raving lunatic rant,  travel

Retro-blogging: The Royal Kona

the open lobby at the Royal Kona

I hate retro-blogging or blogging too long after the fact. It’s just not as fun as the real thing. But if I don’t blog about all the fun we had, there will be someone out there wondering why I never wrote about Akaka falls or the neat little coffee shop where we had Kona coffee ice cream or what about that hidden beach we found under the highway bridge? Will those memories fade as I become more and more immersed in silly things like laundry and when my library books are due?

Sadly the memories are already fading.

In order to make this as quick and painless as possible, I’m just going to peruse through my flickr pictures and mention things here and there. If it’s as boring as forcing you to sit and look at my vacation slideshow, I totally understand. We’ll get back to our regularly scheduled daily ramblings asap.

funky 70's architecture

Now that I am back home and safely away from any scary stalkers that might want to steal Baby Bug from me, I can tell you all that we stayed at the Royal Kona Resort. It’s a funny sort of hotel right out of the 70’s. The architecture is magnificent with funny arches that are so Hawaiian and so Hollywood at the same time. The whole place makes you just want to lounge around at the pool and pretend you are James Bond. Even the music.

Well, except the service perhaps. I don’t want this to be a negative rant because we really did have a wonderful time but why is it that Hawaiians are so pissed off that they have to put on an ugly uniform and work at a hotel serving tourists? Actually, I know the answer. I’d be pissed off too.

What was amazing to me was how the employees at the Royal Kona really don’t make much of an effort to hide their disdain for the common tourist. I know everyone says that Hawaiians stereotypically are a happy laid-back people and I am inclined to believe them. I just think they are much happier when they are at home cracking open a beer and watching football or a hula tournament or something on tv.

The hostess at the restaurant where we ate breakfast every day was the worst. So many times I just wanted to say something like, “I know you hate tourists. I hate being a tourist and you make me hate being a tourist even more.” I’m sure she had a reason for scowling at us. It could have been us, it could have been a million things. But man, it was a drag.

So anyway, the Royal Kona. Yes, stay there! It was great. Great views! The bar and the pool and the lobby are by far the coolest thing ever. There are no doors. Just open breeziness. If it typhoons I guess everyone takes cover and hopes for the best. You can tell this hotel was really something in it’s day and even though the service was a little disgruntled, I think with a bit of imagination you could have a splendid time there. We did.

Wow. All that on two photos out of 233. This retro-blogging could take a while. I’ll have to really make an effort to speed things up from here on out.


  • Kuky

    Wow 233 pictures? I looked at 233 pictures? Well I enjoyed them all, so beautiful and relaxing. Seeing your pictures from Hawaii made me long to be there. I’ve only been once and that was when I was little. Now we’re talking about maybe going in September. :)

  • K

    Most of the people we met in Hawaii were very friendly and nice. Of course we didn’t stay on any of the islands very long. We stayed in Waikiki for 3 days and then were on a cruise ship most of the rest of the time. Just spent the days on the different islands.
    Your pictures are gorgeous!

  • Oopsy Daisy

    How dissapointing that some Islanders aren’t very welcoming to tourists. I bet they would hate it if the tourists didn’t come and they had no jobs. I have to believe that those people are just miserable souls anyway.

    I’ve never been to Hawaii, but it certainly looked like you gys were having a blast from the pics. Hurray to Toby for having such a cool job that has perks like that.

    I hope you guys had a great Easter!

  • All Adither

    My husband grew up in Hawaii. Since he was born there, they considered him a native, even though he was white. But otherwise you’re a Haole. I kind of understand the love/hate relationship they probably have with tourists. I grew up in a tourist town. But it’s not something you want to encounter when you’re on a lovely vacation.

  • ivymae

    Oh yes, this is why we ended up moving back to the mainland, in a round about way. There is a lot of bitterness about how their sovereign nation became a postcard. As beautiful as it is, I would never ask my (very blond, obviously not native) kids to live there. We lived there when my sister and I were in middle school, and I was able to fly under the radar for the most part, but my sister spent the years we lived there ridiculed, bullied, and despite switching schools, something about her hollywood-pretty Caucasian looks was just a slap in the face to the kids whose parents served mainlanders dinner, and changed their sheets. I’m sorry you saw this side of the island, I hope these encounters were few and far between.

  • Jummy

    Those are lovely shots.

    I always think you should do your job, no matter what it is, to the best of your ability and if you’re in the service industry, at least try to do it with a smile. Barring that, do it with professionalism. If you honestly can’t, perhaps it’s not the job for you. It’s a shame that you were made to feel like you weren’t welcome.

    That being said I’m glad you had a great time and look forward to the rest of the retro blogs and the things that trigger entries from you!

  • BeachMama

    233, that’s it? :) Kidding of course. I love the photos of the hotel. And sorry you had sucky service, but at least the view was nice… onward to part two.

  • Camels & Chocolate

    I still need to retro-blog about Brazil a few weeks ago, and Cuba last summer, and so many more travels… Kudos for you for getting it done now. I feel like if you don’t do it within the first few days of your return, it often never happens.

  • leslie

    ok now i am freaking out. i stumbled onto your blog and just happened onto your vacation, retro number 3 and realized we must be neighbors in the “real world” so that was cool and you went to the island we will be going to in a couple weeks….also very cool. that said, i go to retro 2 which has the coffee plantations (of course high on my list) but then retro 1??? ok, WE are staying at the royal kona too!!! is that wierd or what? maybe just to me, anyways, i am soooo happy to have your photos and post to read before our trip, i just cant tell you how you made my day!