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Kona Tiki Hotel
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Reviews (435)
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All reviewssea wallconch shellscrashing waveslight sleeperkitchenette roomno tv or phonenice continental breakfastcoffee and juiceceiling fanother guestsfresh local fruitbring earplugsevery morningno elevatorsmall kitchenettethe big islandair conditioning
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246 - 251 of 435 reviews
Reviewed 25 February 2012

Usually I'm right in sync with other Trip Advisor reviews, but I don't see what the fuss is about this place. Other than being cheap, it didn't have much to offer. It's really noisy at night between the surf (no gentle waves hitting the shore - it's big waves crashing against rocks) and the highway (every motorcycle and truck sounded like it was a few feet away). Parking was a pain, and there was no hot tub. I also had to make reservations 9 months in advance to even get a room. It was quite a walk to restaurants or any snorkeling areas. The room was nice and clean, and the people are very nice. But I don't see why people go there year after year.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled solo
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5  Thank cheytull
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 February 2012

We stayed there last November, my son liked watching the crabs on the rocks below in the ocean. Nice place, the managers were very nice and helpful. There is no phone in the rooms, and no aircon, but just a ceiling fan and the breeze outside. There was a nice continental breakfast in the morning. And you have to arrive early for good parking. We stayed in one room the first night, it was just a room, and the second night we moved to another room with a small kitchenette. The bathroom in the first room the first night was a little small and cramp, especially around the toilet area. The bathroom was larger the second night. The waves can be heard at night, if you're a light sleeper it may bother some people, but for me it was fine. There is a nice white sand beach about a 5 minute drive from the hotel. They do have a nice little swimming pool. The managers let my son light the tiki torches in the evening, and he enjoyed that. I noticed in other reviews that some people complained about highway noise, but it didnt' bother me. Also this may change, if you want to make a reservation you have to phone it in, and can't do it online. If I remember correctly, I think they only take cash, and no credit cards.

Room Tip: 2nd floor room or above if you like privacy.
  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with family
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4  Thank miteydog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 January 2012

I really don't know how much an ocean front room can cost, but this one is amazing for $100 per night. Went swimming right outside the room, saw lots of reef fish. This is an amazing place!

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank ChemistryProf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 January 2012

Before you go to Hawaii, be prepared for sticker shock -- everything costs about twice as much as on the mainland. That includes hotels, car rentals, restaurants, and groceries.

In that context, the Kona Tiki Hotel is a great value, perhaps the only Kona coast waterfront hotel with rooms around 100 USD per night including tax (kitchenette rooms are about 120 USD).

The usual resort amenities are absent, but so are parking and resort fees. What you do get is a waterfront room with roaring surf and gorgeous sunsets.

The pool is small, the parking is tight, and traffic on adjacent Alii Drive is heavy; but the atmosphere is laid back, and guests form a loose-knit pool-side family at cocktail hour.

The hotel was built in the 1950’s and has been well-maintained (but not modernized) since then. Remember jalousie windows? Filigree balusters? Board and batten? Bingo! The Kona Tiki has them, and lots of other old Hawaiian charm too.

The resident managers rotate. Gary and Michelle, who were there during my most recent stay, did an outstanding job of making guests welcome and helping them enjoy their vacations.

Granted, the hotel’s deposit, cancellation, and cash/travelers checks only policies are stiff, but these are logical based on the small size of the hotel (only 15 rooms), which gives the owner less leeway to cover losses.

Guests don’t seem to mind. Many are perennial returnees, and the Kona Tiki Hotel was running near 100% occupancy during the winter season of 2011-12 when the average for the Big Island was around 65% overall.

If you are not sure that the Kona Tiki is right for you, consider hedging your bets and splitting your stay between the Kona Tiki and a more conventional resort.

Preferring the value end of the hotel spectrum, we have enjoyed internet specials from the Outrigger Keauhou (adjacent to the great snorkeling of Kahaluu Bay); the Royal Kona Resort (near downtown Kailua-Kona, formerly the Hilton before it moved to Waikoloa); and the semi-luxurious Hapuna Prince Hotel (on the best beach in Hawaii).

We have not stayed at the Casa de Emdeko condos in Kailua-Kona, but friends have liked them. We have not stayed at the Paniolo Greens condos, which are on a golf course several miles inland from Kohala beaches, but their ratings have been good and prices have been very low recently on bidding websites.

All in all, we have been returning to the Big Island more often than the other Hawaiian islands because of the great variety of landscapes and activities it offers, even though one must drive farther to enjoy them (a rental car is almost essential).

We enjoy the Kona Tiki as a great value in Kailua-Kona, with a wonderful waterfront (but not beach) location and a charming old Hawaiian atmosphere.

Room Tip: -01 rooms are closest to traffic, and -05 rooms farthest, but the adjacent surf muffles most traffic noise if you cannot get your preference.
  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled solo
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14  Thank efsch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 January 2012

My extended family filled 3 rooms from xmas-new year's and had an amazing time! We ate every meal by the pool and watched the sunset with cocktails in the same spot every night. Yes, our room was a bit noisy during the day as it was right next to the road but at night there were very few cars out and the sound of crashing waves made for deep sleep. Great place for a family reunion!!

Room Tip: third floor away from the road
  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank Barb W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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