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Kona Village Report

sacramento
Level Contributor
1,028 posts
5 reviews
Kona Village Report

I’ve been writing about Kona Village resort on TripAdvisor since 2002 when I first went to KVR. I have returned every year since and this was my second visit in 2008. This visit was on a different plan. For this trip, my wife and I visited the village under the Bed&Breakfast plan. It was different but the essence of Kona Village is the same.

The b&b plan is perfect solution for a few complaints I have read here. Those complaint are: too much food for lunch and dinner; can’t see the island because you don’t want to leave the resort; the food is too expensive; after a week the food selection gets boring; the village is too quiet; the beach is ok but there are better. Now, I do not subscribe to these criticism but they are out there.

With the b&b plan you eat breakfast on resort but are on your own for lunch and dinner. You have all the amenities of the village such as tennis courts, pools, snorkel equipment, garden, kayaking and great bartenders but you plan to leave the resort for other meals. This is a great plan for Isle of Hawaii newbies. This way you don’t feel guilty when leaving to explore this beautiful island. You can stay and play or take-off and explore. Want to play in the waves on a beautiful white sand beach, no problem drive to Kua Bay or run down to Kailua for lunch.

As a regular, I thought I wouldn’t like this plan. My thinking was that it would interfere with the flow of my visit. That wasn’t the case at all. We brought snacks, bread and meats for lunch and basically only left the resort of dinner. We were off campus for all of a 1.5 hours a day. We had all the advantages at a lower price. This is a great option for many. I will return in May of 2009 on the regular all inclusive plan, but I know that in the future I will use the B&B plan again. BTW, do not think that the staff will treat you differently if you stay under the B&B plan or the all inclusive. The staff doesn’t know. Everyone at KVR is equal. That’s the beauty of the place.

I usually visit in May so here are a few observations on late October and early November. The water seems a few degrees warmer in November. There is noticeably more gentle wave action in November and I felt the bay was a little choppier. Snorkeling, at least based on this trip, was better in May. Swimming in the bay is still great in either month. Weather, seem almost identical but there was a tad bit more humidity in the air. I am sticking with May but that’s just my preference. We had no problem with the lack of air conditioning. The fans worked great.

We stayed in a Deluxe Hale ST4. It’s out in burbs on the beach side as some regulars know. It was good walk to the Hale Moana but with all the food we ate, we needed the exercise. The lanai had a little view of the ocean and the room was clean and comfortable. I not going to get into the room décor, because you either get Kona Village or you don’t and hale decors are for the don’ts. Besides, within the next year or two the village will be shut for a total facelift.

The Friday luau show was great. We went to dinner at Merriman’s Cafe and were back in time for the show. If you want to go to a great luau KVR is the best.

A note to the regulars, the Four Seasons definitely is more hospitable to KVRers, we even swam in the fish pool. The unspoken rule seems to be, inter-resort graciousness during the slow seasons.

My only complaint was the trip was too short.

Bill

Omaha, NE
Level Contributor
1,384 posts
25 reviews
1. Re: Kona Village Report

Sounds like another great trip. Sadly, I wish they would announce what their plans are for the remodeling, especially closure plans for 2010. We're trying to figure out how long of a trip we want in 2009; our KVR time this time is a week starting on Saturday which is making it difficult to surround that trip on either end and maximize our vacation time. The ideal would be to spend 2 full weeks...but I'm not sure we have that much vacation time to spare. But if KVR won't be open in 2010, it's a no-brainer to spend the time in 2009.

The B&B package sounds interesting. Is it available with "Coconut Club" rates? While I love lunch, I swear I eat enough at breakfast that I'd probably be good to go until suppertime. And the idea of having a little more flexibility for evening dining is enticing as well.

Detroit, Michigan
Level Contributor
132 posts
50 reviews
2. Re: Kona Village Report

The B&B plan sounds like the best of both worlds! I was at the Friday luau, too; it was my first and I thought the whole experience was incredible (though I was sad that I missed the sunset from the luau area).

sacramento
Level Contributor
1,028 posts
5 reviews
3. Re: Kona Village Report

DPT, just plan on going back next year and catch a few sunsets. They are spectacular for the shipwreck bar.

Bill

sacramento
Level Contributor
1,028 posts
5 reviews
4. Re: Kona Village Report

Mike, I'll email you later with what I've learned but in short, Ulrich does not know when the project will be accepted and permits approved. I believe they intend to give the employees 12/13 months notice. They will accept no resevation more than a year out. So next month they'll open Dec. 2009 reservations ect.

The shocking part is the resort will be close for 1.5 years because everything has to be redone from the utilities up. Oh and before anything is started the lease must be renegociated. This seems to be what has delayed the renovation for the last five years (imho). It's the chicken or the egg conundrum.

Bill

Kama'aina Wannabe...
Level Contributor
338 posts
21 reviews
5. Re: Kona Village Report

Hi Bill,

Thanks for posting. B & B plan sounds interesting, although I can't see my hubby & I driving all the way to Merriman's in Waimea at dinner time. At the most, we get lunch vouchers or packed lunch. Ah yes, too much food-everytime I swear, no dessert at lunch and then every time there's mocha cake or carrot cake and ALWAYS the Kona coffee ice cream, just a little melty in the sun...

I also noticed the 4 Seasons as more open on our last visit. We, too, swam with the manta rays in their pool.

I already posted this, but we booked for the end of September 2009 Run of the Village at 2008 rates at the end of this September so they're open at least through then. 1.5 years is a long time to be closed. Hopefully employees will get some kind of package as well as the ability to collect unemployment so they can stay afloat until re-opening.

Omaha, NE
Level Contributor
1,384 posts
25 reviews
6. Re: Kona Village Report

I wonder if Bill went to Merriman's Market Cafe in Waikoloa rather than the original Merriman's in Waimea. Waikoloa is about a 15-20 minute drive north.

But you point out the downside of the B&B plan; a long drive for dinner. You could still dine at Hale Moana or Samoa and bill it to your room some nights. Or head over to the Four Seasons. In fact, I'd love it if they found a way for you to dine at Pahu'ia over at the Four Season on the standard plan.

Kona, Hawaii
Level Contributor
4,239 posts
5 reviews
7. Re: Kona Village Report

Thanks for all of the information.. I am going to talk with DH this week and set up something before KVR closes, as much as I embrace the remodel I want to experience it one more time before it changes. The B&B option is looking good to me, thanks for all of the info.

Kama'aina Wannabe...
Level Contributor
338 posts
21 reviews
8. Re: Kona Village Report

Mike, That would be sweet! I was actually saying something in a similiar vein to my husband that if they can't honor our hotel ressie perhaps they'd put us up at the 4 Seasons and include the food (still not as good as a hale to me, but maybe to some.) Perhaps Bill WAS referring to the Cafe at the King's Shops rather than the one in Waimea. Bill?

On another note, I saw your post on Konaweb regarding the hot pools at Puna. Thanks for that info. as we were considering a first time trip there at the beginning of our vacation when we're staying at the Sheraton Keahou on points for a couple of nights. Now we won't be going, we'll hike Kilauea Iki instead!

sacramento
Level Contributor
1,028 posts
5 reviews
9. Re: Kona Village Report

As Mike suggested we ate at Merriman's Cafe in Waikoloa. We also ate at Roy's and Sansei Sushi. Of them all, I really enjoyed Sansei Sushi best. I thought the food was well prepared and imaginative. Further, there was a 25% discount if you ordered before 6:00pm. The commute to Waikoloa is only 10 minutes or so. No problemo.

For our last day we stay on campus and ate the regular lunch. Our last dinner was at Hale Samoa. Very pleasant day.

I too reserved by May 2009 week under the 2008 rate.

BTW the new market at Queen's Shopping Center is very nice place. However, I noted that wine was 30% + higher there than at Costco and selection was only a little better.

Bill

Omaha, NE
Level Contributor
1,384 posts
25 reviews
10. Re: Kona Village Report

I was just thinking that with an 18 month closure, the soonest I'd expect them to shut down at this point would be spring 2010. If they shut down in April 2010, they would reopen in the fall of 2011 in time for the holidays. Any later, and they put the holidays and their busiest season at risk for a second year.

But that's just speculation on my part. Maybe business is stronger over the summer than over the winter.

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