More about Kona Tiki Hotel
Kona Tiki Hotel - a winner in Kailua-Kona
I stayed at the Kona Tiki for 2 nights during my bike tour of the Big Island. If you're looking for a laid back and friendly place to stay, you've found it in the Kona Tiki.
This hotel is rated "Solid Gold Value" in the Wizard Publications "Hawaii The Big Island Revealed" guidebook. Based on my reading - & on the reaction I got when I called for a reservation - I expected it to be on the funky side. It's an old-style and basic hotel with only 15 rooms located right on the ocean. There are no phones and no air conditioning, but all of the rooms face the ocean. And one review I read said not to stay there if the sound of crashing waves disturbs you. That's not a problem for me - I love the sound of waves.
When I called for the reservation, the woman who answered the phone said that they have a 3-night minimum. I asked if it was possible to waive that requirement figuring that the worst that would happen is that she would say no. And she did say no - but immediately proceeded to offer me a 2-night stay if I was willing to change rooms for the second night. Of course I said yes! They don't take credit cards and requested payment in full by check within 10 days. So my check was winging its way to Hawaii by priority mail the very next day.
After staying at the Kona Tiki... This place is a real winner. It's laid back and friendly, a great place to stay. I arrived after the official front desk close time, and although I was given the super-secret location of my room key ahead of time, I didn't need to use it. The resident managers were sitting on the lanai chatting with other guests - Shirley came in to give me my key, and Jim hauled my bike case up the stairs for me! The continental breakfast in the morning was a good place to meet other guests, the rooms were more than acceptable, and the setting was unbelieveable. The hotel sits just behind a seawall, so the sound of waves crashing against the wall was constant. And since the swimming pool was also on the edge of the sea wall, it often had salt water added to it by the crashing surf.
Very Nice Kona Tiki
We were recommend to stay at the Kona Tiki by previous guests. After reading some of the reviews, we became skeptical but were told to ignore them.
We spent 2 nights at the Kona Tiki (6/24-6/25). The hotel room was very clean, the bed comfortable and the view from the lanai was excellent. It was very nice to have a mini fridge in the room as well. It was very nice going to sleep to the surf at night with the doors open. Breakfast was served each morning around the pool. It was wonderful being able to eat your breakfast overlooking the wonderful water. The pool was nice, it was right on the water. At times the waves would break into the pool.
We felt the only thing that needed upgrading was the bathrooms. The bathroom was small and outdated but it served our needs. The parking is very limited.
Great deal for the $$!!
Would we stay here again? YOU BET!!!!
Kona Tiki Motel in Kona, right...
Kona Tiki Motel in Kona, right on the waterfront. Unpretentious.
Lava flowing into the sea
Photographs by Jean-Charles Cuillandre
Loved Kona Tiki
True, no elevator, you'll have trouble climbing to the 3rd floor if your luggage is too heavy.
True, no Air conditioner, and the two days we stayed, there's no wind! It's hot even in the morning! We used the ceiling fan, and found out our room was cooler than our balcony. We must adapted the weather already, we were fine with it.
True, the tide is loud. It's so exciting. I just couldn't sleep. If you have sensitive ears like me, bring a pair of ear plugs with you. I slept well with the ear plugs. I still can hear the tide, but it was soothing.
True, there were some mosquitos. But where not when it's so hot and full of plants and flowers.
Saw no roaches, but two kind of ants. The smallest kind is nearly invisible, yellow, moves very fast. The bigger kind is around 4mm long. Many of them working hard in the washroom to move something from the Facial Tissues on the top shelf to the corner of the ceiling. We threw the old one away and got another box of Facial tissues after complaining. It still puzzles me why they do that. You are not supposed to eat tissue papers!
My husband and I stayed at Room #303 from Sep 6-8 2004. I really hated to leave the place. It was so beautiful. Ocean is right underneath the building. I saw from the balcony yellow fish, black fish, turtles. One time I saw dolphins. It's even better druing the night hours.
I was amazed by the modern flavor of the room. I thought, they don't have TV and radio, they don't have online booking service, they don't accept credit card, they must be a bunch of people holding tight on the old 1950 stuff. But I was wrong. The decoration is kind of trendy and considerate. The color makes you feel clean and calm. They even use flat surface burners in the kitchen.
The room is big. Kitchen and the bed place are seperated by a half wall (feel clean). The breakfasts were included in the price.
Staff were friendly, and easy to approach.
How can you not love the Kona Tiki?
I've stayed at the Kona Tiki last October 2003, as well as October 2002 and we loved it! It is intimate, friendly, clean and with out all the crap you don't need on vacation--tvs, phones, clocks...ughhh why would you want them? Every night we slept with the porch doors opened--the surf lulling you to sleep and NO BUGS! (I usually am a bug magnet--and I was amazed to never see any bugs despite sleeping with the doors open.) The pool is an adventure with the ocean waves periodically crashing into you! If you're expecting the Hilton or Hyatt--do not stay here. But if you want an affordable, cute and clean, centrally located place--on the water, you cannot beat the Kona Tiki. (oh, and try to stay on the third floor for the best views...) I can't wait to go back!
A Little Slice of Heaven...
I just returned from a week-long stay in Kona at the Kona Tiki - I must say that after reading some of the previous reviews, I was a bit nervous about our upcoming stay, but I am relieved to report that The Kona Tiki was everything (and more) that I had hoped it would be! I think it is necessary to preface this review by saying that people have different expectations for their hotel vacation experience - if you want to stay at a resort where you are pampered night and day, have television/Internet access, and all the other frills, this might not be your cup of tea. But, if you are looking for a small, friendly place that is literally RIGHT ON the ocean, very clean and well-maintained, close to downtown Kona, and VERY affordable, this is your place! I was also impressed with how many people return here year after year - we met one couple who have stayed here every year since 1978! Yes, it can be noisy at night because of the waves pounding against the sea wall, and the proximity to Alikii Drive - a problem easily easily remedied by wearing ear plugs, as I did.
As for security, I felt very safe staying at the Kona Tiki - it's in a nice area, and there are people around all the time. I would stay here again in a heartbeat and wholeheartedly recommend it to others!
We were disappointed by the Kona Tiki. We read reviews about how quaint it was supposed to be. The doors had improper locks, only push button no dead bolt. No air conditioning, it was too hot and humid in the room to sleep. The surf was crashing outside the window. We felt unsafe and hot. We switched hotels. They refused a refund. Stay somewhere else.
Paradise on a budget!!!
No Tv, no radio, no phones, no alarm clock!!! Our recent stay at the Kona Tiki proved to be the most relaxing, stress-free vacation we have ever experienced! Our ground floor room had a kitchenette, lanai, and grassy area with lounge chairs right at the rock wall of the water's edge and just a few steps from the "salt water pool" and seaside bar-b-que grill! The rooms were very clean and very well maintained. Our kitchenette was new and very well supplied. We were there for a scuba diving vacation, and the close proximity to downtown Kona and the dive shop was a big plus for us. We prepared all of our dinner meals on the "community" bar-b-que grill at poolside (consisting of fresh fish from the local fish market and vegetables from the local outdoor market). Watching sunsets as the waves lapped over the rock wall was an evening ritual. The remainder of the evening was spent just listening to the waves, either at the pool or our lanai. With such a small hotel, you easily become friends with everyone staying there. One of our fellow vacationers actually coordinated a "pot luck" at the end of the week for all of the guests, held at poolside, after the sunset ritual of Tiki Torch Lighting. Our thanks to Loretta, Kona Tiki Manager, for helping to make our stay such a memorable one! Thanks to her, and the owners of the Kona Tiki, who maintain this hotel so well and keep it so clean and pristine, we will be making our reservation for next August shortly. If you love the water as we do and prefer a "casual" atmosphere, this is the place for you! And the price is right!
Nice Place but Overrated
We stayed at the Kona-Tiki in September 2004, with no trouble securing a reservation a month earlier. In fact, during our 10-night stay, there were rooms available most every night.
For a kitchenette, we paid about $94 a night including tax.
Like others have said, the views outside the rooms and poolside are postcard perfect.
In addition, the housekeeping staff is first rate and on-site managers terrific, albeit they were at the start of their three-month stint and first time on the island. (They asked us where the gems of the island were! )
The continental breakfast was served promptly and offered plenty of variety.
There's also a friendly house kitty that takes its meals near the pool.
For the price, the Kona Tiki isn't a bad deal. There are many things to like about this place and the nostaglia factor is a real plus, but it's not a place I could rave about or call a "real steal."
Since we cooked and ate most of our meals in the room, we probably spent more time in our room that most vacationers do. After the two days, I found the bathroom, kitchen counter and sleeping area cramped.
Sheets were thin and pillows flat like you would find in a Motel 6. Beach towels were clean but some were stained or grey from age.
The rooms were very clean, but the windows were dirty. Overall the room looked a little shabby, with obvious patched paint and abandoned drapery fixtures still in place and painted over. The sliding door window panes were replaced with opaque tan boards that were downright ugly. There was one chair in a room that sleeps three.
My impression is the owners spend enough to keep the place up, but that's all.
Be advised, the Kona-Tiki is located on one of the busiest streets in a congested area of town. Traffic on Alii Dr. is at all hours and the noise *considerable* if your room is located near the road. At night, the waves crashing into the lava rock seawall are even louder, but, alas, don't roll by as often as the cars do.
If you're truly looking to get away from it all, you might want to look elsewhere.
Ocean put us to sleep at night
I was a bit nervous about staying here- the price is so low!- but we were very pleased with the Kona Tiki. We had a corner room that looked out into the small bay. The ocean was right outside our window- the first night I was sure the waves were coming in our window! But, we were soothed to sleep each night with the ocean- it was great. Rooms are dated and could use some remodeling but for the price you can not ask for more. Great hotel if all you need is a place to sleep each night and are not looking for lots of extras like spas, restaurants, etc. Breakfast was nothing fancy but worked for us. If you are on a budget and are dreaming of an ocean view, this is the place for you.
The view from my room at the Kona Tiki