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Finding the perfect vacation rental on the Big Island can be overwhelming…I mean, it’s a BIG island with a TON of condo-tels and rentals. While it’s still possible to find houses or apartments to rent, I tend to recommend condos over them as it puts less of a burden on local housing demands. But there are so many condos!! How do you pick a good one?
I’ve made recommendations for specific condo units in this post (mostly budget options), but availability, seasonal pricing, or other factors may leave you still needing more options.
In this post, I’m recommending a bunch of condo complexes (also called condo-tels or condo resorts) by area on the Big Island that I think are good places to stay. I’ve also got descriptions of each area so you can figure out what part of the island is most appealing to you.
If you’re really struggling with which part of the island to stay on, read this post.
I think the best place to find (and book) Big Island vacation rentals is Vrbo. They’ve been around forever and are probably the most reputable booking platform online (with owners and vacationers alike), which means that you’ll find more quality properties listed on Vrbo than anywhere else online. I used to book more often with Airbnb, but I’ve begun to find that they often don’t have what I’m looking for (especially when I want to book a condo/unit within a resort property). So all of the condo complexes I will be linking to are bookable within Vrbo.
Disclaimer: This is by no means an exhaustive list of every condo complex on the Big Island. There are soooooo many, and there likely are some that aren’t on this list that are perfectly good places to stay at. I’ve compiled this list largely based on location, ratings and reviews, and an overall vibe of what I’m looking for in a place to stay.
While the entire western side of the island is often called “Kona side,” Kona town is where the airport and the majority of the stores are (Costco, Target, Walmart, etc.). There are some pretty beaches around Kona and the downtown area is pretty hopping as it’s a cruise ship port. To the north of Kona stretches the Kohala Coast (where the majority of the large beach resorts on the island are located) and the coast to the south is pretty lush.
These are some nice options in the Kona area (* are favorites!):
*Banyan Tree: Find specific condo units here.
*Hale Kona Kai: Find specific condo units here.
*Kona Bali Kai: Find specific condo units here.
Kona Isle: Find specific condo units here. OCEANFRONT!
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These are some great options just south of Kona in the Keauhou area:
This stretch of coast (often called the Gold Coast) stretches out north of Kona and is home to the island’s best resorts. This is where you’ll find the best beaches on the Big Island. Because it’s one long stretch of resorts and condos, you’ll also find a lot of shops and restaurants. While this area is known for luxury, it’s still possible to find good deals on condos…mostly because there are so many. It has the same type of landscape you’ll find all across the Kona side of the island (lava fields) but you’ll be a little bit closer to spots on the north shore including the Kohala Forest, Waipo Valley, and Hamakua.
These are some of my favorite condos in the Waikoloa Resort area (*are favorites!):
Vista Waikoloa: Find specific condo units here.
These are some of my favorite condos in the Mauna Lani area (*are favorites!):
Mauna Lani Terrace: Find specific condo units here.
Palm Villas: Find specific condo units here. GORGEOUS POOL AND VILLAS!
All photos in this post are from Vrbo.com listings.
This post has focused on recommending condo complexes (or condo resorts), for recommendations on specific condo units (especially budget ones), see this post.
Feeling a little overwhelmed with trying to plan the perfect Hawaii itinerary? I’ve got just the thing for you!
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I’ve included everything from the best snorkeling spots, beaches, and excursions and it’s all broken down by each part of the island so you won’t waste any time backtracking.
So what exactly do you get? With Hawaii Bound, you’ll get 10-15 different DAILY itineraries for each of the four main islands (Maui, Oahu, Kauai and the Big Island).
These aren’t week long itineraries, but daily itineraries so you can pick and choose what works best for your trip. If you’re the go-go-go type, then pick 6 different daily itineraries and string them together into one adventure packed trip. If you’re staying at a nice beach resort and wanting to take advantage of the amenities, then pick 2-3 daily itineraries and spend the rest of the week chilling at the resort/beach. If you’re going on an island hopping extravaganza trip, use the daily itineraries to figure out how many days to spend on each island and what to do!
This is basically vacation in a box, friend! Just add a bit of salt water and you’re in for the trip of a lifetime.
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