In 1944 Lord Harold Samuel, the founder of Great Britain's Land Securities Investment Trust Ltd., stated that "There are three things you need in property, these are: location, location, and location." When I look back at the hotels and resorts I have enjoyed the most in Hawaii, I find that my favorites all have one thing in common - great locations."
Location is the thing that stood out when I sat down to write this review of the Keauhou Beach Resort on Hawaii's Big Island. When I glanced at reviews of the resort on Trip Advisor, I saw that almost each review made mention of the resort's wonderful location.
Location is the Key
Situated about 10 minutes south of Kailua Kona, the Keauhou Beach Resort is the perfect place to stay for exploration of Kailua Kona, the Kona Coffee Country and the South Kona Coast. It is also about 90 miles to Volcanoes National Park and 50 miles to Waimea, home to the Parker Ranch.
Best of all however, the resort's own grounds and surrounding area are as perfect as you'll find. The north or pool side the resort (bay side) features lovely tropical gardens and excellent views of Kahalu'u Bay. Kahalu'u Beach Park is just a few feet from the resort's grounds. It's a popular family beach that offers some of the best snorkeling opportunities on the Big Island.
On the south or lobby side of the resort you have stunning views of the sacred sites of Keauhou including the recently restored Hapaialii and Keeku heiau. You can sit in the resort's Verandah Lounge and look straight down into the shallow tide pools where you're guaranteed to see green sea turtles and plenty of reef fish.
The resort itself underwent a total renovation in 2007-8 where all rooms were updated, including new carpet, paint, lamps, bedspreads, shower liner and upholstery. The property now offers complimentary wired high-speed Internet access in its new rooms, with wireless access available in the lobby and at the swimming pool. All rooms also include air conditioning, balcony, cable/pay TV/video games, coffee maker and complimentary coffee, complimentary in-room safe, direct dial telephone/data port/voice mail, iron and board, and refrigerator.
I stayed at the resort in a non-renovated room in September 2007 and again in a renovated room in November 2008. The improvements were significant and all-positive, bringing the rooms up to the standards that most travelers look for today.
I really like the ground level of the resort. Aside from the gift shop and meeting rooms, the entire area is open-air. With the mild climate of this part of the Kona Coast, it never seems to hot or too cool and there always seems to be a soft breeze blowing. It's fun to sit in one of the chairs overlooking the tide pool area, take advantage of the resorts wi-fi and watching the passing of people in and out of the resort.
Dining, Parking and Staff
The Keauhou Beach Resort offers two dining options. The Kamaaina Terrace offers casual open-air dining with lovely panoramic views of the Kona Coast. For 2009 each guest receives a free buffet breakfast. The Verandah Lounge is right on the oceanfront with great sunset views. It features locally brewed Kona beer, wine, signature cocktails and a very enjoyable light menu. It's a great spot for lunch.
While valet parking is available, I prefer to self park since I'm always on the go. The self parking lots are just a short walk from the lobby. The walk itself meanders past the resort's tennis courts and through a lovely tropical garden.
One of the hallmarks of Outrigger® Hotels & Resorts, which manages the Keauhou Beach Resort is a great staff and the staff at this resort lives up to the Outrigger® standard. While I find most staff at Hawaii's hotels friendly and helpful, Outrigger®'s staff always seems to go be just a little bit friendlier, a little bit more helpful and a lot happier in their jobs.
Taken As a Whole
I really like the Keauhou Beach Resort. It's one of my favorite places to stay in Hawaii. Its location is lovely and convenient to many of the Big Island's top visitor attractions. It's just a short drive to Kailua Kona which offers great shopping and many fine restaurants. The recent renovation was needed and brought the resort up to the Outrigger® standard which most visitors expect. While not flashy and while not offering many of the amenities of the bigger resorts, it is a calm oasis which is just what I like when visiting Hawaii.
You can find out more about the Keauhou Beach Resort by visiting their website.