The Big Island: Best resorts to kick back and relax

Post-race is when you can finally all relax. So what are your options after the Hawaii Ironman?

This weekend we have been focussing on what we will do post-Hawaii Ironman. There are many options and we are lucky enough this time to be able to take a few extra days after the race to kick back and relax. We should have probably booked this part of the holiday a bit earlier but it was part of the planning we didn’t want to rush and post-race accommodation doesn’t book out that fast – although I suggest you do it sooner rather then later as we have noticed options are decreasing!

People who haven’t been to the Hawaii Ironman might question the extra days holiday after the race,  especially when we will have already been enjoying island life for 10 days pre-race. How ever once you have experienced Hawaii Ironman week you will know that race week is not that relaxing.

Yes you get to enjoy the warm weather, swim amongst the fish and turtles (maybe even a dolphin), do a bit of sightseeing and enjoy some nice meals (including cocktails for the non-competitors) but both times I have been I found that I never really had much time to just kick back with no plans and do nothing. I know not everyone likes this type of holiday but I bet most of the competitors wouldn’t mind a few days to rest their weary bodies and truly appreciate the beautiful surroundings of The Big Island post-race.

We have visited some of the other Hawaii Islands before and we have experienced Honolulu but truthfully we really love The Big Island and feel with only 3 days to kick back we don’t want to lose time travelling elsewhere.

So here is my summary of the post-race resort options on The Big Island island. I won’t make comment when I haven’t experienced the resort. I am just offering what I have discovered in my research and provided links so you can find out more. Just click the resort name to visit their website.

If you have the budget to treat yourselves to the best resort experiences on offer, do it. You know you deserve it – the competitors and supporters!



Hualalai (22 minutes from Kailua-Kona Town & 13 minutes to airport) 

This would be the ultimate for me but haven’t been and won’t be booking this time. Accommodation seems to be limited with kids. I would say a perfect treat for a romantic escape. Looks like the best the island has to offer!


Kohala Coast (40 minutes from Kailua-Kona Town & 30 minutes from airport)

We spotted this hotel when we discovered Mauna Kea Beach on our first visit and declared we needed to go back and stay here!  It’s on a beautiful white sand beach ( of which there is not many on a island formed by lava). One section of the hotel has recently been upgraded. Looks pretty special.


Kohala Coast (37 minutes from Kailua-Kona Town & 27 minutes from airport)

An eco-friendly hotel on a bay with reef out front which is great for snorkelling.  Seems to offer most water sports, fitness club, spa and kids club. Nice interiors and some large suites on offer.Mauna Kea Beach, Big Island Mauna Kea Beach, The Big Island, Hawaii



Kohala Coast (40 minutes from Kailua-Kona Town & 30 minutes from airport)

Sister resort to the Mauna Kea with one section also recently upgraded. Also a nice white beach out front. Maybe not so much on offer in amenities and dining options but good reviews overall and slightly  lower room rates than Mauna Kea.


Puako (37 minutes from Kailua-Kona Town & 27 minutes from airport)

I have not been to a Fairmont Hotel before but looks pretty nice. Maybe slightly more old style hotel but all the luxuries. Is on a protected bay and has children’s program. Just around corner from Hilton Waikaloa where you can have a dolphin experience. Nice little village in this area too.



Waikloa (35 minutes from Kailua-Kona Town & 28 minutes from airport)

This is where we stayed last time. The kids loved – ours were 4 and 7. Bit like a Disneyland hotel with lots of nooks and crannys and different places to spend your day. So big that it has a train that takes you around the complex. This does mean it feels a bit impersonal. Lots of pools including great fun slides for kids. Loved watching the dolphins and for a price you can have a dolphin experience. Downside for us is there is no beach. The room we had was great as two areas so kids slept on pull-out lounge and we still  had a bedroom for ourselves which is not always possible at a reasonable rate at other hotels. Bit dated and didn’t love the food options on the hotel grounds so best to pop out to the village at times.


Waikloa (35 minutes from Kailua-Kona Town & 28 minutes from airport)

Near the Hilton. Don’t know much about it. Offers big rooms for families. All the usual big hotel offerings.



Keauhou Bay  (15 minutes from Kailua-Kona Town & 24 minutes from airport)

Only big resort south of Kailua-Kona town. Have not ventured down this way much. Downside for us is no beach but Sheraton does have the swimming with Manta Ray’s experience at its door step. Also closer to Kailua-Kona and for a trip down to the bottom of the island where you can visit the National Park and see the lava flowing into the sea.


Maybe you can afford a villa? Check these out!




  • These are all out of the Kailua-Kona Town area (you have seen enough of it after race week)
  • Beware the extra resort fees and government taxes which seem to add about another $25-$50 a day onto the daily rate!
  • All the hotels have golf courses nearby if this takes your fancy.
Have you booked a post-race relax somewhere on The Big Island? What can you add about resorts you have been to? Leave your tips in comments below.
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