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“Fantastic Value - for the Activity Bound Hawaii Traveler!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Kona Billfisher

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Kona Billfisher
southern CA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Fantastic Value - for the Activity Bound Hawaii Traveler!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 30, 2008

I do not think there is a better value on the island than the Kona Billfisher. However, it is not for everybody. We are activity freaks and adventurers and therefore require a jumping off place to stay. So it was perfect for us as our main goal is to have a perfect time ON THE ISLAND, and NOT in the condo. If you want a ritzy hotel experience than go to the Four Seasons and spend $700 a night and then top it off with a per day per person restaurant bill of somewhere in the range of $200 - $300 PER PERSON. If I paid that kind of money for a hotel I do not think I would leave it for one minute. But then I would miss, well...., the whole reason for going to Hawaii! We stayed two days south of Hilo at the tide pools which was unforgettable. We did a half day ATV waterfall tour. We drove south to the state parks and swam with turtles. We took the road to the end to see the volcano pour into the sea. (This was an absolute bust, they do not let you walk out to the lava flows any longer, you look from afar and see only steam rising from the coast. And the state volcano park was closed due to excessive VOG). The only way to really see the flow is to take a helicopter tour. Two couples we met said it was unbelievable and well worth the cost. But not for us, too expensive and we like our feet either on the ground or in the water! So I guess you get the picture by now, we were not in the condo all that much except for sleeping and one day of rest. If this is your lifestyle then I would heartily recommend the Billfisher. If not, pay up and stay in a hotel or find a different condo.

The good points: landscaping, pool, patio & barbecue very well maintained; parking was always available near our unit; office staff very friendly and accommodating; room was clean but not in new condition, I would rate it an 8 out of 10 as far as island condos go; linens were plentiful, the good size (full size for a condo) kitchen was well stocked with all the necessities, we found nothing lacking; cable TV worked well, definitely not a big screen but we got to see the NBA playoffs no problem; unit was large and roomy and since on first floor we had a large courtyard outside with table and chairs (2nd and 3rd story units have a small lanai a third of the size. If you are traveling with more than 2 to a unit I would definitely get a first floor unit); bed was large and comfortable - I had no backaches; basic but clean bath with shower was fine; Walmart (no groceries in this one) and Safeway (expensive) are minutes away on Henry Street and K Mart is a little further and lastly the location is walking distance to the seawall and all the shops and restaurants and luaus. Note: Costco is near the airport, we did not go there but just a tip if you need provisions in mass when arriving on your way to the condo. Also, there is a Long's Drugs nearby (more reasonable than Safeway for maitai provisions) and in the same center is a L&L's restaurant where you can get pretty good local Hawaiian / Asian fast food that comes in huge portions for reasonable price.

The not so good but not so bad points: you will have to pay a registration fee of I think around fifty bucks when registering. We knew about this but some people are not aware of this; the traffic on Alli Drive is terrible and there is only one way in and out so you will have to deal with it and be patient; we heard about the traffic noise problem and yes, it is so. The condo sits between upper and lower roads so all of the easterly facing units gets the traffic noise from the upper road. If you want quiet you will need to stay in the westerly units but they may get noise from the lower road, so hard to say, if traffic noise bothers you one will need to ask the specific before putting down hard cash; air conditioning costs $10 a day if you want it. We visited last week of April and just kept the doors open and the wind flow kept it pleasant.. At least until the last day when we packed up it was way humid and I was sweating like a pig. But if traffic noise bothers you just plug down an extra $10/day and you will have quiet and cool. I mean for what the condo cost us an extra $10 a day would be a no brainier - if we were uncomfortable - which we were not; the average age of the renters was - ok let's be nice here - somewhere in the upper senior bracket. So if you are looking to cruise, forget about it, but just next door is Lulu's bar and grill and the Hard Rock Cafe ;o). they have a laundry room but it is pricey at $1.50 per wash or dry but thoughtfully there is a change machine; and I guess that is it for the not so good not so bad points, not bad, huh.

So would we go back? At the same price I would jump at it. If the price went up substantially I would probably shop around to get a different experience elsewhere.

Last tip: absolutely indispensable - buy this and study up before you leave – “Hawaii: The Big Island Revealed” by Andrew Dougherty and Harriet Friedman - Wizard Publications - we had the 2002 book I think there is a more recent 05 or 06 book now. You can get them off Ebay cheap. The best guidebook, enough said. And lastly, if you go to the Champagne Pond or any other volcanically heated fresh water spring fed pool on the south east side of the island, resist the temptation to get in with open cuts or sores or get your head in the water. The water is crystal clear but full of bacteria. (the guidebook failed to point out that little tidbit!) The only reason I am sitting here writing this long review is because I could not go back to work after returning to the mainland today as I picked up a nasty case of Pink Eye and had to spend half a day in the Hilo Hospital ER. Oh, and for those who had heart conditions or any other health problems that might require immediate intervention, you won't get it in Kona. Although there is a small community hospital in Kona the only real hospital is in Hilo (a surprisingly BIG town compared to Kona), which is an eighty mile drive or expensive medevac helicopter ride away. The second best hospital is 270 miles away in Honolulu. Something to keep in mind that we take for granted here at home.

Hope this review helps and if you go you that you also have a pleasant experience. Aloha!

Stayed April 2008
Helpful?
13 Thank megotropical
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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75 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 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 (26)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Chicago
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 3, 2008

We just returned from Kona and spent 5 nights at the Billfisher. Sorry to say, I will not stay there again. Every time we went to the pool, it was closed. They do not allow you to take the pool towels to the beach (and were quite rude about it also) and therefore we had to use our bathroom towels at the beach. Our condo was poorly stocked, no cooler, DVD did not work, no spices for cooking; plus the bed was just awful, hard as a rock. I did not like the 3 panel wood doors to close off the bedroom from the family room. I had my 20 month old sleeping in the bedroom and was worried about waking her up the whole time. You can hear the music from the bars at 1 am even though ALL the windows are closed. If you want to turn on the a/c, it is an additional $10 a day fortunately; we did not have to turn it. I felt the staff was rude to me during the check in processes. To try and put a positive spin on it, the proximity to town is good but you have to walk down a busy street with no sidewalks. I would not recommend it, sorry.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — too many to list
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank jzb15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southern California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 30, 2007

This was our first trip to the Big Island, following a 4 day stay in Oahu at the new Wyndham Resort @ Waikiki Beach Walk. So...with all the "wow" from the previous timeshare stay, we weren't at all impressed with the Kona Billfisher. After a couple of days, it grew on us... It did it's job; definitely didn't hang around to do anything else but sleep (too busy with all the fun things to do on the Big Island).

The condo is definitely dated, but maybe that's the case with a majority of the timeshare units in Kona? Clean enough (I did, however, run a set of dishes through the dishwasher in order to use them). Again, the bathroom was clean "enough"...didn't mind what seemed to be permanent soap scum stains, as long as their wasn't mildew! :P The coffee pot was rusted at the base, so couldn't really enjoy the Kona coffee we bought to have in the mornings (next time we'll buy a cheap one at Walmart for the weeks use).

As for the fees, we were surprised with a $50 check in fee (which was not noted ANYWHERE). There was another guest who booked through RCI that was upset with this. Also, you should know that a/c is OPTIONAL; be prepared to pay $10/day (not the $5 listed all over their paperwork in the room)...otherwise they will "lock" it.

The location is GREAT! A great plus is the AWESOME restaurant across the street - Huggo's. The seafood sampler was delicious; so was the filet mignon! And the ahi tuna....m'mmm!!! Make reservations; ask for a table by the rail....enjoy the sunset and terrific service!
Also, the condo is across Snorkel Bob's - a great place to rent all your gear (chairs, umbrellas, snorkel equipment, boogie boards, etc). Do a weekly rental - save lots!

Would we stay here again....probably, just for the location and value. Otherwise, I'd check out some resorts on the Kohala coast.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — extra fees
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
Helpful?
7 Thank joyous74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elgin, Illinois
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 10, 2007

We spent 5 days at the Billfisher during our 40th anniversary trip to Hawaii last year, and were very satisfied. The condo with king size bed was clean and attractive, the little kitchen was well equipped, and the price was very reasonable. Our lanai had a garden view, with flowers and birds. We paid extra for air conditioning, but didn't really need it - the breezes kept us very comfortable.
Although the condo is not on the beach, it is a short walk from the restaurants and shops of Kailua Kona, and we were very happy to be able to avoid parking hassles in town!
There is a pool on the grounds, though we never tried it, and barbecue grills for the tenants, which we did use. We especially appreciated the staff's directions to the fresh fish market at the pier when we were looking for fish for the grill. The caretaker is also helpful, and takes orders for Kona coffee direct from the farm if you order early in the week.
Our only problem might be an advantage to younger vacationers -the Kona Billfisher is a short distance away from one of the town nightspots, and the sounds of music and partying were audible, especially on the weekend nights. Our unit was near the street, and on the town side; perhaps it would be less audible in other units.
I would be definitely stay there again.

  • Liked — Attractive, comfortable room in a convenient location.
  • Disliked — Noise from nearby night club.
  • Stayed May 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank S_n_B_Travel_buddies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 1, 2006

We have been coming to the Billfisher for 2 years now and it is by far the best value in Hawaii. The location is superb, within walking distance of the little town of Kona with its restaurants, art galleries, historical sites, and shops. We always enjoy the ocean views from the Billfisher. Our kids love the pool and the ocean just a few minutes walk away. Each unit sleeps 4 and has free maid service, cable TV, a full kitchen, and use of the swimming pool. The weather is great too. We hardly ever use the air conditioning. Just 4 miles away is the best snorkeling in all of Hawaii in warm, clear waters of a little protected bay filled with sea turtles and brightly colored tropical fish. The Billfisher is the greatest!

  • Stayed June 2006
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
18 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dundalk, Md
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 11, 2004

Just stayed there for 1 week and it was nice. The staff is very friendly and happy to assist you. The rooms are clean and neat. Full size kitchen was a bonus. Walking distance to shops, restaurants, etc. Pool and area well maintained. Landscaping too. This is not a luxury resort but a nice small development that can be enjoyed by all. Reasonable too. I would recommend it. Note: Occupancy is max 4 persons per room...strictly enforced...this is also a good thing.

Helpful?
22 Thank Mr_Nice_Guy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 20, 2003

A great place! Top Value. Our family has owned a unit in the Kona-Billfisher since the property was built. I have stayed there the past 4 summers and marvel at how well-kept facility and friendly staff.
This is not a luxury property, but is top notch, equal to any rental unit of comparable and some higher price.

Helpful?
19 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kona Billfisher

Property: Kona Billfisher
Address: 75-5841 Alii Dr, Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii, HI 96740-1329
Location: United States > Hawaii > Island of Hawaii > Kailua-Kona
Hotel Style:
Ranked #22 of 35 Specialty Lodging in Kailua-Kona
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Kona Billfisher 3*
Number of rooms: 50
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Kona Billfisher Hotel Kailua-Kona
Kona Billfisher Hawaii/Kailua-Kona

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