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“Quirky, a Bargain Hunter's Dream”
Review of Kona Tiki Hotel

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Kona Tiki Hotel
Ranked #6 of 14 Hotels in Kailua-Kona
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 5 April 2008

There is so much to say about the Kona Tiki. It was definitely one of the more memorable places I have ever stayed and I would certainly return. What a bargain. Great location, walking distance to town and Lava Java, practically in the ocean. Yes, it's somewhat outdated, but it only gave it more character.

We went to Hawaii with a group of friends to do a 1/2 ironman, and our friends all stayed at fancy $300 night resorts up to coast. But when we decided to have them all over for a BBQ at the Kona Tiki our last night in Kona, I think secretly they were all a little jealous.

This place is full of character from the interesting people you end up meeting by the common pool area while watching the sunset, to the nightly tiki torch ceremony, to the quirky property managers and reservation system. You have to call and then mail in a check ahead of time with a deposit of $300, but then are still expected to pay up the remaining balance immediately upon arrival. We didn't have cash on us and didn't really understand why it was such a priority when we owed less than $100 and were staying for 4 nights....Anyway, it ended up just adding to the quirkiness of the place.

Be warned that it really is oceanfront, which means you will hear waves all night long. I love that, but people who might have a hard time sleeping may want to bring ear plugs.

  • Stayed: May 2007
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1  Thank recycledracer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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348 - 354 of 426 reviews

Reviewed 14 March 2008

We stayed at the Kona Tiki Hotel for 6 nights in August 2007. The rooms are quite basic (no TV, no AirCon etc.) but they are clean and do have private bathrooms and kitchen. As the hotel is located right at the oceanfront the sound of the waves is quite loud and will make it difficult to sleep well in the first night.. ;-))

Anyway, the owners Mike & Cathy are lovely and I would very much recommend this place to anybody who is looking for a low-budget oceanfront bungalow in Kona!!

  • Stayed: August 2007, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Kugelblitz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 March 2008

I booked 4 nights at this motel for our family back in August 2007 to stay in December 2007. I sent a $300.00 cash deposit and then realised in mid October that we were staying on another island therefore had to cancel the booking. I rang direct to explain the situation and was told that as I had given 2 months notice so I would get a full refund.
After several emails up to the end of March 2008, I was still promised a full refund. I have given up now and presume I will never be refunded.
I was very annoyed and feel ripped off as I come from Australia there is little I can do about it except rely on the honesty of the managers.
Jo from Australia

Stayed: December 2007
6  Thank Aussie006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 February 2008

We spent three nights in at the Kona Tiki (one in a standard room and two in a kitchenette). Overall, we were in Hawaii for 18 nights and this was the place we enjoyed the most. Originally we were at the Manago Hotel in Captain Cook, but found that to be to far from what we wanted to be doing in this area (see review of the Manago for comparison). When we decided to check out of the Manago, I had the Kona Tiki in my mind as a back up hotel. We drove to the hotel first thing in the AM, to see if we could get a room. We were told that they had an available room as someone did not show up, but they had someone on a waiting list before us. If that person did not take it, they would call us. Less than 15 minutes after we left, we got a call that we could have the room if we would be willing to change rooms during our stay. We agreed to it and told them we would be there in a couple of minutes. As we pulled into the parking lot, we saw another car leaving. The person who was on the waiting list and first said no, changed there mind and would take the room with the change. Luckily, since we agreed and said we would be right there, they told the other person the room was no longer available.

First, the negatives: there are only 15 rooms so it fills up fast. The bathrooms in both rooms we stayed in were small, in fact we joked that you had to back in. The parking lot was not big enough for 15 cars. In order to overcome this, the last two cars in parked right in the center of the lot and put their keys in a lock box. If someone wanted to leave before those cars had been moved, the owner takes the keys from the box and moves the cars so you can get yours out. They even block traffic with the last car, so you could get out easier. The last negative we found was that if you were a light sleeper, you might have a problem with the noise of the waves hitting the retaining wall out side your room. We had no problem with it, but talked with someone else who wears ear plugs at night.

Now for the positives: the location is perfect, both from ease to get to and surroundings. The ocean is close as you are going to find at any facility as are many ocean activities. From our lanai we could see both whales and surfers. In fact, it was the closest we came to someone surfing as he would surf right past our balcony. We got a lot of great pictures. The rooms were large, clean and had comfortable beds. We stayed in rooms at the opposite ends of the building (106 and 201). We did not notice road noise in 106, but did in 201, though the ocean helped to drown it out. Each room has a refrigerator and not just a pint sized one. The refrigerators were fairly decent in size, when compared with the ones in a normal hotel. If you are not in a kitchenette room, you could still cook as the hotel provided two small gas grills and two small charcoal grills. Since there are only 15 rooms, you get to meet and talk to other guests. Many of them when we were there had been coming for years and knew each other. That did not preclude them from inviting us to join them either for breakfast or an evening of watching the sunset and just visiting. We even got to light the torches they have on the property and to blow the conch shell prior to lighting each one (my wife could blow it, I couldn’t!). Speaking of breakfast, there was an ample breakfast of fruit, muffins and hot cinnamon buns (kept in a warming tray), in addition they had juice and Kona coffee also available. The owners and all the staff were friendly and helpful. I don’t remember everything they provided, but I know they provided beach towels and boogie boards.

All in all, it was a great place to stay at a very reasonable price.

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled with family
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6  Thank Clown_Guy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 January 2008

This hotel is a gem! We loved the fact that it was no frills. The location is wonderful...each room has an ocean view and you can hear the waves at night.

The staff is wonderful. They are very helpful and accommodating. Parking can be a challenge, but it is workable.

  • Stayed: December 2007, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank seahorse06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 January 2008

Prior research identified that this was an old beachfront hotel, walking distance to Kailua-Kona, at reasonable prices. We were not disappointed, as whilst hotel is basic, it is clean and loved. Toilet paper and towels were good quality, not paper thin. Our well equiped kitchenette Room 201 was on 1st floor next to road, but only noisy when door was open. Loved just sitting on the lanai listening to the sounds of waves crashing against the rock wall.
Has BBQ and green lawn on side, and oceanfront pool.
Hotel managers and staff were friendly.
Whilst buffet breakfast was delicious, quantity was not as generous as other places.

Stayed: September 2007
3  Thank maisonmips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 December 2007

My partner and I have stayed at the Kona Tiki numerous times over the years. We go there for the oceanfront views that don't break your budget. The crowd that stays here is friendly and unpretentious. People start talking over the continental breakfast provided in the pool area or at sunset time. Every night there is a torch lighting ceremony where a volunteer guest will blow a conch and another will light the torches around the property--we have done it and it is a hoot! The rooms are clean and the staff is helpful. No, it's not the Ritz, but if you want oceanfront with a mellow vibe, this is your place! We highly recommend staying here.

  • Stayed: April 2007, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Pualvr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Kona Tiki Hotel

Address: 75-5968 Alii Dr, About a mile from downtown Kailua-Kona, Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii, HI 96740-1324
Region: United States > Hawaii > Island of Hawaii > Kailua-Kona
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Kailua-Kona
#2 Romantic Hotel in Kailua-Kona
#5 Family Hotel in Kailua-Kona
Price Range: £40 - £80 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Boutique hotel only 20 feet from the ocean. The Kona Tiki Hotel is the only hotel in Kona where every room is oceanfront! Every room has a private lanai overlooking the ocean. Room rates include a continental breakfast every morning on the terrace. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Kona Tiki Kailua
Hotel Kona Tiki
Kona Tiki Hotel Hawaii/Kailua-Kona

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