounded by golf courses and the front desk rents a selection of DVDs, but other than that there are few other facilities; no restaurant etc. If you stay here, you *will* need a car, if only to drive the 3 miles up the road to the local shopping centre (supermarket, drug store, cinema, eateries, bank, post office and other shops).
The shopping centre has some great places to eat (Rocky's Pizza looks unimpressive, but does great Italian food). For breakfast they recommended we visit L&L Hawaiian Barbeque - I really recommend you don't - drive the extra couple of miles into town for Dennys :)
The only oddity about this place was the housekeeping service; as we'd booked it effectively as a hotel, we expect housekeeping to come around each day. As it transpired they didn't - housekeeping only comes in when requested, though they didn't not charge us when we asked for them.
Overall, our stay here was great; the appartment was everything you could wish for and more, and the discovery of a washing machine/drier in the middle of our holiday saved us a fortune on laundry we'd have had to have done in a hotel. If we ever go back, I'd certainly stay here again, and I highly recommend it.
Some random other things I wish I'd known before visiting Big Island:
1) Big Island is much bigger than the other Hawaiian islands. Driving around to see all of it is perfectly possible, but be aware it's a long way around. To visit Volcanoes National Park, we had to get up early, and drive 2 hours to the park entrance. We saw the whole park (without doing any hiking) in a day, including seeing the lava spilling into the sea, but it was then a 3 hour drive home after that. You may want to consider booking a night on the other side of the Island if spending more time there is important to you.
2) Visit Mauna Kea visitors' centre to stargaze; you will need warm clothes. You will not need anything other than a normal car. Saddle road is *not* as bad as people make out, and they are rapidly improving it. To get to the summit you will need a 4x4, but getting to the visitors centre in a normal car is no problem at all. Be very cautious of renting a 4x4 to get to the summit; all normal car rental places specifically exclude the summit road. If you really want to do it, there is a specialist rental place on the island.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- FIVE-TIME WINNER OF THE CERTIFICATE OF EXCELLENCE! With a stunning coastal view of Keauhou Bay's private harbor, the Holua Resort at Mauna Loa Village invites you to enjoy your perfect Hawaiian vacation. The Holua Resort offers 73 spacious, air-conditioned villas designed with a Hawaiian flair. Each comfortable villa offers a private lanai or patio with ocean, mountain or golf course view. Step outside your door and enjoy six sparkling swimming pools and whirlpools, 11 world-class tennis courts, 4 pickle ball courts, a fitness facility, and even on-site activities. When you're ready to explore your spectacular surroundings, head out to sea for some of the best sport fishing in the Pacific. Surf crystalline tropical waters in the morning and snow-ski on breathtaking Mauna Kea in the afternoon. From fascinating sights and spectacular natural beauty to endless recreation, the best of the "Big Island" welcomes you Holua Resort at Mauna Loa Village for your next romantic getaway, family vacation or golf trip to Hawaii. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Holua Resort At The Mauna Loa Village Hotel Kailua-Kona
- Holua Hotel Kailua Kona
- Holua Resort Mauna Loa Village
- Holua Resort At The Mauna Loa Village Hawaii/Kailua-Kona