Pros: Great location, friendly employees, good food, great beach and nice rooms!
Cons: They charge for extras, such as safe, extra coffee, phone calls.
Walking into this spacious open-air lobby at sunset, I was taken aback by the beauty. Even the desk clerk had to stop to admire the evening sky as it turned from glowing orange to deep blue as the sun slid into the ocean.
The open lobby had a large outrigger canoe on display in the ample lobby. There is also a Kahn Gallery, the Blue Kona Coffee Shop, a gift shop and activities desk in the immediate area. The restaurant is down one flight of stairs and features open air seating for all.
Our room had a partial ocean view which means we could walk out on our lanai and see the ocean from our fourth floor room.
The room had a king-size bed, two chairs and a table and there was still plenty of walking-around room.
The bathroom contained a vanity area and stool in addition to the sink. There was a coffee maker (with real Kona coffee) and refrigerator. The towels were large and absorbent and the toiletries were very good. I seldom use the hotel's shampoo, but this looked and smelled so tropical I couldn't resist. The seaweed soap was great and I tucked a bar a day away into my makeup case to bring home. There was also a multi-speed blow dryer and lots of mirrors.
The closet had plenty of hangers, as well as an iron and ironing board.
There was a safe under the television and there was plenty of drawer space in the dresser.
The small lanai held a couple of strap chairs and a small table. The king-size bed was comfortable and we slept very well!
We opted to pay the $15 per day fee for the Voyager's Plan, which provided free local phone calls, free use of the safe, two free cups of coffee per day at the Blue Kona, as well as refills on coffee in the room.
It also provided 10% discounts on food at the hotel restaurants (even poolside) and unlimited use of the tennis courts and the driving range at the Waikoloa Golf Courses. The plan also provided a $15 per day discount on beach rentals such as cruises or whale watching.
The hotel has a large pool with a waterfall and a slide at one end, and a shallow kiddie pool at the other. It even features a sand beach for the kids to play in. There's a jacuzzi area (which was usually occupied), as well.
A short walk past the large, historic fish ponds and by the lava fields takes you to the beautiful crescent-shaped beach. The sand was fairly course, but easy to walk on in bare feet. There are ample beach chairs and a water activity desk in this area.
We chose to sit on the beach and we swam for a while. The water was a bit chilly at first, but it was very clear and calm in this area. We watched the waves breaking further out to sea.
A glass bottom boat was taking guests out to the reef to watch the fish -- with such great visibility they probably got a good view. There was also a sunset cruise offered, as well as snorkeling and windsurfing.
We had lunch by the pool (tuna sandwiches and fries), accompanied by a delicious Pina Colada.
The hotel offers a luau twice a week (Wednesday and Sunday evenings). It also has a seafood buffet ($34.95) on Friday and Prime Rib Buffet ($29.95) on Saturday.
We had the Prime Rib buffet and found it to be very good. There were several desserts included, as well. The bread was hot and tasty and butter sweet and fresh.
We missed the Luau evenings because of our arrival and departure dates, but heard that it was highly recommended.
Directly across the street is a great shopping area, The King's Shops, which includes four restaurants and many nice shops and galleries. The Waikoloa Beach Golf Course and King's Course and also conveniently located just down the street from the hotel. There is also a Shell station located here. We paid $2.23 per gallon (about the average for the Big Island). The cheapest gas we found was in Hilo near the airport ($2.00 per gallon).
The hotel offered a variety of activities throughout the day from lei making to tours of the fish ponds, the petroglyph areas (ancient Hawaiian carvings), and information on how the luau pig is prepared (imu cooking). There were also special activities for children as well.
We managed to keep ourselves very busy playing golf and exploring the island. Be prepared, it really is a "big" island!
The Outrigger is about 17 miles north of the airport in the very sunny Kona area. We had nothing but blue skies and sunshine during our five day stay on the Big Island.
I highly recommend The Outrigger and would definitely stay there on a return trip!