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Waikoloa Beach Marriott – Hawaii ☆☆☆☆

June 17, 2011

Thats right. Two months later and we’re back to Kona for another leisurely visit. This time we decided to see how the Waikoloa Beach Marriott has held up over the years. I was 14 last time I stepped foot on this property (when my agent had booked me for my first ever fashion show). Oh how I wish that I could find the ridiculous photos of me working the catwalk sporting the latest in Speedo swimwear and adolescent casual island wear for merchants such as Ross and Macy’s. Don’t you miss 1990’s fashion… maybe I’ll find some comedic images later and post them for added viewer amusement. The resort looked fine to me back then, but the convention/conference area was the extent of my Marriott experience, so I was curious to see the new and improved grounds.

We were pleased to be upgraded to a pool view room with a lovely, just through the trees panorama of A-Bay. The room and hotel grounds had obviously been recently renovated as everything has been noticeably refreshed. The only thing that needed upgrading in my opinion was the TV. A flat screen would have been nice. The room was a little on the small side and became hard to navigate when my husband utilized the desk area to do emails. Other than that, we were delightfully surprised by how nice of an accommodation it really was. Our room (2294) was right next to the fire escape which gave us easy and convenient pool access. The infinity pool was quite aesthetically pleasing but the water was freezing. The rest of the property grounds are absolutely beautiful. Inevitably, this part of the island is very windy, so that does get a little irksome at times. Pool staff are rather strange when it comes to the process of picking up and dropping off towels. All other hotel staff were magnificent though.

We did make use of the gym facility during our visit. The fitness equipment is amply stocked and everything has obviously been kept current and is rather clean.

The King’s Shops are right across the street (and Queen’s shops just a little further up the road), so you couldn’t ask for a better location with regard to shopping and dining selection. The Marriott offers the choice of an a la carte menu or buffet breakfast. Both were good but the buffet wasn’t worth the $29 in my opinion.

Overall we couldn’t believe how great this accommodation was for the price paid (approximately 40% cheaper than other 4 star resorts in the area). We almost gave the Waikoloa Beach Marriott a miss after reading a multitude of negative reviews. We’re glad to have given it a chance… it was surprisingly exceptional in almost every aspect and we’ll most likely return to this financially feasible hotel in the future!

In addition, we set off on an around the island drive to perhaps evoke a multitude of childhood memories. My husband’s patience was effectively tested as he endured the approximate 5 hour drive with me conducting an almost constant narrative pointing out every place I’d ever lived or spent any significant amount of time. (e.g. Annoyingly I can indeed point out every health food store from start to finish.) We had lunch at Cafe Pesto in Hilo and then stopped in at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park for a quick hike through a glorious lava tube. If anyone has experienced the Volcano Mist Cottage please let me know how it is. I hope to book in with them next time we’re in the area.

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19 Comments leave one →
  1. June 17, 2011 10:11 pm

    Heather thanks for the update on an ‘old favorite’. It will be worth revisiting on my next visit.
    It will be Fun to see what photos you post from days gone by….

  2. June 22, 2011 8:14 pm

    I would like to have a vacation to Hawaii one day! So expensive to fly with 3 kids, not to mention it’s a LONG flight! I wanted to let you know that I am passing the Versatile Blogger Award to you, you can check it out on my site from today’s post! http://smartfoodandfit.com/2011/06/versatile-blogger-award/

    • June 22, 2011 9:14 pm

      Thanks so much for that Lisa. 🙂 I hope you and the kids make it to Hawaii for a vacation at some point in the near future! (I know all about LONG flights but can’t imagine making big trips with 3 kids!)

  3. July 16, 2011 7:05 pm

    It always amazes me that almost every hotel has reviews that are extremely positive and others that are extremely negative. The vote is never unanimous, and while helpful, the experience different guests have had with a facility may have very little to do with the experience you’re going to have. It’s the same with restaurants, movies, books, and anything else people can have an opinion about. Your travel reports always seem even-handed and balanced, though. And that adds to your credibility. Where to next?

    • July 17, 2011 11:06 am

      Good to see you again!

      I’m so glad that you always take notice of my fair accommodation judgements. Clearly I can be blatantly honest in my observations, but that is what I always look for in a good review. Relaying an honest opinion and giving credit where and when it is due (or not) is my goal. I often times send my completed review onto the hotel so they’re aware of a guests experience. By many of the responses I’ve received back, it only improves service for future guests… or so they say!

      I have a few incomplete reviews of some hotels in Europe from a few weeks ago that should be up soon, but no trips planned in the immediate future… except for a brief hospital stay when baby Atkins decides to make an appearance. Hope you’re having a delightful summer!

  4. July 18, 2011 7:54 am

    Congratulations, Heather! That’s great news. I hope all goes well, and that the hospital gets a good review.

  5. August 18, 2011 7:44 pm

    The hotel looks like very comfortable!

  6. November 22, 2011 8:16 am

    So helpful for when I’m about to travel, I’ll stay here too! And I cannot believe that you have not traveled since this post 😉 Hope all is well! Still meaning to write hotel reviews of a plethora of trips I’ve had and will have soon.

  7. December 13, 2011 8:41 pm

    Wow, sorry about my delayed response, I’ve been so busy with my new baby. We did however just get back from the Four Seasons Manele resort on Lanai, so hopefully I’ll be able to find some time to review it. We had stayed at the Four Seasons Koele on Lanai before, but this was a completely different experience at this other resort. I’ll do my best to post soon! 🙂

  8. March 29, 2012 10:03 pm

    Find those old catwalk photos! How funny. I’m sure you looked cute anyway. I used to go to Waikoloa Village every year when I was little and I went out of my way to go there recently. As a child it was a playground but as an adult it was a place to eat tropical fruits, shop, and enjoy romance. 🙂 Did you shop at the King and Queen Shops?

    • March 30, 2012 10:08 am

      Lol yes I need to find those pictures. I’ve moved so many times since then (14 years old) and everything is scattered about in various locations:)

      I always love visiting the king and queen shops when vacationing in that area. Queen shops has a magnificent specialty food market and who can resist a good ol’ ABC store whilst window shopping at the kings shops. A few nice restaurants as well.

      I’m glad you too have fond big island memories. Thanks for reading!

      • March 30, 2012 11:41 am

        You’re welcome and thanks for sharing!

  9. Joe permalink
    May 7, 2012 11:14 am

    How far is the Volcanoes National Park from the hotel?

    • May 7, 2012 4:47 pm

      Driving through Kona would take probably an hour and a half to reach the park, and through Hilo a good 2 hours? Depends on traffic. Also, allow time to sightsee along the way. Another option is to go over saddle road (through the middle of the island) but that is a whole different type of adventure. Barren, wasteland type of scenery. Still beautiful in its own way and It’s nice to visit the observatory if you’re headed this way too. Hope that helps some!

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