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Reviewed 29 July 2020

Q: When is the smell of body odor on a pillow OK? When is mildew and mold on a door jamb OK? When is it OK for you to have to ask for TP at a hotel?

A: NEVER.

Several of the reasons I chose this place:

1) no resort fee
2) parking fee is only $10 a day, vs $20 at the Sheraton
3) smack dab in the middle of Ali'i Drive (but sadly, a COVID ghost town)
4) walking distance to restaurants and bars
5) free "breakfast" - which is restricted to cold items, no hot foods, including coffee. They have a coffee maker in the room.
6) cheaper than the Sheraton, of course.
7) microwave and fridge in room. Need fridge for wine and stuff.
8) Yelpers and Tripadvisor mentioned this place was "clean" - hmmmm.

What I loved, besides the reasons above:

1) super cold A/C
2) quiet rooms, couldn't hear neighbors talking or snoring
3) large room
4) hard, stiff comfy beds (I love hard beds)

What I did not like about this place:

1) BODY ODOR ON PILLOW. The minute my tired head hit the pillow, it smelled like Uncle Billy Bob's armpit. I am not making this up! Fortunately it was only restricted to the hard two pillows, so I tried sleeping with the soft marshmallowy pillows but they sucked, so I ended up rolling a towel for my head and banished the smelly pillows to the couch.

2) dirty stained carpets, and I mean stains everywhere. You'd think with COVID closures they had time to clean the carpet. I told my son to keep his slippers and sneakers on. No walking barefoot here!

3) mold/mildew on door jambs (see pics). I ended up wiping some of it off with hand sanitizer on toilet paper but I wasn't here on vacation to clean some dirty room!

4) Tipping the housekeeper did not help to get more toiletries. Nope.

5) I had to ask for toilet paper refill in the morning at front desk. The one in our room was skating on thin ice. I've never in my entire hotel life had to ask front desk for TP. Never.

6) Front desk girl was a bit frazzled. I felt grateful that she was ministering to me being there, that's how I felt. She was rather intimidating. My neighbors said the same thing, so it wasn't only me who felt a bit scared. Another morning there was a different woman, and her BF was sitting on some cabinets, that was weird.

7) Phone did not work, which was stupid, because I had to keep going downstairs to talk to the front desk.

8) Pull chain on lamps were either greasy, or corroded. My neighbors said the same thing about their room. It's not a good feeling so you have to wash your hands after you touch it. It felt dirty.

Things nearby:

1) Walking distance to one out of three open ABC store that closes at 7:30 PM.
2) Only places open for sit down dining that I researched were Papa Konas (til 11:00 PM on Sat night), Fish Hopper (check hours), Gertrude's Jazz Bar, Gypsea Gelato, Pancho and Lefty's Mexican (about 500 yards from hotel). We actually ate at Pancho's and Papa Kona's and listened to Gertrude's pumping out the jazz on a deserted Ali'i Drive, it was kind of surreal.
3) Hulihe'e Palace (closed) and the Mokauikaua Church (not sure if open), and the Hilo pier where we watched people fishing at sunset.
4) Sack N Save and another grocery store five minutes drive so you can stock up on wine, sushi, chips and cakes by the slice.

How much did all of this cost?

Approximately $355 for two nights, including tax and two day's worth of parking.

Return Factor - only if I were really desperate.

Date of stay: July 2020
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank LehuaMonsoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IHG Service, Owner at Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Kailua-Kona, responded to this reviewResponded 7 October 2020

Hello LehuaMonsoon,

Thank you for staying with us. Our hotel has the perfect environment of simplicity and luxury.

I saw your comments and appreciated your mention of our location and breakfast. I am sorry however for the inconvenience with the stained carpets, the smell, and the lack of amenities among other things. I understand your disappointment after what you have described. I shared your remarks with our managing team and have created a plan to prevent these issues from happening again.

I invite you to stay with us on your next trip.

Warm regards,

Oscar C.
Case Manager
IHGService

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2020

What a great place to stay! We loved the service, complimentary breakfast, and location. We walked to the downtown area and the beach. We drove to the other side of the island to visit the National Park and black sand beach. It was nice to come back to a relaxing room.

Date of stay: March 2020
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank lacfam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 March 2020

We wanted an inexpensive hotel in Kona to stay in after going on a long tour that would get us back late. So we picked this Holiday Inn Express. Being Kona, it was still expensive but not 500 a night. Located off a main road, there are some shopping and restaurant options in walking distance. But we were not there for that. Our room SMELLED like mildew. They need to tear out that aged carpeting. It was clean enough, room was large, but smells will ruin a room.
The pool was evidently not in use. Water was murky and dirty.
Even the complimentary breakfast was average. Here we are in Hawaii, a fruit paradise, and they serve the same commercial apples, bananas and oranges that a hotel in Ohio would use. Why not purchase local fruit?
We were glad the hotel was conveniently located to Saddle Road so we could get the heck out of there and off to Hilo the next day.

Date of stay: March 2020
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank jplapis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IHGService, Guest Relations Manager at Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Kailua-Kona, responded to this reviewResponded 14 April 2020


Hello jplapis,

Thank you for your stay and for taking the time to writing us your feedback.Our hotel focus in in your satisfaction. I have read your comments and I'm sorry that you have issues with your room carpeting, the smell and dirty water of the pool among other things. I have shared your comments with our general manager. They have review your feedback and establish a plan to prevent these issues from happening again. I will like to invited you to come and stay with us on your next travel.


Best Regards,

Oscar C.
Case Manager
IHG Service

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 March 2020

I used to stay at uncle billys in kona but the place isnt as nice as the IHG. you do play more to stay here but its worth it. amazing breakie in the morning..hot and cold items. the cinnamon buns are great.

rooms are big and clean. good cable and the showers are very good also. i would stay again for sure.

Date of stay: March 2020
  • Trip type: Travelled on business
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank saipan1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 March 2020

I have been a teacher and manager most of my life. THE most important thing about any retail and/or hospitality business is the people who work in the establishment. I also greatly appreciate the Kona Seaside. They have recently remodeled, and all of the choices have been good choices. Having said that, my faaaaaavorite hotel in Kona is hands-down the Holiday Inn Express and Suites. Sure, you get a nice room and breakfast and nice laundry facilities and stuff, but the people who work in the hotel are who/what actually matters.

So Blanca Salgado is the new manager, and she is obviously doing a bang-up job. She has a crack-staff of front desk employees: Donna, Crystal," the other Crystal," and Nava. Then there are the awesome maintenance guys, Michael and Graham. Then there is the lovely Jamie and her crack-staff of housekeepers: Kaleema, Samantha, Willa, Carida, Shue, Berinda, Julie, Isabel, and Chevy.

You guys are simply the best. Mahalo and Aloha for taking such good care of all of us. My husband and I really appreciate all of you. Kudos, Holiday Inn Express and Suites, Kailua-Kona, HI. Keep up the great work! : )

Room tip: Every room in this hotel is better than fine.
Date of stay: March 2020
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank kimber21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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