Kona Kai Resort

3 out of 5 stars3 Stars

1551 Shelter Island Dr, (formerly Shelter Pointe Hotel), San Diego, California, 92106, United States

2 Reviews

Kona Kai Resort
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Satisfaction Very Good
Very Good

Value Score Poor Value

Costs 105% more than similarly rated 3 star hotels

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Good For Couples
  • Families66
  • Couples70
  • Solo62
  • Business53
  • travelgourmet's Profile Photo

    Serenity of Shelter Island


    Shelter Pointe Hotel is now called the KONA KAI RESORT SPA & MARINA. This hotel resort sits on the tip of Shelter Island on the San Diego Bay. It was completely renovated in 1995 to bring the feel of a full resort to the fantastic location on Shelter Island. The Island has the charm of a and the Kona Kai Resort, itself has the warmth and relaxing atmosphere of a Hawaiian resort.

    You get the feel that something is special about Shelter Island as you leave the busy San Diego center and start your slow down on Shelter Island Drive on your way to the Kona Kai Resort. The pace is slower, the views are fantastic, and the marina setting makes you think of Hawaii. As you approach the Kona Kai Resort, you have already started to relax and realize that you are on a week-end getaway to one of the best areas of San Diego. With boats of all types and large cruise and military ships traveling back and forth in the San Diego Bay on your left and a charming mix of Hawaiian and Mediterranean resorts on the right, the drive to the entrance of the hotel is heightened with anticipation of pure delight. Ah, you have arrived at the exquisite lobby parking area. On one of my wife's and my last visit to the Kona Kai we attended a Luau on their beach front sand. Let the fun begin. Aloha!

    Unique Quality: The lobby of the Kona Kai Resort is elegant with a touch of warmth in the centrally located fireplace and colorful floral pots adorn the room. The "If this was a glimpse of what was in store" crossed my mind, then I was already smiling. The front reception desk is actually at the rear of the over sized lobby. A large restaurant is in the back, facing the marina. The staff were warm and helpful in directing you to your accommodation. My wife and I reserved a room that overlooked both the busy marina to one side and the San Diego Bay on the other. This gave us two entirely different views to enhance our stay.

    A well appointed room with a large television in a wonderful triple use cabinet with TV, refrigerator, and drawers for clothes all enclosed by wooden doors. There was a lanai patio with two chairs and a table that had a view of both the marina and the bay. We spent mornings with coffee watching the activities in the marina as sailboats came and went. Inside the room included the usual amenities with a very comfortable king size bed, plush chair and table, and an unexpected large window/door that opened to a wrought iron balcony that looked out to the bay. A beautiful pool included a lap swim area and a spa. Perfect.

    Directions: s4From the I-5 southbound, exit at Rosecrans and go 3 miles to Shelter Island Drive. Turn left and bear right on the road till you come to the tip of the island. on the right hand side is the Kona Kai Resort Spa and Marina.

  • MatthewMetcalfe's Profile Photo

    Shelter Pointe Hotel is Great!


    We stayed at the Shelter Pointe Hotel for a week. This Hotel is on the opposite side of Coronado from downtown San Diego.

    The staff was friendly and the Room Service was outstanding.

    Unique Quality: Because it sits on Shelter Island, you get a great view of the shipping traffic entering San Diego. We saw a Navy Carrier going out one morning. They are HUGE!

    There are also tons of marinas close by where you can check out the boats. The AIrport is probably 15 minutes away. Downtown San Diego is probably 20 minutes.

More about Kona Kai Resort

Okay, not spectacular

by TripAdvisor Member ColoradoTourist

In some ways this was a nice resort; in others, it was not.

This resort is very spread out, and I thought it was very strange that they didn't have a bell boy on duty when I checked in. My room was several buildings and parking lots away, and they seemed annoyed that I expected them to find someone to drive the golf cart with my luggage and myself to my room. The restaurant is in the main building. I had the physical ability to walk there, but I think it would be extremely inconvenient for an older person to walk that distance. (As I said before, there is no transportation between the buildings.)

My room, a junior suite, was gorgeous. The furnishings were beautiful, and my room overlooked the marina. There was a party going on in the room next to mine, and the sound carried through the connecting door.

The weight/exercise room was very well done. There were many weight machines, as well as free weights and treadmills. The restaurant was also good. The hot tub was broken.

The resort is located on a marina and has a beautiful setting. I preferred the public beach to the hotel beach. My main complaint about the location is that it is rather isolated and not near any other restaurants or shops, so once you've seen the resort there's not much to do.

The free airport shuttle was very convenient.

Great holiday

by TripAdvisor Member sleepl8

We loved everything about it. It was such a pretty setting, lots of places to roam around. The view was spectacular and the shuttle services was above and beyond. Rooms were quiet and really clean. We would love to return to this hotel....... it was great from beginning to end.

So Bad We Moved

by A TripAdvisor Member

My wife and I just returned from San Diego. I had booked this hotel through a website. I read all the reviews before booking and thought this would be a nice place to stay. Wrong. We checked in and thought the place looked a little run down but just wanted some R&R so did not want to be turned off by first impressions. On our way to the room we went up a flight of stairs then entered a very narrow and dim hallway cluttered with trays of leftover food. We got to our room - it smelled terrible, the screen was falling off the screen door and the room in general looked awful for a 3 1/2 rating. The balcony was extremely small and the air conditioner looked like it had a ball bat taken to it ready to fall off the wall. I immediately went down to the lobby and asked if I could see a Jr Suite and that I would pay additional for it. The somewhat reluctant hotel staff member (the only one in the lobby) found me a room. I wanted to view it before moving our own luggage again to the room. As my wife and I were going down the hallway to the Jr. Suite we noticed the dim light again only this time every light was broken and draped with cheese cloth. I guess they didn't think guests would notice that. This room was larger not any better. Needless to say, we did not accept this at 30.00 more per night. We went to lunch and immediately got on the phone with the website that I had booked this through and told them about this misrepresentation of a nice hotel. They worked with us for 4 hours and did a wonderful job getting us out of this hotel and into another one that we had stayed at the previous year. This could have been a disasterous vacation that ended up wonderful. After staying at a 4 star rated hotel, there is no way this should be ranked 3 1/2. I would take the 3 1/2 star rating and put it to a 1/2. The only good thing about this hotel is that they let us out of our 5 day stay.

Beware! Terrible Hotel!

by TripAdvisor Member SFmamaSanFrancisco

We stayed at the Shelter Pointe hotel at the end of March 2005. We booked the hotel as a package through Expedia. When I booked the hotel I requested a room with 2 beds since I was traveling with a friend and my 5 year old son. I called the night before we arrived and told them again that we would need two beds. When we arrived they informed us that they only had a room with a king size bed. We explained that this was unnaceptable but they said they were completely booked up and that was all they had. After unsuccessfully trying to contact Expedia we finally were so tired we had to take the room. They brought a rollaway bed that was completely awful (made loud creaking sounds whenever you moved). We ended up all in the same bed with my poor friend being kicked all night by my 5 year old. They were able to move us for the 3rd night.
Just to add insult to injury I just noticed that they put a bogus 281.00 charge on my credit card. The whole package was through Expedia and when I checked out there was an 80.00 charge which I paid with cash.
I Would NEVER stay at this hotel again.

Worst Hotel I've Ever Stayed In

by TripAdvisor Member ~Fianna

If I could rate this dump a 0, I would.

Started off bad when we checked in to our room on the first night. We were sent to a room which had a window and a staircase facing the bed. We drove back (yes, drove, the place is built like an apartment complex) to the lobby to request to be moved to a different room. When I asked to change, I was treated like I was an inconvenience. They finally agreed to move me (although they were unwilling), and in retaliation, they moved us to a room which was alledgedly a "double" on the other side of the hotel from the group we were booked with. (This was a large convention of over 250 people). The double was a standard room with two queen beds shoved in it. The closet was microscopic, the bathtub smaller than my guest bathroom's (and that tub is 40 years old!!) and the vanity/dressing area was even smaller than that. And, like several other people, we were not offered bell service to help move our luggage up to the room.

There was a giant dead moth in the light fixture (flourescent) over the vanity. The furniture was broken, with sharp edges and exposed nails which cut my husband.

The bar staff was TERRIBLE. First, they couldn't be bothered to take our order, which was insane, when there were 5 people standing there waving a credit card at them looking to order drinks. Even after we'd ordered, the bartender came back several times to ask again what we'd ordered. The drinks took forever, and he needed to have the recipe for a gimlet and a sidecar explained. Even after we'd told him what was in the drinks, he came back again and asked what we'd ordered.

I travel a lot for both work and pleasure, and I've never stayed in a hotel this bad. I've stayed in trucker motels that cost $30 a night, and have had better, more competant and friendly service. For them to charge $130 a night for this dump is a crime. It really is a glorified motel, not a resort.

Very nice stay for the most part

by TripAdvisor Member linguica

We just came back from a 10 day visit to San Diego, 8 nights of which we stayed at the Shelter Pointe Hotel and Marina. The resort was very nice, very clean. We had reserved a townhome, which had 2 bedrooms upstairs, each with king beds, 2 baths. The lower level had a kitchen (no oven or toaster though) a living area, dining area. The townhome was very nice and cleaned thoroughly. It was very roomy, better than we had expected. There is a spiral staircase from the lower level to the upper which may not be great for small children or seniors. The grounds of the resort were very nice and it was in a nice quiet area with walking paths and away from the downtown area. We did have a rental car which I would highly recommend for San Diego. We only ate at the hotel restuarant a few times, 1 time each for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The food was adequate but with so many other choices we were happier leaving the resort. The only downside to our stay was the last 2 nights of our vacation, the hotel had rented other townhomes on the property and rooms to a very large group of "Goths" in town for some sort of convention, also at the hotel. This was rather unsettling to the families there with children. I had asked the hotel prior to making reservations whether this was a family type resort (no large groups, college kids partying, etc.) and was assured it was in a resort area and catered to business travelers and families, couples. We were awakened the last night of our stay with a group of Goths right outside our place partying at 3:00 am. We felt we could not really enjoy the resort on Saturday, our last full day in San Diego because the group was everyhwere, lobby, restuarant, pools, etc. . It probably was just bad luck that this coincided with our vacation but I would definitely check with them close to reserved dates whether there will be any large groups, conventions at the hotel at that time. Other than that we did enjoy our stay there and would recommend the townhomes to families looking for more space than a hotel room. A great casual place to eat close to the hotel was Miguel's. It's a casual Mexican place with great chips and salsa!


by A TripAdvisor Member

Just got back from SD a few days ago...

This place was excellent! Elegant hotel just past Point Loma, about 3-4 miles west of the airport. The airport is VERY accessible from here and so is downtown SD. The only location related-issue was that interstate-5 is a bit far (about 2 miles up Rosecranz Blvd- not a big deal but signs were a bit elusive.)

Otherwise, the hotel has a fantastic view of downtown and you can almost jump into the water from you room window. The service was great. Parking is $10/night so add that onto your room cost when you book. The lobby is very nice and the staff was accomodating.

I am positive I'll be back in SD again and would definitely stay here again.


by travelgourmet


Aloha! Welcome to an Hawaiian Luau at the Kona Kai Resort on Shelter Island, San Diego. A "Luau" is a feast and party in Hawaii with food, drink, song, and dance. The Kona Kai was a great location for this event as the palm trees, sand, tiki torches, water, and the nearby yachts made for a tropical paradise. Having lived in Hawaii, I was impressed with the quality of the Luau and would say it was one of the best I have attended.


Tables were set up with 60 people at a table, facing the stage so everyone could see the Hawaiian Dancers. The tables were set up at the resort in the sand, next to the boat harbor. It appeared that over 600 people were attending. The Kona Kai Resort has this luau every year on the Fridays of July and August. If you are in San Diego during this time, I highly recommend attending this Luau. Call the Kona Kai Resort for times and information.


We are ready for the Luau to begin. We are seated, Mai Tai (Hawaiian cocktail with rum) in hand, and a Lei around our neck, given at the entrance to the grounds. A Lei is a garland of flowers, leaves, shells or nuts that is placed over the head to be draped over the neck and shoulders of the wearer. When presented, it is done with the word "Aloha" as a term of welcome. Sue has a flower lei, while I have a shell lei.


A great Luau has Kalua Pork as a main course. A pig is placed in an imu (underground pit) wrapped in banana leaves and laid on hot lava rocks and buried for up to 12 hours. When the Luau begins, a ceremony of removal from the imu of the pig takes place for all to witness the Kalua Pork being carried to the carving station. The name Kalua is Hawaiian for an earth oven with the words ka (the) and lua (hole) combine to form Kalua. The tender, flavorful meat is shredded for ease of eating. Great dishes are also prepared with fish, chicken, beef and vegetables. Fresh tropical fruits, rice, and sticky buns are included. All the food was ono (delicious).


A Luau must have song and dance to make the evening complete. The musicians were first class and sang some great Hawaiian songs, luckily not "Tiny Bubbles" that was overplayed in the 1960's, sung by Don Ho, a native Hawaiian. Guitars became a popular instrument, and the ukelele became the sound of Hawaii due to the introduction of the ukelele (jumping flea) in 1879, by the Madeirans and Portuguese mainland players of the instrument "braguinha". The Spanish guitar, thanks to the Mexican paniolos (cowboys) was a staple of Hawaiian music as well as the foundation for the steel guitar and slack guitar that help make the sound of Hawaiian music, today.


The Hula is a staple of a good Hawaiian Luau and the story is told in the hands. Of course, there are distractions along the way, so try to keep your eyes on the coconuts, er, I mean hands, to enjoy the real beauty of the Hula. The DANCE OF THE DRUMS video shows one style of Hula. One of the great yearly events in Hilo, Hawaii is the Merrie Monarch Festival, a competition of hula that is fantastic to watch.


The boat docks are a great area for a free show but not the food. Hey, if you have a yacht at the dock, pull up a chair on the deck and watch the Luau festivities. The boats do give the Luau an authentic feel.


As the evening shadows fall, the tiki torches flames grow bright to match the lights coming off the yachts lining the boat docks at the Kona Kai Resort Marina. The entire Luau area was awash in tiki torch flame. Isn't it romantic. Aloha.


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 Kona Kai Resort

We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:

Kona Kai Resort San Diego
Kona Kai Hotel San Diego

Address: 1551 Shelter Island Dr, (formerly Shelter Pointe Hotel), San Diego, California, 92106, United States