More about Outrigger Keauhou Beach Resort Kailua-Kona
"Ohana Keauhou Beach Resort is a great place"
My husband and I were in Hawaii Feb.14-28. Our second stop was the island of Hawaii. We stayed at the Ohana Keauhou Beach Resort in Kona. This is a great place to stay. We had an ocean front room on the 3rd. floor. Our lanai was directly over the water, allowing us to see sea turtles every morning. The grounds of the hotel are very nice as is the pool. The first night, my husband went on a Manta Ray night dive. This is from the harbor just south of the Kona airport. The name is Manta Ray Night Dives, run by Mark and Angie. My husband has not stopped talking about his adventure. We were only on the island for 3 days, but put 600 miles on our rental Jeep. A 4-wheel drive vehicle is a must if planning to really see the island. The trip "down" into Waipio Valley, is breathtaking! (only 4-wheel drive allowed). The black sand beach in the valley is gorgeous. This is on the north side of the island. Volcano National Park is a must! There is a black sand beach on the south end of the island, Punaluu Beach, which is truly beautiful. Watch for a sign for Tex's Drive-In in this area. They have great hot Malassadas! South Point, which is the southern most tip of the U.S., is worth a look. There is also a green sand beach there. (4-wheel drive). At our hotel, Peter at the front desk/bellman, was very helpful in pointing out what to do/see in our 3 day stay. He is extremely knowledgeable about the island. He recommended the Coffee Shack, just a little way south of Kona, and it was a wonderful place for breakfast and/or lunch. They have all outdoor patio seating with great views. The also grow their own coffee which you can purchase by the bag. From the patio, you will see an absolutely huge Avacado tree! Try the Coconut Cream pie! A bit further south is the City of Refuge, which is very interesting. The Island of Hawaii is very big, so allow yourself plenty of time to explore it. Flying into the Kona airport is a shocker with all of the lava, and flat land. But it gets much more beautiful as you explore the island.
Elegant hotel on the best beachin Hawaii
The Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel is an American-huge, Japanese-elegant, and Hawaiian-friendly hotel with a fantastic beach (our favorite in Hawaii) and a beautiful golf course. It is located at the north end of the Kohala resort district on the Kona (sunny) side of the big Island of Hawaii.
It is the sister property of the historic next-beach-north Mauna Kea Hotel. By car it is about an hour north of Kailua-Kona town, and half an hour north of the Kona (KOA) airport (a rental car is almost essential here).
On our recent stay in February, 2009, we split our ten day vacation between the Outrigger Keauhou Hotel near Kailua-Kona (for the world-class and easy snorkeling next door at Kahalu’u Beach) and the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel (for the world-class beach and relaxing atmosphere).
Because of the recent economic downturn, especially in Japan, this hotel has made some rooms available to bidding on priceline.com, where we obtained our room for the amazing price of $105 per night plus tax. This is a fraction of the hotel’s usual rates, and is a special value since the hotel does not impose the annoying resort and parking surcharges that some other hotels in the area do.
The Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel is shaped like a huge X, with the lobby at the center and each arm extending outward about 200 meters (two football fields long). It is built on a slope above the beach, so one enters on the top floor (eighth) and the hotel extends down the hillside to the pool and beach.
All rooms face the ocean to the west, but not all rooms have a full ocean view. The golf course and fitness center are to the east. The parking structure and convention center are in the lower right arm, the deluxe ocean front rooms are in the upper left arm, and the remaining rooms (most with great views) are in the lower left and upper right arms.
The hotel web site has a diagram of the hotel, which is worth reviewing before your stay. We made the mistake of self-parking on arrival (valet parking is not surcharged) and getting lost with our luggage between the parking structure and the lobby.
The front desk was a bit off-putting on our arrival (the clerks whispered about our reservation in front of us, and gave us no choice of bed configuration), but the remainder of the staff was absolutely wonderful.
The standard rooms are quite large (over 600 square feet or 55 square meters). Each has an enormous marble bathroom with double sink and separate tub and shower. The bedroom has a refrigerator and coffee maker alcove, a touch pad room safe, internet access, a small CD player, cable TV, and a sliding glass wall accessing a private patio or balcony.
Instead of drapes, the rooms have wooden shutters, and there is a secure shuttered screen door at the entry for maximum cross ventilation if one prefers that to air-conditioning. We slept with the windows open, and were delighted by the absolute quiet.
The large infinity pool is beautiful and kid-friendly (only about 4 feet at the deepest), but the adjacent Hapuna Beach is what makes this our favorite hotel in Hawaii. All beaches are public access in Hawaii, but the northern end of Hapuna (below the hotel) seems almost private.
The beach is long enough for great sunrise and sunset walks. The rocky headlands at each end of the beach are supposed to be good snorkeling, but in the winter the ocean surge is often too rough and the visibility too low.
The hotel’s beach staff is very friendly and very safety conscious. When you pick up your beach towel at poolside, they will give you the latest surf conditions. Listen to them -- a rough shore break can be dangerous.
The surf is usually great for boogie boarding. The hotel charges $7 per hour for board rental, so buy or bring your own.
What amazes me is that most other Kohala resorts do not have a nice beach, and some do not even have a beach at all. The Waikoloa Hilton, for example, is great for families with kids due to its water parks and (expensive) dolphin encounters, but it has no natural beach, which is the sine qua non for us.
In addition to the golf course and fitness center, those who like exercise can walk the beautiful beach trail past mega-mansions to the neighboring Mauna Kea Hotel, where there is another great beach and a wonderful lobby art collection. A twice hourly free shuttle between the hotels will take you back to the Hapuna Prince.
The Hapuna’s restaurants and grills are expensive by our standards but average for the Kohala resort area (the breakfast buffet is $30 pp, and an evening meal can easily cost more than $60 pp, although the restaurant features a small dinner entrée and salad combination for $30 pp).
The poolside lunch grill has hot dogs for $10 and hamburgers for $15. As a concession to budget conscious guests, there is a deli in the lobby area which offers hot sandwiches and snacks for less than $10.
The Mauna Lani and Waikoloa resort areas 4-8 miles south of the Hapuna both have small shopping centers with grocery stores (and a fast food court in the Waikoloa Queen’s shops).
In the evening the lobby lounge has very pleasant vocalists who specialize in Hawaiian songs. Because the lobby is huge (half a football field in size) and completely open to the ocean, a drink and music during sunset make a wonderful way to relax at the end of each day.
The Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel is one of our favorite hotels in all the world, and our favorite in Hawaii.
Two pieces of advice before I close:
First, what really helps us enjoy all our Hawaii vacations is Andrew Doughty’s fantastic guide (with maps) Hawaii the Big Island Revealed. It is the best travel guide we have ever encountered anywhere -- just like having a best friend who lives on the island. He has a book for each of the other main islands also.
Second, the Hapuna’s self-parking is adjacent to its valet parking in an underground structure with three car stalls between concrete pillars. For some reason, drivers seem to have a problem with this. If one of them hits your car (and does not leave a note), the damage can cost more than your entire vacation. Enough said.
I was doing research for our fourth trip to Hawaii when I found this website (tripadvisor.com). The reviews provided were extremely helpful in making our hotel choices, so I wanted to take time and provide feedback on our experience at the Keauhou Beach Resort. I booked the hotel via hotel.com which offered the lowest price based on the "Quick Check" feature within tripadvisor.com. We stayed at Keauhou Beach from 2/6/2004 - 2/10/2004. The hotel was exactly as stated in the majority of the reviews on this website. We booked a Garden View, however, the hotel bumped us up to a Partial Ocean View so we could have a king bed as requested. The room was large and very clean, yet simple. It included a small refrigerator and safe at no extra charge, however, we had to pay $5 a day for parking upon our departure. The Verandah Lounge offered a great view of the sunset and wonderful drink selections. The pool was somewhat small, but we just used the area to work on our tan. A sand beach is right next door to the hotel and offers a few waves for the "beginner" surfer.All in all we were very happy with the Keauhou Beach Resort. We have stayed in upper-end hotels/condo's in the Waikoloa area and feel that the cost to ammentity ratio at this hotel makes the Keauhou Beach Resort a very good buy.
Gorgeous property but Hotel needs a make-over
My husband and I stayed at the Ohana Keauhou Beach Resort in Jan. 2004.
We pulled up to the front of the hotel, after our long flight, and no one was there to greet us. We hauled our luggage through the lobby and had to ask where do we check-in, to the girl standing behind the desk, watching us walk passed. DO NOT get stuck in a Room on the 2nd floor.
The carpet has holes in it and the a/c does not work. The 6th floor rooms are better, with a gorgeous view. The hotel is located right on the bay. For some reason, if you want a table in their restuarant, the response was always "could you wait a minute". When clearly there were tables available. Supposedly the best place to snorkel is available next door, at the public beach, where we swam with the turtles and saw different types of fish. The hotel is located out of town so you must have a rental car. And of course there is a fee to park your car in their hotel parking lot. There is a local shopping center nearby but quite a hike. I wish I could recommend the hotel but a complete renovation of the rooms are due. ALOHA!
Just returned from the Big Island where my husband and I spent 7 nights at the Ohana Keauhou Beach Resort. This is a nice hotel with a great location.
We got by without a car to try save $. We caught a shuttle to the hotel from the airport. We walked to the nearby shopping centre for groceries and eating out. There is a shuttle, but we preferred to walk to burn some calories. Also at the shopping centre there is an Enterprise rent a car. We rented a car from there to do some touring around. The Alii Shuttle was our transportation into Kailua-Kona.
The hotel was clean and the service staff were friendly and helpful.
The snorkeling beach next door is fantastic but it does get busy.
Several snorkeling tours to Kealakekua Bay leave from nearby Keauhou pier.
The only draw back would be the limited nightlife in the area, the small pool and the food and drinks were on the pricy side (for us Canadians our dollar only buys around 75 cents US).
Thanks to tripadvisor and those posting reviews for helping me to choose this hotel.
Can't beat the view
We went to the Keahou in early November 2003, and stayed for 8 nights.
We booked a deluxe ocean front room, and arrived very late. As a result, we got into a corner room, which was very noisy. Turns out that all the deluxe ocean front rooms are corner rooms. We heard the couple next door in more ways than one would like, including their conversations. The doors banged very loudly when they closed which would wake us every morning before we wanted to rise. The rooms were average, but the view was great. We saw spinner dolphins jumping and playing in the surf, a variety of marine life in the tidal pool below the room, and gorgeous sunsets every night. The staff at the hotel was very accomodating and the chef was friendly beyond words. I fished two days and came in with fresh fish. The executive chef, Steve, prepared our fish in ways we haven't had mahimahi and ono, and was very glad to do it for us. The staff in the restaurant was good, but very slow otherwise. Waits were longer than you want, or expect them to be. The hotel location is out of the way, which we actually liked, keeping all the noise and traffic a couple of miles from us. I will say that this location is superb compared to the mega resorts in Waikaloa. That area is a wasteland, bare and ugle, and you have nothing but the resort to hang out in. The city of Kona is too long a drive to take after a few toddies as well. The Keahou's location is in a much, much prettier area, and makes you feel like you're in Hawaii, unlike the mega resorts. We like to get the feel of the island life, and we got it at the Keahou, whereas we could not have gotten that at a big name resorts. On a scale of 1 - 10, I'd give it an overall 8, when taking into consideration the distances to town and the area it was located in. Save your money by staying here and enjoy the food and nighlife more liberally.
Very Good for on-the-go tourists
We booked a room here for our December 2003 vacation after cancelling our reservations at the Hilton Waikoloa Beach resort due to negative reviews on this site and because of changing budget requirements. We were definitely NOT disappointed in this decision. The hotel is adjacent to the Keauhou beach where there was FANTASTIC snorkeling. The hotel location just off the main Kona strip was also perfect. It was kind of isolated but a quick 10 minute car ride to restaurants and attractions in Kona and a 5 minute car ride to the Keauhou mall, where there was a grocery store, drug store and other shops.
Our room was very nice, with a partial ocean view. Nice decor, not cheesy. Private balcony. The hotel was nicely decorated, again not cheesy at all!! Carpet was a little run down, but everything else was in good repair and what you would expect from a 3-star hotel.
The restaurant was decent, with a good brunch buffet. We only had one dinner there, but it was pretty good. Service was very good. The Verandah bar was great. Very friendly servers, fun! Nice entertainment, fun but not over the top. Great view of a tidal pool filled with aquatic life and sea turtles. The hotel grounds were very nice to walk and to look at. Pool was small and no jacuzzi. Laundry facilities came in handy.
Overall, this was very reasonably priced, great service and a good location for the type of vacationer who is on the go all day and wants a nice place to come to at the end of the day.
Outrigger Keauhou Beach Resort
I'm planning a trip to the Big Island in Feb or Mar 2006. Any suggestions for a good hotel (no need to be fancy) that is walking distance to a beach?
We stayed at the Outrigger Keauhou Beach Resort earlier this year. The resort adjoins Kahaluu Bay Beach Park, excellent for snorkeling and surfing. It's not a beautiful looking beach (grey sand), but the water is clear and you can swim with the green sea turtles.
The hotel itself was very nice also. Large rooms and friendly staff. Not cheap, but not too expensive either.