Big Island Hawaii Travel Series Chapter 6 Condo

Daily sunset from the Hale Kona Kai condoWe have been going to the Big Island of Hawaii for a few years now – and we have happily gotten into the rhythm of the Islands pretty quickly.

Our routine is pretty straightforward – we fly Alaska Airlines out of Victoria B.C. (via the Horizon Air partner) into Seattle-Tacoma (SEA). The departure is early (just after 6 AM) so it is an early rise. Our flight out of Seattle (to Hawaii) after a very brief flight from Victoria to Seattle is mid-morning putting us into Kona, Hawaii at around 1:30 PM local time. Grab the rental car and the first stop is Kona Brewing Company for a relaxing lunch and brew while we chill out from the flight.

From there we hop over to the Kona CostCo for a quick shop the cover the first week or essentials and anything we think we might need a supply of – generally we buy a bit too much but it all gets used. Because we are staying in a full featured condo, we have a full gourmet kitchen and access to an outdoor BBQ – so it is pretty much like home, so we shop accordingly.

Our Condo, no secret folks, is the Hale Kona Kai We have spent around 90 days there – and we are sold on it. We have heard expressions like “We have been to the Big Island a few times and stayed at a few different places – and when we find the Hale Kona Kai, we stopped looking…” Comments like that are gold and it’s not surprising – but it is how we feel. On our last visit we got to tour around 4 or 5 other units – they are all good but ours is the clear gem. You can look up Hale Kona Kai on TripAdvisor.com and you will find, year after year, that the Hale Kona Kai is the #1 most favorably rated condo on the Big Island of Hawaii – look it up.

Now there are lots of great places to stay on the Big Island – like I alluded to in a previous chapter – but we find that a good condo affords a level of freedom that is not really matched with any other style of accommodation; come and go as you please, eat out or cook in as you wish and the level of affordability is generally unmatched – they are simply cheaper than comparably sized hotel digs.

The Hale Kona Kai is also a smaller unit – so it is quieter and more intimate. It is also one of the few places hanging right over the water. Our unit is so close to the ocean, you can fish right off the balcony. The sea wall, in case you are wondering is around 12’ – and during the tragedy of the Japan tsunami, the ocean surge did not breach the Hale Kona Kai sea wall – like it did with some Alii Drive businesses.

The Hale Kona Kai is very popular with Canadians for some reason – that is not saying that you will not meet a diverse collection of folks… We did and during our last visit formed some life long friendships. During one afternoon as the sea side pool (yup, a sea side pool…) there was a couple from Calgary, a couple from Sooke and a family from Vancouver.

The Hale Kona Kai is on a quiet side street (waterside) that includes the World class restaurant Huggos – and The Royal Kona featuring Don the Beachcomber – home of the Worlds first (and arguably best) Mai Tai!

The Hale Kona Kai is a 7 minute walk from an ABC Store – but then again so is virtually everything in Hawaii! The main Kona village in Kailua Bay (on Alii Drive) starts 6 minutes away on foot and the heart of the village is a good 15-20 minutes to town center. In the next chapter, we will start talking about food and drink!

We have been going to the Big Island of Hawaii for a few years now – and we have happily gotten into the rhythm of the Islands pretty quickly. Our routine is pretty straightforward – we fly Alaska Airlines out of Victoria B.C. (via the Horizon Air partner) into Seattle-Tacoma (SEA). The departure is early…