These B&Bs are the best of Kona’s luxury offerings, and each one offers something a little different; families, honeymooners, even free-spirited adventurers are sure to find a good fit. If you’re looking for a classic B&B experience on a budget, check out Kona’s best B&Bs under $150 a night.
Owners Kona Dave and Wendi once worked with rock stars; now they want all their guests to feel like rock stars. Their love, attention, and utter dedication to ensuring that guests at Honu Kai (74-1529 Hao Kuni St., Kailua-Kona, 808/329-8676, $160-195) have the best (and most Zen-like) experience at their home and on the Big Island makes this property attractive. Before guests even get here, Wendi emails them a questionnaire so that she can begin preparing for their arrival. Guest rooms are pleasant with Hawaiian decor, large beds, and a small bathroom. One of the rooms has wheelchair accessibility. Amenities include access to a private beach at the Mauna Lani in Kohala, free use of beach gear, laundry facilities, a cooking area, cable television, and WiFi. A two-night minimum is required and no children are allowed.
Wendi and Kona Dave are in the know (e.g., they can call ahead get a restaurant reservation even when one might not be available). The location is in a residential neighborhood just 10 minutes north of Ali‘i Drive and 20 minutes from the airport—ideal for those who want to be close to the action but not right in it.
Hawaiian Oasis Bed and Breakfast
A perfect place for honeymooners and large families alike, beautiful Hawaiian Oasis Bed and Breakfast (74-4958 Kiwi St., Kailua-Kona, 808/937-6453, $195-305 per room or $1,000 for entire house) has Hawaii-meets-India decor that makes it feel dreamy and exotic—especially the Aloha Room and the Waterfall Suite. This is the kind of house—with the view—that you wish you owned. It has it all: poolside outdoor kitchen, hot tub, and tennis courts. Guests have the entire house to themselves, as it is solely a guest residence. In fact, oftentimes the house is rented as a single unit for large families or parties. Amenities include free laundry, common TV, and WiFi. The bottom rooms are wheelchair accessible.
When the house isn’t rented as an entire estate, hot breakfast is is served on the balcony. Currently, the host of the property is Jenifer, who has years of experience as a concierge to the stars at the big resorts. In addition to the great stories she has to tell, she is eager to assist guests in booking excursions and recommending restaurants. Rumor is that the property is for sale, so make sure Jenifer is your host before you book!
The view of Kealakekua Bay from the Luana Inn (82-5856 Napo‘opo‘o Rd., Captain Cook, 808/328-2612, $155-205) is priceless, but it’s available at an extremely reasonable price. Ken and Erin have fully dedicated their time to this business—so much so that they have made their own booklet of restaurant reviews. The rooms overlooking the pool/hot tub are identically furnished to look like an IKEA showroom and include a kitchenette with sink, microwave, mini-fridge, and coffeemaker. WiFi and TVs with DVD players are also available. The rooms are large with king-size beds; however, the bathrooms are shower only with no tub. The large, nutritious breakfast is served in the adjoining main house (again, with the view), and communal hangout space is downstairs.
Located on the back of this large property is the Ohana Cottage, which houses a full kitchen and room for four—but no ocean view. A short-stay fee is charged for stays under three nights. The location is fantastic, only a few minutes’ drive down to the bay for snorkeling and kayaking or to Pu‘uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park for some sightseeing.
Rainbow streamers and a Buddha in a butterfly banner greet you at Dragonfly Ranch (near Pu‘uhonua O Honaunau, Captain Cook, 808/328-2159 or 800/487-2159, $100-250), an open, airy place, where the outside and inside boundaries begin to blur.
Free-spirited adventurers will feel comfortable here; others may not. Maybe that’s why owner Barbara Moore has posted on her website a piece called “A Marriott We Are Not.” The hosts are friendly and inviting, with an alternative, counterculture, new age leaning. The Dragonfly offers “tropical fantasy lodging” set among thick vegetation on the way down to Pu‘uhonua O Honaunau. Intriguing rooms range from the Honeymoon Suite (featuring a king-size bed in a screened outdoor room), the airy Lomi Lomi suite, and the more private Writer’s Studio to the smaller Dragonfly and Dolphin rooms. All include a small refrigerator and basic cooking apparatus, indoor bathroom, private outdoor shower, cable TV, stereo, and small library. There is a three-night minimum, with discounts for longer stays. Breakfast is a dream come true for those who love chia seeds, gluten-free bread, or organic yogurt with flax. Occasionally, alternative healing arts and wellness workshops are given.
It’s the perfect place for a honeymoon or those looking to rekindle romance. The Holualoa Inn (76-5932 Mamalahoa Hwy., Holualoa, 808/324-1121, $295-405) was the retirement home of Thurston Twigg-Smith, CEO of the Honolulu Advertiser and member of an old kama‘aina family. In 1987 it was converted into a bed-and-breakfast.
The home is a marvel of taste and charm—light, airy, and open. Top to bottom, it is the natural burnished red of cedar and eucalyptus. The front lanai is pure relaxation, and stained glass puncturing the walls here and there creates swirls of rainbow light. A pool table holds king’s court in the commodious games room, as doors open to a casual yet elegant sitting room where breakfast is served. A back staircase leads to a gazebo. From here, Kailua-Kona glows with the mistiness of an Impressionist painting, and 50 acres are dotted with coffee trees and cattle. Just below is the inn’s swimming pool and off to the side is the hot tub.
The six island-theme rooms, each with private bathroom and superb views of the coast, all differ in size and decor. The Coffee Cherry Room has a private hot tub. Other rooms offer private sitting areas and sofa beds that can accommodate a third person. The communal sitting area and kitchen area are available for guest use. Unlike traditional B&Bs, this place has a staff including a professional chef, who has worked at some of the best restaurants on the island. There is a two-night minimum and discounts for stays longer than seven days. Breakfast is included. No preteen children, please.