The Big Island of Hawaii is famous for it’s Volcanoes and its coffee. Kona coffee helped put the Big Island on the map decades ago, and just a few miles from the original Kona Coffee plantation lies Keauhou Bay, once home to a Hawaiian Fishing Village and now home to the sprawling Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa. After a $20 million renovation of its public spaces, the Sheraton Kona offers a unique and genuine Hawaiian experience with all the 21st-century luxuries at your fingertips. What better place to call home for my third visit to the Big Island and what better place to have an adventure. This Sheraton is the closest four-star hotel to Volcanoes National Park, it’s just a few miles from Kona Coffee farms, and some of the best snorkeling adventures launch just a 5-minute walk from the hotel. Yes, the Sheraton Kona will be the perfect home away from home for the start of my Hawaiian adventures.
I flew into the Kona airport and after picking up my rental car drove the 30 to 40 minutes to 78 Ehukai Street, Kailua-Kona where the hotel is located. Built in the early 70’s the Sheraton Kona is a large property with 485 rooms and 24 suites. Lots of air flows throughout the property as it is designed to be open and welcoming.
Registration at the front desk is as smooth as I would expect. There are four wings to the hotel; each room has a private lanais and views of the water. I’ve checked into the Helani Wing, which overlooks Keauhou Bay. Once inside my room I am quite happy. It is spacious, comes with all the usual Sheraton perks like a very comfy bed and a nice workstation with plenty of electrical outlet access for my laptop and phone.
The bathroom is divided into two parts. A separate WC or room for the toilet and shower and an open counter and sink area for teeth brushing and face washing. It’s perfect if you are sharing the room with family or a friend. I’m flying solo on this trip so I have it all to myself.
The real perk of this room is the large lanai complete with small table and chairs overlooking Keauhou Bay. A perfect place to enjoy that first cup of coffee or a glass of wine to help you transition from having a beach day to nighttime. Look at that view. How can you not feel transported to paradise when you look out every day and see that?
Now that my bags are unpacked it is time to explore the property a bit. Did I mention the hotel is large and sprawling? In between the wings is a central courtyard that has 1/3 of the pool. There are also many little spots where you can chill alone, like this hammock as seen from my floor looking towards the pool area.
You never have to leave the Sheraton Kona if you don’t want to. They have everything you need on site to make for a relaxing getaway. However, if you do wish to adventure off the property take advantage of their Concierge service which will be able to arrange reservations for any adventure on Island you wish plus right next door is The Flying Fish where you can rent bikes, surfboards, GoPros, etc… They also have a Hertz Rental Car desk inside the Flying Fish if you want to rent a car for a few days.
One of my favourite amenities at the Sheraton Kona is the Keauhou Bay Coffee Company kiosk affectionately called Mama’s. This is going to be my first stop every morning for my caffeine fix. In the afternoon, I’ll be hitting the Holua Poolside Bar for a more alcoholic refreshment.
I have only scratched the surface of what is on offer at the Sheraton Kona. Tomorrow I will join their Director of Culture, Lily Dudoit, as she walks us through an ancient Hawaiian Fishing Village uncovered on the property. This is what makes this hotel special. Sure it has all that you expect from a Hawaiian vacation hotel, but they are going the extra mile to uncover and share the history of this Place and the People that called it home before us.
This is how and where my Hawaiian adventures are starting. Not bad if I do say so myself. Aloha and let the adventures begin.
The Sheraton Kona was built in 1972 but recently underwent a $20 million renovation to its public spaces. The rooms are still a little dated but they are clean, large and well equipped. The value for money here is great and the location can't be beat as you are just 2 hours from Volcanoes National Park and a few minutes to Kona Coffee farms. The staff is very friendly and there are plenty of free cultural classes on offer that are free of charge
Value for $9
Would I go back?10