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Recently, I walked along the public shoreline fronting Kona Village Resort and saw workers in hard hats, a crane, trucks and other signs of construction. It looked like the landmark Hawaii Island hotel — which has been closed since extensive tsunami damage in 2011 — was on its way back at last.
Now, that suspicion has been confirmed. According to an official announcement, Kona Village expects to reopen in 2021. It is finding new life on its original site, adjacent to Four Seasons Resort Hualalai and 10 miles north of Kona International Airport.
While Kona Village was initially scheduled to come back online in 2019, the rebuilding of the 81-acre property was slowed due to permitting issues and additional red tape.
Blending Old and NewThe rejuvenated resort will present an old-Hawaii ambiance, as it did in the past. Although most of its structures must be rebuilt, it will still offer a “low-density iconic destination,” as described in a 2016 statement that first announced the hotel’s restoration.
Dave Eadie, spokesperson for Kona Village owner Kennedy Wilson, says that workers are currently addressing infrastructure updates. The team is working on utilities, tearing down unusable buildings and making sure that all structures are up to code.
Hale Moana, the central gathering place where past guests convened for casual dining, will be reconstructed in a style honoring its predecessor, and its original front wall is being preserved as its cornerstone. Local sources also reported that solar panels will provide much of the village’s energy.
Huge Fan BaseKona Village made its debut in 1965. It was unlike any others in Hawaii, with 125 individual guest hales (thatched roof bungalows) set around lagoons and hugging beachfront paths. Rates included accommodations, meals (excluding alcohol) and most activities, making it the closest thing to a Hawaii all-inclusive that visitors could book.
The massive popularity of the hotel is apparent on a Facebook page called Save Kona Village, which continues to track the resort’s renewal. The site claims more than 7,800 members plus many more who peruse it for information and updates, said Save Kona Village founder Bill Partmann.
Partmann, who keeps in touch with the project’s construction manager, noted that two prototype hales have been built on the property.
“All standard hales will have this configuration if approved by the owners and the county,” Partmann said.
The DetailsKona Villagewww.konavillage.comSave Kona Villagewww.facebook.com/savekonavillage