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Ideally located in the heart of Kailua-Kona, the Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel is a great launching off point for exploring the Big Island.
A small beach cove gives access to calm protected waters that are perfect for young children and those looking to relax. A host of water activities from paddle boarding to single-man canoe rentals make it ideal for aquatic fun. I visited in the early summer and got to enjoy most of what the property offered, read on to find out more.
If you’re looking for more to do while on the islands, check out my list of the best things to do on the Big Island.
I booked this room using my FNA (free night award) which covers a hotel stay up to 35k points. There are a couple of Marriott co-branded credit cards that offer this as a benefit. The Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel is one of only 2 hotels in Hawaii (the other is The Princess Kaiulani) that you can get for 35k points. The good news though, you can now add up to 15k points to your FNA certificate.
At 50k points your selection of hotels opens up quite a bit, especially if you monitor for an off-peak point redemption rate. If you are not already a member of Marriott Bonvoy I encourage you to sign up, it’s free.
If the Courtyard King Kamehameha has piqued your interest, consider booking a room.
I was lucky to once again get an early check-in, 11:15 on a Saturday, of course, the Iron Man was not going on and Merrie Monarch had just finished.
I received a nice beach bag, a coupon for 2 free cocktails at the Billfish Poolside Bar & Grille, and a complimentary beach rental from Kona Boys. The beach rental included 2 chairs, 1 umbrella, and snorkel gear for 2 (1 hour max). Had the weather been better I would have definitely used the snorkel gear but instead I made use of the free cocktails.
I booked a king sized bed room with my FNA award certificate and was fortunate enough to check in early. A simple, functional layout with desk space, and pull out couch it worked perfectly for me. The patio looked out over the entrance and mountain, so while not ocean view I wasn’t planning on spending much time in the room anyways.
I do have one complaint about the room, the closet was very dark, even with all of the lights on in the room, during the day. I think it would be a hassle to get your clothes out in the dark early morning hours with no closet light. Minor detail I know, but a well placed light would do some good.
The refrigerator was stocked with 5 bottles of water that were free (yeah!) and an ice bucket with cups. Sounds simple but during a stay at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa they didn’t provide water OR water cups. They did have water fill stations throughout the property though but I did not bring a water bottle. Hmmmm, what do you think about this? Leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts.
On the small side but clean, well maintained, and the water pressure was excellent. Well stocked with extra towels and amenities needed for a weekend stay. The decor was dark and with the limited lighting it could definitely use a refresh.
There are two fitness centers on the property and I was able to enter the one by the pool, the other was locked up during my visit. I was impressed with the selection of equipment, cleanliness, and overall space available. Next to the fitness center was also a space for yoga and was labeled as such, it looked to be under construction though.
There is a spa on site that looked ready and offered a variety of services, it was definitely on the “casual” side as far as hotel spas go. Not really setup for a half or full day but more for getting your hair or nails done before heading out on the town.
The pool is a bit on the small side but with the calm protected beach cove steps away…. Don’t be fooled by the pictures i took below, I took these before 7am on a Sunday morning, before the early risers showed up. Once the sun is up this place is quite full with the cocktails flowing and every chair taken.
With the pool bar nearby and the kitchen sending out tasty snacks all day it was quite busy well into the early evening hours. Once benefit of the smaller size and nearby beach was that most kids opted for the sand and surf vs the pool.
I did head out to the beach several times and got to use a truly fun and clever contraption to clean the sand off my feet and legs. Im surprised I have seen something like this at other beach resorts.
Billfish Poolside Bar & Grill
I had lunch at the Billfish Poolside Bar & Grille on my first day which meant I could use my free drink voucher, I got a refreshing Mai Tai and it hit the spot. Yes, it was before noon, and? I did get some grilled fish tacos that were good but I wished they had sliced the fish up instead of one large piece, just doesn’t work in a taco. Service was a bit rough around the edges but if you think of it as a pool bar you will be alright.
Honu’s On The Beach Restaurant
Honu’s has a prime rib and seafood buffet on Friday and Saturday nights, lucky for me I was there on a Saturday. My favorites for the night were the char siu chicken and the pasta station. I try to avoid the carbs at a buffet but the garlic and shrimp loaded on with a nice marinara sauce was too good to pass up. The fresh poke and seafood island was top shelf.
Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice
There is also a great shave ice & ice cream shop on the property called Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice. Their style of shave ice is a very fine powder vs chunky ice, reminded my of skiing on fresh powder in Mammoth actually. It packs down so tight that they poke holes in it so the syrup will get down to the layers below.
I had a small grape flavored shave ice over some creamy vanilla ice cream, delicious!
Menehune Coffee Company
Open at 5:30am, for those of you on east coast time this is a great spot to start your day. I had healthy Sunrise Wrap (see what I had for buffet the night before above) with fresh spinach, tomatoes, scrambled eggs, and cheese. Coupled with a steaming hot cup of coffee I was able to get all my early morning shots in with a pep in my step.
Unlike The Royal Hawaiian hotel in Waikiki where parking runs at $40 per night you can self park for $25 at the Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel. An open, uncovered area to the right of the hotel gives you access to ample parking.
This hotel is right next to where the Ironman triathlon starts and finishes, translation, unless you are there for the Ironman you probably want to avoid this time of year, crazy busy and super high rates.
Other then that if you are looking to spend more time out and about exploring the island of Hawaii (Big Island) then this may be a good choice to start your adventures.
Have you stayed here before? Share your thoughts with other travelers below.