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Kona Kai Resort, San Diego

It’s a luxury island escape in the center of San Diego- away from the hustle, bustle and business of the area’s mainstream beaches. Kona Kai Resort and Spa is a total gem, giving your family a tranquil and enjoyable escape.

The Location

The California-contemporary hotel is located at the end of Shelter Island, situated alongside Point Loma and a quick drive to Ocean Beach. The resort’s location flaunts views of the marina and bay, sitting amidst a walking path lined with fishing boats. And across the street lies another path- this one bayside- with a fantastic kid’s playground.


Featuring newly renovated rooms, our family of 5 fit perfect in a Junior Suite. The suites feature private balconies, swoon-worthy views and plenty of space to relax. There’s a comfy pull-out sofa (for kids to slumber party), and a plush king bed. The cool, coastal flare will leave you feeling California-chill, plus many suites have a gas fireplace as a luxe amenity. It’s also a pup-friendly resort welcoming your four-legged friend.


While the hotel has a “beach”- it’s not what you’re thinking. It’s great for sand play and lounging, and there’s also fire pits for nighttime s’mores. Take your pick between a family-friendly or adults-only pool while sipping signature cocktails and enjoying nibbles from the bar menus. You can reserve a cabana or cruiser bike, as the resort is lined with an array of scenic paths.

If you want to venture out, the Cabrillo National Monument is a quick drive via Kona Kai, where you can explore tide-pools. And if you’re craving some exercise, head to Torrey Pines State Beach… it’s about 30 minutes away and has one of San Diego’s most esteemed hikes- easy for kids- leading right to the beach. (Stunning!!) Should you want a dose of surf + sand, Ocean Beach (locally known as OB) is 10 minutes from the resort. It’s a “groovy meets vintage” area of SoCal packed with micro brews and famed burger joints.

Where to Eat

Kona Kai’s Vessel Restaurant is super swanky, featuring a 360° bar at its center and video wall showcasing local landscapes. The coastal fare incorporates local, seasonal and sustainable ingredients, taking traditional delicacies and giving them a flavorful twist.

Another idea- venture to another fab area of SD: Little Italy, a short drive from the resort. There, you’ll find the most adorably lined and lively street of chic restaurants and outside dining options. My pick: Ironside Fish & Oyster, a unique seafood spot situated in a renovated warehouse with quirky, nautical design accents. The cocktail menu is literally a book showcasing the most delectable concoctions that will leave you feeling fabulously tipsy. The food is amazing- order oysters and octopus- in addition to indulging in a seafood tower (worth it!!). Makes an A-list date spot if you can manage escaping the kiddos.


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