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
- 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
Don’t stay here unless you enjoy mediocre. Staff did very little to correct their blunders. Initially assigned a room that was already occupied, surprise! Keys for room and parking gate don’t always work. Towels nowhere to be found at pool. Showered was stained and chipped, disgusting. In room phone didn’t work, unable to contact front desk or room service. Minimal attempts from staff to remedy problems, like I said if you enjoy mediocre stays this is your place, if not stay elsewhere.
First time at the property and we cannot wait to go back! Gorgeous views, loved the location, loved the pool and playing corn hole on the grass. Music at the pool was great and so were the food and drinks.
It was a beautiful property with nice ammenties; however, customer service was unfortunately terrible. Paid a lot of money to stay in a room with no view and bird poop/feathers all over the patio furniture when I had booked a pool view. Also, main pool was closed for the whole night because someone threw up in it.
Unforgettable family stay at this breathtaking property! This will be our spot every time we secide to have a staycattion with all the family! Love this hotel!we rode bikes, made S’mores and walked around the beautiful island and had all meals which were all fabulous!
Small and very commun rooms. Too expensive. Noisy during weekends (wedding on the beaches). No shade at the swinming pool. Lot of problems in the restaurant. You have better change the Chief ! The location is great.