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“Not bad, not great, good value, excellent location”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Kona Billfisher

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Kona Billfisher
California
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Not bad, not great, good value, excellent location”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 January 2010

We (married, 30s) stayed at the Kona Billfisher through RCI and almost didn't book because of some reviews, but we are glad we did. It was a great value. I always would rather spend my money on food and activities, and the Kona Billfisher did its job--a clean place to stay with a kitchen.

Our 2nd floor one-bedroom unit was the perfect size for two. Small kitchen had a full-sized refrigerator (although the outside of it was rusty, the inside worked fine). The bed in the bedroom was nice and firm. Small bathroom had lots of cabinet space. The sofa bed seemed uncomfortable if you had four people, but it was fine to sit on for us. Our unit had extra blankets, beach chairs, and mats. For how we vacation, it worked. Not a 5-star--if you're okay with not being waited on, it's good. Paying for air conditioning is no fun, but understandable. Would have liked a mat in the entry since we had to take our shoes off. Towel exchange twice a week was great (many timeshares that we've stayed at only do it once).

The place had tons of people that were decades older than us, (like 3 or 4 decades older!) but that meant it was pretty quiet. We might have been the youngest ones there, except for kids. It seemed fairly family-friendly with a non-party atmoshere, which was fine with us because we needed sleep for our activities! We didn't use the pool or other facilities there (who needs a pool when there's beaches to go to?) The front desk didn't impress us (we felt they were a bit anal--doing their job, I suppose, but a little rudely), but the cleaning staff seemed nice and prompt.

The location is the best. A short 5-minute walk (or less) to some good restaurants on Ali'i -- Bongo Ben's, U-Top It, Island Lava Java, Lulu's, and many more, and a short drive to other places in Kailua-Kona. I would stay here again if I got a decent price that I could afford.

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank SKPA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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75 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (26)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Greater Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
274 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 190 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 October 2009

If you are looking for a clean comfortable time share place to stay at Kailua, this is it.

Close to everything, no pressure to buy anything, especially more timeshare. Reasonable facilities, internet available at a hotspot by the pool, good if a little expensive laundry facilities, & nice pool.

5 star it isn't, but it's all quite comfortable. 2 only slightly negative comments, the aircon is available at an extra price, but the quick run we gave the system convinced us that the noise probably wasn't worth it. As it turned out it was totally unnecessary in September.

And the 1 bedroom units are really not adequate for additional guests who are not your children. The pull out bed in the couch has ( as most of them do) a bar in just the wrong place for an adult to enjoy.

Those comments aside, we had a ground floor unit in G block. The large Lanai had a view to the water, and was very comfortable.

With those minor grumps, we loved the place. The Luau across the road was fantastic, breakfast places and shops in very easy walking distance, and there was a beach not far away.

For people who think of Hawaii as lots of white sandy beaches, it's had some good advertising, but with the exception of Waikiki on Oahu not as common as you'd think. Having said that Kailua is one place with a few sandy stretches between the lava flows, and has some excellent snorkelling. If you are lucky you can dive with the Manta's ( they were eating at a different hotel the night we tried), and visit the best little find anywhere - the Sea Horse Farm, not touristy, but great fun.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank scubal0ver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 September 2009

Stayed at the Kona Billfisher for one week in Unit O2. Nothing wrong with unit nor anything at the Billfisher. Grounds kept immaculate, good sized pool. Unit had a great view was in good shape although dated. Very clean and everything worked.

Close to the water,shopping and restuarants.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank nellie35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Level Contributor
96 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 277 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 August 2009

Even though it is a bit old fashioned it was ok... I enjoyed it a lot, and I don't stay that much in the appartment anyway. I slept there and made my dinner.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Vennekilde
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
California
Level Contributor
52 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 October 2008

Over the course of of tweleve years I've stay at the Bill Fisher Condo's as our friends guests in Kailua-Kona, Hi. Our recent trip turned into a disaster of sorts.

We'd traveled fourteen hours due to airline problems from California. After arriving at the Bill Fisher our room wasn't ready they were steam cleaning the carpets at 4:30 pm, way past check-in of 3:30 pm and obviously wouldn't be ready until the next day if then. What we didn't know they just fumigated the units. They allowed us to stay the night in another condo while updated was dark, and dank moldly smelling. By the next day we moved ourself into 0-3 the condo we always stay from an associate. When we arrived the secretary, then resident manager explain numerous new policies which never existed prior. They "demand" a $50.00 registration fee although we're guests of the owner, having paid all our funds to the owner we hand't booked it through the managing grou and had paid the owner in full. The manager informed us you must pay for the airconditioner at $10.50 a day we were booked for seven day's or use fans.. humidity wise and facing west it would be impossible to survive it, we refused stating it wasn't explain to us prior by the owner, nor had we ever paid such fees prior nor were we informed such fee's existed. We found out they no longer had housekeeping come for anything exception tuesday's and thursday's your towels, you have to pay for clean sheets I found that to be totally hillarious, you pay for extra towels which I could understand. One had to take out all trash, sort all your plastic, from the glass. After we moved into the unit we found the carpets still wet, the refrigerator exterior rusted, the bedroom fan on high would click kept us up all night, the air-conditioner turned off with such a loud thud when used it shook one deeply. The second night we lay in bed the large oil painting above the bed flew off and hit my spouse knee bruising it severely. Next, the toilet chain broke off the plunger on our second day you could not rig it.. we informed someone employed there but no one came to repair it so we continued flushing it by hand inside the tank until the day we left, even though telling the resident manager again prior to leaving. The towel bar kept falling off the wall, the units apparently had been fumigated just prior to our arrival and dead roaches lay everywhere outside and inside the cabinets still. The fumigation made us both sick from the residue so we had to air out the unit everyday and clean it down upon arrival although it was really cleaned by an obviously great staff the residue remain which was the problem you could smell it obviously in the air system, walls, etc. After a time there a demand came to us to leave our credit card number another thing never done before with the office. The day before our departure we were told we must pay the charges demanded of us prior to leaving.. A heated battle insue with the resident manager whom quickly turned it around making it sound as if my spouse was threatening him yelling it aloud when that never occured. We found the resident manager and his secretary had told other owners that my spouse threaten him.. when it was the opositie that took place. The resident managers body language was threatening and he slam a glass door twice in efforts to make it sound as if my spouse was threatening him.. obviously covering his bases, I heard it all from the pool area next to the office. We end up paying daily tax which we'd never paid previously even though we didn't rent it from them, a registration fee, a air-conditioner fee because of the threat that this manager would call the police. We're not young people, neither one of us has a heated, or quick temper, but obviously this resident manager is a loose cannon. We will never go there again, nor recommend them. We spent two glorious day's just down the Alli in another condo immediately after leaving the Bill Fisher which so far exceed this property for the same amount of money The Kona Bali Kai with far more amenities, breathtaking view, incondo wash facility, ocean waves hitting just below the unit, housekeeping, coffee, free towels everyday, etc., nice pool and plenty of kindness.

  • Liked — Nice view, clean although older units
  • Disliked — New regulations..many unit problems went unrepaired the entire seven day's
  • Stayed October 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
19 Thank KittyKat99999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Zurich
Level Contributor
105 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 August 2008

The Kona Billfisher is the oldest timeshare in Hawaii. They sold months rather than weeks and there are some people who bought condos before they went timeshare. So, it's a place that is full of old hands, giving it much more of a neighborhood feel than most resorts. It is right across the beach from Huggo's, one of the best (albeit priciest) places in Kona, their next door place "On the Rocks is reasonable). It's on the edge of the village, you can walk to the pier in less than 15 minutes. I walked into the village at least a couple times a day. There is a fantastic beach less than 2 blocks away. If there were a grocery just a bit closer, it would be a resort where you could skip a rental car. Don't expect high luxury, but everything is nicely done. They also charge for "high energy use" including a charge if you want to run A/C (I live in Switzerland and didn't need it there even though the condo was on the top floor). I liked the feature that they push conservation that way, but someone else might well feel like they were being nickeled and dimed.

I'll be back!

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — It's 3 stories without elevators, that was fine with me, but beware if stairs are an issue for you.
  • Stayed August 2008, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank astrolake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
southern CA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 April 2008

I do not think there is a better value on the island than the Kona Billfisher. However, it is not for everybody. We are activity freaks and adventurers and therefore require a jumping off place to stay. So it was perfect for us as our main goal is to have a perfect time ON THE ISLAND, and NOT in the condo. If you want a ritzy hotel experience than go to the Four Seasons and spend $700 a night and then top it off with a per day per person restaurant bill of somewhere in the range of $200 - $300 PER PERSON. If I paid that kind of money for a hotel I do not think I would leave it for one minute. But then I would miss, well...., the whole reason for going to Hawaii! We stayed two days south of Hilo at the tide pools which was unforgettable. We did a half day ATV waterfall tour. We drove south to the state parks and swam with turtles. We took the road to the end to see the volcano pour into the sea. (This was an absolute bust, they do not let you walk out to the lava flows any longer, you look from afar and see only steam rising from the coast. And the state volcano park was closed due to excessive VOG). The only way to really see the flow is to take a helicopter tour. Two couples we met said it was unbelievable and well worth the cost. But not for us, too expensive and we like our feet either on the ground or in the water! So I guess you get the picture by now, we were not in the condo all that much except for sleeping and one day of rest. If this is your lifestyle then I would heartily recommend the Billfisher. If not, pay up and stay in a hotel or find a different condo.

The good points: landscaping, pool, patio & barbecue very well maintained; parking was always available near our unit; office staff very friendly and accommodating; room was clean but not in new condition, I would rate it an 8 out of 10 as far as island condos go; linens were plentiful, the good size (full size for a condo) kitchen was well stocked with all the necessities, we found nothing lacking; cable TV worked well, definitely not a big screen but we got to see the NBA playoffs no problem; unit was large and roomy and since on first floor we had a large courtyard outside with table and chairs (2nd and 3rd story units have a small lanai a third of the size. If you are traveling with more than 2 to a unit I would definitely get a first floor unit); bed was large and comfortable - I had no backaches; basic but clean bath with shower was fine; Walmart (no groceries in this one) and Safeway (expensive) are minutes away on Henry Street and K Mart is a little further and lastly the location is walking distance to the seawall and all the shops and restaurants and luaus. Note: Costco is near the airport, we did not go there but just a tip if you need provisions in mass when arriving on your way to the condo. Also, there is a Long's Drugs nearby (more reasonable than Safeway for maitai provisions) and in the same center is a L&L's restaurant where you can get pretty good local Hawaiian / Asian fast food that comes in huge portions for reasonable price.

The not so good but not so bad points: you will have to pay a registration fee of I think around fifty bucks when registering. We knew about this but some people are not aware of this; the traffic on Alli Drive is terrible and there is only one way in and out so you will have to deal with it and be patient; we heard about the traffic noise problem and yes, it is so. The condo sits between upper and lower roads so all of the easterly facing units gets the traffic noise from the upper road. If you want quiet you will need to stay in the westerly units but they may get noise from the lower road, so hard to say, if traffic noise bothers you one will need to ask the specific before putting down hard cash; air conditioning costs $10 a day if you want it. We visited last week of April and just kept the doors open and the wind flow kept it pleasant.. At least until the last day when we packed up it was way humid and I was sweating like a pig. But if traffic noise bothers you just plug down an extra $10/day and you will have quiet and cool. I mean for what the condo cost us an extra $10 a day would be a no brainier - if we were uncomfortable - which we were not; the average age of the renters was - ok let's be nice here - somewhere in the upper senior bracket. So if you are looking to cruise, forget about it, but just next door is Lulu's bar and grill and the Hard Rock Cafe ;o). they have a laundry room but it is pricey at $1.50 per wash or dry but thoughtfully there is a change machine; and I guess that is it for the not so good not so bad points, not bad, huh.

So would we go back? At the same price I would jump at it. If the price went up substantially I would probably shop around to get a different experience elsewhere.

Last tip: absolutely indispensable - buy this and study up before you leave – “Hawaii: The Big Island Revealed” by Andrew Dougherty and Harriet Friedman - Wizard Publications - we had the 2002 book I think there is a more recent 05 or 06 book now. You can get them off Ebay cheap. The best guidebook, enough said. And lastly, if you go to the Champagne Pond or any other volcanically heated fresh water spring fed pool on the south east side of the island, resist the temptation to get in with open cuts or sores or get your head in the water. The water is crystal clear but full of bacteria. (the guidebook failed to point out that little tidbit!) The only reason I am sitting here writing this long review is because I could not go back to work after returning to the mainland today as I picked up a nasty case of Pink Eye and had to spend half a day in the Hilo Hospital ER. Oh, and for those who had heart conditions or any other health problems that might require immediate intervention, you won't get it in Kona. Although there is a small community hospital in Kona the only real hospital is in Hilo (a surprisingly BIG town compared to Kona), which is an eighty mile drive or expensive medevac helicopter ride away. The second best hospital is 270 miles away in Honolulu. Something to keep in mind that we take for granted here at home.

Hope this review helps and if you go you that you also have a pleasant experience. Aloha!

Stayed April 2008
Helpful?
13 Thank megotropical
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Kona Billfisher

Property: Kona Billfisher
Address: 75-5841 Alii Dr, Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii, HI 96740-1329
Region: United States > Hawaii > Island of Hawaii > Kailua-Kona
Hotel Style:
Ranked #22 of 35 Speciality Lodging in Kailua-Kona
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:3 star — Kona Billfisher 3*
Number of rooms: 50
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Also Known As:
Kona Billfisher Hotel Kailua-Kona
Kona Billfisher Hawaii/Kailua-Kona

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