The Royal Kona Review

FIVE stars for the service staff at this resort!  Every person behind a desk, in the lobby, carrying bags, cleaning rooms – every single one was as friendly and nice as I could hope for and as helpful as possible under the circumstances set forth by the owners.

That’s Huggo’s in the lower left corner – that will be important later.KonaHuggos

The resort grounds are beautiful and well-maintained.KonaSharksKonaTrees KonaFlames

The pool is clean.KonaPool

The private lagoon spectacular.KonaLagoon KonaLagoon2 KonaLagoonEntry

And the views are stunning!KonaRestaurantView KonaCoast

The problem begins when you arrive in your room.KonaBayTower

Hotel, motel or resort, a traveler requires certain elements for a comfortable stay, be it for business or pleasure.

1) a comfortable bed

2) hot water and good pressure in a clean shower

3) an internet connection (OK Mom – maybe YOU don’t but every other human on the planet…)

4) a passable cup of coffee

First problem – no king bed.  Two beds.  Neither big enough for both of us.  Neither comfortable enough for either of us.  This mattress has been slept on since the late sixties, I am pretty sure.  But I was hot and tired and willing to make the best of it.  Mostly due to the 6th-floor view and the roar of the surf that would rock me to sleep.  If I had somewhere to sleep, which I didn’t.  After 3 nights on this mattress I was forced to seek massage therapy for my shoulder.DSC05261 copy

Second problem- Now the shower was clean and I had no complaints of the temperature and the pressure was good enough, however the shower still presented an irritation.  This flimsy shower curtain with no weight of it’s own and no weights at the bottom wraps itself around your wet skin like saran wrap as the cold air rushes in at the bottom.  I can’t stand the thought of all the wet skin it’s been wrapped around before mine!  Only option was to shoot the water at the curtain to keep it away from your skin and dash in fast to rinse soap or shampoo.

Third problem – This is where it gets ugly folks.  Like all resort-class hotels, they charged us a parking fee and I got past it.  I knew it was coming and I just smiled and put it on my credit card.  But for some dumb reason, I thought the internet was included.  Stupid on my part – I know, but I wasn’t properly prepared for the extra fee.  Then I found out how EXCESSIVE it was and I about came unglued.  We decided to pay the $10 for the night and look for a place to WiFi for free the next day.  So we paid the $10 only to find out that it was $10 per device!  So they wanted $10 for Jeremy to connect and $10 for me to connect.  Not just a “per-room” fee, no!  This is per device – per day.  So they wanted us to pay $60 to connect 2 computers to the internet for a total of maybe 2 or 3 hours each day.  I pay $45 for a month of internet at home and sometimes when the kids are there, we can have 6 or 7 devices all humming along connected to the internet at the same time.

Now this took me to the front desk with a few words.  The helpless woman behind the desk knew exactly how stupid the policy is and tried her best to sound confident while offering the only lame excuse she had been told to repeat, “We don’t charge a resort fee.”

Blink, blink.  A resort fee?

I paid $75 a night for a cottage in Pahoa and $110 a night for a condo in Poipu.  Both gave me screaming internet for FREE and did NOT charge a resort fee.  Motel 6 doesn’t charge a resort fee and they give me free parking and internet!  They even give me a comfortable bed to sleep in and two packages of mediocre drinkable coffee!

And there is no Motel 6 anywhere with the views of this spectacular Kona Coast.  Grrrrrr.  I refused to pay for internet and went to bed without posting to my blog.

Fourth problem – I’m failing to sleep in a room at a resort called the Royal Kona.  I was kinda expecting amazing coffee in the room.  Wow – what a huge disappointment.  It had a big label reading “Hawaiian Coffee” and I would ask them to stop advertising that if I were in the Kona business in Kona.  It was absolutely the worst coffee we have ever tasted.  We threw it down the drain and we are SEERIOUSLEE addicted to our coffee!  Huggo’s on the Rocks (cocktails with a surf view at night and coffee with your toes in the sand 6 to 11am) has GREAT coffee and free internet – sits next door to Royal Kona.  Rock on Huggo’s! 

The problem clearly lies with owners and management making decisions to provide the cheapest possible amenities while still charging resort prices.  This fabulous view starts at $220 a night!

Buy some 5-star mattresses!  Upgrade to mid-grade shower curtains!  Give each room one complementary pot of REALLY GOOD Kona coffee so they go out and buy MORE to bring home.  It makes good business sense and it stimulates your local economy.  Charge ONE fee per STAY so each guest can enjoy internet – it costs you NOTHING more than what you are already paying!

And last but not least – raise your employees wages.  I have no idea what you pay them, but based on your obvious desire to spend less and earn more, I know it’s not enough.  They are just awesome and trying to have your back in the face of the complaints they receive for all the shoddy crap you make your clients put up with.

One more bonus besides the awesome view.  Huggo’s on the Rocks is right next door so you get free music!  Some is great and some is not, but it’s free – until the Royal Kona figures out a way to charge you extra for it.KonaLanaiViewNight

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