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
I absolutely loved my recent stay. The hotel staff was absolutely top notch. Jo at the front deck provided exceptional service and guided my stay with recommendations. Jo went out of her way to make my stay comfortable and enjoyable. The hotel was beautiful, all the staff were guest focused and the amenities included a well equipped gym, spa, an adult as well as family pool, and multiple dining choices. I will definitely return!
The Hotel its self is tucked away at the end of the marina, which makes for a relaxing environment. Rebecca at the front desk made checking in a breeze and recommended us an excellent room. Her smile and friendly personality set the tone for our stay. Shoutout to Sebastian at velvet for going above and beyond!
Always a great way to relax. Our trips are at least once a year, but always hope for more. Nothing but happy memories and visits. Staff has always been friendly with great sense of humor for all. We always stay on bayside to watch the boats.