Kona Kai Resort & Spa offers guests the ultimate private getaway. Located at the southwestern tip of Shelter Island, it is surrounded by water on three sides. The island itself, which is technically not an island, has a single road connecting it to the Point Loma peninsula on one end and ending in a cul-de-sac in front of Kona Kai on the other. Guests are welcomed to the Spanish-colonial inspired resort via an airy ocean view lobby with plank and beam ceiling, darkwood floor, seagull white and ocean blue furnishings, floor to ceiling windows, concrete fireplace, and brushed metal finishes that create a refreshing nautical ambiance. Couples longing for a secluded romantic escape, families craving resort amenities, or marine enthusiasts expecting a luxurious port will all find what they’re looking for at Kona Kai.
Rooms and SuitesKona Kai Resort & Spa underwent an extravagant 2014 renovation updating, among other spaces, their guestrooms and suites. Guests should expect trendy accommodations that are light and airy with bright colors and exuberant patterns. Accent walls feature vibrant teal leaf patterns, carpets have brown and cream geometric patterns, luxurious window coverings and plush bedding are bright white, and striking island print throw pillows adorn the beds. Renovated bathrooms have glass shower enclosures with rain showerheads and SpaTerre Coconut Mango Spa Products.
The resort hotel offers four different guestroom choices: Deluxe with no view, Marina View, Pool View, and Premium Bay View. Some of these rooms are ADA accessible. There are also pet-friendly rooms at Kona Kai for guests with a single pet under 25 pounds. All guestrooms are 360 square feet with one King or two Queen beds. All but Pool View rooms have connecting room options. Rooms also have premium coffees, mini-refrigerator, 42-inch TV, and Wi-Fi access. Other guestroom amenities include in-room safe, spa robes, hair dryer, coffeemaker, iron and board, and private balcony or patio.
There are two styles of suites available to guests of Kona Kai Resort & Spa. Junior Suites are 384 to 448 square feet and have a separate seating area, King bed with grand tufted headboard, sleeper sofa, premium coffees, mini-refrigerator, 42-inch TV, and Wi-Fi access. Executive Suites are 845 square feet and have a separate living area with a bar and a private balcony overlooking San Diego Bay. They also include King bed with tufted grand headboard and the same amenities as Junior Suites.
Note: Although Kona Kai Resort & Spa is designated a pet-friendly hotel, guests are required to put up a $100 non-refundable cleaning fee in addition to the nightly pet accommodation fee.
Kona Kai Marina has 520 boat slips from 30 to 250 feet. They provide a host of marina amenities including full use of the hotel amenities, room rate discounts, and dockside dining. Marina guests can expect access card controlled dock gates, 70-foot Dock n’ Dine, laundry facilities, high-speed Internet and TV, and a nearby fuel dock. Kona Kai Marina is a California Clean Marinas Program member and is dedicated to marine ecology.
Vessel Restaurant & Bar serves New American cuisine using seasonal and sustainable ingredients. Executive Chef Roy Hendrickson works his magic on coastal dishes with a sophisticated twist. The recently renovated dining room is casual chic with a stunning 360 degree lighted bar at the center. One wall features videos of local landscapes. A wall of windows overlooks the oudoor dining space, the marina, and Kellog Beach on Point Loma. Vessel serves breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner and often features live music. There is an indoor semi-private dining area and outdoor poolside tiki bar and café. In-room dining is also available.
SpaTerre provides hotel guests with an extraordinary array of Indonesian, Fijian, and Thai spa experiences. Global rituals include treatments like a detoxifying volcanic clay body mask, or a customized massage with warm sand poultices on a crystal quartz table. Choose from ten massage therapies; five facials; or a variety of wraps, scrubs, rituals, beauty treatments, and hair and scalp treatments. The spa includes steam rooms and a fully equipped fitness center with cardio and strength equipment and free weights.
The hotel’s resort-style pool has a hot tub, sun deck, lounge chairs, and cabanas; one end of the pool has three lap lanes. Kona Kai guests can engage in a variety of other resort amenities including powerboat, Jet Ski, kayak, pedal boat, standup paddleboard, bike, and Segway rentals from Action Sports Rental on the resort. Bonfire pits are available for rent with S’Mores kits on the resort’s private beach. Complimentary chaise lounges, soccer balls, bocce balls, volleyballs, and badminton equipment are also available on the sandy beach.
Note: Resort and parking fees are in addition to room rates. The spa offers a menu of services for children under 18 with a parent present. The restaurant has a children’s menu and high-chairs.
Shoreline Park is across the street from the hotel and runs the length of the island from the San Diego Harbor Police station to Bali Hai Polynesian restaurant at the island’s opposite end. There is a children’s playground in the park, and farther down you’ll find the Shelter Island Pier where you can do a little fishing. Fathom Bistro, Bait, & Tackle tap house is on the pier.
Across the parking lot from the hotel and in the center of the cul-de-sac, you’ll find the historic Yokohama Friendship Bell and “The Girl in the Red Shoes” statue, both are gifts from San Diego’s sister city Yokohama, Japan, representing eternal friendship. The bell is rung on New Year’s Eve in a ceremony led by the Buddhist Temple of San Diego, and on other special occasions.
At the opposite end of the island, near the causeway connecting it to the mainland, Humphrey’s Concerts by the Bay is on the marina side. The iconic 1,400-seat outdoor theater draws big name musicians and comedians, and is a popular venue with San Diegans. Check their website for the current season’s schedule before making your vacation plans, because shows sell out quickly.
Shelter Island is the perfect place to watch the annual Big Bay Boom fireworks display in San Diego Bay on the Fourth of July. It is also home to YachtFest, a superyacht extravaganza including live action from the San Diego Maritime Museum every September. Shelter Island is one of the best places to watch the annual Parade of Lights in December where boats with holiday lights stream through San Diego Bay.
If you want to explore Point Loma, it is an affluent neighborhood with plenty to offer. Historic Liberty Station, a lively revitalized neighborhood within the neighborhood on the site of the former Naval Training Center, is on the north end of Point Loma. Cabrillo National Monument, Old Point Loma Lighthouse, and Point Loma tide pools are on its southern tip. The Pacific side of the peninsula features the dramatic sandstone cliffs of Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, excellent surfing, and a more laidback ambiance. San Diego International Airport and Downtown San Diego are also minutes away.
Kona Kai Resort & Spa offers a number of promotions year-round. Seasonal packages include discounted room rates, spa credits, and discounted cabana and sports rentals. Other promotions like their Tempting Escape with incredible room rates and generous resort credits, SpaTerre Escape with deluxe accommodations and big spa credits, or Noble Adventure with complimentary Jet Ski and Segway rentals are vacation favorites. Check out these and other current promotions on the hotel website.
Kona Kai provides significantly discounted rates for AAA members and AARP members. The hotel’s Government Per Diem discounts save Federal Employees money on stays in luxurious renovated guest rooms. MCRD (Marine Corps Recruit Depot) graduates and their families can enjoy similar discounts on accommodations.