Kona Village Resort evaluate – The Factors Man

Editor’s notice: Kona Village, a Rosewood Resort supplied TPG with a complimentary three-night keep in order that we may get an inside have a look at the resort and its facilities. The opinions expressed beneath are completely these of the creator and weren’t topic to evaluate by the resort or any exterior entity.

There really is a Hawaiian resort for everybody — from romantic luxurious motels to family-friendly seaside getaways — however one of the iconic (and but new once more) is Kona Village, a Rosewood Resort.

Though historic Hawaiians inhabited the realm for hundreds of years till 1939, the resort’s trendy story started again in 1965 when Texas oilman and explorer, Johnno Jackson, and his spouse Helen, sailed their schooner, New Moon, into tranquil Kahuwai Bay alongside the Island of Hawaii’s northwest coast.


By the next 12 months, the pair had opened a country, Polynesian-themed resort known as Kona Village on the spot with 50 freestanding hales, or thatch-roofed huts, sprinkled round 81 beachfront acres of obsidian-black lava fields (the results of an 1801 eruption of close by Hualalai), freshwater lagoons and towering palm groves.

Because the resort was expanded and renovated over the many years that adopted, loyal friends would return 12 months after 12 months and technology after technology to take pleasure in this paradisiacal playground with household and buddies. Briefly order, Kona Village grew to become a legend, one much-loved by guests from around the globe.


In March 2011, nonetheless, Kona Village was ravaged by a tsunami attributable to the earthquake off Japan’s coast and languished in a ruinous state for a number of years. After a seven-year rebuild underneath the aegis of actual property growth agency Kennedy Wilson, Hawaii-raised Greg Warner of Warner Walker Architects and decor by designer Nicole Hollis, Kona Village reopened as a Rosewood in July 2023.

The result’s a luxurious resort with loads of modern updates, corresponding to 100% solar energy and a superb island-inspired spa, that additionally stays true to the informal aloha spirit of the unique resort.


Kona Village has loomed giant in my very own reminiscence since I attended my first luau there as a 6-year-old again within the Eighties. My impressions of the tiki torch-lit paths, the pounding surf and the standard South Pacific constructions stayed with me ever since. So I used to be desperate to expertise the brand new incarnation of Kona Village for myself.

Every day Publication

Reward your inbox with the TPG Every day publication

Be part of over 700,000 readers for breaking information, in-depth guides and unique offers from TPG’s specialists


As have many so-called “legacy friends,” who’ve returned to the resort since its reopening to rediscover this nearly-lost basic. And whereas it is true that the present Rosewood-level value level would possibly put the resort over funds for among the resort’s longtime guests, if a keep right here is inside attain, it is effectively value a go to.

Getting there

Kona Village, a Rosewood Resort is in Kailua-Kona, a 10-minute drive from Hawaii’s Ellison Onizuka Kona Worldwide Airport at Keahole (KOA). Taxis, which can be found curbside, and ride-hailing companies will cost round $30 and up relying on the kind of automobile. The resort’s concierge can even prepare transfers for wherever from $158-$325 every approach, relying on the kind of automobile.


In case you are staying for a number of days and planning to discover different components of the island, corresponding to Volcanoes Nationwide Park, and even simply to enterprise alongside the coast for numerous actions or a meal out, you’ll most likely be higher off renting a automobile. Self-parking is free, and valet prices $40 per night time.

Reserving particulars

Kona Village, a Rosewood Resort is just not a part of any of the most important resort chains’ loyalty applications. Nevertheless, the resort does take part in Amex High-quality Motels + Resorts. Which means if in case you have The Platinum Card® from American Categorical or The Enterprise Platinum Card® from American Categorical and e book by means of, you’ll be eligible for perks like upgrades based mostly on availability, a $100 on-property credit score to make use of throughout your keep for issues like meals or spa companies, complimentary each day breakfast for 2 and assured 4 p.m. late checkout.


Sadly, the resort is just not at present a member of different bank card journey portals’ curated luxurious listings, just like the Capital One Premier Assortment or Chase’s Luxurious Resort & Resort Assortment (although you can also make commonplace bookings by means of these and different portals, simply with none value-added perks).

Charges at Kona Village, a Rosewood Resort begin at $1,695 per night time for a garden-view king hale.

Standout options

  • Spacious, secluded hales with ocean and lagoon views that really feel like your personal little piece of paradise.
  • Photogenic infinity swimming pools with choices for each households and adults and loads of seating and daybeds.
  • Scrumptious menus are provisioned with substances from native farms and waters.
  • Intriguing cultural actions, together with a tour of centuries-old petroglyphs on the property’s whorling lava flows.
  • A tranquil spa providing a spread of locally-inspired physique and pores and skin remedies, together with a pohaku hot-stone therapeutic massage.


  • Nightly charges are excessive, even for luxurious lodgings in Hawaii, and on-property costs for meals and drinks can add up shortly.
  • Factors redemption choices are restricted for the reason that resort doesn’t take part in a significant loyalty program.
  • Though the quick and free Wi-Fi enables you to stream no matter you need by yourself units, some vacationers would possibly miss the comfort of a big flat-screen TV, which lodging lack.
  • The resort has all of the required accessibility options, however its sprawling format and coral-gravel paths would possibly show difficult for some vacationers.

The vibe

Kona Village does certainly really feel like slightly village the place, from the second you step out of your automobile towards the open-air foyer, accepting a welcome orchid lei and an ice-cold mai tai, you are a part of the ohana, or household.

The employees, who’re principally native, will cease no matter they occur to be doing to assist with something you want, or simply to offer you a pleasant wave and smile as you cross by in your complimentary loaner bike. Servers within the eating places and bars will know your breakfast order and drink desire by your second day and are blissful to share recommendations on one of the best native swimming spots, hikes and eateries.


The scale of the resort, all 81 acres of it, signifies that even at capability, you will not really feel crowded. All of the hales are stand-alone and set aside from each other, starting from one-bedroom villas designed for romantic sojourns to four-bedroom compounds which can be nice for prolonged households, so you may discover all forms of (high-spending) vacationers vacationing right here.

And is it any marvel? With the crash of the surf, the rustle of swaying palms, the scent of blooming plumeria and the jagged lava-rock formations that striate the property, this really does really feel like one of the best of Hawaii.

The room

Kona Village, a Rosewood Resort has simply 150 hales in a wide range of classes and settings, so your expertise will likely be formed by the backdrop you choose. These of the one-bedroom selection, as an example, embrace Backyard View, Mountain View, Lagoon View, Ocean View, Ocean Entrance, Seashore Entrance, Tree High and Ocean Entrance Legacy, the final with their distinctively formed roofs and lava-rock bluff-top perches.

All, nonetheless, have naturally impressed interiors designed by Nicole Hollis and expansive lanais that add as much as 850 sq. toes of mixed indoor-outdoor house. My Seashore Entrance hale was on the southern fringe of the property, a stable 10-minute stroll from reception and the resort’s primary eating places.

With a pared-down aesthetic, the primary room had sustainably sourced Douglas fir-timbered flooring, partitions and a peaked ceiling. Unobtrusive island-allusive work dotted the partitions right here and there for a contact of coloration.

The king-size mattress — with a subtly textured headboard, satiny white sheets and units of plugs and USB-A ports to both facet — confronted a small sitting space composed of a gray-upholstered love seat, a wooden and wicker chair and a low, stone-topped espresso desk.

There was additionally a sideboard serving because the minibar with a Nespresso machine, a cocktail equipment, and loads of native snacks and spirits, together with Hamaku macadamia nuts, Manoa chocolate bars, Kuleana rum and complimentary Mananalu metal-bottled water.

Past, sliding glass doorways led out to the lanai, which had a large daybed and a spherical desk for 4 overlooking a lush garden, plus an overhead fan for when the Pacific breezes weren’t sufficient to maintain issues cool.

Closet house was at a premium between the slim picket work desk, however adequate for light-packing vacationers, and held a standard woven palm fan and a loaner seaside bag.

Behind this, the lavatory was a stark distinction (in a great way) to the remainder of the room, with counters, flooring tiles and a dramatic freestanding bathtub all produced from easy black basalt — a nod to the encompassing lava fields of Hualalai.

There have been two sinks and a single giant mirror between them with full-size bottles of cleaning soap and lotion.

A water closet with a sliding door held the bathroom.


The big glassed-in walk-in bathe had overhead, wall-mounted and handheld bathe heads. A shelf held full-size Wild Orchard rosemary-basil-mint tub merchandise, whereas the bathtub had a loofah, a bar of cleaning soap, tub salts and a leisure pillow.

Essentially the most inviting half, nonetheless, needed to be the outside bathe, simply beckoning friends to luxuriate underneath its regular stream as birds and butterflies flitted overhead within the afternoon solar.


The unique Kona Village hales didn’t have air-con or televisions, and whereas these iterations have the previous, you will not discover any screens right here, so put together to unplug. Nevertheless, the Wi-Fi is complimentary and works effectively and shortly all through the grounds, so you’ll be able to keep linked as mandatory.


Housekeeping serviced the room in the course of the morning and once more for turndown service whereas I used to be out at dinner, remaking the mattress if I would mussed it, changing any used towels, and customarily protecting the house spotless. Then, all I needed to do was place a supplied coconut on the bench in my entryway to suggest that I didn’t need to be disturbed to take pleasure in all of the privateness I wished.

Food and drinks

With two eating places, three bars, a restaurant and round the clock room service, there are many eating and consuming choices at Kona Village, a Rosewood Resort.


The resort’s signature restaurant is the open-air Moana, which implies ocean in Hawaiian. It’s adjoining to the reception space and the primary, family-friendlier pool.

Open for breakfast and dinner, Moana serves up to date takes on Hawaiian and Pacific Rim delicacies. The breakfast menu consists of mouthwatering specialties like caramelized banana and macadamia-nut pancakes ($25) washed down with Kona espresso ($8), after all.

Dinner is a barely extra formal affair (although flip flops are nonetheless welcome), the place you’ll be able to pattern delicacies like Hawaiian candy shrimp with coconut milk, ginger, lemon, seaweed and candy potato chips ($25); and crispy soft-shell crab with ancho chile, black garlic, charred eggplant, parsnip and inexperienced tomatillo chutney ($27); together with specialty cocktails and an in depth choice of principally U.S. and European wines, all set to the strains of reside music drifting over from Speak Story Bar.

Make sure to search for whereas eating right here to admire artist Kaili Chun’s dramatic cellular, Pe’a, which resembles the sails of historic Polynesian mariners and is produced from invasive Albizia wooden.


Kahuwai Cookhouse and Market

The resort’s different primary restaurant is the Kahuwai Cookhouse, an ode to Hawaii’s paniolo, or cowboy, tradition. It is extra informal than Moana, with seating areas the place you’ll be able to even put your toes within the sand. It serves lunch and dinner, although friends can seize espresso, smoothies and pastries from its cafe and market within the morning.

The common dinner menu at Kahuwai Cookhouse consists of specialties like crispy pork-belly fritters with Huge Island avocado and blue-corn chips ($27); luscious Kona kampachi ceviche with tangy fermented guajillo sauce, Granny Smith apples, roasted corn and inexperienced onion ($31); and numerous kiawe wood-grilled meats like bone-in brief ribs ($54) and meaty ahi tuna with tsirita sauce and charred eggplant ($58).

There are additionally kid-friendly favorites on the keiki menu, together with hen tenders with fries or fruit ($22) and macaroni and cheese ($20). The wine checklist is just not as complete as Moana’s, nevertheless it’s well-curated, together with glasses that vary from $20-$40, and there are signature cocktails just like the smoky Outdated-Usual with bourbon, amaro and caramelized Kona espresso ($24).

Kahuwai Cookhouse additionally hosts numerous specialty occasions, together with Paniolo Evening on Thursdays the place, for $250 per grownup and $90 per youngster, you’ll be able to have your fill from a choice of fresh-caught fish and seafood, made-to-order grilled meats together with succulent native steaks, a salad bar and downhome classics like a hearty loco moko (burger atop white rice), in addition to limitless beer, glasses of wines and specialty cocktails. The resort additionally hosts a standard luau on Wednesdays.

Shipwreck Bar and Speak Story Bar

Along with a poolside bar adjoining to Moana, the place you’ll be able to take pleasure in drinks and light-weight bites like poke bowls ($16-$25), the resort is house to 2 oceanfront watering holes.


The primary, Shipwreck Bar, must be one of the distinctive cocktail lounges in Hawaii. Johnno and Helen Jackson’s yacht, New Moon, really sank, however they’d it dragged up onto the seaside and transformed right into a bar, which has been reconstructed on the resort utilizing scraps from the unique that had been recovered after the tsunami.


You must prioritize a robust sundown mai tai with a darkish rum floater ($27) right here, although there are additionally snacks to take pleasure in poolside, like a hearts of palm salad with kombu-cured tomato and cucumber ($26).

Speak Story Bar is a spot of legend at Kona Village, the place people would come to fulfill and mull over their experiences within the evenings because the tiki torches had been lit after the nightly conch-blowing ceremony. As of late, that spirit of conviviality continues to be going sturdy … as are the libations, which embrace a colourful Blue Hawaii with vodka, native rum, blue curacao and pineapple ($24) and a heady tackle a Vieux Carré known as The Providing with bourbon, cognac and Carpano Antico vermouth ($26).

Room service

The resort affords 24-hour room service. I positioned a late lunch order at round 2:30 p.m. on the day of my arrival, and a scrumptious turkey membership wrap with purple potato chips ($30) arrived at my hale inside 20 minutes.

Facilities and repair

Whether or not you need to whereas away your days by the pool, loosen up with a rejuvenating spa therapy, delve into the realm’s historical past or get your pulse pounding with any variety of land and water actions, the Rosewood Kona Village has you lined.

Swimming pools and seaside

Like a lot of this stretch of the Island of Hawaii, there’s not an enormous swath of swimmable seaside. Nevertheless, Kona Village does have each an off-the-beaten-path black-sand seaside between a few of its oceanfront hales you could swim or snorkel at (together with the general public) and slightly spit of sand in entrance of Moana and the water actions middle that is good for a paddle within the light surf.

The resort additionally has two giant swimming pools with dispensers for sunblock and water close to every. The bigger Moana Pool has an infinity edge that blurs into the Pacific past. It’s surrounded by orange-cushioned loungers and daybeds, which can be found on a first-come-first-serve foundation. There are additionally Jacuzzis and a shallow youngsters splash pool, making it in style with households.

The quieter Shipwreck Pool is on the opposite facet of the Kahuwai Cookhouse from reception and Moana. It, too, has an infinity edge and an embedded scorching tub and is surrounded by each lounge chairs and cabana-like daybeds. However you do not have to hire these, simply get there early and request an empty one, and the employees will likely be blissful to set it up with cushion covers, further towels and ice buckets with complimentary bottles of water.

Just under the infinity edge, there’s additionally a lap pool. In entrance of that may be a sandy strip with umbrella-shaded lounge chairs.


Artwork fans ought to take pleasure in Kaili Chun’s sculpture of hand-hammered fish-like shapes alongside the wall to the restrooms entitled ‘Opelu.


Water actions

Though leisure is perhaps the order of the day on a Hawaiian trip, friends can discover the dramatic shoreline with actions courtesy of the Kilo Kai ocean middle.


There is no higher method to begin the day than with a guided outrigger canoe paddle at dawn ($75 per particular person), particularly in the course of the whale-watching season from December to April. You can too e book a extra non-public outrigger sail for 60-90 minutes, or just borrow snorkeling gear to discover the realm’s coral reefs.

Asaya Spa

Rosewood’s proprietary spa idea, which is supposed to advertise alignment between the thoughts, physique and spirit, is known as Asaya. The outpost at Kona Village is among the model’s most distinctive because of its dramatic location proper in one of many space’s boulder-strewn lava fields.

In truth, friends take a picket walkway over the jagged rocks and previous a fireplace spout to achieve the boys’s and ladies’s locker areas, which have outside showers and swimming pools in addition to saunas and steam rooms.

There’s additionally a coed lounge space with soothing teas and wholesome house-made snacks looking towards Hualalai and a salon in the primary constructing for any glow-ups you would possibly want throughout your keep.

The remedies are regionally impressed and embrace the Ho’oli Cocoon, which begins with a sea sponge lymphatic energizer earlier than a lomi-lomi therapeutic massage carried out with scorching lava stones ($650). Pores and skin remedies characteristic Dr. Barbara Sturm merchandise and embrace the signature Sturm Glow facial ($275-$395) with a mild therapeutic massage and exfoliation, then a hydrating masque and eye gel so that you look positively glowing (and fewer wrinkled) after a couple of days within the solar.


Health middle

Subsequent door to the spa, the health middle features a full set of Technogym weight machines, cardio tools like ellipticals and stationary bikes, and free weights. There’s additionally a yoga and stretching room and an outside deck with extra treadmills, rowing machines and Peloton bikes.

Friends are supplied with headphones to reinforce the exercise movies on the machines, plus dry and damp chilled towels and bottled water.


There are additionally tennis courts close by for visitor use.

Children Membership

There’s a small exercise membership for youngsters known as the Rosewood Explorers Keiki Membership close to the spa and health middle. Though there are services for arts and crafts in addition to storytime and an outside garden for video games, most actions see the tykes getting out to the pool or seaside as they get to know extra about Hawaii’s legends and landscapes.

Cultural excursions

A part of what makes Kona Village so particular is the truth that it is on an historic Hawaiian settlement whose historical past dates again over 1,000 years. Friends can expertise that heritage with a wide range of excursions and experiences on the resort’s Kauluola Cultural Middle.

Maybe essentially the most intriguing is a stroll alongside the picket boardwalks that traverse the otherworldly lava fields, studying concerning the mysterious petroglyphs carved into the rocks depicting each each day actions and the arrival of Europeans.

There are additionally excursions that element the resort’s 21 archaeological websites, that are nonetheless evident throughout the property, together with a royal bathing spot and the previous village cooking pit.


Friends can be taught concerning the indigenous natural world in addition to conventional Hawaiian arts and crafts on the cultural middle, too.


Between reception and the Kahuwai Cookhouse, the resort fields a small, upscale boutique promoting numerous vacation-skewing sundries like swimsuits, sun shades and jewellery, and stuffed animals, books and kids’s toys.

Out and about

The resort can prepare for adventures farther afield, together with visits to Nahuku, or the Thurston lava tube, strolls by means of the Waimea Farmers Market (Saturday mornings) to fulfill native purveyors, hikes in ‘Akara Falls State Park and rodeos at Parker Ranch, amongst different actions.

Friends with rental automobiles would possibly need to enterprise north to the spectacular Kohala Coast for excursions like a strenuous hike at Poholu Valley. A day-long journey would possibly embrace a helicopter tour of Volcanoes Nationwide Park and a snorkeling session to see the tropical fish at Kealakekua (previously often known as Captain Prepare dinner’s Bay).


Kona Village, a Rosewood Resort has 9 accessible room and villa sorts with options like low-gradient ramps with handrails, wheelchair-accessible doorways, roll-in showers with seize bars and benches in addition to bogs with seize bars, tubs with detachable seats and wheelchair-accessible lanais.

There are additionally communication-accessible options like visible hearth alarms, doorbells with enhanced audio and visible options, Braille plaques, and transportable tools to make telephones TTY and deaf-accessible.

To make sure that your lodging meet your necessities, it is best to e book instantly with the resort and go over the precise options of your room.


The resort’s widespread areas all characteristic ramps and areas accessible by wheelchair, and there are chairlifts into the swimming pools. Friends can request golf carts for transportation across the property, however many of the paths are sandy, so wheelchair customers would possibly must make particular preparations to get round.

Trying out


For practically 5 many years, Kona Village was one in all Hawaii’s most iconic seaside resorts. After a much-anticipated multi-year reimagination by actual property funding firm Kennedy Wilson and an up-market polish by Rosewood, it’s already effectively on its method to re-establishing that fame.

Its excessive value level and atmosphere of higher-touch luxurious are certain to exclude some “legacy friends.” Nevertheless, if the resort’s nightly charges are inside your funds, there are few locations in Hawaii that may present such a dreamy backdrop for a tropical getaway. Simply ensure that your funds additionally permits for a not-to-miss spa therapy and some further orchid-garnished mai tais at Shipwreck Bar to take full benefit of the expertise.

Associated studying:

Related Articles

Back to top button