My First Time at a Luxury Beach Hotel in Hawaii: Review of Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa

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If you are looking to splurge on a high-end hotel on Hawaii Big Island, then Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa is one of the best places. This luxury beach resort is in Kona and a short drive from Kona International Airport, yet it includes everything you are looking for on your vacation.

I stayed in Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa for two nights. It has a beach, a swimming pool, a few onsite bars and restaurants,  a golf course, a tennis court, a shopping mall, and a volcano trail. The friendly and a laidback atmosphere and the spacious guest rooms make it a wonderful place for honeymoons or a weekend escape.

Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa on Big Island in Hawaii

Gorgeous view near Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa on Big Island in Hawaii

If you are looking for luxury beach resorts in Kona and wonder which hotel to book, please read on for my experience and my review of Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa.

How to get to Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa

Driving is the most efficient way to get to Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa. The drive from Kona International Airport takes 25 minutes and you can make a stop at the volcano tubes along the way and go exploring. It is an easy drive, as most of the time you will be on the only main road. You can use Google Maps and your GPS to navigate the routes.

Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa on Big Island in Hawaii

There is no public transport operating between Kona International Airport and the resort. Roberts Hawaii shuttle goes to this beach resort from the airport. You can book your ride online, through phone calls, or at the hotel, and it is $29 one-way. A cab service is available but it is expensive and I do not recommend it.

Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa

Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa is the first beach resort I have stayed at in Hawaii, but it is also one of the most stunning and deluxe ones. The resort is on the ocean front and is surrounded by volcanic landscapes.

The main floor is where guests check in and it features a huge lobby area, and a dreamy view of the ocean and the pool, bars, sofa, shops, and computer work stations. The check-in process is efficient and even though the standard check-in time is 3pm, the front desk processed my arrival and gave me my room key at 12 pm.

Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa on Big Island in Hawaii

Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa Lobby Area

Right below is the view from the Paniolo Ocean Terrace at resort’s main floor and you can walk to the beach from there.

Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa on Big Island in Hawaii

The rooms

The resort has several different types of guest rooms and the service is friendly and expedite.  All the rooms are extremely comfortable and feature modern décor. They come with either king or queen beds, a desk, sofa, en-suite bathroom, TV, a mini-fridge and a view of the ocean, pool, or garden.

My room was a standard resort room that came with a safe vault that allowed me to leave my valuables inside. The room was 37 square meters and the bathroom was huge with separate areas for sink and the shower room.

My room also included a patio and a garden. The garden was surrounded by different species with the sunlight streaking into the room every morning. It was so relaxing to have cold drinks while relaxing and enjoying the view.

Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa on Big Island in Hawaii

My room at Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa

King’s Trail

As the first stretch of Ala Kahakai National Historical Trail, King’s Trail is next to Waikoloa Marriott Beach Resort’s  property. It is walkable volcanic paths linking among the community, fishing ponds, and temples on the Big Island. In ancient times, the native Hawaiians resorted to this trail to transport food, water, building materials and other things, and trading with fishing communities.

Although part of the trail has deteriorated because of erosion, it still provides a fun and educational experience to walk through a part of it. The trail is surrounded by volcanic landscapes and it has several signposts revealing the historical backgrounds and the anecdotes of ancient Hawaiians.

Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa on Big Island in Hawaii

Walking on the first stretch of the King’s Trail during m first afternoon there

The trail is easy to walk and when I was there in the afternoon it only had another person. We wandered around different areas and had an entire section of the trail to ourselves. I also got to see different geoglyphs, the golf courses, the lakes, and other luxury hotel buildings.

Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa on Big Island in Hawaii

Geoglyphs spotted on King’s Trail

Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa on Big Island in Hawaii

More geoglyphs on King’s Trail

The beach

After walking around King’s Trail, I absolutely enjoyed spending the rest of my afternoon walking along the beach and soaking up the sunlight on the foldable plastic chair. It made me feel like I was in paradise.

Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa on Big Island in Hawaii

That night, I saw the beautiful sunset with the sky turning into a kaleidoscope of pink, yellow, and purple. The beach area was closed at 7 pm but you can jump into the pool if you need more relaxation.

Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa on Big Island in Hawaii

Beautiful sunset over the beach

Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa on Big Island in Hawaii

You can relax in the pool after the sunset

Restaurants

This hotel has a high-end restaurant featuring a breakfast buffet, prime rib, and Hawaiian-style seafood. You can also order drinks, taco, and pizza at the Aka’ula Lanai at the lobby level.

While as fancy as it sounds to eat at the onsite restaurants, I found the price was expensive. If you do not feel like eating at the onsite restaurant, you can drive around or go to the food court at the Queens Marketplace, which is a five minutes’ walk from the resort. They have a variety of cuisines for you to choose from and the price is affordable.

Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa on Big Island in Hawaii

Food court at Queens Marketplace

Resort Activities

The front desk offered each guest a map, and a voucher for two free drinks at the Aka’ula Lanai at the lobby level. The service in the bar was excellent. I handed in the voucher and they offered me the sunset punch in no time. There was a live music performance at the lobby the night I arrived.

Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa on Big Island in Hawaii

Sunset Punch, one of the free drinks offered by Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa

The resort has different actives all day for the guests to make the most out of their stay, including lei-making, pool slide race, hula lessons, a culture walking tour, and a Pilates class. Upon arrival, you will receive a resort passport indicating the things you can do at the resort for free.

Details of the activities will be given to you upon check-in. They usually keep you occupied from morning to the early afternoon. The resort also offers guests daily island orientation with complimentary breakfast.

Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa on Big Island in Hawaii

Final Thoughts

I loved my time at the Waikoloa Marriott Beach Resort and Spa, It is a luxury and modern hotel, and all the people there are friendly and share an Aloha Spirit. It made me truly feel like I was living in a paradise. The spacious rooms, the fantastic views, resort activities and with everything included in the hotel and the walking distance, you can enjoy your time without going out of the door.

However, it is not a cheap place to stay, provided that the best available rate is $200 per night, with the additional costs of the resort fee and program taxes (I paid $91.50 for two nights in addition to my hotel room).

I also find the food at the restaurants is too expensive and the cost of the breakfast buffet ($30) is not the price some people may appreciate. Luckily, there are stores and the Queens Marketplace nearby so that made it easier to get lower-priced meals.

The Wi-Fi is complimentary and was strong during my stay, and each guest also gets an hour of free international phone calls in their rooms. The main lobby has a small and quiet sitting area with a sofa where you can relax and stargaze for the night.

Overall, if you are looking for a luxury beach resort, Waikoloa Marriott Beach Resort is a wonderful choice. The location is amazing and it is worth spending a few nights there if you are on a honeymoon or want to relax and splurge. This was my first time at a beach resort and the overall experience was excellent.

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Hotel Review: Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa on Big Island in Hawaii

Julie Cao
 

Julie is the creator of Always On The Way. She lived in Hawaii and has made her way to Toronto Canada. In 2017, she went on an overland trip from Bogota Colombia to Puerto Williams, the southernmost city in the world. She believes travel is not only about visiting tourist attractions but more about getting to know the culture, people and the place.

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