Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay
Travel Blogs from Kailua-Kona
Travelling domestically in Hawaii was more uintense than arriving off an international flight, which I found quite strange - we had to walk through a special TSA screen and I got my hands swabbed for random chemicals, which was quite scary... That sort of thing always makes me feel guilty even though I know I'm not! Honolulu Domestic Terminal was …
Aloha, This report is more of a 'bloopers or outtakes' type package. A few of the ' lighter, stupider, funnier things that occurred while we were away. No real driving on the wrong side of the road issues to report. One almost wrong turn, but that is pretty standard. When out driving to visit the Lava fields, Bailey was not feeling real good so we …
Aloha, This update comes to you from the Kona Airport, as we reflect on our time here and all the great things we did and saw. Volcanoes, Lava flow, majestic waterfalls and even the barren landscape that is the west side of this Island. I forgot to mention previously, that while we we visiting Kona township, I took the family to the Scandinavian …
Aloha, This morning I was up earlier than the previous mornings. I tend not to sleep real well before these events,but the 5am alarm got me up and into my pre-race routine.I was down at the transition area before six, as the sun was coming up. I had to get my bike and gear ready before the race. Before too long I was down at the waters edge …
Day three started with an early ride to get better acquainted with "Kenny" my rental bike for the triathlon. The rental store apparently names all their bikes.
One of the good things about staying where we are is being right on the water. Unfortunately we are at the foot of a volcano, so most riding & running is uphill ( a …
Travelers also recommend:
TravelPod Member ReviewsSheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay Kailua-Kona
The resort staff were always great to deal with.
The pool area was very good, especially for families.
The service at Ray on the Bay restaurant could be a little more efficient. We found the food always great, but service a little slow at times, especially when not that busy.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Manta rays feeding below the patio deck every night!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay Kailua-Kona
Will be nice in time, but not yet.
New owners purchased this property in January 2004, and opened it October 1st, 2004 as a Sheraton. I suspect they were trying to get open in time to take advantage of the crowds associated with the nearby Iron-man competition in mid-October. The property was essentially abandoned for a number of years. The current owners are conducting a full rehab. The location is beautiful--lava bed outcrop into the pacific. The nearby area is more residential, than touristy. If I were to move to the state of Hawaii, I'd be tempted to settle down in this area. The problem with the property is that it is not anywhere near complete yet on the rehab. The pool area is brand new, and well done. It has a great view of the Pacific. There is no beach however due to the terrain. Our room was large and quite nice. Most of the fixtures were brand new. However, only about half of the rooms at the property are presently open. The others are still being worked on. There is a lot of construction activity going on, and some parts of the hotel, such a former pool deck area (that pool has been filled in) are down-right decrepit. The pool area bar, and the new restaraunte are both illuminated with bright fluorescent lights, giving the latter the feel of a cafeteria, and the former the ambiance of an office building. Without fail though, the staff were all terrific. I would recommend this hotel in it's current state if it offered a reasonable discount. In several months it will probably be worth top dollar, but not yet.
SHERATON MANAGEMENT SHOULD BE FIRED
Our family arrived there October 15th for a 10 day stay with our friends. We left after 4 and our friends left after 1 day. We cannot even begin to explain the horrors we experienced while there.
Here are just a few of the issues we encountered:
-Hotel still under massive construction. We had jack hammering going on all around us. We moved into four rooms in four nights to try and find something that was acceptable. We were awakened each morning around 8 AM with hammering and construction work. Flooring is incomplete, facilities don't work, the bathrooms are horrendous, problems are everywhere.
-No umbrellas around the pool. Unbelievable to imagine a hotel does not have sun protection. They did not have 1 umbrella.
-While advertised that ocean views are 180 - 260 degrees we could find no room that had the breadth of view except for the presidential suite.
-The general quality of the hotel is in poor condition. We cannot imagine that they will ever be able to charge the $500/night for ocean view rooms. We wouldn't pay $150/night to stay in any of their rooms when you compare against places like the Mauna Kea, Hilton, Four Season and Mauna Lani.
-The spa will not fully open until March. The spa when we were there consisted of two rooms on the ground floor.
-Almost every guest we encountered was so happy with Sheraton that they were in the process of leaving and/or complaining. And even worse every staff member was complaining about the managements decision to open the hotel.
-The restaurants are atrocious with sub-standard food, view, quality and service.
We cannot even begin to express our frustration with the Sheraton but having been to Hawaii since 1972 we can categorically state this was our worst vacation ever. We thankfully moved to the Fairmont and had a lovely stay.
DO NOT STAY HERE. Guests were leaving in droves to other hotels and they had complaint after complaint. Go and stay at the Fairmont where we even got a better rate, the Mauna Kea, the Hilton or another reputable place. I will 100% assure you you will be unhappy if you stay here.
Great Hotel-Excellent Staff
I stayed at the Sheraton from October 15-24th. My family and I make this trip once a year, usually staying at the Four Seasons. Having just become Starwood members, we thought we would give this new hotel a try. I went to book the hotel and found some rather scathing reviews on this web-site. Instead of booking on-line, I called Starwood directly, to address some of the issues that were reported during their "soft opening." I was assured that the issues were addressed, and that we would have a great time. The booking agent was right-we loved the hotel. The ocean view room we stayed in was incredible! The view from the balcony of the room was breathtaking. I have 14year-old twin boys who loved the pool and waterslide. Those of you with teenagers know how hard it is to please them! They ate at the Manta Ray Bar & Grill (according to our room tab, they loved the fresh catch sandwich quite a bit!) while my husband and I chose Kai's Restaurant. The view from the restaurant was incredible, and the steak was worth raving about. The front-desk staff did an incredible job of arranging day trips for us. We took a helicopter out to see the volcanoes-definately worth every penny. We took a catamaran out for a snorkeling trip-great experience. My husband enjoyed a round of golf with the boys while took in the hotel Spa. All in all, it was a wonderful hotel with a 1st rate staff. They have won our business from the Four Seasons. Accomodations were just as nice, for 1/2 the price.
Awesome - RIGHT ON THE BEACH BEAUTY
I live in LA but had to go to Hawaii to truly enjoy the ocean. The views are breath taking and the staff was so very friendly.
The rooms are incredible - an ocean view room is truly and ocean view room! I was very pleased and lucky to taken advantage of the discounted rate for such an incredible experience. The private balcony made made it easy to imagine that I was living in style in my own luxury right on the beach suite!
This is definitely a property that allows one to enjoy themselves. I had some truly incredible experiences while I was there - I took out one of the catamarans - went snorkeling then finished off each day by the pool. I even rode the awesome waterslide a few times! If all of this laying in the sun makes you hungry - try one of those fresh catch sandwiches which are offered at the grill right next to the pool! I miss them now that I am back home. This place was incredible!
Is the bargain price worth dampening your vacation?
Is the bargain price on the hotel room worth it? In my opinon, no.
When I booked my room, there was no indication that it was a soft opening. By the time I started to get suspicious, all the other decent hotels were fully booked for Ironman. With peliminary reports coming in we went to the hotel with wary and lowered expectations. I'm sorry to say that rather than a highlight of the trip which I planned on it being, it was the one sore spot. I find it distressing that they aren't ready and even pretend to be ready on their website. Don't get me wrong, the pool and the view are great. But that hotel is in no way ready to be open.
There is a reason no close up photos are available other than the rooms. They are about 20% done in my opinion. The lobby, pool, and your room are done, and that's about it. As soon as you step out of the lobby area, you realize this. They are still tiling the floors. You hear construction when you wake up in the morning. We didn't need an alarm to know when it was 9am, we just had to listen for the drilling underneath the room. We escaped to the pool, only to hear bandsaws on metal as they are building what I'm guessing is going to be the towel/pool toy station.
The food from the hotel is good, but waayyyy overpriced. I understand the hotel/convenience upcharge, but be prepared to pay 3 times what you would in a casual restaurant.
The most upsetting part was the main attraction the Manta Ray Experience isn't done. The main staff was great, they get an A for effort, but that doesn't really make up for a bad hotel does it. I don't really blame them, so much as management and corporate for placing them in that situation. You really set them up for failure. They seemed used to customers being upset about the state of the hotel.
They were other problems as well, but I'll be addressing that with corporate customer service. Let's just say it involved our bed and bodily fluids that weren't ours.
Conclusion - great vacation, I didn't let the hotel get me down, but I won't be staying there again, which is sad because the employees deserve better than that.
What I can recommend are:
ATV outfitters - great tour. there was some problems with the coastal trail that we signed up for so they upgraded us to the waterfall tour. Great customer service, and the guides and tour was well worth it. I highly recommend them.
PS. We also stopped at a sandwhich shop right after the 23rd mile marker that was pretty good. I recommend them if you want a bite to eat before the tour.
Fairwinds II - we took the morning snorkling tour and had a great time. Snorkeling was fun and again, customer service, crew and experience overall was first-rate. We had breakfast on the trip out to the bay. Went snorkeling and frolicked about for about 2 hours (saw some great fish and corral). They fired up the grill for lunch, followed by more snorkeling. The slide and high dive are a lot of fun as well. On the trip back we didn't see any dolphins, but we did get to see some flying fish which was amazing. They glide forever out of the water.
Volcano - also a good thing to see. we drove up the afternoon and spent a few hours in the park. There wasn't any significant lava flow that day, and the flow that existed was out of the way, not really worth another 2 hours of driving. We did get a little woozy from the fumes, so people should take those warning seriously. It doesn't just effect the elderly and pregnant. We saw a great view of the volcano from Volcano House. Their cookies are also yummy!
Rooms less than a 100 Ft. from the Surf. My Wife Loved it.
My wife & I recently spent 4 days at The Sheraton Keauhou Hotel. We found it fun and relaxing. Our ocean view room was less than 100 ft. from the crashing surf with georgeous views. The Staff was curteous and attentive. We ate at the Koa dining room with excellent results.We enjoyed the swimming/sunning pool with the long bore slide. I played the Kona Country Club ocean course which surrounds the Hotel. A 2nd Mt course is also available. A small boat harbor is within walking distance of the Hotel and canoes, fishing boats & snorkel/diving rentals are available. We recommend the Sheraton Keauhou near Kona Town as a comfortable alternative to the MEGA-
OPLIS hotels on the Kohala coast.
Great Ocean Views but .....
We stayed at the brand new Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa October 6-9. Let me start with the positives:
1) the Valet Staff were among the best in Hawaii and 2) the Hotel Manager attempted to make up for our disappointment by providing us with a free night plus 10,000 Starwood points.
3) Friendly Staff
4) Keahou Mall shuttle - very fast and efficient
5) Great Ocean Views
Now the negatives:
This is supposed to be a top notch new hotel so why did our bathroom sink have giant four inch letters on it that said, "DEMO"? The staff tried to remove it but just made it worse. Why was our bathtub looking five to ten years old? Why did the fold-down ironing board in the ONLY working laundry room on the hotels entire second floor appear to be from the 1920's?
Please prepare yourselves because I'm just getting started!
Who opens a Spa to the guests but doesnt have a working sink? My girlfriend went down to the Spa to get her hair done and they explained to her that she would have to go back to her room to wash her own hair and then return for them to blow. Yes..THEY BLOW!
Who installs sliding glass doors to the terrace and forgets to put in a screen door? We complained and were told that NO rooms have sliding screen doors to the terrace! I want fresh air at night but I do not want every bug in Hawaii coming into my room unless they're willing to share in paying the bill. The manager told me, "We don't have bugs here" yet I had to kill large flying beetles each time I left the terrace door open.
There was also an active colony of ants utilizing our terrace as a pathway between their home and food source which was probably at the beautiful golf course next door. Our Sheraton had NO affiliation or packages with any local golf courses. Who builds a giant new hotel next door to a wonderful golf course and doesn't think to work out some sort of package golf deal?
The rest of the room was quite plain and I'm sure quite inexpensive to create. The TV picture was so dark that I could not see and there was no brightness control. The Yankee Playoff game was on and I am from New York so I had no choice but to call this in as an emergency. The repairman came in ten minutes with the one and only remote control for the entire hotel that can adjust their 550 televisions. I sure hope he doesn't lose or break it.
Do you know your way around Keauhou Bay? If you don't, do not ask the girls behind the Front Desk as they gave us the worst maps and directions EVERY time! Ask the Valet guys instead.
They were wonderful.
You like giant waterslides at the pool? This Sheraton has a good one but I like the Waikolola Hilton's much better. Not only did I keep getting stuck on the Manta Ray Slide, the cement seams used to connect the giant tubes actually hurt me going down. They need to be sanded.....DUH!
You like to eat breakfast? Get ready to be ripped off! We went for breakfast at the Kai, the hotel's ONLY operational restaurant for breakfast. Freshly squeezed orange juice was a mere $8.50 and bacon was $1.00 per strip, I said PER STRIP! Breakfast for two came out to be $45 including the tip. The best tip I have for you now is to EAT OUT.
They say there is a shuttle into Kona - what they don't tell you - it is every 1 1/2 hours and be prepared to get the last one back by 6:30 p.m. - so find your own way back if you don't have a car and plan on dinner in Kona.
Back to the laundry facilities. At the Waikolola Hilton, there were four machines in the laundry room so we could do multiple loads simultaneously. Since I had whites and colors and she had whites and colors, this worked out great. At the Keauhou Sheraton, most of the laundry facilities had zero machines but we eventually found an operational laundry room three building wings away that had only one machine. This was terrible because we had two loads to do before our trip home. It took over two hours to accomplish with just one machine to work with. I noticed that both the Hilton and Sheraton were using the same exact machines yet the Sheraton was 25 cents more to wash and another 25 cents more to dry. Hmmmmm, provide less machines and charge more.....I guess they're using the supply and demand theory for their pricing.
Pricing? Well, let me tell you that our room was $150 per night including the taxes. This was the Sheratons soft opening charge. I asked how much they intend to charge for our room after the official opening in January and they said, $500 plus room taxes. I had to laugh. This place will NEVER be worth $500 a night! The Waikolola Hilton is twice as good as the Keauhou Sheraton and half the price.
Will we ever go back? Hmmm Doubtful....
We arrived knowing the resort had just opened and were somewhat nervous about what that might translate to. We were, however, very pleasantly surprised. While the resort just had its "soft opening" on Oct. 1 we found the hotel to be stunning. The pools, the centerpiece of the resort, are fabulous. The staff went above and beyond to exceed our expectations. They were gracious at every turn - all you've heard about the aloha spirit, we found. Dinner at Kai Restaurant one night was fabulous - a small but well-priced menu with a surprisingly diverse array of offerings - I highly recommend the chicken that has been soaked in ocean salt water. Sounds weird but - Yum!
Yes - there is still some work being done on the property but we were too busy going down the slide and exploring the Big Island to notice. We will look forward to returning to see the fully finished product , which we understand will be within 1st quarter of 2005. We'll bring the grandkids because when they see the children's center this already resort has (big "wow factor" there) - plus the pools -, we know they'll have a fabulous time.
Once finished it will be lovely
We stayed at the hotel 10/2-9. The hotel will be beautiful when finished (I think it will be a couple of months to a year) however we did see progress on the grounds/landscaping during our stay. Before I list my complaints, I will say that the pool is great and the water slide is a lot of fun. There is no beach (but the pool makes up for that!!!), it is on a cliff overlooking the water. The staff was very helpful and accomodating. The rooms were basic, but clean and updated (typical Sheraton). We were upgraded to ocean view on arrival (paid for gardenview). The work-out room was excellent. There are laundry facilities in each wing/on each floor. The hotel is a renovated hotel and since the hallways are concrete and there is no carpeting, furniture/plantings, etc there is a lot of noise. We had to change rooms on the second night (they were more than happy to help us) because the Manta Ray Cafe was below us and the music was very loud - they did lower the music after a couple of nights given there were multiple complaints. There was the cafe open for lunch/dinner (sandwiches/salads) and there was one resturant open for b-fast (no buffet, formal sit-down only...$15+pp) and dinner. We never ate at the hotel. The rooms do have empty refridgerators so you can keep some food in the room. I would recommend this hotel as long as you go knowing it is not completed and there might be some construction noise durring the day. We were out sight-seeing most days so it didn't really bother us, and the 2 days we spent at the pool we heard no construction noise at the pool (we did hear it in out room). It has a good location and they have good deals right now and for the price, we thought it was worth it to stay there despite it being unfinished. There weren't many children while we were there, but I think it will be a popular place for families given the great pool, so that is something to consider for couples/singles.
STAY AWAY TIL THEY OFFICIALLY OPEN
We came here on the day they opened - October 1st. Unfortunately, none of us knew this was a 'soft' opening - meaning we were guinea pigs. The official opening is SUPPOSED to be Jan 1, 2004. Good Luck!!! THIS HOTEL IS A CONSTRUCTION SITE!!! We sat there watching the rest of the guests driving up with a look on their face wondering what they were getting into - like we did. There were 70 of 550 rooms open. The rest are just junk. There is almost no carpeting so all you hear are the construction carts and bellboy carts going up and down the halls on the cement floor. The numbers in the elevator didn't match the floor numbers. The pools were nice, but we were sitting there soaking up the rays, and the sprinklers would come on. We went to listen to the 2 man band at the poolside bar (not in the pool) and the sprinklers came on. It has a nice water slide, which I almost got stuck on. The Sheraton employee told my husband that some bathing suits (like mine I guess) won't slide down. I felt like Homer Simpson! We stayed in room 1410 - it's across the hall from a fire stair case - the door slams every time somebody used it. This hotel will be nice when it is finished, but they are not giving any discounts for staying in it while it is under construction. I used starwood points, and got one night of points back which wasn't enough. If I had paid cash for this, I really would have been upset!