If you’re looking for white-sand beaches, beautiful resorts, and plenty of sunshine on Hawaii’s Big Island, head to the Kailua-Kona area. The town and surrounding coastline, referred to indiscriminately as Kona and Kailua by locals, is the resort capital of the island, offering accommodations for all budgets and styles of travelers – suitable for families and couples alike. The area north of Kona is specifically known as the “Resort Coast” and is where you’ll find most accommodations, including the luxurious Four Seasons Resort Hualalai. There are also resort properties, such as the Wyndham Kona Hawaiian Resort, in Kailua-Kona itself, and the Kona Coast Resort in the south of town, an area known for excellent snorkeling. For ideas on where to stay, see this list of the best resorts in Kailua-Kona.
1 Four Seasons Resort Hualalai
The Four Seasons Resort Hualalai is located south of Kailua-Kona in a prime oceanfront location that is also isolated and ensures privacy. Popular with celebrities, this property is nothing short of stunning with stunning views of the dramatic, volcanic coastline that surrounds it. The decor is contemporary Hawaiian and the atmosphere is understated elegance. The 243 rooms, suites and villas are located in low-rise bungalows that blend into the natural environment, and most have private balconies with ocean views. Outside the rooms are seven swimming pools, both salt and fresh water, as well as three restaurants, boutiques and a relaxing open-air spa in a lavish location. There is also a Jack Nicklaus signature golf course, open only to guests, and a fitness center with daily yoga and other exercise classes.
Accommodatie: Four Seasons Resort Hualalai
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2 Wyndham Kona Hawaiian Resort
The Wyndham Kona Hawaiian Resort is an all condo resort, a great family choice in Kailua-Kona overlooking Kahalu’u Bay. Although it is not directly on the beach, it is walking distance to the sand. The property has a relaxed, old-world feel that is meant to bring you back to the charm of 1930s Hawaii. The condos are spacious, with two bedrooms, sleep up to six, and are just under 1,200 square feet. Condos come equipped with a fully equipped kitchen and washer/dryer, making them convenient for families with young children. If you want to eat out, there are plenty of restaurants in town. On-site amenities include a concierge, two outdoor pools and two jetted hot tubs.
Accommodation: Wyndham Kona Hawaiian Resort
3 Ohi’a Park Estate
With only four suites, Ohi’a Park Estate is a great choice for couples looking for a relaxing, natural escape. The home that houses the B&B sits on three lush tropical acres surrounded by the native Hawaiian ‘Ohi’a trees for which it is named and overlooking the sea. All suites are decorated in a chic island style and feature comfortable king-size beds in the bedrooms, a separate living room and an elegant travertine bathroom with designer toiletries. Charming touches include fresh flowers and a selection of fresh fruits and sweets in the rooms. In addition to a delicious full breakfast included in the price, the house amenities include a library with a large number of books, DVDs and CDs that you can borrow.
Accommodation: Ohia Park Estate
4 Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel
This hotel resort is located directly on the beach in Kona, next to Kamakahonu National Historic Landmark and within walking distance of Hulihee Palace. The rooms and suites are contemporary in style and have private balconies, but you’ll want to book an upgraded room for a full ocean view (plus a sleeper sofa, making it an option for families). The suites have a separate bedroom and living area. Away from the rooms, you’ll find a waterfront picnic area, a lobby designed to resemble a living room for lounging, a fitness center, and a spa. There is also a pool with its own casual American grill, as well as a separate, yet equally low-key, Hawaiian restaurant and coffee shop on site.
Accommodation: Kama Beach Hotel, Kamehameha’s King’s Hotel
5 Wyndham Mauna Loa Village
The Wyndham Mauna Loa Village is a relaxed condo resort located just a few miles from Kahaluu Beach Park. It is an excellent family choice with one and two bedroom apartments with comfortable beds, kitchens, washer/dryer combinations, sitting areas, good dining tables and private balconies. Wi-Fi is available for a fee and there is a free continental breakfast. Other on-site amenities include six outdoor pools and hot tubs, 11 tennis courts, and barbecue grills. The resort is located near the beach, shops and restaurants.
Lodging: Wyndham Mauna Loa Village
6 Kona Coast Resort
The Kona Coast Resort is located on 21 tropical acres with panoramic views of the coast south of Kailua-Kona. It features spacious one- and two-bedroom resort suites that are family-friendly and can accommodate up to six people in areas up to 1,900 square feet. All suites have full kitchens, as well as washers and dryers and contemporary Hawaiian chic decor. The resort is right on the ocean, but there is no direct access to a beach, although there is only a short distance.
Accommodation: Kona Coast Resort
7 Aston Kona by the Sea
Fotobron: Aston Kona by the Sea
Located just a few miles from downtown Kailua-Kona, the Aston Kona by the Sea has a fun, exclusive atmosphere and is right on the water. Another family-friendly option, it offers cheerful and airy suites with large windows and island-style furnishings. All rooms feature kitchens, washer/dryers and balconies with full or partial views of the sea. The rooms also feature PlayStation 3 consoles and flat-screen TVs plus Wi-Fi. Other on-site amenities include a private beach; heated, outdoor pool and hot tub; and barbecue grills.
Accommodatie: Aston Kona by the Sea
8 Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa in Keauhou Bay
Located just south of downtown Kailua-Kona, the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa features contemporary rooms and suites that are airy and spacious with private balconies offering partial or full ocean views. The beds are comfortable, the linens are luxurious, and there are living areas and kitchenettes in the suites, proving to be an economical choice if you want to cook in your room. The resort fee includes morning yoga, craft sessions, WiFi and parking. There is an on-site restaurant serving Hawaiian cuisine, an outdoor pool with waterslides and a spa, among other on-site amenities.
Accommodatie: Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa in Keauhou Bay
9 Royal Kona Resort
Located directly on the ocean just south of downtown Kailua-Kona, the Royal Kona Resort has relaxing rooms and suites in three ocean-view buildings. All rooms have balconies and most have ocean or mountain views. The suites have separate living areas and some have wrap-around verandas. Other facilities at the resort include a private white sand beach, a saltwater lagoon for swimming and an outdoor pool with sea views. There is also a tiki-style restaurant, spa, fitness center and four tennis courts on site. The property is child-friendly, but also works well for couples.
Accommodation: Royal Kona Resort