Kona Village Resort
Unique in all the Islands
I have vacationing at Kona Village every year for ten years. My wife and I love it. What’s so special about Kona Village? Is it the people who work there? The location, gardens or beach? Why is this place so beloved when it’s just a resort? For decades, Hawaii sold an image: beautiful people, fun in the sun, great beaches, friendly Hawaiian Culture, food and relaxation all in a tropical setting. Few resort can deliver this dream. Most are steel and glass plunked down in the middle of an urban setting. Others have no sense of the Hawaiian culture.
Kona Village is different. It is the most unique resort in all the islands. It is the only all-inclusive resort in the island. It was designed as Polynesian Village. At the heart of the Village are two restaurants, the administrative center, one of the two pools and the beach shack. As you travel north, south and east you come to the accommodations that are known as hale. There are approximately 125 units on the resort property. Some units are scatter between the fishponds. Some line the rugged lava coast and some line the beach. Price depends on location. Closer to the coast, the more expensive it gets.
Somebody will no doubt argue that Kona Village is expensive. True, it is not cheap, but you get a lot. For the nightly fee you get three exquisitely prepared meals (alcohol not included), you have access to snorkel equipment, beach toys and the sunfish sailboat at the beach shack. The village has a modern exercise room to work off those meals. Beautiful tennis courts are always available. You also have 82 acres of history in which to explore. You can go to the luau on Wednesday or Friday. You could listen to music each night between 5:30 pm and 9:30 pm.
What makes Kona Village a value are the intangibles. Those intangibles are easier to understand if experienced, but I will try. First, the staff is amazing. The treaty you like family if you treat them with respect. It is a wonderful group of people. Next, the beauty of the garden is difficult to explain unless you are the Bard. They are full of exotic trees and flowers growing in a natural manner. This is not meant to be a formal garden that you would see at other resorts. These gardens are meant to augment the “village” feeling. In the gardens live a host of birds that adds another layer of tranquility. At night, when the tiki torches are lit, the ponds reflect the light in a most magical way.
Another intangible is the ocean. While the beach is a mixture of white and black sand, the hidden beauty lies just below the surface of the water. The small bay is very protected and pure. The result is excellent swimming in warm clear water. The bay is home to a wonderful collection of turtles, colorful fish, and coral. I have snorkeled all the Islands and many of the resorts. This is the best snorkeling I’ve found at any resort. The snorkeling off the little black sand beach is indescribable. It is only slightly below two-step and Kealakekua Bay in quality.
No resort is perfect. If you need television, air conditioning or radios, KVR is not for your. There are no televisions in the room. Use of you cell phone outside of your hale is discouraged. If you want opulence; silk sheets, gold or marble, KVR is not your place. What it does have is a sense of serenity. It is a place to slow down and reconnect with your spouse or family. Do you homework before you book, I think you will fine that Kona Village is great vacation resort.
a throwback to old Hawaii
Some of my good friends, whose opinion I trust greatly, have been going to Kona Village for 30+ years (basically their entire lives). They go for family vacations, romantic getaways, basically every chance they get. While they raved about it, they also told me that its not a place for everyone and therefore, they didn't like to recommend it to many people. Why is it not for everyone?
-no TVs or phones in rooms
-not a traditional hotel, rather a variety of huts styled in various Polynesian themes
-no major renovations in the past 40 years
-food is all-inclusive (they now have breakfast only options too)
While the hotel may not be for everyone, it was perfect in just about every respect for us. A truly unique gem of a resort, where you feel like you've stepped back in time. The staff (many of whom who have worked their for decades) treat you like family and the entire time we were there, we felt a sense of calm and relaxation. The only regret my wife and I had about staying here is that we couldn't stay longer. Immediately upon our return, we started planning our next trip (August can't get here soon enough).
Some things to know: this is not an inexpensive resort. Quite to the contrary. Generally, negative reviews center around the cost and negatively pick apart single parts of the resort: room quality doesn't compare favorably with a newly built hotel of the similar price, the beach isn't as nice as others, because food is included in the cost (most of the time) you have limited choices in dining options, etc. While I disagree with all of those negative critiques, they miss the biggest point: this is definitely a case where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. If you want a unique experience where you can totally get away from it all, relax and feel paradise, this is a place for you.
Cost-wise, Kona Village is expensive, but because food, a luau, most non-motorized water sports, a kids club (for kids 5 and over), etc., are included, I think it compares very favorably with top resorts in the area like the Mauna Kea (another very good choice, IMO) and the Four Seasons (which is directly next door to Kona Village).
Unique Quality: Everything.
Directions: Kohala Coast. When leaving Kona airport, hang a left and drive for 20 minutes or so until you get to Hualalai. Kona Village is next to the Four Seasons.
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