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“Wonderful place”
Review of Kona Reef Resort

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Kona Reef Resort
Reviewed October 30, 2013

I grew up in the Hilo side of the island, but have lived in California for the past 47 years. We visit Hawaii often for family events. This condo has almost all units with an ocean view. Condo was very clean. Late arrival was accomodated very well. Our stay was very peaceful and rested. Will stay here again in the future. Did not need any additional service other then check-in and check-out.

Room Tip: There are a few rooms in one building which are not ocean view. Request an ocean view room. Rooms...
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Kazumi M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 15, 2013

The Kona Reef Resort is located in scenic Kailua-Kona, approximately two miles from downtown. It is an easy walk to the sidewalk cafes, restaurants, art galleries, and shops of Kailua-Kona. This quaint village is set on the picturesque Kona coast, where you will find the most remarkable sunsets in the backdrop of azure-blue waters.

The resort consists of 6 four story buildings with elevator access. However, there may be a small flight of stairs in order to reach your specific suite. The maximum occupancy for each of the suites is 4 persons. A complimentary island orientation is provided to all guests as well as mid-week housekeeping.

The sleeping accommodations include a queen-size or king-size bed plus a Murphy bed in the living room to accommodate parties of three or four persons. The units include: private lanai, one bathroom, TV/VCR/DVD, air conditioning in the living room, ceiling fans, combination shower/bathtub, hair dryer, iron and ironing board, and a full kitchen. The full kitchen includes a stove, full-sized refrigerator/freezer, a microwave, and a dishwasher. Additional amenities include dishes, cooking utensils, silverware, coffee/tea maker, blender, and toaster.

The amenities at the resort include: swimming pool, hot tub, barbeque areas, and complimentary wi-fi and parking.

While the location of the resort was ideal and the amenities were fine, I would rate it overall as being "Very Good". It is a very small operation. Our check-in and check-out were handled in a friendly and smooth manner. However, other than that, there wasn't much contact with anyone at the resort (unless you incur a problem). It is more similar to the service you would receive in a basic hotel than what you might expect in a resort.

The suites themselves are decent size and quite functional. The major issue we had was there is only an air conditioning unit in the living room. While this did do an adequate job of cooling in the main living area, little of the cool air reached the bedroom. We did manage to achieve acceptable conditions in the bedroom by maintaining the temperature in the living room at 72 degrees during the day and 68 degrees at night and making sure we always kept the door to the lanai closed. This combination along with the ceiling fan in the bedroom made the sleeping conditions acceptable.

NOTE: It is very common for resorts on the Big Island to not have any air conditioning. We were grateful to have the unit in the living room area as it was quite warm while we were there.

While the resort is located directly on the ocean, there is no swimming beach at the resort itself but there is one within a short walk and others not far away. The pool is nice but very small. This wasn't a problem for us as the pool was never crowded but that may have been due to the resort not being full since it was off-season.

In summary, the resort served our needs while on the Big Island. We spent most every day away from the resort itself so we weren't concerned about the lack of activities. However, if you are looking for a resort where you can be happy to never leave during your stay, this isn't the place for you. I would classify it as more of a hotel with suites than a resort.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank TexRanger7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 6, 2013

Stayed in an ocean front owner unit, booked through VRBO. My unit was well maintained with newer furnishings, had a great ocean view, was extremely clean and perfect for a longer stay. Not cheap, but definitely a step up from a basic hotel room. Each unit is different, however, so you do need to make sure you know what you are getting!

The complex is clean and well cared for, although a little confusing to get around and you need a key to get into the pool area. You do need to negotiate some stairs to get into most of the units. Good location between the mile and 1.5 mile marker on Ali'i Drive, walking distance into town. (If you want to explore, however, a rental car is a must).

My unit had central AC and had clearly been recently remodeled (Hawaiian theme, but not tacky). No daily housekeeping on the owner units (you can pay a little extra to have this service), but really not necessary. Beach towels are available at the front desk (do not picture a luxurious front desk, but a basic service office). The front desk staff was friendly, and the after hours check in was very smooth.

Room Tip: Make sure you know what you are getting! Each unit is different - ask to see a picture of YOUR unit...
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled solo
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2  Thank rl_vancity
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 4, 2013

We recently stayed in one of the owner units at Kona Reef. We rented thru VRBO and got a great deal for a one week stay. We had one of the ocean front units on the top floor and had a great view. It was very easy to walk back and forth from town and everything was very convenient. The owner was easy to work with and even called us while we were there to make sure everything was going OK. The complex is an older complex so the units are not going to be brand new unless you get a unit where the owner has spent a lot money but you'll pay more for those. If you're expecting new and shiny, you'll be disappointed. The unit we rented had everything we needed and we enjoyed our week there.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank BAppelt1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2013

Front desk looks like a flop house for crack heads!, The person who checked us in never even looked at us! Could not understand what she said! Room was marginal at best!!! Kitchen, had cabinet doors that would not shut, the trim around the sink was coming off, the refrigerator was so rusted on the outside, I surprised that it worked!!

The room was on the beach that part was true, all else about the place was genuinely terrible!!!
Staff was rude. Could here next door's conversation. Last night there TV went off, called several times, no one even called back, office was closed!!!

RUN DO NOT WALK AWAY FROM THESE FOLKS AND THIS PLACE!!!! WORST PLACE WE HAVE STAYED, HANDS DOWN!!!!!!

Room Tip: "Find a different hotel"
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Lee B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2013

We booked this unit (C 23) directly with the owner who actually lives part time on the island. Some of the units are handled through the on site management. We were there for two weeks.

The complex overall was extremely well kept and clean. If a leaf fell off a plant, the guy was there the next morning to pick it up. We never used the grills, but my husband said they were nice and clean, and we did see the guy cleaning them every morning. The pool, hot tub, and surround was very clean. There was adequate parking without any additional fees. Our unit had a nice view of the ocean and sunsets. The Kona Reef complex was a convenient walk to 'town' for restaurants and shops. Not a far drive to stores like Walmart, Safeway, and a natural food store for supplies There was more storage (closets) than usually found in vacation condos. The kitchen was well stocked...see below. The owner even left beach towels and chairs. The lanai was a decent size and had a table, 4 chairs and a lounge although the air conditioner dripped tons of water so you had to watch out if you were wearing house slippers, and it was hard to hear conversations over it. There were plenty of bath towels, and an extra set of sheets if you wanted to change since there would be no maid unless you contracted for it. The sheets we slept on were that awful old fabric that pills, and you always thought you had sand in the bed. One night my finger went through a hole in the top sheet. In an effort to make the seeting more comfortable, I took extra bed pillows from the closet, but put them back because they were stained. There were tons of books, and the TV, etc. looked pretty new, but we stayed on the go the whole time so didn't use it. Plenty of dishes and silverware of nice heavy quality. Having a washer and dryer in the unit was a plus.
We booked here because of the elevator, but the building is wierd... the elevators do not exactly go to the floor. You have to see it. You get off between the floors, and either have to go up or down 5 or 9 steps which could be a problem for some folks. The pool area is locked, and you need a key to enter which was kept it private.
The whole complex was quiet and never crowded even though one day another hotel had to send over their guests. We saw families with young kids and retirement age folks - all very nice.
Now, for what could have made it better - the only air conditioning was a window unit in the front corner which meant frostbite in there and like walking into an oven in the bedroom. There was a ceiling fan in the bedroom with two settings off and slow. It took over 24 hours for the bedroom to cool off even a little. You just felt the huge temperature difference when you walked to the back. I ended up purchasing a fan at Walmart. We considered having to sleep on the sofa bed, but immediately nixed that idea. Pity the guest or kid who has to sleep on it. It was really old and pretty gross looking, and you would have springs poking you. In fact it was hard to find a comfortable place to sit because all the cushions needed replacing except those at the dining room table and the lounge out on the lanai.
All of the really dusty falling apart fake flowers need to go ASAP. No one really wants to look at them. I didn't think anyone still used cancer causing Teflon pans any more. I went out and purchased a pan to use for the two weeks. It is pretty scary when your pancakes taste and smell like fried fish! Several slats had decomposed and fallen from the verticle blinds, and need to be replaced.
For the most part, the unit was clean except for the dusty flowers, and it looked like someone had peed on the bathroom door.....hopefully it was something else.
Don't think me picky - just giving you details you may like to know. I know I like to hear the truth.
Overall, I would recommend this property for your Hawaii vacation.

Room Tip: Each unit is privately owned. Make sure you check out (pictures) and reviews or details about the u...
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
1  Thank maggymolly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2013

This Kona Reef Condo was adequate for our 4-night stay on the Big Island. We booked through vrbo.com and got a decent rate on unit B-24. Even though we were staying in a rented condo, it was basically a cheap hotel room with a kitchen in it. There are no big frills, not too many comforts of home and the unit is in desperate need of a deep clean. Everything just felt a little dirty and in need of an update. I ended up washing all of the dishes in the dishwasher before we used anything. (Some of the glasses were dusty and the plates/bowls/silverware had a bit of leftover food crust on them. Yuck!) The bathroom towels were thin and scratchy and the tub/shower was pretty nasty. If you’re looking for luxury, super clean rooms and the little extras that rental condos can provide, look elsewhere.

The beach park next door, while beautiful, attracts some unsavory looking people. Immediately our personal security red flags went off and we felt a little bit on edge. To make things worse, the sliding door to the balcony would not lock. The Kona Reef sent a maintenance man the next morning to fix the problem, but we were still a bit concerned with the open layout and the fact that anyone could walk up to the unit’s front door. Thankfully we had no issues during our stay.

Personal security concerns aside, we had a wonderful time enjoying the balcony overlooking the park and the ocean. The body surfers were very entertaining to watch in the morning and the evening. We also enjoyed the short walk to town for coffee, shopping and dining. While this property is on the water, I would not recommend swimming in the public beach or off the rocks to the back of the hotel. The waves were relentless and sometimes quite large and there were a lot of rocks in and around the water. Beautiful to look at but dangerous to swim in! We did find some good snorkeling in the area – ask the local dive or snorkel shop for great places to start, then ask the locals when you get there for additional places. The Farmers Market was also a great find with local produce and crafts items. It is held Wed-Sun weekly and the prices are good. The fruit is MUCH cheaper than the grocery store and probably fresher too!

Pros: decent price, centrally located on the west coast, short trip to/from the airport, walk to shopping/restaurants/coffee, short drive to grocery stores/Walmart/Target/etc, good pool and hot tub, and free parking

Cons: not very luxurious, unit needs a deep clean, no swimming beach access, the public park next door can attract some unsavory looking patrons

Room Tip: Each unit is personally owned and you may have a better experience than us. Do your homework on vbro...
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Carol D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kona Reef Resort

Address: 75-5888 Alii Dr, Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii, HI 96740-1312
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Hawaii > Island of Hawaii > Kailua-Kona
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 36 Specialty Lodging in Kailua-Kona
Price Range: $158 - $386 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Kona Reef Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 130
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kona Reef is an oceanfront condominium resort adjacent to a sandy beach park in historic Kailua-Kona and near quaint shops and restaurants. One- and two-bedroom suites offer full-kitchens, FREE WiFi, and ocean or garden views. Amenities include an oceanfront swimming pool, jet spa, and a cabana with barbecue area. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Castle Kona Reef Hotel Kailua-Kona
Castle Kona Reef Kailua
Kona Reef Resort Hawaii/Kailua-Kona

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