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Weekend Getaway To Kona Kai Resort & Spa

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san diego overnight getaways

This past weekend we took a little overnight getaway to Shelter Island for some relaxation in the sun at partner, Kona Kai Resort & Spa.

These days I feel like I live in a different timezone every week, and it was nice to have that vacation feel, but only be an hour away from home. What I didn’t expect was the unseasonably warm weather! We leave for Pennsylvania and Virginia tomorrow, so this was a really nice treat before we head back east and experience some cooler spring temperatures.

kona kai hotel review

I had heard wonderful things about Kona Kai Resort & Spa, and the huge revitalization that the property recently went through….it was even better in person!

With only 129 guest rooms and suites it feels more boutique than large resort… 

kona kai resort shelter island review

We were welcomed by the very friendly valet staff as soon as we arrived and invited into the chic lobby. Check in took mere moments, and then we made our way to our rooms. The girls had a guestroom with two queen beds.  Pete and I had a room right next door with a king sized bed. Both of our rooms had balconies with bay views. The property features multiple connecting rooms making this a great family friendly resort.

kona kai loft

Having just returned from Hawaii a couple weeks ago, we loved the tropical vibe and how earth accents were brought inside the resort.

resort kona kai

The guest rooms were just stunning. Pete and I thought the colors were both exciting and restful. There are two things I look for when I “judge” a resort… the first is the bed. This one was so comfortable. The linens were very high quality and we all got a really good nights rest. 

kona kai king bedroom

The other thing that I value in a hotel is the quality of the shower. This one did not disappoint. The water pressure was perfect, the temperature warm, and the rain shower head is just the best. The girls room had a bathtub and shower in one.  Pete and I had a walk in shower. The mango spa shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and lotion were my favorite!

kona kai remodel

This was the view from our balcony… no matter where you stay on the property you will have unrivaled views of San Diego’s glittering skyline, Coronado, or the Kona Kai Marina.

views of the ocean

The resort was very well cared for and the landscaping was lush…

kona kai san diego review

Saturday evening we enjoyed dinner at Vessel Restaurant which features California comfort cuisine daily.  You can also enjoy their cuisine at an outdoor poolside Tiki bar during those long summer nights.

vessel bar kona kai resort

The bar was hopping that night so we decided to take some pictures the next morning. 

vessels restaurant

All of the food we enjoyed was very fresh and featured some great flavor combinations. 

vessels restaurant dinner

The girls joined us for part of our meal.  Their food was served first and after they were done eating they headed back to their room while Pete and I enjoyed our meals together.

family dinner vessels restaurant

We ate out on the patio and watched the sun go down over the marina. The next morning we watched the bay light up as the sun rose.

san diego bay

You probably recognize this picture…  One of my favorite parts of the day is always my morning cup of coffee. Thankfully, Kona Kai Resort & Spa has a coffee stand, and I was able to get my soy latte! Pete brought us coffee back to our room and we enjoyed it on our balcony.


After we woke up more, Pete took the girls out for Sunday brunch and I spent the morning at the new SpaTerra.  The new 7,020 square-foot spa features private treatments and a wet room, a state-of-the-art fitness  center, and an extensive menu of treatments and services. I had the most wonderful massage.  The combination of the massage itself and the beautiful spa made it one of the best I’ve ever had. Everything was thought of for guest comfort and enjoyment.  I just loved the decor!

kona kai resort spa

the spa at kona kai resort

Afterwards, I rejoined the rest of the family and we headed down to the pool. Ashley and Emmy loved the pool and Maddie enjoyed relaxing on the lounge chairs. Since we travel with such a wide range of ages, we are always looking to make sure there is something for everyone to do, and this was a perfect resort for us. The girls all had as much fun, or relaxation as they wanted.

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kona kai resort pool

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pool for kids shelter island san diego

There is even a private beach with food & beverage service.  It is equipped with 40 new chairs, umbrellas, and even bonfire pits for watching cozy sunsets. The resort offers bonfire and s’more kits for an additional fee too. We didn’t find out about that until we were checking out, so be sure to inquire about that when you first get there. 

kona kai beach

After a late morning of brunching and swimming, I found Emmy on the balcony wrapped in a robe and soaking in the sun and ocean breezes. She didn’t want to leave…

hotels on shelter island

Kona Kai Resort & Spa also features 55,000 square-feet of flexible indoor and outdoor event space for meetings, weddings and events. The Kona Kai Marina, the closest marina to open ocean in San Diego, has over 500 slips and is a perfect way to experience the resort by sailing there and docking at one of their slips. 

The resort is close to all the touristy attractions too for our of town guests, while still making a great staycation for us locals!

Here is a video overview of the resort:

Here is a video tour of our rooms:

Do you ever take quick getaways to your own home town?

Heather Reese
the authorHeather Reese
Heather Delaney Reese is the storyteller and photographer behind the lifestyle and family travel blog, It's a Lovely Life®! For the past decade, she has vacationed over 150 days a year with her family. She is a vegan, and loves being by the water, spending time with her children, husband, 2 Shih Tzus and Cat.


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