Kona Journals

The Black Sands of Kona

Best of IgoUgo

A February 2005 trip to Kona by ideagirl

Kona Billfisher Photo, Kona, Hawaii More Photos
Quote: The slower pace of Kona was exactly what we needed when, on the recommendation of a relative who also loves to travel, we blindly booked a week on the Big Island. Our needs were simple: quiet time, good sushi, and a deserted beach. We weren't disappointed.

The Black Sands of Kona

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

The beautiful views... Photo, Kona, Hawaii
Quote:
This is a very small town with a lot of character and small town charm that hasn't been lost to the big corporate franchises yet. Just walking along the seawall through town is entertaining. I especially liked the farmer's market in the church parking lot Thursday through Sundays. Besides an abundance of locally grown pears, bananas, and avocados the size of softballs, several locals offer imported and locally made items that range from kiddy trinkets to carved koa bowls and boxes. There are many artifacts in this area of historical import - this was the home of Kamehameha the Great. Many sites have been lost to looters and nature. Don't pass up the chance to see what remains of the sacre...Read More

Kona Billfisher

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel | "Kona Islander Inn"

Kona Billfisher Photo, Kona, Hawaii
Quote:
I found the Kona Islander through a fluke - I called a woman with a condo to rent, but she was booked and suggested I call the Kona Islander Inn (http://www.konahawaii.com). It was a relatively short-notice booking, and I was beginning to think that we would have to break down and pay the $200-plus per night the big resorts were asking for. At this point, paying those prices would have put us on the Kool-Aid and peanut butter meal plan, so I was relieved to find a studio "condo" for $89 per night. The Kona Islander is of the new breed of condotels that are sweeping the state of Hawaii. (Please see my experiences article on the condotel phenomenon). One of the best features of t...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 15, 2005

Kona Billfisher
75-5841 Alii Drive
Kona, Hawaii
(808) 329-9277

Bubba Burgers

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Bubba Burgers Photo, Kona, Hawaii
Quote:
Bubba's Burger was right up the street from our hotel. Every write-up I read on the place said they made the island's best burgers, so after a hard day laying on the beach, propping up books, and wiping sand out of our eyes, we put them to the test. Their motto, "We cheat tourists, drunks and attorneys," was an immediate cause of concern for us, being two drunken tourists who work for an attorney. We looked at each other, swallowed hard, and ventured inside, being careful not to casually throw around terms like "discovery" and "in limine motions." The nice girls behind the counter didn't seem at all threatening, and once we had determined we wouldn't be served any spit burgers, we proceeded t...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 17, 2005

Bubba Burgers
75-5705 Kuakini Highway
Kona, Hawaii 96740
(808) 329-2966

Hula's Bar & Lei Stand

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Hula's"

Hula's Bar & Lei Stand Photo, Kona, Hawaii
Quote:
Hula's is a brand new restaurant in downtown Kona, which explains why I don't have the street address or phone number. They aren't listed in the yellow pages yet, and didn't have any business cards out. It is really easy to find, though--head over to the palace museum on the waterfront (there is only one), cross the street, and look up. They are on the second floor in a partially open loft. The atmosphere was nice--a funky kind of Hawaiian, with colorful murals on the walls and a view of the pier. We sat at a table facing the ocean; it was a pleasant spot for lunch, overlooking the lapping waves. The menu consists of American and seafood/local items, mostly of the sandwich variety....Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 17, 2005

Hula's Bar & Lei Stand
134 Kapahulu Ave./2nd Floor Waikiki Grand Hotel
Kona, Hawaii
(808) 923-0669

The Two Faces of Condotels

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
"Condotel" is a word that has been cropping up more and more in the last few years as an alternative to hotels while vacationing. I learned firsthand that Hawaii is rife with them. Originally touted as an alternative to luxury hotels and resorts, the term has come to mean any hotel-to-condo conversion that caters to vacationers. What is a condotel? When an aging hotel is losing money, a developer comes along and buys it up, paying for upgrades and room conversions. Usually, an on-site property management company is then hired to run a front desk and handle maintenance and room booking for unit owners. The rooms are sold as "condos," sometimes with a retrofitted kitchen or ki...Read More