Choosing where to stay on the Big Island can be a challenge. From my experience, I think that the Waikoloa Beach Resort on the Kohala Coast is a great base for a Big Island vacation. I stayed there earlier this year and really found it to be very convenient for exploring the island. Here are the top seven reasons I think Waikoloa is a great place to stay on Hawaii’s Big Island.
1. Location, Location, Location!
Waikoloa Beach Resort is located on the sunny Kohala Coast, which is a great place to stay in Hawaii to avoid rain year round. The resort is only about a 20 minute drive North of the Kona Airport.
2. Moderately Priced Accommodations
In addition to sunny skies, the Kohala Coast is also known for its luxury accommodations. For Kohala Coast standards, Waikoloa has some moderately priced hotels plus condomininium resorts that range from budget to high-end. We’ve not yet stayed at the Waikoloa Marriott, but we have stayed at the Hilton Waikoloa Village. For condos, we really like staying in Hali’i Kai with their fabulous oceanfront pool and restaurant. We also found a bargain staying at Waikoloa Beach Villas, though they’re not actually on a beach.
3. Anehoomalu Bay
Anehoomalu Bay (also known as “A-bay”) is a lovely beach that’s great for picnics, sunsets, and relaxing. Sea turtles (honu) like this beach, too. A reef partially protects the bay, so it makes for a fairly safe area for water sports. Always check conditions before going out in the water. Several boat tour companies have operations from this bay, that makes it convenient for finding water tours.
Hawaiians were aqua-culture geniuses and you can see some fine examples of ancient Hawaiian fishponds in Waikoloa Beach Resort between the Marriott and Anehoomalu Bay. The ponds are well preserved and marked with educational plaques. Each time I passed by these ponds, I couldn’t help but stop and admire them. (See one of the photos here.)
5. Petroglyphs and Kings Trail
Waikoloa Beach Resort is home to many excellent petroglyphs. You can find them along the Kings Trail that runs through the resort. For those who don’t like trails, then you’ll find some excellent petroglyphs stationed in the Kings Shops.
6. Excellent Golf Courses
Waikoloa is home to two beautiful golf courses.
7. Convenient Shops and Restaurants
Kings Shops and Queens’ Marketplace host a range of shops and restaurants to suit any budget. These resort shops also have some very good free entertainment. We enjoyed being able to walk to the shops and to dinner. We particularly enjoyed dining at Roy’s and Sansei. For a quick bite, the food court in Queens Marketplace was always convenient and family-friendly. There’s a gourmet grocery store in Queens Marketplace that’s great for picking up snacks and picnic supplies.
You can see all the photos we took during our stay at Waikoloa Beach Resort. Have you stayed in the Waikoloa Beach Resort? What did you think of it? Did you enjoy your stay?