OUTRIGGER Kona Resort and Spa at Keauhou Bay
OUTRIGGER Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay (previously known as Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa) is in a prime oceanfront location. Perched beside dramatic lava-rock cliffs, it has an oceanfront pool and waterslide, spa, wedding chapel, cultural centre, a gym, and a kids’ club. The turquoise waters surrounding the resort are one of the only places in the world where people can consistently swim with manta rays. Signature experiences include a 90-minute cultural tour that takes guests to the birthplace of King Kamehameha III, and the ‘Feast and Fire’ lū‘au.
Aston Kona by the Sea
Also on the Kona Coast, Aston Kona by the Sea is surrounded by a tropical landscape of flowering plants and wild ginger close to shops and restaurants. It has rooms with fully equipped kitchens, separate living areas and balconies, as well as oceanfront pools and a man-made beach on the cove.
Boutique hotel PACIFIC 19, which reopened in 2023 after undergoing a refurbishment, offers an affordable option in Kailua-Kona. As well as a pool and lounge area, the modern hotel has an on-site cafe and a handy lobby store selling holiday essentials.
Mauna Kea Beach Hotel
The first resort on the island when it was built in 1965, the five-star Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is set on a crescent-shaped beach at Kauna‘oa Bay on the Kohala Coast. Guests at the resort, which is set to undergo a major renovation in 2024, can also join manta ray researchers for a private tour in the evening. It also offers a twice-weekly lū‘au, cultural activities and an award-winning 18-hole championship golf course that was created in 1964 on what was once a barren black lava field.
Hilo Hawaiian Hotel and Waimea Country Cottage
In Hilo, Castle Resorts & Hotels’ Hilo Hawaiian Hotel is an excellent option, while Waimea Country Cottage makes a great base for an inland stay.