Kona Kai Resort & Spa, A Noble House Resort
What We Love
- Location, location, location: away from the city hustle, with stunning views of the yacht harbor and bay
- Family-friendly: rental equipment for water and land sports, and lots of other activities
- Cool cocktails and bar snacks poolside and at Vessels restaurant
What To Know
- Tiki-style name aside, the architecture is more Spanish and decor is eclectic contemporary
- About a 10-minute drive from San Diego International Airport (a taxi is about $15); 15 minutes from downtown San Diego
- A $20.25 resort fee per night will be collected at Jetsetter checkout
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
As you drive the length of Shelter Island, gulls swirl overhead, sailboats stream by, and all of San Diego spreads out across the bay. At the island’s end stands the Kona Kai, A Noble House Resort, whose Spanish-style architecture belies its Hawaiian name. In the lobby contempo-chic sofas, armchairs and a life-size horse give a hint of the resort’s eclectic aesthetic. Just beyond, a staircase lined with clever bookshelf-patterned wallpaper leads to the guestrooms.
Bed and Bath
The spacious rooms have geometric carpeting and balconies or patios that overlook either Shelter Island or the bay. The Sealy Posturepedic mattresses and crisp Swiss duvets make it easy to drift off, while the bathrooms feature glass-enclosed showers and miniature rainfall showerheads in the tubs. Coconut and mango-scented hair products are a soothing wakeup.
One of the prettiest places in this pretty city, the marina behind the hotel also offers rentals of powerboats, standup paddleboards, Segways, bicycles and more. The guestrooms cluster around a pool with grass-roofed cabanas and a tiki bar (the Thai soda cocktail is awesome). Bar snacks from the Vessels restaurant include lobster or reuben sliders and fish tacos (Vessels also serves three meals a day). A few nights a week, movies are screened on the pool deck, and you can grill s’mores on the narrow beach next to the marina.
In the Area
Between the zoo and Safari Park, Legoland, SeaWorld and some awe-inspiring museums and gardens in Balboa Park and on the shore, San Diego is one of America’s great playgrounds and an ideal family destination. New developments in San Diego’s downtown include the inspiring new Central Library, art gallery strolls in Little Italy, and swanky shops and restaurants at Liberty Station (a renovated naval training center) and the Headquarters (the city’s former police HQ). Closer to the hotel, the tiki palace Bali Hai restaurant sits at the other end of Shelter Island, and been-there-forever Point Loma Seafoods serves fresh-off-the-boat catches from a humble counter.
How to Get There
Beautiful location and staff were very friendly. Small gym,but adequate, Bikes available ~would have been great if we had time to enjoy.
Restaurant food was underwhelming and not enough servers in restaurant to accomodate guests for our biz event inbetween the meetings or after hours.
My wife and I stayed tonight for her birthday. The team here is AMAZING! We were warmly greeted by Matt (valet) in the parking and the front desk people were super kind and helpful. The place is beautiful. The room looked newly updated and modern. To top it off, when we finished dinner at the hotel restaurant, we came back to a generous gift from the staff. Thank you so much to the team at Kona Kai! You've definitely gone above and beyond!!!
The resort itself is absolutely beautiful. It seems every room happens to have a great view because it is on Shelter Island with views of the water on both sides of the hotel. We were here on a wedding adventure. The service that we had at the restaurant located on the facilities were subpar both times that we attended the restaurant. It was for this reason that we decided not to use the on-site restaurant for the wedding.
We were in a sweet, and the shower for the sweet was absolutely terrible. There was no way that the water was to be kept inside of the shower, which meant every time we took one, the floor in the bathroom would flood. We had to use five towels rolled up side by side in order to keep the floor in the bathroom dry.
Our party had booked approximately 30 rooms for all of the people who are attending the wedding. Unfortunately, the groom's room had a mistake with the reservation on the last day, and they were forced to move out of their room into an adjacent room which was not the same quality as the initial room because of a scheduling conflict. the management did take care of the cost of the new room for the night, but I find it unacceptable that they were forced to move rooms.
There was one constant that was fantastic at the resort. His name was Gus. He was our valet attendant / manager, I believe, and he was always a shining star. Only meeting him a couple times, he knew my name each time I saw him, and he was the most helpful person that he could be and he did it with a genuine smile. He was one of the first people that we saw, and the last one that we saw after departing Kona Kai. He was happy to listen to me voice my concerns, and allowed me to leave feeling like somebody truly cared.