Best Hostel Near Kailua
My Hawaii Hostel is far and away the best hostel near Kailua-Kona. It is located directly on the coast in Holualoa, and within walking distance of some of the most popular beaches on the island. You can choose between co-ed dorms, female-only dorms, and private rooms, depending who you are and what your budget is. The large outdoor patio is set up with tables and umbrellas, and is a lovely place to meet other travelers.
Visiting The Best Beaches In Kona
My family had a great time, as always, visiting the Big Island. Big Island beaches are very different from Oahu and Maui beaches that we are familiar with.
The new, harsh volcanic landscape of the Big Island makes for many rocky beaches. While ideal for snorkeling, finding a good sandy beach can be a challenge. Throw in the winter waves on the Kona Coast and your beach vacation is in trouble.
These 5 beaches in Kona were saviors for our trip over the New Years holiday. We hope you enjoy them also and that this list takes some uncertainty out of your travels.
Check out our other island of Hawaii articles for itineraries and activities for your Hawaii vacation.
Where To Stay In Hawaii: Oahu Is Great For First
Great area for: Honolulu City Buzz Waikiki Shopping & Dining North Shore Surfing
Ah, Oahu. Home to the capital city of Honolulu, Waikiki Beach, the set of the hit TV series Lost, and big wave surfing. Its easy for any traveler to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of this little island. But when youve grown weary of Honolulus epic party scene there are plenty of ways to get a true understanding of Oahu.
During the Obama presidency he and his family spent their Christmas vacations in Kailua, on the Windward Coast. One of their traditions was a trip to Island Snow Shave Ice, and you need to go there too. Shave ice is pretty self explanatory: finely shaved ice topped with your choice of flavored syrups, fruit, and even adzuki bean, a Japanese treat. Just dont dare call it a snow cone its shave ice!
The North Shore of Oahu is famous for its big waves, and while just watching the fearless surfers tackle them is thrilling enough, why not take a surf lesson ? North Shore Surf Girls, located in Haleiwa, specializes in surfing and stand-up paddle boarding lessons for people of all ages, and all lessons are taught by women. Perfect for families or anyone who wants to learn to catch a wave this is Oahu at its best.
Wondering where to stay on Oahu?
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Best Hotel Near Kailua
The Royal Kona Resort is a great option as it offers things that no other hotel can. It has its very own private lagoon with remarkable turquoise water, an on-site spa and wellness center with masseuses, and has a renowned in-house restaurant that uses locally sourced food. From the private beach you can occasionally see migrating humpback whales. And all of that is on top of their exceptional rooms!
Kailua-Kona is not only the largest community in the area, but the heart and soul. In the morning, you can walk around the historic neighborhood to see monuments and landmarks and learn some local history. Cool down by jumping into Kailua Bay, and going for a swim where the World Ironman Championships are held every year.
Holualoa sits beside Kailua-Kona, and makes for a great base to explore the island. It is heaven for coffee lovers! Not only are there wonderful cafes all around where you can enjoy a delicious cup of joe, but this is where the coffee is grown! There are more farms than you can count, and all of them offer unique tours and tastings that are absolute must do experiences.
If your mind is set on staying in a luxury condo or hotel, the resort area of Kahaluu-Keauhou is for you, and just a 20 minute drive from Kailua-Kona. The resorts are so nice, you may never want to leave! It is also home to some of the best snorkeling and diving on the island, and where many of the manta ray trips depart from.
Hilo Or Kona: Which Airport To Arrive
The Big Island has two major airports. Oahu doesnt even have two commercial airports. You can fly into Elison Onizuka International Airport or Hilo International Airport .
Kona airport is the most popular with the most flights and most airlines operating out of it. Kona welcomed 1,261,197 passengers in 2019 compared to Hilo welcoming 47,872 people.
There is a negligible difference in ticket prices between flying to Kona or Hilo. Kona and Hilo do enjoy the cheapest roundtrip flight to Hawaii per our research.
The decision on where to fly in and out of the Big Island has more to do with your itinerary. If most of your activities will be enjoying the rainforest and volcanoes around Hilo then it would be best to stay in Hilo and fly into and out of Hilo International Airport.
I know what you are thinking, fly into Kona and fly out of Hilo. It is a good idea but the rental car price will get you. The different pick-up and drop-off locations will make for an expensive rental car. Plus, you are on an island with the highest rental car fees compared to the other Hawaiian Islands. Youd be better off driving the hour and a half back to Kona, if on the Hilo side.
See What is the Cheapest Hawaiian Island to Visit for the numbers.
The major airlines that fly into Kona are United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, and Alaskan Airlines.
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Where To Stay In Hawaii: The Big Island Has Something For Everyone
Great area for: Budget to Luxury Volcanoes, Waterfalls & Scenery Family & Adventure Travel Beaches & Tropical Coast
Many people confuse the Big Island with Oahu, simply because Oahu is home to the states capital, Honolulu. The Big Island, or Hawaii Island as its properly called, is less visited than some of its neighboring islands, but that just means youre more likely to have the beach and attractions all to yourself!
The Big Island is very diverse, meaning it has something for everyone, from the very adventurous traveler to family travellers. Volcanoes, waterfalls, beaches and coffee are all part of the Big Island experience.
The Big Island is more or less split into the west side and the east side, each of which has its own pros and cons, and its own access to some of Hawaiis best attractions. We outlined the Big Islands different sections below, which will hopefully help you decide where to stay in Hawaii.
Dont attempt this drive in foggy or poor weather!
Best Hostel In Kailua
The Kona Beach Hostel is an excellent place to stay for those who are searching for the ultimate balance of affordable prices and a tremendous location. They offer both co-ed and female only dorm rooms of different sizes, as well as multiple private rooms. The large outdoor gazebo is a terrific place for hanging out and meeting fellow travelers from all over the world. Lastly, it is great for those who love nightlife as there are countless bars and restaurants close by.
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Where To Stay On Kauai: East Coast
Known as the Coconut Coast for its abundance of beautiful coconut palms, this part of Kauai is the most populated, with Lihue serving as the county seat and largest urban center on the island. Situated in between the north and south coasts, this is a not bad area to base yourself if you want to explore both, and would rather combine lounging on the beach with a more active holiday exploring the island. Generally, accomodation on this part of Kauai is more affordable, and while the golden beaches are nice, theyre not as drop-dead gorgeous as the north coast.
Kauai Beach Villas
Kauai Beach Villas A tropical condo-style resort that offers visitors a bit more space and privacy during their stay. It is a beautiful property with an outdoor pool and spa, with past guests mentioning Villas G and H have the best ocean views. While the hotel sits near the sand, the beachfront at Kauai Beach Villas is not suitable for swimming luckily, there are swimming spots further along the famous Coconut Coast.
Check Availability & Prices on
Where To Stay In Kona
The Kona side of the island refers to roughly the entire West side of the island, including the town of Kailua-Kona . This is the drier side of the island and its mostly barren lava fields as far as the eye can see. But no rain also means the best beaches and therefore all of the resorts and condos.
I would consider the Kona area to include the actual town of Kailua-Kona south to Keauhou Bay and north up to Hapuna Beach State Park. Thats roughly a 40 mile stretch of coast with HUNDREDS of places to stay!
Lets talk about actual Kona town. Downtown Kona is similar to Lahaina : waterfront, shops and restaurants with a smattering of small historically significant sites and generally a cruise ship port type vibe. Im not a huge fan of the area but a lot of people like it. Its fun to have dinner on the water one night but its not where Id want to spend my whole trip. There are a few beaches right around town and quite a few budget style accommodations.
Once you leave the downtown area, things start to get pretty spread out. There just arent a lot of centralized areas on the Big Island where youll find a clump of resorts/hotels and shops/restaurants plus departure points for activities. Youll pass one resort area and drive 10 minutes or so until you come to the next one.
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The Best Areas To Stay On The Big Island
The Big Island, officially the Island of Hawaii, is the youngest and largest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. The Big Island is bigger than all of the other Hawaiian islands combined, and it grows even larger every day due to consistent volcanic activity. In fact, this island is unique among the Hawaiian islands for being the only one with active volcanoes: Mauna Loa and Kilauea . Three more volcanoes, Mauna Kea , Hualalai , and Kohala , connect with the two active ones to comprise the Big Island. Unsurprisingly, this much volcanic activity imparts a wholly different feel to the Big Island versus its neighboring islands. The landscape on much of the islands interior is rugged with huge swathes of black lava rock spreading out under a layer of vog . There are eight distinct micro-climates spread throughout the Big Island, including deserts, rainforests, and even polar tundra climate zones on the Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa summits. There are fewer beaches on the Big Island compared to other Hawaiian islands, though the beaches here are still incredible with white, salt-and-pepper, black, and even green sand beaches studding a coastline thats broken up with rocky cliffs, some with streams of lava flowing down into the ocean.
Eruption of the Kilauea Crater in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in the Kau district of the Big Island. Its best to visit Kilauea in the early morning or early evening to see the lava glow.
Maui Where To Stay In Hawaii For First Time
Hawaiis reputation as a playground for the rich, beautiful, and famous is best typified by the island of Maui. Also known as the Beverly Hills of Hawaii, its arguably the most gorgeous and expensive place to stay in the archipelago.
While Maui is the second-largest island in the archipelago, it pales in comparison to the scale of the main island. But you can still find enough activities here to easily keep you busy and occupied for a week or more.
If theres one destination you need to see during your time in Maui, its the road to Hana. It cuts across the majority of Mauis coastline and provides some of the most scenic views of both rainforests and beaches that youll find on the island.
Verdant stretches of wilderness, stunning waterfalls, and steep cliffsides are all viewable from the road, and you should take at least a day to explore the coastal road.
Its the main artery of the island and offers plenty of opportunities to explore small beach towns and roadside attractions.
You should also make the time to stop at the Garden of Eden. While it may be ostentatiously named, its hard to argue once youve seen it for yourself.
And while theres an entrance fee, its well worth the cost. 26 acres of carefully cultivated garden highlight the unique flora of Maui and the islands at large.
Lahaina couldnt provide a more stark counterpoint to Kahlului. The town has a beach bum vibe and a sense of quirkiness thats really not present anywhere else on the island.
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Oahu Discounts And Deals
Entertainment.com members can get loads of deals in and around Honolulu. Quite a few of the discounts available are tourist oriented think helicopter tours, adventure and water sports, and restaurants. A very nice inclusion is discounts at the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbour. As noted above, the digital membership is $19.99 per year, and its pretty easy to recoup that very quickly if youre planning on doing a lot of activities. Once your vacation is over, you can change your location to move the savings over to cities across the US and Canada.
Example Entertainment.com Discounts on Oahu :
- Buy One Get One Admission to the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbour
- Buy One Get One Glass Bottom Boat Ride
- Buy One Get One Moped Rental with Paradise Rent-a-Car
- Up to 50% Off a Group Surf Lesson at Big Wave Dave
- 50% Off Up To 6 Tandem Sky Dives at A-1 Sky Diving
- 50% Off Up To 6 Scuba Dives at A-1 Scuba
- Buy One Get One 2-Hour SUP Lesson with North Shore Surf Girls
Read More about how to use Entertainment.com to get travel deals
Other Oahu Deals and Discounts:
- The Go Card Oahu is a great concept: you buy a 1 to 7-day card that includes free access to a range of the top attractions on the island, and nets you discounts of up to 55%. You can choose from a range of packages or build your own. An excellent option if you want to do a lot, rather than lie on the beach
Captain Cook Where To Stay Near Kailua
Captain James Cook was the first-known westerner to have set foot on the Hawaiian Islands, and he did so right here. Shortly after arriving, he was killed in a battle with local Hawaiians at Kealakekua Bay, where a memorial now stands in his name.
Captain Cook, is a small and laid back island town, much quieter then Kailua-Kona. The village is ideal for those who like nature, and Kealakekua Bay is the crowned jewel of the area. The bay waters are calm and clear, and outstanding for all types of water activities. Swimming, kayaking, snorkeling, and sailing are all brilliant ways to pass the days!
As a small community, there are far fewer accommodation options available in general, but most of the ones you will find are very budget friendly! Captain Cook is home to the cheapest hostel beds on this side of the island, as well as many other reasonably priced Airbnbs and hotels. For that, it is our ultimate recommendation for where to stay near Kailua-Kona if you are on a budget.
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Where Should You Stay On The Big Island
Are you thinking about going to the Big Island? The Big Island is so big and there is so much to do there that the options can be overwhelming!
Many visitors to the Big Island end up staying in a couple of different places. They make it into a road trip, staying in a couple different cities for a few nights each. Usually, these people choose to one of the major airports in either Kona or Hilo and depart from the other. Since they are on opposite sides of the island, it works out great.
But you might prefer to just stay in one city. If you have a short period of time, you might perfect to hunker down in one place. Or maybe you just want to see the volcano, so you stay in the national park.
Whether you do a road trip or stay in one place, there is no way you can see everything on the big island in just one trip. So, Ive broken down the different cities on the Big Island so that you can decide where you want to go.
And, of course, if you still need help deciding, give our travel agents a call today. Thats what theyre here for!
There Are More Than 9700 Guest Rooms On The Island
Looking for a place to stay on the Big Island? The Orchid Isle has accommodations of every kind, from luxury hotels to bed & breakfast cottages. No doubt youll find a number of accommodations tailored to your needs, desires, and budget.
Choosing a Location
Due to the Big Island large size, choosing a location near sightseeing, attractions, activities and other things youd like to do becomes important. You dont want to spend the majority of your vacation in a car! If there are several areas you would like to see, we suggest arranging multiple accommodations around the island.
Luxurious Kohala Coast
For the finest in luxury resorts, head to the Kohala Coast, located at the northern end of the Big Islands western coast. Often referred to as The Gold Coast, Kohala is a sunny and arid region offering a good number of luxury hotels set in four resort areas. World-class golf, award-winning beaches, and fine dining are among the amenities here.
The highest concentration of visitor rooms is located in Kailua-Kona on the islands west side. This bustling vacation town offers a mix of upscale properties, budget hotels and motels, condominiums, rental homes, hostels, and bed & breakfasts.
Tip: It gets really tough trying to find a room here during mid-October, when Kailua-Kona hosts the Ironman Triathlon World Championship.
Volcanoes National Park
On the Big Islands east side is historic Hilo town
North Shore is home to the plantation town
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