Kona Village Resort

Queen Kaahumanu Highway, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, 96740, United States

2 Reviews

  • wbpiii's Profile Photo

    Unique in all the Islands

    by

    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.

  • brewjohnson's Profile Photo

    a throwback to old Hawaii

    by

    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
    -no AC
    -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.

More about Kona Village Resort

A Romantic Hideaway

by lilbunnygirl about Kona Village Resort

A beautiful all-inclusive property not too far from the Kona airport, Kona Village really is an ideal spot for any couple who want to get away from everything but each other.

No phones, no televisions. Guests stay in of 125 individual hales, some with private jacuzzis on the porch, most with ocean views. Both black & white sand beaches and dramatic lava formations encourage romantic walks. Delicious gourmet meals are served in the dining room or out near the water.

When you want to be alone, there's a painted coconut to put on your doorstep that tells the staff to stay away! Included in the room rate are 3 meals daily, snorkeling equipment, kayaks, sunfish sailboats, glass-bottom boat excursions, use of the fitness center, tennis, and the Friday night luau. We checked out friday, so we missd the luau, but it's supposed to be quite a production.

The snorkeling is quite good, and 2 giant manta rays come to swim in a lighted area by the shore each night.

There's a pond with ducks and wild birds, and several historic ancient sites on the grounds you can walk to.

Resorts of the Big Island, and outside view.

by wbpiii about muana kea, hapuna prince, muana lani, kona village

hiked most of the resorts in my many trips trip to the Island of Hawaii and now have a good idea about the resorts of north kona and kohala from an exterior/aesthetic point of view.

Mauna Kea: An older hotel that was designed by Larry Rockefeller and his team. Wonderful location overlooks the best beach on Hawaii. It’s interesting architecture, it is a box but is designed to compliment its location. Beautiful gardens surround the resort. The gardens have a more formal and maintained looked. This tends to reinforce the image of class. World-class golfing and recreational opportunities awaits the guest. Now that the MK is reopened it appears that the Mona Kea is the resort de jour on Hawaii. Hard to say anything bad about the MK, except maybe their heavy-hand manner of controlling how many tourist can visit the beach.

Hapuna Beach. From a distance, this resort seems to be the poor step-sister to the Mauna Kea. Smaller less elaborate gardens surround the property. Not as sweet a location as the MK but it does sit above Hapuna Beach which is a nice beach. It’s a nice resort but not as impressive as others. On the plus side, it is cheaper than many of the resorts on the west and guest have access to all of the amenities of the Mauna Kea.

Fairmont, I haven’t spent any time walking the property so these are rough observation. It’s on the Mauna Lani property so the area has a wonderful feel about. It has miles of trails to hike though in a large but well planned community. I don’t think it has much of a beach small and appears manufacture. The resort architecture is a box. It has first class amenities. Hopefully, some Fairmont friends will fill-in the blanks.

Mauna Lani. Architecturally this is a bold big modernist box building. It’s like an arrow pointed at the ocean. The design gives almost every room a great view. The ML has a very impressive check-in area, elegant and classy. The gardens are somewhat formal immediately around the hotel but further out in quickly goes to elegant jungle and ponds. Very impressive grounds maybe the most impressive land on the west coast, imo. There is a man-made swimming area in front of the hotel but the small crescent beach about .3 mile south is wonderful for swimming, playing and snorkeling. Miles of pave pathways to walk or run. Beautiful golf courses surround the community. Excellent but expensive restaurants are on property. A wonderful Hawaiian feel graces this resort.

Marriot Waikoloa. I didn’t go inside so hopefully someone will aid me with this resort. A quick review of the property shows pretty standard box type hotel, a nice pool and interesting pond area and well maintain gardens. Has a good feeling as a result of location but the architecture is definitely not exciting. This resort doesn’t send me but I am not offended by it. It is the least expensive of the big resorts and the only resort that fronts Abay’s beach.

Hilton. I spent over an hour hiking this resort and my feelings are negative. The Hilton is really three hotels managed as one. It has a feeling of Disneyland without the warm and fuzzy part. They have a monorail type transportation system and boats ferrying people to the out-builders. The architecture is modern, box with a curvilinear theme. The style is resortus grandiose. Everything is oversized. You are in awe when you first start walking the property, 9-foot Ming vases and 8-ft. marble Chinese horses dot the resort. The pool is large a maybe the best on the big island. There is no ocean access. Instead, the architect created a huge lagoon. Surrounding this lagoon is both formal and informal gardens. There is ocean access to the lagoon, but I can’t imagine that the water quality is all that good but people were snorkeling in it. I also didn’t see many tropical fish. I suspect the lagoon is inhabited by fish that are comfortable with brackish water.

What this hotel lacks is a feeling of Hawaii. How the owner could spend so much and miss the point is beyond me. This resort for all its grandeur could be located in Thailand, China or San Diego. There is nothing that says Hawaii. This is not a resort I would spend time at but your opinion may differ. It is at times breathtaking. I do think this is a great resort for families with younger children.

Four Season: I spent many hours wandering the FS and I am most impressed. Much thought went into the design of this resort. The hotel in broken into four shell shape (U) sections. The design fits nicely into the coast. And the coast is what is so striking at this resort. Between and among each section is a pool and garden. The gardens are formal and clean, and give one a sense of tropical Hawaii. The pools are fantastic especial the tropical fish pool, where one can snorkel with most tropical fish found in Hawaii included spotted eagle rays. This is a cool feature. The other pools are elegant and fine places to be seen. There are two international quality golf courses and the coast walk to Kukio beach is a really fine resort hike. It claims a top-notch spa and some really excellent restaurants. This is different but equal to the Mauna Lani and Mauna Kea.

Kona Village: I debated whether to add Kona Village Resort to this list. It comparing the others to Kona Village, is really comparing different resort concepts. KVR is really an anti-resort. The housing is recreated hales or huts from around Polynesia. Because of this design element, there is an intimate village feel to the resort. As far as the gardens, there are three distinct areas. There is lava area with its views of the ocean and its minimalist gardening. Then there is the pond area that gives one a feeling of an old hawaiian village that surrounds ponds circled with soaring palm trees and junglish vegetation. It has a very intimate feeling back there. The beach area has a formal jungle feeling. Hawaiian and tropical trees abound, hibiscus and gardenia scent the air. This resort represents Hawaii of our dreams. Everything here speaks tropical Hawaiian paradise. At times the village shows its age but that will be resolved during the forthcoming facelift.

There are two pools neither are Olympic sized. KVR has great beach for sunning, swimming, snorkeling and water sports. It has some of the best diving on the island. It is not great for just playing in the waves. There are miles of hiking trails north, south and through the resort. As a result of the Dell purchase, you can now golf on the Four Season’s courses. KVR is different but equal to the best resorts in Hawaii.

Bill

Sunday Branch by the beach

by Mikio about At Kona Village Resort in Kaupulehu

Fresh ingredients all around; Serves omlets, pan cakes, vegetable stirfry, etc, your style while U wait. Sashimi and other sea food is incredible. Desserts are awesome. Coffee is one of the best. The ambience is casual, relaxing, and comfortable. The view of the little bay in front of the bufet area is stunning. A bit pricey but worth it! The only disappointment was Maitai from the bar. It costs $10 per glass, and it isn't that good. I'd had a better one at a much cheaper price else where. Fresh sea food and prime rib. Fresh and tasty.

Honeymoon romance

by A TripAdvisor Member

my husband and I went here for our honeymoon and we went back again.we are hoping to save up to go again.We love the bloody Mary's and the relaxing atmosphere.We loved Kona village!!!!!!!

Fantasy Island!

by A TripAdvisor Member

I love Kona Village. I can't wait to go back. I love it so much, I might even get a new tatoo with there name on it. All kidding aside, we stayed 4 nights there as part of our two week visit to the islands.
Every place we went after Kona Village was disapointing. Not because they were bad, but because Kona Village was so great. It is very expensive, but if you can aford it, do it. It's the closet thing to Fantasy Island I have ever seen. I could complain about a few minor things, but why bother. I almost wanted to write a bad review just to keep new people from finding out about how great it really is. It was the best vacation I ever had. None Better!

Hey Bra What Da Kine?

by A TripAdvisor Member

Loved loved loved the Kona Village Resort (KVR). My new bride and I arrived in September, 2000 and found to our delight that it happened to be no-kids month. Very cool. I highly recommend going in May and September if you really want to chill out. We stayed in the very cheapest Hale we could get. I arrived with a three-foot-tall stack of magazines and read every single one of them while reclining on a chaise on the beach under a palm-frond thatched roof. I would read a magazine, or half of one, then sleep. Rinse (in the warm, lovely, and safe ocean) and then repeat until it was time to eat from the excellent lunch buffet or in one of the restaurants. While there we also participated in tennis lessons, hiked some trails in the volcanic flows at 6am, snorkled, kayaked, and copulated like bunny rabbits.The only negative aspects to our stay were as follows: 1. I had ostrich at dinner one night and it wasn't so hot. But then again, I ordered it a bit undercooked.2. The bed in our hale appeared to be Queen-sized but was in fact two twins mushed together. We brought it up with the desk and they fixed it the same day. But it should have never been set up that way.3. We didn't like that some of the ocean activities required extra fees. For the price of the resort, they really should have included this. It's an unwelcome interruption from the bliss of the vacation to have to think about money. Despite these drawbacks, when we DO go back to Hawaii, we will stay ONLY in the KVR. I have lived and stayed in many different resorts (from Grand Cayman to Bermuda to Hong Kong to Miami) and none have rivalled this place. It's unique and uniquely relaxing.

Great experience

by TripAdvisor Member pabd

We stayed at the Kona Village after spending a night at the Waikoloa Marriott and two nights at the Hilton Waikoloa. We were surprised to be met with a lei for each of us and a frest glass of pineapple juice or rum punch. The hale we stayed in was right on the lagoon and I can honestly say it was the BEST! You should have seen my son's eyes when he saw our pictures we took. He thought we should have them blown up and framed. The meals were wonderful and the service was good. The only complaint we had was the cost! We both felt it was too expensive but DEFINITELY WORTH spending that much for 2 days.

There's Nothing Like It Anywhere Else

by A TripAdvisor Member

We are just 45 days away from our next (7th?) visit to Kona Village. It is pure bliss. Where else can you go these days to hear the sounds of quiet? There are so many private spaces to relax, so many beautiful walks to take. We are always amazed by how every day at KVR seems like 3 days somewhere else. We have been coming back here for the last 20 years and it doesn't change--except to get better and better. Yes, it is expensive, but it is worth every dime. The only problem is, once there, you don't want to leave to explore the rest of the island! This year, we're going a day early so we can spend one night at the Volcano before heading to our sancutary hale at KVR. For those who seek privacy, beauty, and complete restfulness, there's no place anywhere like KVR.

Photos

The cottage at Kona VillageThe cottage at Kona Village

The Pond @ Kona VillageThe Pond @ Kona Village

The restaurant and the dining area @ Kona VillageThe restaurant and the dining area @ Kona Village

outside our hale at Kona Villageoutside our hale at Kona Village

Forum Posts

Best Luau?

by bamajerry

My wife and I will be traveling to the Islands at the end of the month. We will be spending 4 nights on Oahu and 4 nights on the Big Island. We want to attend a Luau and were wondering which one to attend some say Germaines others say the Kona Village Luau on the Big Island is the absolute best? Any advice appreciated!

Re: Best Luau?

by Suet

The Polynesian Cultural Centre on Oahu has a luau..... if you buy a ticket from my mate Isi it costs around $50 for the whole thing including the centre... starting from 12 noon......

check my page for his number.... and make sure you get a massage.... he has magic hands....

The after dinner show is awesome... well worth it...

Re: Best Luau?

by travelgourmet

I found the Island Breeze Luau at the King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel in Kailau-Kona to be pretty good. If you are staying at the Kona Village Resort,then by all means go to their Friday night Luau. It is included. If you are just a visitor to the Kona Village Resort call ahead to make a reservation at: 1 800 367-5290 ex. 214. Reservations a must. Aloha

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