People Going Bananas

 

Guest comments come in all shapes, forms and sizes: scribbled on the note pads provided in our accommodations; on the back of paper plates or other miscellaneous papers and on cards sent from home. And, now most often, e-mails sent upon a guest's return home.

As innkeepers, your comments mean a lot to all of us at Kona Kai. We pass along to staff all compliments and comments. And we do our best to implement suggested improvements. That someone would take time from their busy schedule after a vacation to send some words back our way is, in itself, most complimentary.

When making travel arrangements, comments from previous guests are usually excellent indicators of the nature and quality of a place. Kona Kai averages over 1200 reservations a year and although you can never please everyone, we are happy to report that over 98% of the comments we receive are very positive. Below is a sampling taken directly from our guest comment scrapbook and from various internet sites.


12/6/09 - via e-mail:
“We are back in New Jersey, trying to find the words to express how much we enjoyed our all too brief stay with Ronnie, Joe, Tracy and staff.... Your beautiful grounds, top- notch rooms and facilities and incredible hospitality are the best we have experienced. We have been to many resorts, hotels and B&B's during our years together, but our 26th anniversary spent at Kona Kai surpassed them all.” Sandy & Mike

11/15/09 - via e-mail:
“.... As I said when we stayed with you, I don't think we were anywhere on our trip that showed as much attention to detail and hard work to keep things top notch as the Kona Kai Resort and Gallery. The natural setting on the Florida Keys overlooking Everglades National Park is very special. Sunsets on your docks were very memorable for us. The amenities were over the top, right down to the various music CDs provided, the tropical setting, and your groomed sand beach. The Florida Keys are a long ways away for us but should we get back that way, we will be staying with you again.” Bob and Linda

10/21/09 - a note left in room:
“Thank you so much for all the hospitality. It was an amazing week that we will never forget. I definitely commend everybody at Kona Kai for always having a smile and a good attitude; it makes you feel welcome - almost like home.” Ben and Shantel

8/30/09 - via e-mail:
“Just to let the Kona Kai team know we feel we have found a “treasure” in our search for a fun Keys getaway .... [Kona Kai] truly is a small slice of paradise .... a tribute to all staff members that your resort gets such great feedback from guests on the web .... The small number of units and the way they are nestled among the plantings make for a most intimate setting .... The manicured beach sand under the palms & hammocks does not go unnoticed .... Sitting at the end of the dock enjoying the sunset and a glass of wine make great memories! The pool area, surrounded by the curving railings & the banana leaf gate, is quite out of the ordinary and is stunning .... Inside the bungalows the details count, from the glass block showers to the upscale toiletries to the art on the walls to the bed furnishings, it all adds up to a most romantic retreat!” Karl & Rebecca

8/2/09 - via e-mail:
“We had a fabulous time and really appreciated the obvious attention you give to making your inn a lovely destination .... We will return.” Marc and Nanette

5/16/09 - via e-mail:
“Thank you sooooooooooooooo much for the most wonderful time. EVERYONE did everything they could to make our stay really special.... It may sound corny to say 'paradise' - but until we can afford our own tropical island - please let us share yours. And if anyone - ever - has any doubts about the price - don't compromise - if you can't afford it - save up - it's worth waiting for.” Peter and Caroline

2/28/09 - via e-mail:
“We had a great time.....I'm ready to move to the Keys and live in one of your suites year round!” Pat and Lori

1/22/09 - via email:
“We are safely and sadly back to life and work in the very snowy Midwest. Our time at Kona Kai is like a wonderful mid-winter dream that ended too quickly.” Lauren and Michel

1/21/09 - via email [from a son who booked a 40th anniversary stay for his parents]:
“They did enjoy their stay very much. I have to compliment you on your excellent customer service! You have been exceedingly helpful with this process. My family and I will definitely stay at your resort if we visit the Keys.” Gene
and from his parents who stayed with us
1/19/09 - via email:
“Last weekend [1/10 & 1/11/09] was definitely a slice of heaven.... Every day for the past week, Karen, I, or both, have made a comment on how much we enjoyed it. We are, of course, telling all our friends and relatives about Kona Kai.... Thanks again, we really loved our stay!” Bill & Karen

12/29/08 - via email:
“Our stay was phenomenal, your website really doesn’t do the place justice… your grounds are amazing! The entire staff was super-polite, friendly and helpful as well…. Please thank Jeff and the other masseuse as the massages we got were fantastic!” Carlos and Kristina

12/18/08 - via email:
“All nine of us enjoyed our stay at your lovely resort- in fact it may have been the highlight of our vacation - Everything was in perfect condition from the rooms to the grounds and pool area - you have done an awesome job keeping it up - thanks for your hospitality” Darryl & the other eight

12/14/08 - via email:
“We came back saying we want to visit Kona Kai every year - what a great escape for us both. Everything is so well done at your resort - We loved both rooms as they were appointed so well - great decorations and very cozy - we are so glad we decided to stay at Kona Kai - we decided it is the best resort we have stayed at.” Melissa and Casey

12/2/08 - via email:
“We had an incredible time in the Keys and your resort was absolutely beautiful and peaceful.” Lori & Rob

11/26/08 - via email:
“Tracy's warmth and spirit of service is an asset to Kona Kai: for example, our trip to Key West was a delightful day because we followed her suggestions. You have a real gem in your property, a slice of serenity we would happily recommend to others. We’ve been to great properties before and it's the attitude of the people that really makes or breaks the whole experience.” Hugh & Judy

11/25/08 - via email:
“Martin and I thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Kona Kai; we wished it was longer! The place was fantastic and the service unparalleled. You definitely undersell and overdeliver. We are now torn as to whether to tell everyone we know or keep Kona Kai a secret.” Carol and Martin

7/29/08 - via e-mail:
“We just wanted to thank you for a perfect weekend. We booked our weekend on Friday looking for a totally relaxing, rejuvenating experience. We hoped your internet site was honest and accurate. We arrived to smiling faces, a perfect room, perfect landscaping.... Every staff member was helpful and professional. Kona Kai is perfect for someone who has an eye for detail because you will not find one area less than perfect. Thank You Again for the best vacation we have ever had.” Ilise and Bob

7/24/08 - a letter sent via post:
“We had no idea what to expect but the care you give to your guests, and the resort, as well as the exotic and quiet surroundings far exceeded our expectations. Your small resort can't compare to the larger hotels ... you offer your guests so much more.” Tom and Anita

6/25/08 - via e-mail:
“We would like to thank you for sharing your 'little piece of paradise' because it truly is that! We still are talking about Kona Kai and how special our vacation was. You didn't leave any detail overlooked and Bobbi's recommendations were all spot on!” Julie and Joe

5/14/08 - via e-mail:
“My husband and I had a super awesome time at Kona Kai this past weekend! It was my birthday and I must say, it was the best birthday ever. Kona Kai is so beautiful! So peaceful! Assoon as we arrived, we jumped off your dock into the beautiful, blue Florida Bay. We snorkeled and saw horseshoe crabs and tropical fish! After that we kayaked and observed quiet wading birds, stately mangroves and soaring seagulls. The Dolphin experience was truly 'Once In A Lifetime.' Later that evening we watched an inspiring big orange ball of sun slowly and deliberately set over the water....totally breathtaking. Thank you, Kona Kai, for a most memorable, quiet, peaceful, happy birthday! We WILL be back!” Susie and John

5/3/08 - a letter sent via post:
“. . thank you for letting us experience your wonderful resort. We booked our holiday as a kind of "shot in the dark," trusting our plans to the internet and your website. There was not a drop of disappointment. We would not hesitate to recommend Kona Kai to anyone looking for its unique mixture of exquisite natural beauty, lovely design and inviting atmosphere.” Hy and Rosanne

3/23/08 - via e-mail:
“Al and I thoroughly enjoyed spending our vacation with you at Kona Kai! We both work in challenging professions that serve others, so we especially appreciate it when our needs are anticipated and met so beautifully.” Wendy and Al  

3/19/08 - via e-mail:
“A major snowstorm delayed the start of our vacation. But when we did get to Kona Kai, the stress and worries just melted away. The view is spectacular and the setting is unbelievably peaceful.” Catherine and Francois

2/20/08 - via e-mail:
“Had a very special time at your resort. It is one of a kind. We have never experienced such personal service and genuine caring for our needs.” Kathy and Gary

2/5/08 - via e-mail:
“Just wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed our vacation at Kona Kai. Weather was perfect; sunsets were perfect and the customer service from the staff at Kona Kai was a special treat. The feeling is one of true pleasure from the minute you arrive until the time you leave. Could not have had a better time anywhere.” Gen and Keith

12/20/07 - via e-mail:
“Looking out at several inches of new snow, on top of the foot already there, it's hard to believe that we were sitting on the beach in sandals a week ago. . . we loved Kona Kai. . . your attention to our every need was greatly appreciated. While we enjoyed Key West, next year we want to come to Kona Kai for our whole vacation!” Linda and Phil

12/13/07 - via e-mail:
“We stayed at some really pretty places on our trip, but both of us chose Kona Kai as our favorite. You guys really think of all the little things which make a trip relaxing and convenient.” Maureen and Rick

11/16/07 - via snail mail:
“. . . the grounds are just beautiful, the ambiance is one of peace and quiet. . . a unique and exceptional area to relax and take in all the natural beauty. The staff is wonderful, a perfect mix of professional and kind ways.” Carol

11/11/07 - via email:
“The resort is beautiful; staff is wonderful, helpful, courteous & efficient. We dove each morning and it was so restful to be able to come back to Kona Kai and spend a peaceful afternoon. We always felt cared for. . . We could not have had a more wonderful vacation and we will be back again.” Don and Janis

11/7/07 - via email:
“We had a great time at the Keys. Yes, the "lodge" in Islamorada was nice and the hotel in Key West was ok, but Kona Kai and its people were absolutely wonderful!” Peter and Gwen

9/4/07 - via email:
“Not only is your resort a picture postcard of tropical paradise, but all the little details, such as the corkscrew & wine glasses, the little dish of scents in the bathroom, the books and magazines in the room, etc, make it a wonderful place to get away and forget the real world.” Claire and Betty

8/8/07 - via e-mail:
“Kona Kai was absolutely amazing! The staff were ALL so helpful . . . everything about our stay at Kona Kai was perfect. . . .” Melody and Ryan

8/5/07 - via e-mail:
“.  . .  a wonderfully relaxing facility. It was devine to sit and do absolutely nothing . . .  the people were great and friendly . . . I have never felt more at ease!” Betty and Jimmy

7/30/07 - a note left in a room:
“Thank you for this beautiful memory. The room and it's surroundings were breath-taking.” Zonasha and James

7/24/07 - via e-mail:
“. . . your lovely sanctuary brought tranquility and time to remember that even a roller coaster life does have room to enjoy the simple pleasure of drifting in a kayak, watching water foul skimming the water, savoring glorious sunsets and really great local flavors. . .” Reeta and Mukesh

7/23/07 - via e-mail:
“We both have worked at The Breakers in Palm Beach for many years, so we know a thing or two about customer service and were very impressed with Kona Kai and how it is managed. The landscaping was awesome!  Loved the orchid house!  Also, the fresh fruit and bottled water at the pool was a nice touch. We will be back!” Amy and Spanky

7/16/07 - via e-mail:
“We loved it . . . the perfect place for harried (NYC) folks to finally relax.” Emina and Vincent

6/27/07 - via e-mail:
“We cannot even begin to tell you how much we enjoyed staying at the Kona Kai. We definitely consider Kona Kai to be our 'little slice of paradise"! We had no idea how lucky we would be when we selected Kona Kai from the internet for the first time. Now we plan to make it a regular visit every few months. We have family in FL and this place makes us visit more often.  The family is happy and we have our 'little slice of paradise" to escape to for a few days each time.  The resort grounds and the rooms are kept impeccably clean (what a great staff) and things are so peaceful that we forget the 'real world' for little while.  And, of course, I can't close without mentioning the incredible customer service we receive before and during our stay.  Tracey does everything possible to make us feel at home and has been an invaluable resource for planning our stay and activities in Key Largo.” Lee and Traci

6/04/07 - via e-mail:
“. . . the great time we had at Kona Kai. Everything was “just as advertised” on your website, which is how we came to know you.”Tom and Sharyn

6/4/07 - via e-mail:
“Curt and I loved every moment of our stay at Kona Kai. The resort is beautiful, quiet, peaceful and just perfect. Our 5 days felt like weeks and was the relaxing time together that we both needed.” Curt and Patti

5/29/07 - via e-mail:
“. . .  just for the record, your little paradise . . . has already become our favorite vacation spot EVER!” Debi and Lee

5/25/07 - via e-mail:
“. . . a "little slice of paradise."  The resort is beautiful; our room was fantastic and everyone was welcoming and friendly. We can't wait to come back . . .” Lori and Gary

5/8/07 - via e-mail:
“. . . Your personalized and friendly service was unparalleled; the sheer artistic beauty of Kona Kai was spiritually uplifting . . . . Even though we only had one night to spend in Key Largo it was well worth the trip down from Miami.” Tom and Jan

5/7/07 - via e-mail:
“What a wonderful stay we had with you at Kona Kai! The grounds are breathtaking, elegant and charming . . . the accommodations top notch; it's so obvious you play close attention to every single solitary detail.” Cory & Rick

5/01/07 - via e-mail:
“We've just returned home . . . after a wonderful stay at Kona Kai. We checked in to your beautiful slice of paradise after a few days of business amidst the hustle and bustle of South Beach in Miami. Turning in to the driveway of Kona Kai is like entering another world. The stress of everyday life simply vanishes among the lush tropical gardens and the beautiful sunset views of Florida Bay. Our room was impeccable and your hospitality superb! Sometimes it's the little things that count the most and you have those covered like no one else! What a pleasant surprise that you can book our eco-tour boat excursion for us, then have them pick us up right at your dock! Your suggestions for dining were excellent - the restaurant across the street, Ballyhoo's, was superb. We can't wait to come back for another visit” Jeff & Michelle

4/30/07 - via e-mail:
“I have read through your comments and I have been trying to think of something to add to your large comment list and the only words are: 'when caught up in this busy world of day to day work you loose who you really are and what life is all about . . . Kona Kai brings me back to the real person that I am and gives me the time to reflect and enjoy the life journey I have traveled so far and think about what is next to come'. . . .” Nancy and Bob

4/17/07 - via e-mail:
“Your resort is a slice of paradise & you will see us back again. The restaurant across the street is yummy.... everything is so easy & convenient. When we need a peaceful relaxing vacation, Kona Kai is our place to go! You guys are all the best, right down to those gals who work so hard to keep the grounds so beautiful.” Kim and Kevin

2/18/07 - via e-mail:
“We had a wondeful time and left with a definite taste for more.” Shlomo and Amanda

2/12/07 - via e-mail:
“ . . . a truly brilliant stay at Kona Kai resort. We were so comfortable staying with you . . . we really appreciated the little extra touches . . . the friendliness of all the staff . . . made our visit so special.” Christine & Martin

2/5/07 - via e-mail:
“The beautiful design of the rooms and amenities (oranges, water, heated pool, boats, ping pong) were very much appreciated. . . ” Greg and Sally

2/4/07 - via e-mail:
“What a delightful time . . . . We loved the landscaping and the suites. It was the perfect place to decompress . . . . Chris and Tracey really went the extra mile before our arrival and after we got there.” Kimberly and Lindsey

1/31/07 - via e-mail:
“While in Miami this past weekend, we decided to drive down to Key Largo and spend an evening at Kona Kai. It was FABULOUS!!!! We had the cottage right on the beach - it was so lovely to walk out the door and saunter to the tiki hut for lunch, lounge on the hammock and play some beach ping-pong. We mistakenly left Sunday morning to spend an evening in Key West. From the moment we left Kona Kai, we knew we should have spent another evening at your lovely resort. Next time we'll know not to look any further; everything we wanted was right there at our 'toe tips.'” David and Gina

1/10/07 - via e-mail:
“You do a have a little slice of heaven. . . and it was heavenly to spend our [last day of] vacation at Kona Kai. We will tell (and have told) others about how wonderful Kona Kai is! We do not know what Kona Kai means, but would not be surprised if it translates into: 'You were lucky to arrive here, and will be wise to return'.” Alan and Nika

11/25/06 - via e-mail:
“When I turn onto your driveway, I can feel the blood pressure drop about 20 points. A day in Key Largo at Kona Kai is worth a week in Hawaii.” Baer (and Diane too)

11/13/06 - via e-mail:
“Your resort is everything imagined and so much more! Your manager, Tracey, treated us like friends and was so gracious, helpful and knowledgeable about the Keys. And your grounds crew gals, what can I say! They worked their tails off to keep the place in immaculate condition. We loved every detail: from the lighted docks, the beautiful pool/spa, kayaks, the plants and palms.  Oh -- we will never forget  falling asleep together in the hammocks beneath the palms; WOW - how relaxing that was! I could go on. . . . We'll be back, you can count on that!” Rob and Denise

11/02/06 - via e-mail:
“. . . we want to thank you for your hospitality this past weekend.  As a seasoned traveler, I have to say that the Kona Kai experience ranked amongst the best; the staff was overly accommodating, the room was private and comfortable and the grounds cannot be described by words.” Andrew and Vanessa

10/24/06 - via e-mail:
“...we had a wonderful time... spending my birthday at your beautiful resort made turning 60 absolutely painless. In fact, Art and I both felt 30 again. Neither one of us had tried starfruit before, so we decided to taste the fruit grown on your property. It was absolutely delicious. We sunned, swam, used the paddleboat and enjoyed the beautiful flowers and plants. Art and I will be sure to visit Kona Kai again; it truly is a slice of Paradise.” Elizabeth and Art

8/14/06 - via e-mail:
“We truly enjoyed our stay with you. Everything was just wonderful. The room was beautiful, the pool was perfect and the grounds were just gorgeous!  We also loved exploring in the kayak and relaxing in the hammocks. We have already recommended your resort to several of our friends that travel to the Keys. It was truly paradise and we can hardly wait to visit again!” Kathy & Kurt

8/2/2006 - via e-mail:
“We loved your resort and hope to return and will recommend it to anyone headed your way.  It's a gem and was a perfect place to honeymoon.” Randy and Karen

6/30/06 - via e-mail:
“... just wanted to send a quick note to let you know how much we loved our stay at Kona Kai. We were amazed at how beautiful it was as we walked past the lush landscaping ... absolutely gorgeous and was exactly what we needed: tropical, tranquil, relaxing. The internet pictures don't even do it justice. We can't wait to come back and the best part is Kona Kai is 1.5 hrs from home...!” Aimee and Tom

6/5/06 - via e-mail:
“. . . As South Florida residents, we have been to the keys many times, but never had heard of your magical sanctuary. From the moment I saw the beautiful entrance, I knew I had chosen the right place to celebrate my husband's birthday. Our room was immaculate; the grounds impeccably maintained and interesting; the beach inviting and the hospitality most welcoming. . . . We shall recommend your slice of heaven often and hopefully return very soon.” Madeleine & Peter

5/10/06 - via e-mail:
“I cannot tell you how much we enjoyed our recent visit for our anniversary. It was our third straight visit for our anniversary and as good as any of the others. The Kona Kai is not a destination, but rather it is a homecoming to great friends, familiar surroundings and great accommodations. Cris and Tracey are always wonderful and so helpful, but the list goes on to include Veronica and all the crew. We missed Joe and Ronnie but how great it must be for them to have such competent folks manning the ship . . . . We look forward to our next visit and the continued friendships that we have cultivated at this beautiful resort.” Mike & Dianne

4/25/06 - via e-mail:
“Your resort is as beautiful as we remembered and so perfectly maintained. Your staff are the perfect blend of friendly and professional - our thanks to each of them. We are looking forward to a return visit, hopefully sooner rather than later.” Returning guests, John & Joyce

4/13/06 - via e-mail:
“ . . . we travel the Keys yearly looking for new places to stay. This was by far our favorite. We loved Kona Kai!! From the wonderful charming, clean room, to the beautiful private beach, to the friendliness of Tracy greeting us upon arrival . . . it was just the best stay we have had in the Keys. We will without a doubt be back and have already told our friends about you. So thanks for a wonderful stay, it was a slice of paradise!” Margy & Lisa

3/30/06 - via e-mail:
“... our stay at Kona Kai Resort for our 25th anniversary could have only been better if we had more time.... All the staff could not have been friendlier and were right on top of every detail. We have to comment on how CLEAN and well kept the whole resort is including our room .... the best part of the trip was the nightly sunsets from the dock....” Ray & Linda

2/16/06 - via e-mail:
“We had a fabulous time at Kona Kai Resort. It was such a wonderful place to stay ... so peaceful and relaxing. We really enjoyed lounging on the beach; watching the parakeets in the palms; the manatees swim by and the sunsets. We also had a blast kayaking, playing ping pong and looking in the gallery. The room was terrific and the grounds were just beautiful. We appreciated the cheerful and helpful service. Thank you so much for helping make our trip to Florida a fun and memorable time.” Cheryl and Bill

1/12/06 - via e-mail:
“We were initially booked to stay at an unnamed chain hotel down the beach. I can't imagine how my vacation would've paled in comparison if we had settled for that place. Instead, something led us to your resort and we had such a relaxing, joyful stay. The perfect vacation oasis, truly. We grilled fish, drank wine on the dock, played tennis and watched the sunset from the paddle boat. We are counting the days until we can get back to Kona Kai." Liz and Josh

10/15/05 - a note left in the room:
“This place is heaven!! We truly enjoyed every minute of our stay." Anna & Danny

9/2/05 - Via e-mail:
". . . to say thanks for 3 wonderful days in paradise. We could not have picked a better place to stay . . . . When we began to search for a nice place to just kick back and forget about everything for a few days, it was clear in our minds what we wanted, but didn't know if it existed. IT EXISTS !! at Kona Kai. We cant wait to come back. Robben and Dave

8/15/05 - Via e-mail:
“I've given nothing but rave reviews to friends and we look forward to coming back next year. . . . the landscaping at Kona Kai is second to none and makes the entire experience that much better. Personally, I think one area that could be improved is your website. That's how I discovered you guys (and, to be honest, initially passed you over.) [Another small keys] resort has one that is really well done. I stopped by there on my way back from Duck Key to see what it was like in person and was not impressed. Kona Kai has it beat hands down, but you would not know it from the internet." Jason and Becky Owners note: We often hear that last comment about our website. We believe in "what you see is what you get," which is oftentimes not the case on the internet or in other advertising. Isn't it always nicer to be pleasantly surprised rather than sadly disappointed?

8/15/05 - Via e-mail:
We really enjoyed our stay at Kona Kai – you have a lovely place . . . we particularly enjoyed the chilled pool – nowhere else we went had this feature & most pools were warmer than having a bath!!!!" Paul & Rachel
Owners note: And, remember, in the winter season, the pool is heated to a comfortable 88 degrees; all for your comfort and enjoyment.

5/4/05 - Via e-mail:
Kathy and I wanted to tell you again how wonderful the Kona Kai is as a serene and beautiful getaway. Every aspect of the resort, from the cleanliness of the rooms, the lush gardens, the amenities at the pool, the gallery, and the helpfulness of your staff, made our days long and appreciated. We have already begun to recommend Kona Kai to our friends." -- Ron and Kathy

 


On the numerous Internet sites found on the worldwide web, Kona Kai Resort usually has more reviews than most other places listed and is amongst the highest ranked hotels of all those rated. Sure, there are a few criticisms; most of them refer to things we clearly don't offer - like continental breakfast. [See"FAQ's" on our Rates & Info page] But, why are so many folks writing about us - could it be because we are worthy of your comments? Consider these few. Read these and more comments found on the worldwide web:

TRIP ADVISOR:

"There is nothing as good as the Kona Kai"
June 23, 2009: Trip Advisor member from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.: Traveler Rating: 5 "My husband and I have stayed at the Kona Kai at least 6 times over the past 4 years. We used to stay in other places in the Keys, but nothing compares. The staff (Bobbi and Tracey,as well as Veronika) are terrific. They make us feel like family. We always stay in the Pineapple Suite. My husband scubas every day and I exercise in Key Largo park (where the Olympic size pool is located) and it is heaven on earth. We are already booked for November, and when we go in November, we will book for the following February!"  

"As close to perfect as it gets"
March 6 , 2008: Trip Advisor member Steve Iowa:  Whiting, Iowa: Traveler Rating: 5"Small, intimate, private, understated luxury, beautiful grounds, very nice rooms and furnishings, immaculate, convenient location, beautiful sunsets, a nice beach for The Keys and a wonderful, helpful staff. What more could we ask for? Can't think of anything. My wife and I enjoyed every aspect of our stay. We will return."  

"The truth is. . . "
November 21, 2007:  Trip Advisor members Rick and Erin, Toronto, Canada: Traveler Rating: 5
"I would like to say that the Kona Kai is too small...or the staff are nasty...and the place is filled with bugs and is dirty and filthy...but that would be wrong. The truth is...my wife and I would only be saying this to keep the place to ourselves and to keep others away. In fact, the Kona Kai is clearly one of the best gems in the Keys. This was our 4th time staying on the property and as always, we were not dissapointed. Joe, Ronnie and their staff were (as usual) incredibly friendly and helpful. The grounds were perfectly maintained and even at full occupancy the resort was peaceful and quiet. If you are looking for full service resort with a pool bar pool and prepared food delivered to your room, go some place else! The Kona Kai is for the discriminating client who wants the perfection of tranquil grounds and clean well decorated suites and rooms. Just do us a favour if you decide to stay there...leave a suite for us. One thing to remeber when vacationing in the Keys, many resorts charge parking and resort fees which the folks at Kona Kai DO NOT DO. So when you are pricing and comparing everything on line, keep this in mind. You will see that the prices at the Kona Kai are more than competitive. Why am I writing this positive review? Because Joe, Ronnie and their staff deserve it."

"Kickin' Back in the Northern Keys"
Jan 25, 2006:  A TripAdvisor Member, Richmond, Virginia: Traveler Rating: 5
"I found this little gem online. Once again, Tripadvisor was right on the money. Our group of 4 was very much in need of relaxation and rest. We found them and more at the Kona Kai. From our first welcoming hello, we began to decompress! Our rooms were well appointed, comfortable and very clean. Although on Route 1, the Kona Kai is tucked back on the bay and protected by manicured grounds that are cared for daily by diligent and very friendly caretakers. The highlight is the pristine and private beach and gorgeous vistas of the bay. The pool is well maintained and very inviting, but our favorite pastime besides hanging out was kyaking compliments of our hosts! Give Tracey, the General Manager a call. With only 11 rooms, you need to book in advance."

"Not far short of paradise..."
June 1, 2005: sam_kiddy@yahoo.co.uk, Teddington, England: User Rating: 5
"We stayed here twice, on the way down to and back up from Key West. It's such a beautiful setting, the pool is spotless and refreshing ... The cottages are immaculate - bright, airy, roomy and great toiletries and shower. There's free bottled water, apples and oranges and the staff are so willing to help. ... Overall we truly recommend Kona Kai - it's gorgeous and I guarantee you'll feel better for a stay here."

"A little piece of paradise tucked away ..."
April 18, 2005: ross1@optonline.net, Long Beach, NY: User Rating: 5
"My wife and I have been visiting the Florida Keys annually for the last few years, and much prefer the upper Keys to Key West. This said, we have been exploring for the perfect getaway. Well, we will search no more, Kona Kai Resort is the perfect spot. ... This is not your run-of-the-mill cookie cutter motel, but is unique in every way, and to our minds, worth every penny!"

"Most intimate and relaxing"
January 28, 2005 : rabian1@cox.net, Niceville, Florida: User Rating: 5
"My husband and I spent four nights at the Kona Kai this month and had a wonderful getaway.... They recommended a dive company that my husband was very pleased with. I had an in-room massage by a therapist they recommended that was one of the best I had. It is just one of the best small intimate resorts we have found so far. ... We especially liked the rooms with no phones and pastel sheets. ... Great place hidden away off the side of the road in south Key Largo."

"Great Escape"
October 31, 2004 : A TripAdvisor Member, Miami, Florida: User Rating: 4
"I only had a one night get away from Miami and this was the perfect spot to escape to! The property is well maintained and presented, with a huge amount of built in amenities, including tennis, Jacuzzi, pool and a beautiful dock for lounging around.... We even enjoyed looking through the Orchid House and Gallery. Great recommendations for nearby restaurants added to the feeling that I had left the rest of the world behind."

"A beauty"
October 22, 2004 : A TripAdvisor Member, West Yorks, England: User Rating: 5
"Stayed a week here because of the reviews - and we loved it. The hotel is beautiful, lovingly maintained, private, ... happy staff who care. The tennis court is the best we have played on and is fast, floodlit and free. Plenty of space and all the facilities - beach, hammocks, pool , Jacuzzi, kayaks etc. are ... available 24/7 so whenever you want a swim etc., you normally have the place to yourself. If you want small, romantic and luxurious Kona Kai is a good choice."

"Just what we needed"
June 15, 2004 : A TripAdvisor Member, The Jersey Shore: User Rating: 5
"Casually elegant, very comfortable, very beautiful, very peaceful and very intimate. It is hard to find the right words to describe this resort. It is obvious that every detail has been carefully thought out, from the magazines, books, CDs and video tapes in the rooms to the gorgeous and well maintained grounds, to the complimentary chilled bottled water and tropical fruit grown on the grounds, to the bbq grills, tiki hut tables, hammocks, kayaks and plenty of beautiful lounge chairs. ... This place is impeccably maintained with love and pride! The beach is actually above average for the Keys and they even rake the sand every night...."

FODORS: www.fodors.com

Just booked our trip back! Can't wait!
Sue from New Jersey. Posted on 05/29/2006 Score 4.8
"Very Special place…. If you want to kick back and relax in a romantic (no kids allowed) and private oasis, this is it! … The grounds are impeccable with full time staff constantly yet surprisingly unobtrusively caring for the grounds. … They service the rooms every couple of days so you can sleep late and not be bothered but will make sure you have clean towels etc. … The staff is friendly and responsive but will not interrupt or intrude. …thought about staying at a posh resort but found myself thinking again and again about all the great things you can enjoy at Kona Kai that you can't get anywhere else. … If you are looking for a Ritz Carlton then go to one; if you want an unforgettable and secluded getaway, with charm and tranquility, then go to Kona Kai."

Keys Paradise- GETS BETTER EVERY YEAR!
Cristen from Michigan. Posted on 03/23/2006. Score 5.0
"We LOVE it here- this is the place for peace and tranquility. It is a great vacation for those who want to experience a stress-free, beautiful and relaxing resort without crowds, schedules or planned activities. For us, it's PERFECTION in the Keys. We look forward to every visit, and for the 6 or 7 vacations we've spent there, we are amazed at how Kona Kai can continually improve the beauty of the resort and grounds. I can't think of a better way to relax than to watch the sunset from the beach of Kona Kai. We'll be back to our favorite US resort!"

LAURA, from Clearwater, Florida, Posted on: 1/24/2005, Score 5.0
"We have stayed at the Kona Kai for our Anniversary for the last 6 years. Sometimes we go there twice a year. It is the only place I have been that it just keeps getting better. We've been to Cabo, Antigua & Other high dollar resorts. The Kona Kai has a friendly personality, plus staff, warmth, quiet relaxing environment with all the special touches. Our favorite place to go."

Ken, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida Posted on: 11/29/2004, SCORE 5.0
"The Perfect Place to Relax. If you are looking for a quality experience and quiet, there is no other place like Kona Kai in The Keys with the possible exception of Little Palm which is three times the price. We have been visiting Kona Kai for years and we look forward to our twice yearly visits more than any other we take. Very quiet, no kids, no crowds and great views. Nothing to compare it to."

Langley, from New Hampshire, Posted on: 11/23/2003, Score 3.4
"Awesome atmosphere! You really feel like you have been transported to the most tranquil and beautiful place on earth."

Leslie Lee, Worthing, England Posted on: 11/18/2003, SCORE 5.0
"The Best of the Best. This was my 6th vacation at Kona Kai Resort and it just keeps getting better. It is truly what dreams are made of - a perfect paradise...."

Pamela, Delray Beach, Florida Posted on: 08/19/2003, SCORE 5.0
"Wonderful. Found it in Travel & Leisure. This place made for a great vacation. Was exactly what we expected. Great staff, wonderful views, beach & gardens. We'll be back - best we've found in The Keys!"

Loretta & JJ, Fayetteville, NC Posted on: 02/02/2003, SCORE 4.8
"Paradise Found! We have stayed here twice, both times in the Banana Suite. The room and grounds are gorgeous! You can feel yourself unwind as you pass over the bridge at the entrance. The sites and smells are tropical, lots of great restaurants are close by. Ballyhoo's is one of our favorites for lunch and dinner, Harriet's and the Copper Kettle for breakfast can't be beat. Hope to go back soon."

Steinar Knutsen, St. Paul, MN Posted on: 06/20/2002, SCORE 4.6
"Escape to paradise! Beautiful grounds, great service and quiet surroundings. This place is great! Luscious gardens, super clean beach and pool and fantastic water front location. Everything here is wonderful."

Christopher, Idaho Posted on: 06/17/2002, SCORE 5.0
"Paradise! The Kona Kai was a perfect place for our second honeymoon! The cottage was very well appointed. The beach is okay, but par for the Keys. The hammocks, ping pong, tennis, and free kayaks were the best. The pool is refreshing. The owners and Chris were super helpful."

Barb, Ridgefield, CT Posted on: 03/25/2002, SCORE 5.0
"We chose the Kona Kai because of the reviews on Fodor's web site. The Kona Kai delivered beyond our expectations. The room (we had a suite) was spectacular. VERY Clean, bright, airy, and spacious. The kitchen had everything you'd need, including wine glasses. Ronnie and Joe were simply wonderful. The grounds were beautifully landscaped and maintained. The setting was very tranquil, no hustle and bustle. Ronnie and Joe do a fantastic job at giving personal service, without it feeling the least bit intrusive. The only thing we didn't like was that we had to leave. We highly recommend the Kona Kai."

Lauren, San Francisco Posted on: 02/12/2002, SCORE 4.8
"I recently stayed at The Kona Kai. I was very impressed with my stay there. The service was spectacular. The owners were away, however, Chris, the manager in charge, did everything she could to make our stay very enjoyable. Unbelievable gardens and the entire property is immaculate. I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone."

YAHOO: www.yahoo.com

"An Unexpected Gem."
Written MaosRedArmy on February 23, 2004: Rating 4.5
"I call it a motel, because when the owners bought it about 10 years ago, the place was a run down dump. Oh, what a difference time (and some TLC) can do. The Kona Kai is not an ultra-luxury resort. It is very small and charming.... We stayed in the Pineapple Suite and absolutely loved it. The only problem was we were on our way to Key West to meet other members of our travel group and only booked one night (a huge mistake). If you are a couple and don't need a large chain hotel ... then the Kona Kai is a great place. ... it was a great experience.... The best sunset we experienced in the Keys. Walk across the highway to a great little seafood restaurant."

The following are comments mailed, emailed and left behind from before 2005 and have been on our website since 1999. The earlier ones were noted by location rather than by who wrote them.

11/25/04 - Via e-mail:
Thank you for a wonderful, peaceful, relaxing time at your resort. We liked it so much we came back after visiting other places. It’s truly an oasis - ideal for unwinding and appreciating life. Tracy and Chris were very helpful in … sharing with us their knowledge of the area.” -- Ray and Rosemary

11/10/04 - via e-mail:
Just a quick note to say that our too brief stay was awesome. The resort is beautiful and we can't wait to get the chance to stay for a longer period of time." -- Shawn and Cheryl

11/4/04 - a note left in the room:
Gary and I wanted to thank you all again for another delightful stay . . . the new beach furniture, towels, water and fruit by the pool are lovely additions to an already special place." -- Doreen and Gary

8/27/04 - via e-mail:
Now that Mat and I have arrived safely back in England, we have not stopped talking about our stay with you. We have also phoned all our friends and family to tell them just how beautiful your resort is. You all work so hard to keep Kona Kai feel so relaxing and look very welcoming. A huge 'THANK YOU' for making our 10 days stay so perfect. Unfortunately the shark pictures are too dark to send and there is no reference point of scale, so its a great excuse to come back again next year!" -- Sally and M

7/13/04 - a note mailed to the resort:
“Just a note to say thank you! I had the most awesome BIRTHDAY VACATION EVER! The resort was beautiful. My suite was perfect and the staff was wonderful. I can't wait to come back." -- Jodie

5/12/04 - via e-mail:
“Words can't describe (but I'll try) how absolutely wonderful Kona Kai is!!!!!!  Wayne and I had a fantastic time last week. You are to be congratulated on your precious little hideaway and your excellent staff."  -- Amy and Wayne

4/22/04 - via e-mail:
“. . . just a very short note to tell you what a special place you have at Kona Kai!  I was there again this past weekend - I really needed an escape from Miami - you made that escape everything I needed:) ... Oh yeah, love the new fresh fruit and water at the pool, as well as the new beach furniture." -- Jeff

2/10/04 - via e-mail:
We've been talking and thinking about Kona Kai since we left on Jan. 26th. What a wonderful resort - it's exactly what we've been looking for but never found until now. We can't wait to come back." -- Sandra and Bernie

1/20/04 - via e-mail:
Every vacation or getaway we take gets compared to the trip we took to Kona Kai ... problem is, nothing compares. We are looking forward to coming back." -- Chris and Lori [Stayed at Kona Kai in May of 2002]

12/14/03 - via e-mail:
Your resort is a special place and proves small does not mean there has to be any lack of amenities. The opposite was our experience." -- Peter and Christine

11/17/03 - via e-mail:
This was our 6th visit to Kona Kai and it just keeps getting better and better. A perfect paradise....it is truly what dreams are made of. This was the best yet. It seems that when you think it is as good as it can get, you all go and make it one step better. This time it was the bed. It was THE most comfortable nights sleep I have ever had. And not to forget the beautiful beach front ... the sand was so perfect!" -- Les & Leslie

5/17/03 - via e-mail:
Returned from a vacation [elsewhere] and both Jim and I said we missed Kona Kai. I have to tell you, you do it better than any place we have been -- and I mean it from the bottom of my heart." -- Ava & Jim

3/8/03 - a note left in the room:
This is such an amazing, relaxing, retreat ... thank you for a wonderful last night of our honeymoon; we couldn't have dreamed of anything more perfect." -- Kathy and Greg

2/6/03 - via e-mail:
Joe, Ronnie, and staff are always improving on an already perfect setting and their attention to every detail is remarkable. We have traveled all around the world and nowhere have we found such attention to every need. We will continue to return again and again!" -- Sue and Mike

1/9/03 - via e-mail:
This was our fifth year at Kona Kai and every year we can't wait for the next one to roll around. Your subtle changes, like cotton sheets and "South Beach," add to the cozy feeling we always get when we first arrive. We spend the next year trying to guess what new surprises you'll have for us when we arrive the next time." -- Lamar and Cheryl

11/19/02 - via e-mail:
Our suite and the grounds felt like our own glorious place in the world. You were there for us like perfect parents of adult children - there if we needed anything, caring, but completely non-intrusive.... Reading books or napping in the hammocks, on sand which was religiously raked into perfect squares by the most warm and efficient staff, filled our afternoons. Finally our perfect day would end when, like clockwork, we and the other guests would take our places on the dock watching in awe as the shinning sun would sink silently into the sea. It was as if there were no words for the peace that seeing this show instilled in us." -- Lisa and Bill

11/17/02 - via e-mail:
We were very impressed with the little touches and amenities you provided us. You've made it a tropical mini-paradise ... we have returned home with a load of beautiful memories plus a sense of renewal. I would not hesitate to recommend a stay at the Kona Kai to anyone who needs to unwind from the strains of life." -- Elaine and Jim

8/21/02 - via e-mail:
There are not too many memories in life that appear flawless in hindsight. Our experience at Kona Kai is one of the rare exceptions. Your resort is memorable in it's beauty and detail...and in the service and insight into The Keys that you provide. Thank you for creating such a special place." -- Timothy and Corey

5/17/02 - via e-mail:
When you spoke of the recent refurbishments, I thought that it couldn't get any better, but it is even more spectacular than ever. It is truly paradise. I have visited Florida 11 times now and stayed at many different places but nowhere comes anywhere near Kona Kai when it comes to luxury, beauty, peace and tranquility." -- Les and Leslie

5/13/02 - a note left in the room:
Your love for Kona Kai is felt everywhere you go. It took us a while to find a place that makes us forget our daily routines and puts things back into perspective." -- Judith and Sam

5/2/02 - via e-mail:
This was our third stay at the Kona Kai; it gets better & better every time." -- Mark and Laura

2/4/02 - via e-mail:
We are from Southhampton, England and we were lucky enough to find your resort and spend 4 glorious days at Kona Kai. . . . Throughout the rest of our holiday, which included the Bahamas, we found nowhere to rival your beauty and serenity." -- David & Jo

12/11/01 - a handwritten note left behind:
We enjoyed our stay more than at the Four Seasons in Miami." -- Bill & Nancy

10/14/01 - via e-mail:
A note of thanks for another wonderful stay at Kona Kai. . . . We rested better this past week at the resort than we have anywhere else in recent memory. Today, our first full day back in Rhode Island, we are missing the late afternoon naps on the beach, the sunsets and the warmth of Kona Kai and its guests. Thank you for an extraordinary getaway." -- Peggy & Michael

8/8/01 - via e-mail:
Congratulations on creating and maintaining a wonderfully romantic and beautiful resort. I could ramble on about how relaxing and invigorating our stay was, but I think I would only wind up repeating myself." -- ja-@aol.com

8/2/01 - a handwritten note left behind:
Thank you for all the extra care you put into making your guests feel extremely comfortable and at home. The Kona Kai is truly a tropical paradise to be enjoyed." -- Jim & Diane

7/18/01 - via e-mail:
Your recommendation that we split up our seven nights in the keys with 3 nights in Key West and 4 nights at Kona Kai proved to be just the right mix for us. It was so relaxing at Kona Kai that we truly hated to leave." -- Tim & Jodi

7/7/01 - via e-mail:
. . . we've visited many hotels and resorts that we've returned to more than once. But it's not often that you visit a place and it just keeps getting better. Most places show wear and tear, but not the Kona Kai; it just gets more breathtaking every visit. We can't wait to come back again." -- Mark & Laura

3/2/01 - via e-mail:
"Just wanted to let you know we truly enjoyed our stay. It was wonderful from the moment we walked into our room. . . relaxing, peaceful, quiet and so beautiful." -- sl-@zoomnet.net

6/24/00 - via e-mail:
"We recently spent three fantastic days at the Kona Kai (June 15-17) celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary. . . . . We stumbled across your website while searching for a place that would provide a unique, relaxing, peaceful and romantic atmosphere. The Kona Kai delivered all those promises and more." -- Greg & Marti

5/18/00 - via e-mail:
". . . we are both world-travellers as well as native Floridians and agree that Kona Kai remains at the top of our list. . .the grounds and gallery were absolutely flawless and the sunsets were - well, we haven't the words. P.S. We'd like to tell our friends, but are afraid of securing a reservation. . . ." -- Josh & Tanja

4/22/00 - via e-mail:
"Just wanted to write a few lines to let you know what a spectacular place you have. We still can't get over the fact that you were completely booked and it still felt like we had the place to ourselves. . . . " -- E & D

4/12/00 - a handwritten note left behind:
"A beautiful stay. All of your recommendations lived up to great times. This resort is ***** and first class." -- Andrea & Martin

3/23/00 - a mailed card:
". . .thanks for everything: your genuine hospitality, your beautiful paradise, your friendly demeanor; the list is endless." -- Sam & Judy

3/9/00 - a mailed card:
". . . we greatly appreciated your local knowledge, the airboat trip, the back country Everglades skiff tour and the cool places to eat. We cannot remember when we have had such a wonderful vacation." -- Scott & Victoria

3/6/2000 - via e-mail:
"This is long overdue: we wanted to thank you for one of the most wonderful vacations we've ever had! This resort more than met our expectations." -- Loretta & JJ

2/16/00 - a handwritten note left behind:
"With Nicole headed into tax season and me dealing with clients all day, what we needed was a couple of days to relax and spend some time in a calming atmosphere. . .you delivered with flying colors. You have made customer's for life." -- Nicole & I

7/27/99 - via e-mail:
"We recently visited Kona Kai for 6 days and then headed south . . . . no comparison to what you have. Your staff was delightful. Thanks for a memorable stay." -- RJ & Sue

5/12/99 - a handwritten note left behind:
"Your resort is wonderful. We have found our place in paradise!" -- Allan & June

3/12/99 - a handwritten note left behind:
"Thanks for a great place that lives up to all it claims." -- Claus

"Had a wonderfully full and relaxing time. Your recommendations were great. We will highly recommend your resort." -- White Bear Lake, Minnesota

"You have a great place. We had a great time." -- Seattle, Washington

"Thanks for your hospitality and attention to detail. . . We'll see you next year!" -- Springfield, Missouri

". . . a relaxed and trusting place . . . We look forward to coming back."
-- Rockford, Illinois

"You helped make our stay unforgettable!" -- Gainesville, Florida

"Thank you so much for taking good care of us . . . We will certainly recommend your place to all our friends . . . " -- London, England

"There is only one reason to leave Kona Kai and that is knowing we can come back . . . " -- Sussex, England