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View Full Version : Back from FF Kona Village Resort-photos



vinolover
10-06-2006, 07:14 PM
Still weeding through 400 photos but have posted the condo pics here. (http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/vinolover78/album?.dir=/d01cre2&.src=ph)

We liked the resort very much but didn't get a unit in the best location. Didn't expect to see the ocean but hoped for something better than the rooftops and side of the adjacent building. Did get the requested top floor unit (loved the high ceiling in the living room). Really the only complaint was how close our building was to the ones in front of it. It feel somewhat claustrophobic and was VERY noisy since we were so close to their AC units.

I-DE-HO
10-06-2006, 07:22 PM
Mahalo for the pics. We love the resort & the BI. What unit were you in?

Phil

urple2
10-06-2006, 09:25 PM
Great photos! Thanks for posting these.

I'll be heading there Thanksgiving week.

starlifter
10-06-2006, 09:32 PM
Thanks for the photos. Have reservations for next summer. Kids will enjoy looking at the pictures to see what they to look forward to.

David

shopgirl
10-06-2006, 10:05 PM
Great pictures. I loved the shower seat and found it perfect for shaving my legs. The bathtub was a problem, the champagne bubble jets were popping so much that I nearly fell on the tile, more than once, which really got slick with the slightest bit of dampness. :shock:

Definitely the same as the unit we were in, which was 12B I believe.

Are there newer/better ones? Our friends were disappointed in the unit, they are used to the top hotel chains and think timeshare is slumming. :) I thought it was VERY nice, but we did have roaches in the kitchen, large numbers of them. Obviously the place was either in need of a good spray or the people before us were careless with food items.

taffy19
10-06-2006, 10:13 PM
Your pictures are wonderful. :biggrin: We never took that many pictures ever of inside a timeshare as it was never that important to us but it is to others, I am finding out. We are happy when the resort is clean and comfortable but view means everything to us as that's what we are traveling for.

We saw the models here when they first started building as we owned at their sister resort (Mauna Loa Village by the Sea), also on the Big Island. This was an independent, small developer then but he sold his two developments to Fairfield (Cendant) so his family could move on to better things or he could enjoy his family while they were still young. :) I remember the pictures of him and his family in his newsletters he used to send to us.

vinolover
10-07-2006, 02:31 PM
My husband and I were in unit 36A. I read somewhere that the units are numbered with A (above) units on the top floor, B (below) units on the bottom floor. The top floor units have vaulted ceilings which made it feel even more spacious and of course no one walking above you so it was quiet. Sound proofing indoors was very good, we never heard any of our neighbors. I called in advance to request a top floor unit and also requested to not overlook a parking lot. Both of these requests were honored. I didn't think to request to not be directly against another building (not being able to tell from the resort map just how close together these buildings are).

I love a beautiful view (totally spoiled by our last three visits to Kauai at Shearwater, KEK and Cliffs Club). But I knew in advance not to expect a view at FFKHR. We actually could see a tiny sliver of ocean and a bit of the sunset in between the rooftops. We did have nice tropical foliage surrounding our building but the biggest problem for us was something we discovered a few days into the week. As the week got warmer more people retreated indoors with the AC cranked up. Our building was extremely close to the buildings in front of it and their AC units were directly below our lanai. It was very, very noisy.

We really did love the unit. It was nicely decorated. The old fashioned tropical theme was lovely. Everything very clean, no stains on carpet or furniture.

Kitchen was nice. Window in the kitchen actually had a better view than from our lanai, overlooking a spacious common area with the BBQ grills. We ate in for most of our meals and we had everything we needed for cooking. They even provided full size filled salt and pepper shakers. Starter pack of coffee and enough filters for the rest of the week, plenty of dish soap and dishwasher soap, paper towels, place mats, wine glasses, bamboo tray to carry everything out to the lanai dining table. We didn't have a bug problem, saw no roaches but did have some very tiny ants around the sink. We kept the sink and counters rinsed and wiped, stored all food in the refrigerator and took out our kitchen trash daily. We loved all the little geckos outside our building, they are doing their job to eat the bugs.

Bathrooms were both very good. Master bath in the bedroom with large double sink area, big shower with bench seat across the back wall, private toilet closet, plenty of soap, toilet paper, kleenex, plus a few small bottles of shampoo and hand lotion. Quaint bamboo towel racks and shower doors. We liked the tub, you are sitting on the jets but we didn't find it uncomfortable.

Both bedrooms had nice size armoires with lots of hangers and drawer space. I would have liked to have a drawer in the nightstand but that's being picky. Fairly comfortable bed but could have used better pillows (again, we were spoiled since we had just come from Oahu staying at the Royal Hawaiian in the wonderful Sheraton Sweet Sleeper bed). Very small safe on the wall in the master bedroom, barely big enough to put the laptop in (if you propped it up on its side). The Hawaiian quilt bedspreads were really pretty.

Living room was quite large and the furniture was comfortable. We didn't use the DVD player and only occasionally turned on the TV but it seemed good quality. There was another TV in the armoire of the master bedroom which we didn't use. No TV in the guest bedroom. We liked the quaint radio in the living room that was actually a CD player and enjoyed the CDs that they provided.

Typical condo style stacked washer/dryer in the guest bathroom. Since there were only the two of us we didn't mind the location of that. The guest bathroom was nice as well, Nice sink area (single sink) same large shower with bench seat as in the master bath. No tub in the guest bath. Window in this bathroom made it bright and airy.

The lanai was wonderful. Two comfortable chairs and small table in the corner where we sat for morning coffee and evening cocktails. Large teak dining table for our meals. Everyone eats outside and sometimes loud neighbors were a bother. People in condos really should be aware that voices carry. One set of neighbors would yell at each other to be heard when some of them were outside speaking to others inside. By mid-week it seemed less and less people were out on their lanais (maybe due to the heat or maybe they started eating out more often).

The lower pool area was a short walk. Very nice landscaping and we enjoyed the sand bottom hot tub. We did explore the upper pool area but didn't care for the starkness of it.

Based on the resort maps that I've seen I would guess that our building was built during the second phase. The newer units up the hill seem to be in phase three. We didn't have the problem that others mention about all the ceiling fans being on timers. Only the fan on the lanai was on a timer. The others had normal wall switches so we could leave them on all day or night when we needed to. No new construction was going on while we were there but it's my understanding that more units will be built.

We didn't attend any of the activities although there were some that we were interested in. The activity tent is not in a very attractive location, being off the parking lot.

We didn't use the concierge or interact with the staff other than checking in and out but I was surprised after reading all the good reviews that most of the staff were not outwardly friendly or gracious. We went into the lobby at least once each day to use our computer and more often than not no one greeted us or spoke until we greeted them. I think resort staff (hotels or condos) should be trained to always greet the guests.

We did take advantage of the use of beach gear (mats and chairs) but supply was very limited, there were none available the first few days. Plus, one day we picked up two chairs and found out one was broken after we were at the beach so it was unusable. Some of the beach stuff looked like it should have been thrown out rather than offered to the guests. Didn't use the bikes but it was nice that they were available.

The grounds are lovely with heavy tropical foliage and well tended daily by the gardening staff. Nice touch to have hidden speakers around the grounds with Hawaiian music softly playing. Another nice touch to have tiki torches lining the driveway at night but a few nights no one bothered to light them. Having free WIFI in the lobby was good, it would be even nicer if you could access it from the unit.

I would return to this resort if we decide to stay in the Kona area again. I would be more careful of exactly which unit I would be willing to accept if we return. We didn't mind the Kona traffic. If you drive the back road from the resort you can avoid sitting in traffic on Ali'i Drive. Once you're in the resort it feels very relaxing. This was the slowest time of year for the islands and there were almost no children at the resort. They are in the process of adding two lanes to Highway 19 from Kailua-Kona to the airport exit so that should alleviate the congestion getting to and from town.

philsfan
10-07-2006, 03:56 PM
Very nice landscaping and we enjoyed the sand bottom hot tub.

That is easily the nicest hot tub I've ever been in!

taffy19
10-07-2006, 04:50 PM
What a wonderful review. It seems to be a large resort today. Are they still building more units?

jmatias
10-07-2006, 07:45 PM
Thank you for sharing your review and the pics.

I was able to pick up a 2 bedroom unit for next June and gave it to my cousin for her honeymoon!

I'm sure she will have a great time.

Aloha,
Jen

vinolover
10-07-2006, 10:45 PM
What a wonderful review. It seems to be a large resort today. Are they still building more units?

On the resort website they say:
270 Total Units (upon completion)
Tennis Courts (upon completion)
Volleyball Courts (upon completion)
Putting Green (upon completion)

The current resort map shows 158 units. We didn't see any construction or an area where they might be adding any more units. When we checked in they didn't mention what was going on at this resort, they seemed more interested in talking about the new Fairfield Waikiki Beach Walk resort. I didn't sign up for a tour or to hear the pitch so I don't really know what the status is.

There are so many timeshares, condos and small inns along Ali'i Drive that even if this resort were to add another 100 units I don't think it would alter the feeling of the resort. Once you drive up the driveway from Ali'i Drive it feels fairly private. Even though we felt like we could practically touch the building in front of us we faced the back of those units so none of the lanais overlook one another. There were trees planted between our building and the one beside it so we were mostly blocked from their lanai. The lush landscaping does a lot to add privacy.

Ann-Marie
10-08-2006, 11:54 AM
Vinolover, We are booked for Unit 40A. It is an end unit, but not on the parking lot side. It is on the other end, just parallel to where unit 36A is. Do you have any idea what type of view we will have?

vinolover
10-08-2006, 03:35 PM
Vinolover, We are booked for Unit 40A. It is an end unit, but not on the parking lot side. It is on the other end, just parallel to where unit 36A is. Do you have any idea what type of view we will have?

From my memory of what is adjacent to unit 40 I think you will have a pretty good, fairly open view. The land next to units 34, 37, 40, 43 is open land right now. Maybe that's where the next phase will be built??? You shouldn't have any rooftops or other buildings obstructing your view, since you are on the top floor you might see the ocean across the street. I would assume that some sort of construction will happen eventually on that vacant property so you might want to call in advance to find out. It could be very annoying if your lanai faces noisy construction.

calgal
10-08-2006, 11:10 PM
Vinolover, If you don't mind, I will be checking in on 12/23 and wondered:
Are there feral cats there? My husband is pretty allergic to cats, and I was hoping that won't be a big issue.
What are the bikes like that are available? Any kids' sizes? Do they have helmets available? Did you happen to notice a bike shop in Kona that rents out road bikes?
Thanks for your reply.

Glitter Brunello
10-09-2006, 12:51 AM
I'm not Vinolover, but was there in August. There were a few cats around, but they were not obtrusive and seemed fairly disinterested in people. The resort staff are told not to encourage them.

My son borrowed a bike, but he is big, so not sure about smaller sizes, hopefully someone else will tell you, but if you call the resort they will let you know. I would be shocked if they had helmets, HI d/n even have helmet laws for motorcycles...

vinolover
10-09-2006, 09:11 AM
Vinolover, If you don't mind, I will be checking in on 12/23 and wondered:
Are there feral cats there? My husband is pretty allergic to cats, and I was hoping that won't be a big issue.
What are the bikes like that are available? Any kids' sizes? Do they have helmets available? Did you happen to notice a bike shop in Kona that rents out road bikes?
Thanks for your reply.

I didn't look over the bikes so I can't answer that question. You could probably search in Google for a shop that rents off road bikes, they seem to rent everything else (kayaks, golf clubs, etc.) so I would guess someone would rent bikes.

I've never been to a condo in Hawaii (or a hotel for that matter) where I didn't see stray cats. We did see a three or four at FFKHR but they never bothered us. In fact they usually ran the other way if we walked by them. One guest across the way from our unit was putting out milk for them each morning. This was a BAD idea since the cats came to expect it. Once that guest checked out the cats came to that door every day looking for him. We also saw where some guest put a sack of garbage outside their unit instead of taking it directly to the bin. Of course the cats got into it and made a mess.

Management did not put any notice in the units to tell people NOT to feed the cats (which other condos sometimes do). I'm a cat lover and have one of my own but I don't think people should feed the strays.

If you get a top floor unit you shouldn't be bothered but even the bottom units are raised off the ground level so I doubt the cats would come on your lanai unless encouraged to do so.

Amanda
10-10-2006, 07:04 PM
hi all, my first time to Hawaii will be next year in November.. looking fwd to it already! I have one week booked on Oahu, waiting for another.. but just curious about the cat thing.. i have no problems with cats at all, :o it just seems strange that you always see stray cats at resorts in Hawaii -- does anyone know why that is? :confused:

taffy19
10-10-2006, 07:25 PM
Some of the guests or employees may feed them so that's why they hang around. Some resorts even have a resort cat to keep the rodents or little mice away.

vinolover
10-10-2006, 08:04 PM
When we were staying at the Renaissance hotel in Maui years ago a cute "stray" cat came and visited us every day as we sat out on the lawn. It had a name tag that said "Fat City, Hotel Kitty".
It was obviously well-fed and well taken care of. The hotel employees said most guests loved the cat, it even received fan mail from former guests!

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