Our Big Adventure
- Flight Review: Hawaiian Airlines Honolulu to Kona
- Hotel Review: Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel
For this short trip to the Big Island the wife and I had a busy schedule planned, so we weren’t looking for a nice resort to stay at. Really, all we wanted was a comfortable, clean place to rest our heads with the creature comforts you’d expect. Of course, I’d prefer the ability to earn points and wanted to avoid resort fees as much as possible, so the Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, also known as the Courtyard by Marriott Kona Beach Hotel or the Kona Beach Hotel, fit the bill perfectly.
Located on the west end of the main drag through downtown Kona, Ali’i Drive, the Courtyard Kona Beach Hotel is very centrally located. While it’s not the only hotels in the area, it is one of the nicer ones and the only one that has a beach.
While the property does have a porte cochere, it is self-parking only. The $16/night parking fee isn’t bad, but the parking lot is an enormous open lot. The trek from your parking to the lobby can be a bit long, so I’d suggest dropping your bags off at the lobby first and then parking your car.
Once you enter the lobby area, you’re going to turn left to the lobby; to the right is the ballrooms and activities desk.
At the time of this trip, I was a Marriott Rewards Platinum, which was instantly recognized by the friendly associate. I was proactively offered an upgrade to an ocean front room with the caveat that it would be two queen beds rather than my preferred king bed. I was also offered a Platinum Arrival Gift of points AND my choice of a gift; I chose the 100% Kona Coffee.
For this stay, I was assigned room 451, which is in the tower furthest away from the lobby (of 2), and is located on the top floor. The room itself was a nice corner unit. Immediately upon entering the room was a closet to the left.
The closet contained the ironing board, iron, safe, and beach/pool towels.
Immediately to the right of the closet was the bathroom.
The bathroom was clean and had a decent amount of space. It contained a single basin, toilet, shower/tub combo, and the typical Courtyard Paul Mitchell toiletries.
My only complaint about the bathroom was the mounting height of the shower head… It was a bit low.
I’m not a tall guy at all, so the fact that I couldn’t fit under the shower head means its too low.
Out from the bathroom was the rest of the room. Like I said earlier, I was offered an upgrade to an ocean front room, but it would have two queens instead of my preferred king bed. At this property a king room does come with a sofa that pulls out into a bed.
The beds are what you’d expect from a Marriott branded property; supportive yet very comfortable.
In front of the beds was a chair, a table with the phone, a dresser, an average sized HDTV, and a coffee maker with mugs.
The dresser also contained a decent sized mini fridge.
And the view?
While not the most spectacular view in the world, it was nice. Our room had an unobstructed view of the small beach, Kailua Bay, and Mauna Loa off in the distance. And if you’re wondering what that little “grass shack” is across the beach, it’s the remains of Kamakahonu, the residence of King Kamehameha I. The hotel itself is actually built on the site of the former residence, while the King’s person heiau (alter), ‘Ahu’ena, was reconstructed where it stands today. While clearly visible, it is not open to the public. Within the hotel, though, there are artifacts on display in the lobby area between the two towers.
For those that prefer the pool over the beach, the property does have a decent pool.
Other amenities available to guests are a fitness center, coin-operated laundry, valet laundry, yoga studio, tennis courts and spa. The property is home to a laua as well, and has a pool bar and sit-down restaurant called the Honu’s on the Beach Restaurant.
The service throughout our stay was surprisingly good. All of the staff we interacted with were genuinely friendly and seemed to take pride in their jobs. The front desk manager always recognized us whenever she saw us and was very proactive in her service.
So while this wasn’t a luxurious or spectacular property, it was great. There was a lot of amenities (especially for a Courtyard), with a great location, and an outstanding price. Service was wonderful and the rooms were clean and comfortable. This property is easily now one of my go-tos on the island. It is worth noting, however, that the property is start and end point for the IRONMAN Triathlon, so be sure to plan your stays accordingly.