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“Very good experience.” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Royal Kona Resort

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Royal Kona Resort
Ranked #9 of 14 Hotels in Kailua-Kona
Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Level Contributor
20 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Very good experience.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 February 2014 via mobile

My husband and I stayed here for our honeymoon Feb. 9th-18th. Overall I am very happy with our stay but I definitely want to highlight some positive (and negative) things, starting with the negative since there are less of those:

-Hawaii state law prohibits smoking in public areas except where indicated. The Royal Kona has smoking areas but the law is not really enforced if people smoke elsewhere.

-The lagoon area, which is the main reason we chose this resort, was closed at least twice during our stay for a span of about four hours due to a wedding. I say at least because there may have been other times that we weren't there to see. I could understand blocking it off during the ceremony but the other guests paid good money to be there too and to close it off when the ceremony wasn't even taking place was to me disrespectful to all the other guests.

-The luau is first come, first served. We stood in line for an hour (we were second and then first when the people ahead of us left because they moved it indoors). Instead of handing out numbers or tickets to hold our spots they made us stand in line for an additional hour and then checked other people in before us. There was also no policing of the line so two couples just walked right up and cut in front of those who had been in line for hours. I think the Royal Kona should take better steps to ensure things are more fair for their guests, especially when it was their fault we had to wait so long in the first place.

Now for the positives:

-the view from our room was amazing, the lagoon was gorgeous and awesome to swim in.

-yes there was a wedding nearly every night but it always wound down by 10pm so it was never a bother.

-Their customer service is amazing! On our last day we had to check out by noon but our flight didn't leave until 9:50pm. The hotel not only held our luggage for us but also let us use a hospitality room from 4-5pm to shower and change. It was so awesome to be able to swim and enjoy the beaches that day knowing we could clean up afterwards before our long flight home.

-The rooms were very clean and actually pretty nice.

All in all, I don't know if I would stay here again only because there are other amazing hotels in the area that are cheaper but I am glad we stayed here this time.

  • Stayed February 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Seana1985
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DofSales, General Manager at Royal Kona Resort, responded to this review, 1 March 2014
Aloha TA family, great to see these guests though our resort was a great place to stay. We appreciate the positive comments, and want to address the concerns. Yes, we are a smoke free facility by state law, and have designated smoking areas, it's an on going effort to police the guests who smoke in I designated areas. As for the awesome lagoon, I agree it's disappointing to close the lagoon for weddings, but it's a difficult one as well, we want all of our guests to enjoy the lagoon. I'm happy they had such as nice time, we will continue to ensure we offer the best location for the best value in Kona, mahalo Nui loa!
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
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NEBRASKA
Level Contributor
323 reviews
197 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 455 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 February 2014

I have delayed writing my review as my travel agent and tour company have been trying to assist me, unsuccessfully, for several weeks now to receive a refund from this hotel for the price difference of an oceanfront room that we reserved and paid for but did not receive. The room we were given was OCEANVIEW not oceanfront. The hotel website states that oceanfront rooms have 1 King or 2 double beds and are located on the FRONT side of the towers with FULL ocean/sunset views from inside the room. The room we were given was located on the side of the tower, around the corner from the front ( ocean ) side. We had an oceanview, but it was hardly oceanfront. In fact, the view we had from our room is the same view that their website is showing as the view from a Partial Ocean View room.
We went back to the front desk and were told that the only oceanfront rooms they had contained 1 King bed. As we had our children with us, that would not work. We had a confirmed reservation for an oceanfront room with 2 double beds. Our travel agent has contacted the hotel several times and they insist that the room we were given IS an oceanfront room, and they will not refund the price difference between oceanfront and oceanview. Our room overlooked the pool, luau grounds, part of the parking lot, and the lobby entrance. We also had a view of the mountains. The ocean was visible only if we turned our heads to the side. We had no full view of the ocean and could not see the sunset at all. Ocean was BARELY visible from inside the room. Please tell me by who's wildest stretch of the imagination how they are able to clasify this room as oceanfront? I didn't know it was possible to see a parking lot and mountains from an oceanfront room!! It certainly does not match the description of an oceanfront room that they give on their website. We travel often and ALWAYS reserve an oceanfront room. We have NEVER EVER been given an oceanfront room on the side of a hotel.
We were also quite dismayed by the food service at the hotel. The first morning of our stay we ate at the breakfast buffet. Not only were we required to pay for the food before we ate, we were also charged a VERY high gratuity before we ate. We have NEVER been forced to pay a gratuity before we received any service! The service was in fact terrible!!!! We waited a VERY long time and had to track down a waitress to get any coffee, water, or condiments. No one ever came by to ask us how we were doing or to clear the dirty plates. We had to pay a STEEP tip for this lousy service!!!! The food was only so-so, nothing great. We were also disappointed that we couldn't get a table by the ocean, because for some reason they weren't letting anyone sit on half of the patio. The only tables that had any view from inside were only tables for two.
Be advised, if you are interested, that the main restaurant is only open for dinner on the weekends.
One night we ordered food to go from the bar. First of all, we only received half of our order and had to go back to get the rest. Then the food tasted so bland we had to go back again to get salt to make it palatable and to get the silverware they never sent. The salad was gross. I had to throw it away.
Thankfully we discovered Bongo Ben's down the street!! They had great food, great service, a great view ( a better view than we had from our supposed "oceanfront" room in fact ), and prices were half what they are at the hotel.
The rooms were of adequate size, but the bathrooms were small and very dark. The showerhead was too low for anyone over 5'-8". The maids never left enough towels and toiletries. It seemed like they didn't want more than two people in a room. We had to get more supplies everyday.
The only good thing I can say about the room was that it was nice to have a kitchenette area with a bar sink and the snack bar provided more counterspace. It was useless, however, as a snack bar as there were no bar stools.
Unfortunately, the EXTREMELY powerful A/C was directly over the beds and blew on you full blast while you were trying to sleep. We had no choice but to turn it off and be hot. I developed a bad cough which I am certain was from the A/C. We couldn't leave our door open at night because the balcony walls only went half way up and you had no privacy or security from your neighbors.
There are full length planters outside the balconies, but unfortunately, they are all empty. It is a real shame, as some beautiful tropical flowers would look fabulous on the stark white buildings.
The luau was mostly a big nuisance. In the mornings, they would fire up the imu pit and the entire central part of the hotel grounds was enveloped in smoke. It was impossible to sit outside or leave your door open until the smoke cleared. At night, the show was so loud in nearly blasted you out of your room. If we would have had an oceanfront room maybe these issues wouldn't have been as bad.
It is MOST unbelievable that this hotel can claim that a room on the side of the hotel is oceanfront. We will most definetly be staying elsewhere on our next visit to Kona!!!

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank HUSKERTRAVELER
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DofSales, General Manager at Royal Kona Resort, responded to this review, 1 March 2014
Aloha TA family, I've sent a personal message to this guest to hep resolve their issues. Seems like they really had expectations that we could not meet, my intention is to make it right. Mahalo.
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Travellers are raving about these Kailua-Kona hotels

West Yorkshire
Level Contributor
276 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 127 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 February 2014

After a manic drive trying to find it due to a faulty sat nav we were relieved to pull into the car park. Reception was friendly and efficient. Though the rooms are a little dated, they are clean and have everything you need. The hotel has such lovely grounds and public areas that the room is only a place to lay your head.
What I loved about it: the fruity water available all day in the reception area, sitting in the bar and watching the waves crash on the rocks, breakfast doing the same, the staff, the little shop. We were only there for one night but I would loved to have stayed longer.
What I didn't like - nothing.

Room Tip: We had a room with a balcony in the main building and had great views.
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Susie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DofSales, General Manager at Royal Kona Resort, responded to this review, 1 March 2014
Aloha TA family, nice to see these guests loved our resort, and had a great night stay with us, hopefully they'll choose to stay with us their entire trip next time. We strive to provide a clean and well maintained resort for all of our guests to enjoy, I'm glad these guest had such a positive experience. Mahalo!
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Macedonia, Ohio
Level Contributor
40 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 February 2014

We stayed in Room 277, which faced the rear of the property overlooking the water, with the waves crashing into the lava rocks below!!! It was really great being lulled to sleep every night with that sound, slept like a baby the entire time!!

Check in was simple and easy, with a courteous staff that was there to answer any questions we had, and to help us with anything we needed (we had just flown in from Ohio on 3-connecting flights, so we were both a bit on the dazed side :).

Room 277 was fantastic. Clean. Somewhat updated. and a commanding view of the water from our balcony. Balcony was semi-private, which lent itself to us quite nicely, for on our second night we got to talking to the couple next to us in Room 278 ... and ended up piling our chairs on their balcony and sharing a bottle of wine!! I loved it!!

We did venture to the pool area, which was relatively small, but nicely accommodated us. They had a lagoon we never did make it too, pretty much a pool supplied by the waves coming in from the ocean, and I was told (by our neighbors in Room 278) it was a great place. Wish we would have had more time to visit that.

Not a lot of beach exposure here. We actually took a ride north past the lava fields to this place called Hapuna Beach to spend our "beach days". Go there if you want a beach. But if just lounging in a pool or lagoon fits your bill (like it did mine for a day or two), Royal Kona will do just fine.

Restaurants, well, can't really speak too much about the in-house facilities here. We went to breakfast one day, but found it to be very pricey. They offer only a breakfast buffet for $17. I'm a "bowl of oatmeal and orange juice" kind of guy, so that price doesn't do me much good. But if you eat a hearty breakfast and like a load of different selections, you'll definitely like it!! Dinnertime usually found us down the street at this great place called Humpy's, which was just a 10-minute walk away. In fact, a whole line of restaurants is their to await you.

We loved sitting on our balcony in the morning, eating some fresh fruits we bought at local fruit stands the day before, and watching the pods of dolphins swimming (and breaching) just a hundred or so feet away!!

The grounds were well kept, and all the plants were beautifully maintained. Walkways and parking areas were easily accessible, well lit, and clean.

In closing, I'd stay at the Royal Kona again in a heartbeat. Good place, great staff, and fantastic views make my stay memorable.

Room Tip: Room 277 is backed up to the water ... great location!!!
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank greyhnz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DofSales, General Manager at Royal Kona Resort, responded to this review, 18 February 2014
Aloha TA Family, its so nice to see such a solid review from our guests from OH. They pretty much nailed it, we've got the best location, clean, well maintained rooms and grounds, amazing views, and a free dolphin show daily in the bay! LOL I'm glad they made some new friends, and we're able to enjoy Kona for the awesome town we are. Small, quaint, friendly, and ocean front. We'll look forward to their return, with the way the snow is falling on the mainland, I'm sure it'll be sooner than later! Mahalo Nui Loa
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Nellysford, Virginia
Level Contributor
27 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 February 2014 via mobile

Currently staying at this hotel. While it is true that it is dated, our room is clear and large and the service has been very good. The main activities of the hotel are situated on a rocket coastline with waves crashing and breezes blowing. The Mai Tais are great. We find it to be very relaxing.

Stayed February 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Joan E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DofSales, General Manager at Royal Kona Resort, responded to this review, 18 February 2014
Aloha TA family, great to know these guests are having such an enjoyable stay they couldn't wait to write their review. True, great views, location, Hawaiian style vibe. We're just a truly comfortable welcoming resort. You won't find much fancy about us, but if you do your homework, check around, ask questions, you'll find us to be the best value for the best location in town. Once you've enjoyed the food at our bar and restaurant, stroll next door to Alii Drive where you'll find a myriad of restaurants, shops and things to see and do. Glad they shared! Mahalo,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Farmington Hills, MI
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 February 2014

My husband and I stayed at the Royal Kona Resort for two nights, and although it is not the fanciest place, we thought it was fine. Its oceanfront setting is perfect for relaxing and catching a sunset, and the location is good - close to everything you would want to be close to. We appreciated the in-room coffee maker and refrigerator. Our room and the property were very clean. My only complaint is that the bath towels were terrible. They were small, thin and scratchy, which was unexpected in that environment.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank jssirish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DofSales, General Manager at Royal Kona Resort, responded to this review, 18 February 2014
Aloha TA family, its nice to know these guest enjoyed the wonderful views we offer. Not only from most of our rooms, but from the grounds, pool, bar and restaurant. Our location, right on the ocean allows us to take advantage of the beautiful pacific, spinner dolphins, whales and sunsets. No, not the fanciest resort on the island, but we're perfect for the majority of travelers. Glad they had a really nice stay, we'll hope to see them again soon. Mahalo!
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Ashburn, VA
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 February 2014

Great hotel! Clean and comfortable for a moderately priced place. Close to shops, restaurants and bars. Hotel staff very nice. Stealth maids, never saw them but always had a nice clean room to come back to. Property was large enough to house all the amenities, bars, pool, patios, gift shop, etc. unlike other properties that sprawl on for miles and it takes 20 minutes to walk from your car to the room.

Room Tip: The garden or volcano view rooms also have a view of the ocean.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank suepro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DofSales, General Manager at Royal Kona Resort, responded to this review, 18 February 2014
Aloha TA family, Glad these guests enjoyed their stay, we like it when our customers are happy and leave with no complaints. We are exactly that, clean, comfortable, close to shops, and everything is convenient to the property. Its nice to know they appreciated our housekeepers who work hard to ensure our guests are comfortable and feel at home. we'll definitely look forward to their return again soon! Glad they had a nice experience with us,
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Additional Information about Royal Kona Resort

Property: Royal Kona Resort
Address: 75-5852 Alii Drive, Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii, HI 96740-1310
Region: United States > Hawaii > Island of Hawaii > Kailua-Kona
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Kailua-Kona
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Kailua-Kona
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Royal Kona Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 436
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Royal Kona Hotel Kailua-Kona
Royal Kona Kailua
Royal Kona Resort Hawaii/Kailua-Kona

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