Pros

  • Walking distance to Kona's shopping, historical sites, restaurant and bars
  • Adjacent to a popular surfer beach
  • Roomy one-bedroom suites with full kitchens and garden or ocean views
  • Oceanfront pool with jetted tub and spacious sundeck
  • Gas grills and picnic pavilion
  • Free Wi-Fi and parking
  • No daily resort fees
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Cons

  • Decor varies from room to room and can be dated
  • No children's activities or play area
  • Hotel has no restaurant or breakfast service
  • No daily housekeeping and cleaning fees are levied
  • Noise in rooms near the road
See More Cons

Bottom Line

For those who like apartment-style conveniences, the three-pearl Kona Reef is an affordable and well-located option. Tropically homey one-bedroom, one-bath suites come with full kitchens and offer views of the gardens of the ocean and can accommodate up to four people. However, some units are more dated than others. Although this resort has no dining or activities, restaurants, shopping, bars, and historical sites are within a 10- to 15-minute walk along Alii Drive. The adjacent beach, while unswimmable, is a popular surf break. There's also an oceanfront pool, jetted tub, and sundeck plus a pavilion and gas grills. As an alternative, the Outrigger Kanaloa at Kona has similar features and is even cheaper, though it's farther from the heart of town.

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Amenities

  • Cribs
  • Internet
  • Jacuzzi
  • Pool

Oyster Hotel Review

Kona Reef Resort

Scene

Laid-back residential resort with attractive oceanside setting

This small and relatively affordable condominium property is a good choice for those who want the conveniences of home near the action in Kona. This condo-style property is spread across three buildings along a lava-rock shoreline, though it doesn't exactly live up to the "resort" claim in its name (read: features are limited). Instead, this is a humble spot that's ideal for those seeking a laid-back, independent seaside vacation. The style is casual, and what few public interiors there are have a functional vibe. However, the plain exteriors of the buildings across the property are contrasted by an oceanfront setting with views of surfers, occasional pods of playful dolphins, and magnificent sunset views. Kona Reef is best for those who prefer a value-oriented, DIY approach to everything from laundry to cooking. Guests come from as far as Europe and as close as Hilo for visits, including plenty of repeat guests.

See More Scene

Location

On the ocean, a 10-minute walk from the center of Kailua-Kona

The hotel's location is excellent and is certainly one of the few locations on the island where a car isn’t absolutely necessary. A 10-minute walk from the resort toward the center of Kailua-Kona passes luau grounds, upscale oceanfront dining, beach bars with live music, moped rental stands, a smoothie bar, breakfast joints, sushi spots, steakhouses, and even a lovely sand volleyball court. Five minutes beyond that are coffee bars, a royal palace, a historic church, and a bustling farmer’s market. The Kailua Pier -- where glass-bottom boats, parasailing, and outrigger canoe races take place -- is a five-minute drive from the hotel. The small but lively Magic Sands beach is a seven-minute drive in the opposite direction, and can be reached by the trolley at the Kona Royal Resort next door. Locals gather in droves there on weekends, and it's a popular snorkeling spot. Kona International Airport is a 20-minute drive from the hotel, while Hilo and its airport are an hour and 45 minutes across the island.

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Rooms

Homey one-bedroom apartments with full kitchens and ocean or garden views

The resort offers a collection of one-bedroom, one-bath condominiums that are individually owned. They are all uniform in size and shape, but since the decor is at the discretion of the owners, rooms vary from contemporary to vintage tropical, with some looking less fresh than others. Both of the units that we visited were well-kept, but embraced a slightly dated tropical-home aesthetic, with an abundance of tropical-print fabrics (including bedspreads) plus rattan and light-wood furniture. 

Each unit has a small kitchen with counter seating plus a full-size refrigerator, microwave, stovetop and oven, coffeemaker, and dishware. A small dining table that seats four is positioned next the living area, which has a flat-screen TV plus couches and chairs. Each unit also has a separate bedroom, and all rooms have air-conditioning and ceiling fans. Bathrooms are compact, but functional, with a single vanity and a shower/tub combo. Wi-Fi is free.

Like the decor of each room, the views at this property vary widely. Balconies seat up to four, and views can include the garden or the ocean. Garden-view rooms are nosier and nearest the road, though some of these units are located on the ground floor and are perfect for those who want to avoid stairs. The more expensive oceanfront units are worth every additional penny, particularly for the sunset views. Unfortunately, there is no free daily housekeeping included in any room here, and cleaning fees are assessed.

See More Rooms

Features

Oceanfront pool and jetted tub plus grills and picnic pavilion

As a place where families and couples come for independent holidays, the amount of services and features on offer are predictably slim. Still, the lack of any playgrounds or anything for kids to do is a bit surprising. The swimming pool and surrounding sundeck are the center of all daily activity at this resort. Some days, the area is bustling and busy, and on other days it can be deserted, but it is open every day all year long. During certain times of the year, shadows will obstruct the sun during the early mornings, which make the afternoon sun bathing much more appealing, though the jetted is popular anytime. The large pool deck has a large number of lounge chairs. While the hotel sits on the ocean, there is no swimmable beach here. 

The barbecue grills and the pavilion come alive in the evening when guests bring down their fresh fish or steaks for grilling. On Monday mornings, the resort holds a complimentary continental breakfast for guests who are interested in previewing island tours and excursions. Several tour companies present and book their tours on-site. Those who need more than just tours can visit Kona Reef's concierge, which can arrange everything from dinner reservations to driving directions. Parking is free at the resort.

See More Features

Things You Should Know About Kona Reef Resort

Also Known As

  • Kona Reef

Address

75-5888 Alii Dr, Kailua-Kona 96740-1312, Island of Hawaii

Website

Oyster Hotel Review

Kona Reef Resort

Scene

Laid-back residential resort with attractive oceanside setting

This small and relatively affordable condominium property is a good choice for those who want the conveniences of home near the action in Kona. This condo-style property is spread across three buildings along a lava-rock shoreline, though it doesn't exactly live up to the "resort" claim in its name (read: features are limited). Instead, this is a humble spot that's ideal for those seeking a laid-back, independent seaside vacation. The style is casual, and what few public interiors there are have a functional vibe. However, the plain exteriors of the buildings across the property are contrasted by an oceanfront setting with views of surfers, occasional pods of playful dolphins, and magnificent sunset views. Kona Reef is best for those who prefer a value-oriented, DIY approach to everything from laundry to cooking. Guests come from as far as Europe and as close as Hilo for visits, including plenty of repeat guests.

See More Scene

Location

On the ocean, a 10-minute walk from the center of Kailua-Kona

The hotel's location is excellent and is certainly one of the few locations on the island where a car isn’t absolutely necessary. A 10-minute walk from the resort toward the center of Kailua-Kona passes luau grounds, upscale oceanfront dining, beach bars with live music, moped rental stands, a smoothie bar, breakfast joints, sushi spots, steakhouses, and even a lovely sand volleyball court. Five minutes beyond that are coffee bars, a royal palace, a historic church, and a bustling farmer’s market. The Kailua Pier -- where glass-bottom boats, parasailing, and outrigger canoe races take place -- is a five-minute drive from the hotel. The small but lively Magic Sands beach is a seven-minute drive in the opposite direction, and can be reached by the trolley at the Kona Royal Resort next door. Locals gather in droves there on weekends, and it's a popular snorkeling spot. Kona International Airport is a 20-minute drive from the hotel, while Hilo and its airport are an hour and 45 minutes across the island.

See More Location

Rooms

Homey one-bedroom apartments with full kitchens and ocean or garden views

The resort offers a collection of one-bedroom, one-bath condominiums that are individually owned. They are all uniform in size and shape, but since the decor is at the discretion of the owners, rooms vary from contemporary to vintage tropical, with some looking less fresh than others. Both of the units that we visited were well-kept, but embraced a slightly dated tropical-home aesthetic, with an abundance of tropical-print fabrics (including bedspreads) plus rattan and light-wood furniture. 

Each unit has a small kitchen with counter seating plus a full-size refrigerator, microwave, stovetop and oven, coffeemaker, and dishware. A small dining table that seats four is positioned next the living area, which has a flat-screen TV plus couches and chairs. Each unit also has a separate bedroom, and all rooms have air-conditioning and ceiling fans. Bathrooms are compact, but functional, with a single vanity and a shower/tub combo. Wi-Fi is free.

Like the decor of each room, the views at this property vary widely. Balconies seat up to four, and views can include the garden or the ocean. Garden-view rooms are nosier and nearest the road, though some of these units are located on the ground floor and are perfect for those who want to avoid stairs. The more expensive oceanfront units are worth every additional penny, particularly for the sunset views. Unfortunately, there is no free daily housekeeping included in any room here, and cleaning fees are assessed.

See More Rooms

Features

Oceanfront pool and jetted tub plus grills and picnic pavilion

As a place where families and couples come for independent holidays, the amount of services and features on offer are predictably slim. Still, the lack of any playgrounds or anything for kids to do is a bit surprising. The swimming pool and surrounding sundeck are the center of all daily activity at this resort. Some days, the area is bustling and busy, and on other days it can be deserted, but it is open every day all year long. During certain times of the year, shadows will obstruct the sun during the early mornings, which make the afternoon sun bathing much more appealing, though the jetted is popular anytime. The large pool deck has a large number of lounge chairs. While the hotel sits on the ocean, there is no swimmable beach here. 

The barbecue grills and the pavilion come alive in the evening when guests bring down their fresh fish or steaks for grilling. On Monday mornings, the resort holds a complimentary continental breakfast for guests who are interested in previewing island tours and excursions. Several tour companies present and book their tours on-site. Those who need more than just tours can visit Kona Reef's concierge, which can arrange everything from dinner reservations to driving directions. Parking is free at the resort.

See More Features

Best Rates

Amenities

  • Balcony / Terrace / Patio

  • Beach

  • Business Center

  • Cabanas

  • Cable

  • Concierge

  • Cribs

  • Full Kitchen

  • Internet

  • Jacuzzi

  • Kids Allowed

  • Pool

  • Poolside Drink Service

  • Separate Bedroom / Living Room Space

  • Swim-Up Bar

  • Tennis Court

Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.