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Review 5106: Hilton Grand Vacation Club, Kings Land at Waikoloa
2bed/2bath timeshare near Waikoloa Village, Hawaii
July 2011, 1 week
The property is on the Big Island about 20 minute drive north of the Kona airport. It's part of a complex that houses a Hilton Hotel, two other Vacation Club properties (aka timeshares), a Marriot Hotel and two shopping centers (Queens Marketplace and Kings Shops).
We liked the area because there was plenty to do (or not to do), as well as decent restaurant choices, plenty of shopping, etc. It's also an easy ride from the airport.
The two market areas are walkable but it would be a decent walk (20 - 30 minutes easy) and I wouldn't want to do it carrying groceries or in the midday heat. Both market areas also have restaurants (Thai, sushi, a food court, Italian, Roys, etc.) as well as a Starbucks and some other food-coffee type places. The property offers a shuttle every 30 minutes though that you can use.
We liked having a car though because this allowed us to go off property to do grocery shopping, sight see or dine.
FYI: there's a local grocery store about a ten minute drive away (make a left out of the complex, and a right at the next traffic light) which had a good selection. It was still expensive (island prices) but better than the on property market. Also, about 30 minutes south is a Costco (just north of Kona) and there's a Safeway, Target etc., in Kona (as well as some funky stores and bars).
The Kings Land property has 11 buildings (I think), each with three floors and maybe a dozen units per floor (guessing). It's not private. The building was in good shape, though the first unit we were in (a 1bed/1bath) had a busted air-conditioning unit; they moved us to a new unit right away.
You enter the apartment and to your right is a bedroom with two double (maybe queen beds), dresser, TV, etc. On your left is a bathroom with a tub/shower sink, toilette. Just past that (down the entrance-way) is a closet that houses a vertical washer/dryer unit. past that the room opens into a kitchen area (oven, micro-convection, cabinets, dishwasher, sink, stove-top) and a dining table with six chairs. Beyond that (open floor plan) is the "living room area" with a couch, chair, coffee table, lamps, large flat screen TV), to the right is the door to the master suite. At the end of the living room, is a sliding glass door that leads to a lanai with a love seat, two chairs and table. Ours overlooked the golf course.
The property had an abundance of sitting areas, around the pools, by the bar, under the veranda from the front desk leading to the pool, and on a patio overlooking the "adult only" pool. We brought our dinner fixings (cheese, sausage, bread, fruit) out here one night for a picnic dinner with friends.
As I mentioned, there's an adult pool, as well as two others open to all and a slide. We never had a problem getting seats at the adult pool, no matter time of day. There were also two large hot tubs in the vicinity of the adult pool, and an ice cold dunking pool.
The furnishings were in excellent shape and comfortable. The unit was definitely clean. If you book this property through the Hilton hotel website, you get daily maid service too. As a timeshare owner, you get service once, mid-week I believe. We were only two in the two bedroom as we had originally booked a one bedroom (but the air-conditioning problem), so plenty of room for us. We had friends over for dinner one night so there were six in all around the table and that was fine. I think I would have found six staying in the unit (the couch opens into a bed) cramped though, four would be fine.
I love the Hilton beds, so yes very comfortable. The second bedroom had two beds (can't remember if they were queen-size or double) and its own bathroom across the hall. The master suite had a king size bed with a huge, huge bathroom off it (it's an open bathroom though - i.e., you can see from the bedroom directly into the bathroom - big opening. I think they've had complaints though, so if memory serves, there was a curtain you could close; we never bothered). Within the bathroom there was a separate room for the toilette, a huge shower and a separate tub. Plenty of fluffy white towels and two sinks.
The kitchen was usable as we had breakfast there (it had a toaster and a coffee pot in addition to the appliances mentioned above, even a rice cooker), and several dinners too. I don't remember if there was a pot though big enough for cooking pasta (i.e., six quart or bigger). Plenty of utensils, cutting board, really couldn't think of anything missing.
At the ends of each building are also gas grills (two at each end), on which we grilled dinners twice.
Problems or Bonuses
Not a surprise because we knew before we arrived, but guests staying at this property have full access to the neighboring Hilton hotel property and can charge things there to their room. It doesn't reverse though (i.e., hotel guests cannot use the Kings Land property). We went over to the hotel twice, once for dinner (KTP - amazing sunset, good food) and once to hear the timeshare shpiel (we sat by the pool at the hotel that day). The rest of the time we stayed at Kings Land.
My only complaint about the property is that the pool bar doesn't stay open past 7:30pm. It would have been nice to be able to go there for an after-dinner drink. Instead we would just return to our room and have something on our lanai.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Price is difficult for us to say because we got a deal since we agreed to listen to the timeshare shpiel. We didn't buy but would definitely consider it (especially once our kids get out of college). Our friends though booked this property through the Hilton Hotels site and with an AARP discount paid about $250 a night (give or take). They thought it well worth it for their two bedroom unit (they had four people).
Everyone at the property was very helpful. My only minimal complaint is that when the air conditioning didn't work in our first apartment, they didn't offer to help move our stuff. Silly, but we had just traveled a long way, were tired and had already unpacked before they told us we were moving. Although the second we asked them to help us move, they sent someone over with a golf cart who took all our repacked bags and brought them to our new unit.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Would totally recommend this place and we're hoping to return in 2012.
Things to do in this area
We did a lot of sitting by the pool, reading and drinking. We also did a snorkeling cruise with Hawaii Ocean Sports, highly recommend. We rented bikes for five days from Bike Works in the Queens Market Place. The only riding we did though was up and down the main highway (19) with some major wind!
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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