Kona Trip Report days 6-9

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I don’t expect anything special to happen between now and bedtime, so I’ll post this shortly before suppertime.  I can’t talk about the meetings yet, so this will be mostly about the hotel and the surrounding area.

Kailua-Kona, HI [wikipedia] is a town with a population of about 20k that’s the main tourist destination on the west side of the Big Island.  I’m staying at a hotel on the north end of Aliʻi Drive, the main drag along the shore, which is where most of the tourist stuff is.  At the southern end of the tourist area is the Royal Kona Resort where our group held its meetings until a couple of years pre-COVID.

Heading south along Aliʻi Drive, there are the Kailua Pier, then a beach where lots of surfers ride in, numerous restaurants, and shops that sell the unsurprising faux-Hawaiian kitsch.

Some pictures that I’ve taken in and around the hotel are below the fold:

Except for the hotel layout image (2nd below), all photos copyright © 2023 by Bill Seymour.

The hotel’s front entrance:
front entrance photo

The hotel’s layout:
hotel layout diagram
Not my work; it’s from a piece of paper I was given at checkin.  Used by permission.

The black circle with “12” in it is the front entrance.  My room is on the second floor with a lovely view of the roof over the front entrance driveway. 😎

The area marked with the purple-circled “21” has four fairly large meeting rooms, two of which for our purposes are combined into a single room that’s used for the Monday and Saturday morning plenaries, and for other purposes the rest of the week.  In addition to the “21” rooms, there are smaller breakout rooms on the other side of the “east tower” in the general area of the purple “19”.

The breakfast buffet:
breakfast buffet photo

breakfast buffet photo
Two interior photos taken with the permission of the staff.

The hotel’s “restaurant” is open only for breakfast.  You can order from a menu, but it’s a limited one, and I mostly just fed myself from the buffet.

The bar from the pool:
bar seating photo

The bar is the only place to get lunch or supper, and not even those during “happy hour” (which gave me an unhappy hour on Wednesday).

Photo from the south:
hotel photo

That’s the breakfast restaurant on the left with the “west tower” rooms behind it.  The bar is just to the right of it.

I thought this was an interesting structure:
restored religious site

That’s the Ahuʻena Heiau in the lower left of the layout diagram above viewed from the breakfast restaurant.  It turns out to be a modern reconstruction of a shrine built to honor King Kamehameha I.  I gather that it still has some religious significance because tourists are allowed to gawk at it but not to enter it.

The Kailua pier:
Kailua pier photo

Cruise ships often drop anchor offshore (they’d be well off the right of the photo) and use their lifeboats to let passengers go ashore to do whatever touristy stuff they want to do.  (That’s not a ship in the middle of the photo; it’s the Royal Kona Resort on the other side of the bay.)

You can rent outriggers and canoes if you want to paddle around:
Kona Boys photo

All suggestions and corrections in the comments will be welcome.  All flames will be amusing.


  1. Katydid says

    Seems lie you’re having a good time! The weather looks beautiful.

    A heiau is a shrine but also a temple. I don’t know if they use it for religious ceremonies (they would have a hundred years ago). That’s why tourists aren’t allowed to barge in, which is for the best.

  2. Pierce R. Butler says

    You haven’t said anything about what the locals say about the Maui fires – too busy cybersphere-networking?

  3. chigau (違う) says

    Pierce R. Butler #2
    Maybe you should pop over and do your own interviews.

  4. billseymour says

    Pierce R. Butler:  I would never have asked anyone what they thought about the Maui fires.  Any rational person would think that such fires are awful occurrences, and I don’t care what irrational people think.  (In the case of professional politicians, I might care that they’re irrational so that I can vote against them.)

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