Let me preface this review by saying that I've now had the pleasure of staying at Kona Bayview Inn 4 times since 2007. The fact that I keep going back should speak volumes.
Let's break this down by each aspect of the stay:
Price: You COULD stay in one of the nearby hotels and spend $300+ a night EASILY or you could stay at Kona Bayview Inn (which I'm just going to call KBVI for brevity) at nearly a third the price.
KBVI Geography: First, the view from KBVI is amazing. You're at about 700 feet elevation and have a panoramic view of Kealakekua Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The sun rises behind you so you're never woken by the sun blazing in your window. It also means the rooms stay cooler longer. And since the sun rises behind KBVI, it sets in front of it which means front row seats to amazing sunsets.
Location: KBVI is centrally located to all the best attractions on the island. You're about equidistant from Volcano National Park, Waipio & Polulu Valley, South Point and Mauna Kea. It means never having to switch hotels since you can pretty easily get to all the best sights. Of course you are just minutes from the best snorkeling in Hawaii (IMHO) at Kealakekua Bay and the Pu`uhonua o Honaunau (Place of Refuge) National Park is just a few minutes away too. The other nice part is that you are fairly close to the main road that circles Hawaii (Mamahaloa Rd - aka Rt 11). But you're enough off the beaten track that there is practically NO traffic and the only real noise around are the calls of the birds in the morning and a light breeze that rustles the palm trees. You're also close enough to Kona that it's a fairly short drive into town if you need to stop by Walmart for supplies.
Rooms: The rooms are well equipped and are very clean. There are 4 different rooms (I've stayed in 3 of them) and they all have ceiling fans which is nice. Power plugs are abundant (which is essential for a techie like me). All of them feature ocean views and have a sliding glass door (with curtains of course) that opens up to the lanai (a ground level covered porch for mainlanders unfamiliar with the term). The sliding doors all have screens although when I've been there bugs have never been a problem (indoors or out). Another reviewer mentioned geckos - first, let me say, on Hawaii they are everywhere - but there are probably less in the area of KBVI then elsewhere I've been on the island. Secondly, I've never ever had problem of them getting in my room. The screens on the doors and windows are in good shape and are very effective. Lastly - they're more afraid of you then you are of them - the moment you get within a few feet of them, they usually scurry off. (Which usually foils my many attempts to photograph the cute little buggers, haha)
Grounds: It's apparent that the grounds are well cared for. The lanai is always clean and the lawn is always mowed. It's the type of grass so thick you can just go out, lay down on, and take a nap...I think I have once or twice ;) The driveway in is a bit steep but it's all concrete and in good shape and plenty wide enough for any car/truck. I've even had low to the ground sports-type cars in and out of there and have never even come close to bottoming out (so I have no clue what the heck another reviewer was talking about)
Amenities: Free WiFi (high speed internet). There are racks on the lanai to dry towels/bathing suits and a fridge to store leftovers/beverages. There is ample (comfortable) seating in the form of wicker couches/chairs on the lanai and a few beach chairs out in the sunny area facing the ocean. (Sometimes it's nice to take a nap out there instead of going to the beach as if it's a bit too warm at the beach, it's usually more temperate at KBVI due to the 700ft altitude). There is also a microwave, coffee pot and a bookshelf with several Hawaii themed reading materials which is a nice touch.
Breakfast: This deserved a section all on its own. To put it as succinctly as I can, I still have dreams about the mango and papaya from those breakfasts (you can't get anything nearly as good here in Connecticut). Each morning there is freshly brewed Kona coffee (yup, the good stuff). (By the way, ask Pat, the owner and hostess, where to get fantastic Kona coffee at a great price - way cheaper than those tourist trap coffee mills and just as good if not better). Now, I'm not normally a coffee drinker but I'll help myself to a cup...or three of Kona coffee. Second, there is always fresh fruit, picked daily right on premises. Mango, papaya, bananas...I'm starting to salivate just thinking about it. And there is always some sort of daily special she brings out too which is always delicious. You never leave the breakfast table hungry.
The Owner/Hostess: Pat, the owner and hostess is always cheerful whenever we've been there and always has great ideas and suggestions to help make our trip even better. She has great knowledge about all the beaches the tourists don't know about so don't be afraid to ask her where the best spots are. It's clear she cares about her guests and does whatever she can to make sure they enjoy their stay.
Final Words About KBVI: A great price, friendly service, delicious breakfast, great location. It all adds up to a Hawaiian bargain. I would most definitely recommend Kona Bayview Inn.
A couple other things nearby worth checking out:
Big Jake's BBQ - About 5-8 minutes away by car, this is a place with REALLY good BBQ. I usually get a whole rack of ribs and head down the the picnic area at Place of Refuge National Park and relax while eating lunch/dinner at least once during a trip.
Kona Coast Macadamia Nut and Candy Factory - Just a few minutes from KBVI at hte end of Middle Keei Rd. (going south) - I've never been there while the factory was in action, but they do have a little gift store there with REALLY GOOD macadamia nuts (salted/unsalted/hot etc), chocolates and other assorted goodies. Everything looks homemade (and tastes like it too - i.e. Delicious). Definitely worth it to pick up a few snacks for the road as you go on your adventures.
About the Reviewer:
Types of travel: Adventure/Activity Based (hiking/biking/exploring/kayaking)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Private and quiet country setting in a 40 acre macadamia orchard. Lovely villa style home with beautifully furnished guest rooms, all with ensuite baths and ocean view. Immaculate housekeeping, friendly and helpful hostess. Two miles to the best snorkeling and kayaking on the island. Hour and a half to the volcano, and several good hikes closer by. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Kona Bayview Inn Bed And Breakfast Hawaii/Captain Cook