Stay: October 2004
The OHANA Keauhou Beach Resort is a nice, unassuming and laid-back 3-star hotel situated in a terrific location next to some of the best snorkeling on the island. The place is a little bit musty, but otherwise quite pleasant and I'd definitely stay here again.
How I chose the hotel
I read through pretty much all the reviews for Kona hotels at tripadvisor.com. The two that sounded best, for the price, were the Keauhou Beach Resort and the Kona Tiki Hotel (which is very cheap) but the latter didn't take credit-card reservations (in this day and age!) so I decided on the former. I knew the hotel had problems, including a wing that faced a construction site and smelly and moldy rooms on the second floor, but I'd also read that people were able to get free or cheap upgrades to better rooms. What really sold me on the hotel was its location near great snorkeling.
I checked most of the travel sites, and called the hotel directly, and found the best deal through Orbitz at $101 plus tax for a room.
We had been assigned a 2nd floor "garden view" room, but Mike asked for and obtained an upgrade to a upper floor partial-ocean view room, facing away from the construction site. The room was nice and comfortable, with a comfy king-size bed, extra pillows in the closet, a couple of chairs and table, and a average-sized television. The bathroom was divided in two, with a large sink area in front of the closet (where the safe was located), and a small area for the toilet and shower. There was no bathtub which can be inconvenient when you have children, and the shower was so small that it was hard to wash the lower parts of my body (as the water spray just hit my upper parts).
There was a lanai with a couple of chairs and a wonderful view of the ocean. The room also oversaw the room of the restaurant below, but we could overlook that easily.
The room had a small refrigerator where we could put our drinks.
The room was clean when we checked in but had a slight musty smell that we got used to and stopped noticing. In all, it was a comfortable room.
We (our rather, our daughter) found a former guest's trash in a drawer so housekeeping doesn't seem to do too careful a job. We had no complaints as to how they cleaned during our stay - which is a lot to say given how much sand we carried back in our shoes & swimsuits. When we asked for extra pillows they were delivered promptly.
Grounds and Facilities
The hotel is a little bit old but quite pleasant. We liked how open its lobby area was, which included several couches and tables overlooking the ocean. They also have a terrace bar right next to the ocean and a semi-open restaurant with great views. And they have a restaurant serving burgers and other lunch items in a separate building near the public beach, also with a great view. We didn't eat at these restaurants so I can't comment on the quality of the food, except to say that it was expensive. In the lobby area there was a nice store selling upscale clothing and souvenirs. They also had a store selling arts, a small "spa" and I think a real estate agency. There is a laundry room that we didn't use.
In front of the hotel there are lava tidepools where you can see fish, eels, and even turtles, a large grass area with hammocks from where you can see the ocean and a cool tropical garden. It was all very nice and relaxing.
The hotel has a regular adult pool which was not very large but still was quite popular. Next to it there was a small 2-feet-deep toddler pool for children, which wasn't busy at all. There is a short path through the grounds leading to the snorkeling beach next door. The beach itself is rocky and had very coarse "sand", but the snorkeling is among the best in the area.
We didn't see the dreaded second floor but even on our floor the hallway smelled quite musty, especially just after being cleaned, but it was clean. This hotel had the quickest elevators I've ever seen - we rarely had to wait for one.
The hotel is located very close to the Keauhou Shopping center where there is a large KTA supermarket, a Longs drugstore, post office, and several restaurants.
We very much liked the easy and laid back service. Mike was able to get an upgrade to the room we got by just asking, and indeed there was a sign behind the counter saying "ask for an upgrade." Hotel employees were helpful with information about the island.
You can check out beach towels any time of the day by just writing your name and room number in a sign-out sheet, and return them by just putting them into a basket and writing that they've been returned. This was very convenient.
Though they said that parking behind the hotel was $5 a day, we didn't have to pay for it. Same thing for the safe in the room, which we did use. Phone calls were $1 each, which was kind of expensive and the hotel didn't have internet connectivity.
In all, we really enjoyed this hotel, in particular its location, and if I was going back to the Big Island I'd probably just stay here.
OHANA Keauhou Beach Resort
78-6740 Alii Drive
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, 96740
Ph: 808 322-3441