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Reviewed 14 January 2018

After reading so many reviews before we went to Hawaii, I felt the need to write a review of our stay at the Marriott Resort at Kona as a way of thanking everyone who had helped with their experience. I am going to focus on a few things that I didn’t find in the reviews of the property. We stayed a week at the end of this summer (2017). The major reconstruction seemed to be finished but there were other projects going on in the public areas. The location was great. The King’s shops are literally across the street from the lobby so there is ready access to restaurants and shops. The Queen’s market is a little further but not much. On the other side, there is ready access to the beach. While the beach isn’t part of the hotel, there are services there and you can charge your items to the hotel which is convenient.
First, I gave an overall score of three stars. I really wanted to give more but try as they might this Marriott just couldn’t quite come through with service. The property is nice and not too large. There is enough space so as to not be crowded. Our children are teenagers but I think it is perfect for younger children. They offered several activities and I thought the water aerobics class was great. They were still under construction though and had not adapted their information to the current situation (an example, everything said the coffee shop was on the lobby level but a temporary set up was all they had and that was one floor down). The spa was completely dysfunctional. We had booked appointments weeks before we left and managed to get some appointments for massages. We abandoned the idea of doing photos there because we couldn’t get hair appointments. Once we got there the spa called almost daily to try to move or cancel our appointments. It was very stressful. They even called us by the pool one day. I think they were just so understaffed and poorly run they couldn’t get the basics right. I honestly don’t think they should use the name “Resort & Spa”. The lack of staffing is a theme that ran through the entire experience and I think it is why the service is so poor. Simple requests like “can you make up our room early” turned into “our room didn’t get cleaned at all and it is dinner time”. The food at the hotel was good to great. The drinks were really great. There was one oddity we figured out after a couple of days. Apparently, no liquor can be sold until after 11 AM so they don’t have servers by the pool until that time. I had gone up to the bar trying to by smoothies at 10:30 and was turned away. A manager sorted it out day three but it would be nice to have pool side service earlier (we were told again not enough staff). We shared the story about what the restriction was on drinks with other guests each day and there ended up being quite a line up each morning until 11 to buy non-alcoholic drinks for families. We booked cabanas for the days we were by the pool. That was very nice. There is very little shade otherwise as umbrella don’t stand up to the winds in that part of the word. There isn’t any supervision by the pool. Most of the time this wasn’t an issue but there are always a few parents who don’t watch their children. I’m surprised we didn’t see more collisions at the slide as children were climbing up it as others came down. There were also some heated water rifle fights that unintentionally soaked passersby not in bathing suits.
Next, we had a Corner room connected to a two Queen standard room. They said the Corner room would be called a Family Suite once all of the construction was done. I wanted to share some notes about the bigger room. First the good, it is a large room with two real King sized beds, a large table, and side chairs as well. It seemed to be twice the size of the standard room. The room was decorated nicely. Second the bad, the room is dark having the same size glass doors and numbers of lamps as the standard room. Also, the room was hot having the same sized A/C as the standard room. Lastly the ugly part or at least the not well thought out part, the bathroom. The bathroom looks nice but isn’t functional. There is a frosted glass wall between the bathroom and the bedroom. No light comes into the bathroom but if you turn the lights on in the bathroom it is bright enough to wake everyone up. (We went and got a night light.) There are very few hooks or towel racks in the bathroom. The very worst though is the door. There is a sliding door that either covers the opening to the bathroom or the closest in the hall next to it (also in the standard room). The door doesn’t lock. I suspect when the housecleaners do clean the bathroom they mostly clean with the door open as the mirror on the inside in ours was covered with handprints and grime until day five. There are huge safety issues with the door. If you are inside the bathroom coming out, you cannot see who is standing outside by the closest so it is very easy to slide the large door into someone. Equally disconcerting is the fact that if there is anything from the closet in the way of the door you cannot get out of the bathroom. My husband had thought he had pushed our suitcases all of the way into the closet then gone to get ice. I had to wait from him to come back and move the suitcase to get out of the bathroom. I cannot imagine staying in the room with younger high energy children. It is simply one of the poorest thought out designs in terms of function that I have ever seen.
Lastly some details on the luau. I have been to several this one was just okay. The seating is outside in an open area by the pool where it is not possible to control who go through the area. The food was very good especially in a buffet setting. We were not given any information except that it started at 5 and dinner was at 6. It is all general seating. We went down at the start time thinking we would be among the early birds and we were almost the last people down. The line for pictures was long so we skipped that and went to find seats. All of the tables were taken in the shade. There were single seats at some of the tables in the sun but after searching for awhile I asked for help from the staff. They set another table in the broiling sun and we put our stuff down across four chairs. There was an open bar with long lines and a few vendors selling things. We got a drink and went back to the table to find other people in our seats and our things heaped on a chair. I asked my family to wait while I got the staff member who had helped us. Hearing that, the people got up and left (I don’t even think they had a ticket for the luau). The buffet started with the people farthest away so we were last to get food which would have been fine but they ran out of things and stopped serving all together not long after we got to go through the line. The show started after that. It was nice but we could not see it. They asked at the beginning for people to stay seated but no one did. It felt like we were at an event with Kindergarten parents trying to see and capture every moment of the event at the expense of everyone else around them. I cannot recommend the experience but if you go, get seats as soon as they put the tables up in the morning and go very early to get your “free” picture.

Room tip: Not worth paying for a view room
Date of stay: August 2017
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank catherinekeller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Debbie T, Executive Assistant at Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 17 January 2018

Aloha catherinekeller and thank you for taking the time to share your experience. On behalf of the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, please accept our apologies for the challenges you experienced during your stay with us last summer. The hotel renovations have been completed and it’s disappointing to hear that our renovated room did not meet your expectations. I want to assure you that we do take all feedback seriously and your comments will be reviewed with our owners, the Spa, and with our staff to improve customer service. Thank you for the nice comments about our location and the food and drinks at the hotel. The Island of Hawaii has so many things to offer and a wide array of cultural activities and places to visit and we hope you were able to enjoy some of them during your time on the island. Once again, please accept our apology and thank you for the feedback.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 January 2018 via mobile

We were here for a week and had a fantastic time. We are platinum at Marriott and we’re given some coupons for the bar and coffee shop as well as 25% off breakfast. Other than that we didn’t get much more. Either way the hotel is fantastic and the staff is very good. Would stay again.

Date of stay: January 2018
Trip type: Travelled with family
2  Thank Kyle W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 January 2018

I am biased being that we normally stay in Relais & Châteaux properties, but the only one was on Maui, nothing in Kauai nor The Big Island-So with things filling up fast we had to stay here during our time on The Big Island-

This hotel is great for those that truly like resorts, yet tons of people, screaming kids and small rooms-Luckily it is not as large as the Hilton down the road...it has a tram people...seriously-

The grounds on the property are pretty, honestly the highlight for me were the cats in the parking lot that I went and got cat food for-

They had a nice beach set up, and the pools looked pretty yet I am not fond of children, so hearing screaming kids non-stop is not ideal for me-I avoided those areas, yet we weren't there to swim or lay on a beach, we were hiking-

If you do stay here make sure it's on the top floor, or you will hear everything above you-I think out of torture an army of kids were above us on the 5th floor, horrible-

Oh and Marriott, thank you so much for having this horrible thumping sound take place throughout the night, and to end at 7:30 AM each time-It sounded like a basketball was being dropped on wood floor every 20 seconds, it was coming from the pipes in the shower, so we had no sleep while there-

The beds are for hobbits I believe, if you don't get a king room-We wanted ocean facing and got 2 doubles, one was used to put the suitcases and belongings on and we slept in the other...I'm 5'5 he is 6'4, not cool-

The refrigerator is small and will not truly cool things down if you need them to be-

We ate breakfast at the hotel once as well dinner and we couldn't eat there again, wasn't awful but it was just "food" nothing special, no real flavor and again had to deal with lots of people, kids yelling etc. I think it was just sad watching all the obese people shove as much food from the morning and dinner buffet into them, I like to eat but not at the point that we saw-Again, only highlight here was when a cat meandered around at dinner-

Again, I haven't stayed at a place like this in forever so it was just very hard to handle-

Room tip: Get a top room to avoid noise from kids running around
Date of stay: December 2017
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank WindyCityGatorGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melissa M, Manager at Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 13 January 2018

Aloha and thank you for taking the time to post your comments. On behalf of the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, please accept our apologies in regards to the noise you heard from the floor above you. This is a busy time of year for us as you can imagine and we do the best we can to accommodate everyone's request. All feedback is an important element of our business and we will share your review with our staff. Again we apologize and hope you enjoyed your time on the island of Hawaii.

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Reviewed 7 January 2018 via mobile

This resort is my favorite of 4 we’ve stayed at in Hawaii, and contributes to making Big Island my favorite of all the islands. It is newly renovated, is low key but luxurious, located in a stunning setting with 2 natural sacred ponds, beautiful swimming pools and hot tubs ( and a slide for the children big and small ) and a lovely beach front. Special little touches included a culture tour ( which ended up being private ) of the grounds where we were treated to a special Hawaiian chant thanking the property for what it offers, live Hawaiian music throughout the evening and hula dancer in the late afternoon. For sports enthusiasts there are a number of activities on the beach including paddle boarding, snorkeling and whale watching. The food was excellent but there are plenty of options nearby, and the sunsets were magnificent. I think all the rooms are ocean front. Other than the long trip from Boston I’d return here in a heartbeat.

Date of stay: January 2018
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
3  Thank Marilyn E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 January 2018

It's a good hotel; it's not great. I believe the value, when compared to rates up and down market is about right. Yes, the staff can be iffy and no, they don't generally pick up when calling down to front desk. Rooms are ok, and the bed is better than average. our shower wasn't functioning great and arguably should've been identified well before we arrived, but it was fixed, and done so properly as soon as I brought it to their attention (yes, I had to go to the front desk to speak to staff as they didn't pick up the tel). location is good. not much to see snorkeling in the bay. loungers by the pool are plenty comfortable. lots of amenities close by. If you can afford the Four Seasons at double the rates or more, then go. If however, one's budget is a bit more modest, than Marriott is perfectly good.

Room tip: some views over the expansive flat, ugly roof of the lobby. AVOID!
Date of stay: January 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Joel S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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