Stayed the first week of August 2011. Have been to all of the islands except one, and this was our first stay in Kona. Did not know what to expect considering several conflicting reviews we had read on Trip Advisor. Most of all, did not look forward to being "time share stalked" the entire stay. To our surprise, this was the least aggressive timeshare sales staff we have encountered on any of the islands. I think staff passively mentioned it once, and when we politely declined, were never asked again the entire week. Not sure why others had different experiences in this area. Certainly was not the case with us (which I appreciated). Likewise, with the concierge. I have found the concierge's at other locations we have stayed to be somewhat pushy. Not here. Again, they made it known that they provide concierge services, but never pressured us into any services that cost us money (even though they work off of some form of commission related to activities booked/sold). I appreciated the fact that in spite of not using their services, they were always very professional and helpful when asked about local destinations or dining establishments. In fact the entire staff at this resort were friendly, helpful and had the "Aloha" spirit. Probably some of the nicest folks of any place we have ever stayed.
As for the room....this was the nicest resort we have stayed at on any of the islands. Rooms were spacious (think spacious condo). As others have said, had plenty of linen, and supplies to last the week. Unlike other places we stayed at where little things like soap, shampoo, coffee, etc, are welcoming complimentary items but not re-supplied, we were offered replacement of all of these items several times throughout the week. Kitchen, living room and bedrooms were very spacious and well furnished. This was also the first resort we had stayed at on the islands with A/C. We had come to expect the lack of A/C as part of the whole Island (humid) experience. Would not have been a "deal killer" for us if it did not have A/C, but admittedly, it was very nice to come back to a cool place, and especially helpful for sleeping at night. Interesting though that we noticed little or no trade winds at night which is what we have always relied upon on the other islands to cool the places we stayed at make the humidity tolerable. Without the trade winds, it may have been a little to uncomfortable without A/C. Not an issue though, they have it.
Best feature in my opinion was the large spacious, and well furnished lanai (patio). We happened to stay on the far south and upper part of the resort so we had an ocean view from our lanai. Ordinarily when in Hawaii, we are quick to wake and get on the road, however we found the lanai so relaxing here that we ate breakfast every morning on the lanai, overlooking the ocean and the tropical grounds of the resort, and often unwound at night on the lanai before going to bed. Don't underestimate this as an important feature.
I should have mentioned that our group consisted of 6 adults. Why is this important? Because some places advertise that they can accommodate 6 adults but you get there and find out two have to sleep in a virtual closet. The pull-out queen sofa bed in the living room was truly a usable queen sofa bed. Two of my adult kids slept on it and said it was actually comfortable, and mentioned that it did not have that cross bar (across the middle) that most sofa beds have that jab you in the back all night, nor did it have that "springy" feeling of springs jabbing your back.
Washer/dryer worked like all stackable washer/dryers we have encountered during our stays. Not as fast as yours at home, but a really nice feature to have. As for the wildlife...YES, there are bugs and geckos, but what would one expect on a tropical island? More surprising to us was the mongooses that stayed in the foliage just south of the resort but would roam the resort grounds from dawn to dusk in search of food or just play. We found it strange that the half dozen or so feral cats that roamed our area of the resort actually co-existed with the mongooses and seemed to get along with them. Neither seemed out of place, nor where they a nuisance in any way to us. They would scatter at the first site of humans. We found them amusing. Oh...and did I mention geckos :-) Yes, they were everywhere...brightly colored and seemed as curious about us as we were about them.
As for the grounds....pool and spas were very nice. Spa (at least in the middle of the resort) had a sandy bottom, and bench seats were made out of lava rock. The grounds of the resort were immaculately kept, and very tropical - almost like a mini-botanical gardens. This more than made up for the resort not being "beach front" which seems to be important to some folks - not so much us. Ocean was however, just across the street. As for activities...as one mentioned...not a lot of information about them, but not a problem for us. I would prefer to seek out this type of information if interested, rather than have staff pester me with offers to attend this and to attend that. Especially if there is a timeshare sales pitch twist included.
Now a little bit about Kona...first day there, we drove up to the north end along the west (Kona) coast. This caused my wife and I to panic a little because once you get north of the Airport, it is pretty much dry brush, and lava rock everywhere the whole way (the island of course is nothing more than a volcano). Felt like we were on the moon. Was not what we were accustomed to on the islands (most are tropical and lush). 2nd day we headed south and the further south we drove the more lush and tropical (and more like the other islands) it became. We discovered probably some of the best snorkeling of any of the islands at a place referred to locally as "Two Step" near Captain Cook. "Two Step" is next to the Place of Refuge National Park. If you are willing to pay $5, park in the National Park lot, it is an easy walk over to two step. Parking at two step is limited and crowded. Your parking pass at the park is good for several days, and you'll want to see the park anyways. We did drive to Hilo via a Volcano National Park pit stop along the way. Our only regret is that we did not leave at daybreak so we could spend more time in Hilo. Did make it to the Hawaiian Tropical Gardens in Hilo which was breathtaking. At the advise of very friendly and helpful park staff, we did return to the Volcano Park on our way back to Kona at night where we could see the glow of the lava from the volcano at night. Was an awesome sight to see, and an awesome experience. Another one of our favorite beaches was Kai State Park across from the West Veterans Cemetery just north of the airport. We did go to the Sheraton one night to see the manta ray experience from their outer deck overlooking the bay. We found it wasn't worth it for us. Lighting was bad, and too much distance to really effectively see anything. Another must see (at least for us) was the Painted Catholic Church. It is also near Capt Cook, and on the same road that leads to Two Step is next to the Place of Refuge National Park. Very reminiscent of visiting one of the old California Missions. Place is very small, but rich in history...which you can almost envision while sitting inside. In the end, we really came to appreciate all of the diversity this island had to offer (ie, the lava flows along the north west coast to the lush tropics of the Hilo side)
As far as the town nearby....for those who have been to Maui...think Lahaina. Very similar. Same type restaurants, stores, etc. Our favorite place to eat there was "Splashers." Great hamburgers, fish, etc, and service was great. Oh, and you have to try the Scandinavia Shaved Ice! Nothing like it anywhere else (make sure to get ice cream in the middle when they ask if you want it :-)
Worst part of our trip was leaving. Our plane had mechanical problems, so we got stuck waiting at the Kona (Open Air) Airport for 7 hours in the heat and humidity before the airlines finally told us we would be held over a day. Waited another two hours to be shuttled to a local hotel. Was exhausted by the time we got there. Got shuttled back to the airport the next day, only to have to wait another 6 hours in the heat and humidity at the airport. Replacement Plane also had mechanical problems so we were stuck in the plane for another hour and a half while they swapped out parts with yet another plane. No reflection on Kona, the Resort, etc (could have happened anywhere)., but worth mentioning that the airport is open air, has very limited vendors (tiny gift shop, tiny news stand, and a very overpriced small cafe - food not so good) so plan accordingly. Oh ya...for late flights...the shops, etc, close early. Since the only food/water you can carry is that which is purchased there, you may want to purchase at least water (though overpriced) in the event you have a delay. Most of us had no food or water for nearly 6 hours on that first day (because no one anticipated a delay), and when we started to realize what was going on, we discovered the shops had already closed.
I would definitely return to Kona again if nothing more than to stay at this resort again. Hope this was helpful :-) Mahlo and Aloha!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- 2 bedroom apartment ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Wyndham Kona Hawaiian Hotel Kailua-Kona
- Wyndham Kailua Kona
- Kona Hawaiian Village
- Kona Hawaiian Resort
- Wyndham Kona Hawaiian Resort Hawaii/Kailua-Kona