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Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay
Royal Kona Resort
Kona Coast Resort
Four Seasons Resort Hualalai
Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Kailua-Kona
Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel
Kona Seaside Hotel
Kona Reef, A Raintree Vacation Club Resort
Kanaloa at Kona by Castle
In Kona, Hawaii, you can get sporty in the wind and waves or chill out with seahorses. Oh, and do we need to mention that the tropical weather in this region makes for a fine cup of coffee? And you thought the local surf crowd was fuelled by a good night’s sleep and vitamin D!
Got a few days off? You could call out and camp out in your backyard for a weekend, or you could book a holiday to Kona and hang 10 with dolphins and watch the sunset over Kealakekua Bay. No contest.
Located on the west coast of the Big Island of Hawaii, Kona is divided into a North and South District, comprising several towns, including Kailua-Kona, Kealakekua, Honaunau and Honalo. You’ll have no problem finding accommodation in Kona’s waterfront areas, as luxey resorts and cosy bungalows line the sandy coast.
Want to make your trip out of this world? Check out the Astronaut Ellison S. Onizuka Space Center (built in memory of Hawaii’s first astronaut), and try the space travel simulator. And you thought our flights to Kona were exciting! Next, head to Huilihe’e Palace. Today, it’s a museum run by the Daughters of Hawaii, but back in the day it was where the royal family spent their vacations. It was kind of like a resort on steroids…or on Kona coffee, we guess.
Take the next step on your inner journey by doing yoga on the beach or, for a body you can bounce an American quarter off of, on a stand-up paddleboard. Good thing the water’s warm, huh?
If you want to see how Hawaiians get around on a board, take a surf lesson. Already know how to hang 10? Catch a big one at Kahalau’u Beach. And if you want to see Kona the way the fish do, book the Underwater Submarine Adventure and practice holding your breath. Just kidding about that last part.
Now that you’re sporting that sandy-haired, copper-toned look—and your tummy is rumbling louder than the waves hitting the shore—it’s time for a plate lunch. Don’t be afraid to try something completely local. Some of the best food in Kona comes from little shacks on the beach.
Ready to see the rest of the Big Island? Take Saddle Island Road up to active volcano Mauna Kea. Hike around, watch the lava flow and gape in awe. Then head down the mountain to Hilo, the island’s other big town.
Touch down at Kona International Airport (KOA), about 12km north of downtown Kailua-Kona. Unless you want to give yourself over to laid-back “island time”, driving wins out over public transport. Lucky for you, lastminute.com.au has some fantastic car hire deals, too. So fill the boot with your snorkelling gear and cruise over to one of those beachfront hotels in Kona, stat.
So when is the “best time” for you to sip a darn good cup of coffee and swim with dolphins and seahorses? “Any time” would be the correct answer. If you’re coming in July and itching to do some shopping, check out the Christmas in July Art, Gift & Craft Fair. Feeding your shopping addiction and checking people off your list five months early? Double win.
Who makes the best mai tais? You’ll be the judge of that at Don the Beachcomber’s Mai Tai Festival on 13 August. In September, Roast & Roots will be the best place to guzzle and pig out on local coffee and cuisine. No matter when you start your island getaway, we’ve got candy-sweet deals on Kona accommodation and airfare.
After watching the sun set over the water, get back to Kailua-Kona, a city with a hopping nightlife. After all, what’s the point of a Hawaiian holiday if you don’t throw back a few tinnies at a beachfront bar? We’re sure you can find one with a straw roof and sandy floor. The best place to find local brews? Why, Kona Brewing Company, of course.
When you have a nice buzz that makes you want to show off those sweet dance moves, head inland a few blocks to hit the nightclubs. Close them down, then close out a whirlwind trip in one of the Kona hotels near the airport. Pro Tip: If you indulge in a few of Hawaii’s special mai tais, don’t forget that coconut water and bag of beans you picked up at the Kona Farmers Market.
Checking out places to stay in Kona for just a day or two in paradise? In Kona, dolphins are a big deal. You can even swim with them in the area’s largest city, Kailua-Kona, with the help of island guides. So, watch a few episodes of Flipper in preparation for making new friends.
If you’re thinking, “That’s nice, but where’s the coffee?”, wander up the mountain a bit to the Organic Kona Coffee Farm & Mill Tour. You can explore the region’s Japanese-American heritage and slurp down some samples of premium joe. Once you guzzle the world-class Kona brews, you'll never look at your morning Nescafe the same way again.
When you’re all keyed up on the caffeine, head to the beach for snorkelling, windsurfing and getting your lazy on. Which beach, you ask? Snorkelers can hit up Honaunau Beach in South Kona while North Kona’s Kua Bay Beach is a quiet local favourite with calm currents. Best way to spend one day in Kona ever.
Now, if you only had a laid-back (or lei-ed back?) way to book your Kona holiday, you’d be set. Well, stock up on sunscreen and slap on your “rubbah slippah” (you may know them as thongs), because lastminute.com.au has your back. We know planning is hard, so we’ve put all the best deals together on our little island on the web. Wanna see the other islands? Book other Hawaii hotels and explore the eight inhabited islands of the “Aloha State”, all without saying goodbye to your savings.