Byline: Ambrosia Brody
SAN DIEGO — Kona Kai Resort and Spa, which in the 1950s and 1960s was internationally known as a celebrity hot spot, is headed for a revival of sorts with an extensive renovation currently under way. The property’s new management team at Noble House Hotels and Resorts has also worked with the resort’s marina tenants to establish a long list of new amenities and incentives.
Since December 2012, Noble House Hotels and Resorts has been implementing changes to attract guests to stay at the resort, get pampered in the spa and tie up their boats at the marina. The management team, which also manages the Portofino Hotel and Marina in Redondo Beach and several other luxury resorts, has several renovation phases planned for Kona Kai.
The first phase includes refreshing and updating the resort’s 129 rooms, lobby and restaurant. These renovations are slated to be completed in June. Phase 2 will include a more extensive restaurant remodel, plus renovation of the meeting space and fitness facilities.
The renewal is part of the company’s vision to re-establish the resort and marina as a popular getaway, just as it was during the 1950s and 1960s. Back then, it was not uncommon to see celebrities dining in the restaurant or lounging at the pool. U.S. presidents John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon were guests at the hotel, as were many well-known actors, including Dick Van Dyke and Charlton Heston.
Before Noble House took over ownership in December 2012, Kona Kai was beginning to show its age. Noble House Hotels and Resorts plans to bring it back to the resort’s glory days, with modernized rooms, spacious meeting and banquet rooms, and a luxurious spa.
Although Noble House Hotels and Resorts, which also oversees management of the 550-slip marina, does not have plans to renovate the marina itself, it has extended numerous benefits to its long-standing marina tenants and guests.
Prior to breaking ground on the $22 million renovation project, Noble House Hotels and Resorts directed Kona Kai Marina dockmaster Bryan Caradona to interview tenants, marina service business owners and longtime Kona Kai Club members, asking for their opinions, suggestions and insights into the marina and resort evolution. A wish list was created using the data from the interviews, submitted and discussed with the CEO.
Tenants and guests of Kona Kai Marina, which provides boat slips ranging from 25 to 250 feet in length, can take advantage of numerous special offers, including 20 percent off dining in the resort’s restaurant, 10 percent off room rates, 10 percent off spa services and catering, and use of the fitness center and the pool.
Additionally, former members of the resort’s popular Kona Kai Anglers Club will be happy to know the group is making a comeback, after going dark several years ago.
Established in 1953, Kona Kai Anglers Club hosts several fishing tournaments, including the well-known Make-A-Wish Tournament. More information on Kona Kai Anglers Club can be found at konakaianglers.com.
Kona Kai Marina has been recognized by the Port of San Diego for its commitment to sustainability and for being a member of the Green Business network. Some of the green practices include providing recycle bins on the docks, cleaning the docks using brushes and bay water, supporting the Port of San Diego’s diver hull cleaning program and maintaining a free pumpout dock.
The marina also participates in the port’s rewards program for tenants who switch their boats to copper-free hull paint.
The launch of a new marina concert series will be another perk for those staying at the marina and resort. Live music will be performed every weekend during the summer — with musical genres ranging from blues and jazz to rock.
For more information, visit konakaimarina.com.