San Diego has always been one of my favorite retreats, so I jumped at the chance to head South and see where the adventures led. I wanted to find a place that was off the beaten path, but still close enough to access downtown and other key areas of the city.
Kona Kai Resort was once a grand Disney resort that attracted famous guests like Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack, plus many other Hollywood celebrities over the years. Today, this waterfront resort has been recently renovated, updated, and expanded with a $22 million makeover. It has become a mecca for families and vacationers who want a little adventure. This San Diego area resort is nestled at the tip of Point Loma and flanked by water on one side and the Marina on the other. Not only is the resort 10 minutes from popular San Diego attractions like Sea World, the San Diego Zoo, plus 200 local attractions and beaches; it’s also a destination in itself with endless activities for all ages, tastes, and interests. The Resort also offers a free shuttle to the San Diego airport and local restaurants.
The welcoming tropical vibe is felt upon arrival, along with a whimsical décor of Polynesian influence mixed with Spanish Colonial charm. I was greeted by a friendly staff and literally walked into happy hour with complimentary beer, wine, and snacks. What a welcome! You can also rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul with onsite spa services like massages, facials, and wraps.
The waterfront restaurant, Vessel, has also been updated and renovated. A few other key perks include free WiFi, really comfortable beds, and a fitness center onsite. The cozy guestrooms have a beach bungalow feel with reclaimed wood, bright patterns, and bold colors, plus beautiful views of the beach or the Marina.
The next morning, my guest and I rented segways and explored the marina, the beach, and the main drag of Point Loma in an effortless way. With the fresh ocean air whipping through our hair, we discovered a few new haunts and a charming little pub right on the pier next to the bait shop. We rode circles around patient fisherman and raced through the park-like setting. Along with segways, the resort offers water sport rentals, waverunners, or bikes at their private marina.
Kona Kai Resort offers the only private beach in San Diego. I spent the day sunning myself at the outdoor pool that offers a fun, tiki vibe and overlooks the Marina. As a busy Mom with 3 kids, I am not the type of person who can unplug and relax easily. As I plopped down in an Adirondack chair, watching guests enjoy lawn and garden games and children play on the beach play area – I felt my daily urgencies melting away into a distant memory.
Additional recreational activities on the beach include canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, ping pong, boce ball, croquet, life size checkers, and even sand castle building contests. Guests can rent a private charter right at the marina or even watch movies on the beach. If that is too much activity, then you can simply unwind in the Jacuzzi as you watch the sunset descend behind the mountains.
For dinner, I joined a fellow journalist who was also traveling. The resort set up a dinner on the private beach, complete with incredible sunset views of the marina. We enjoyed freshly prepared cuisine and wine as we watched the sunset, shared ghost stories around a fire pit, and the staff even broke out the s’mores. This is a unique perk that any guest can arrange to do and was one of my personal favorites of the weekend.
There is no shortage of adventurous activities in the iconic Kona Kai Resort that will give you a true Southern California experience, in a convenient and unique location, at an affordable rate.