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Checking Out the Killer Views From Both Sides of Hawaii Island

December 3, 2013 at 2:33 PM | by | Comments (0)

A few years ago, Hawaii was hit with a tsunami that caused damage to hotels on both sides of the island, mostly in the lobby and the lower levels where the water rushed in and ripped through.

We're happy to report that the unlucky hotels have since renovated, which we suppose is one (and perhaps the only) benefit of having your entire first floor wiped out by a wave of water - an excuse to spruce things up.

We visited two hotels on opposite sides of the island, the Hilo Hawaiian and King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel, which were both affected by the tsunami and have since redone their lobbies and parts of their property. Although there is a risk that comes along with the ocean-front location, it also rewards with rockin' killer views.

The first two photos are from the Hilo Hawaiian. The island you see in the cover photo is called Coconut Island, which sits in Hilo Bay. Beyond the island in the distance, you can see Mauna Kea covered in clouds, one of the best places in the world to stargaze and one of the few places in Hawaii where you will need a sweatshirt (it gets below freezing at the top!). Just a five-minute drive from downtown Hilo, the hotel recently completed room renovations in October. Rates start at $159/night.

The above and below are of the coastal view from King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel. Be sure to request this on booking to ensure you get a direct view, as many are partial ocean views from a side angle. The hotel's beach is impressive for multiple reasons, the first being that downtown Kona isn't known for its sand. The second is because it is a huge Hawaiian historical site.

King Kamehameha established his royal residence adjacent to the current site of the hotel and lived in the area until his death in 1819. In 2008, we reported this hotel was receiving bad reviews, but after a recent stay, we can tell you first hand that the hotel has cleaned up its act and is a safe bet for travelers coming through Kona. Rates start at $169/night.

[Photos: Will McGough for Hotel Chatter/Marriott]

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