Thursday, March 13, 2008
I get inquiries through my business about places to stay when coming over here fairly frequently. Kona has lots of hotel options, what many people do not realize is how many condo, home and apartment options are available. Many people put up their unoccupied residences (there are a ton of part timers here) for rent through vacation rental services. There are many companies that do this, as well as many websites where the owners themselves list rentals.
We are big fans of www.VRBO.com. We list our rental on it and have used it several times to book rentals for our own vacations. In many cases, if you are going to a resort/tourist area you can often find apartments or homes for comparable or lower pricing than many hotels. We just used it again to reserve a spot in Vegas for the dive show this fall... to my surprise, there are actually a few strip properties avaialable on VRBO.com. We were able to book a unit at the MGM Signature (their luxury condos behind the hotel) for about 35% off rack rate, which puts them in line with, or lower than, a base room at many of the middle to high end resorts.
With VRBO you'll be dealing with individual owners generally, so you'll want to look at what they have to offer and look to see if there are comments and other information available to help you make your choice. Most of the listings often have links to their avaiability calendars and previous guest comments (although lack of comments may mean nothing as few people take the time to post them... we just had our renters say our place is the "cleanest place they've ever stayed at in Hawaii - two weeks and no ants or bugs" - hopefully we can get them to post one for our listing...) that you can browse through to answer some questions before contacting the owners.
Properties on VRBO.com can range from small studios to fancy estate style homes, and anywhwere in between. Anyway, there are lots of services out there that can help you get into something a little different than a hotel and it may be something worth checking into for those who want something other than the "resort" experience.
Here's a shot of a Flame Angel (Centropyge loriculus) that Pat took the other week. More on this fish in my next post....