WHAT’S IT LIKE? San Diego offers the perfect getaway for active vacationers and families who want to maximize what little time off they can muster. It’s got the zoo, the theme parks, the quintessential SoCal-style beaches, art galleries and museums and fabulous shopping. And a stay at one of the city’s resort spreads just minutes from Downtown San Diego is a good way to frame the vacation. Kona Kai, now a Noble House Resort, is the perfect spot for this plan, with its spot on a quiet marina with views of the Pacific beyond.

How Many Rooms? 170 newly renovated guestrooms and junior and executive stunning suite

PROPERTY HIGHLIGHTS: The location at the tip of Shelter Island, just minutes from Downtown San Diego and San Diego International Airport, is a great advantage for this resort-style setting. The ambience is a combination of casual chic and modern Mission Revival with a lavish lobby area that includes a sizable fireplace and nooks with books and reading material. For those who prefer the boat to the car, the property has access to 518 marina boat slips ranging in length from 30 feet to 250 feet, all directly across the road from the property in a marina on the bay.


ROOM FACILITIES: Color schemes veer to California hues of turquoise, yellow and gold with distressed wood accents that complement the oceanic surroundings. Each guestroom has a private patio or balcony and start at 360 square feet with standard amenities, such as a desk area, Wi-Fi, comfortable kings or queen beds and a bathroom featuring a shower/tub combo.

The Kona Kai Resort and Spa recently introduced eight new “Coastal Revival Suites” and 33 new “Endless Summer Suites” to the property that offer a double-sided fireplace and at least 420 square feet of living space.

RESTAURANTS AND BARS: The Vessel Restaurant + Bar is a fun and refreshing centerpiece of the Kona Kai, serving all meals and offering a menu that manages a modern spin on classic California cuisine. A 360 degree bar anchors the restaurant at its center and all seats have spectacular views of the pool and the Kona Kai Resort & Spa Marina.


LEISURE FACILITIES: The Kona Kai was built with leisure in mind when it opened in the early 1950s as a bit of Hawaii at the bottom of California. It offers a private beach, two ample swimming pools (including an adults only pool) with poolside service and cabanas, firepits for family gatherings, a small spa with treatment rooms and daily fitness classes. All is contained within a very family-friendly and pet-friendly environment.

BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES: Meetings take on a small, casual élan here. The property offers 55,000 square feet of versatile indoor and outdoor meetings and events space, including the new Outdoor Terrace and, of course, buy-outs get the advantage of the restaurant facilities, pools and outdoor spaces overlooking the marina.

VERDICT: For the convenience of the location, the easy in/out layout, the location on a walkable strand on the Pacific, the comfortable public areas, the luxury amenities available onsite and the kind responsiveness of the staff, a stay at Kona Kai becomes a relaxing vacation in San Diego no matter what the purpose or business.

PRICE: Current rates run less than $200 a night on a quick glance through Internet options.

CONTACT: (619) 221-8000. 1551 Shelter Island Drive,San Diego, CA 92106. www.resortkonakai.com