Kona Kai

A Slice of Heaven on San Diego’s Sunny Shelter Island


Since 1959, Kona Kai Resort & Spa has catered to celebrities, families, spa-goers, and sun worshippers alike on San Diego’s tropically inspired Shelter Island. The resort lies away from the hustle and bustle, yet close to the area’s major attractions, including Sea World, Balboa Park’s theatre and museums, San Diego Zoo, Legoland, Little Italy, and the downtown Gaslamp District, plus scores of enticing restaurants and shops. Considered the “club of clubs” during the 1950s and 1960s, the property hosted such iconic celebrities as Clark Gable, Dick Van Dyke, Burt Lancaster, and others. This delightful San Diego oasis remains the perfect locale for fun family gatherings or romantic getaways.

This year, the resort celebrates its grand 60-year anniversary, offering special packages and surprises, including a $60 resort credit and more. Its rejuvenating 7,020-square-foot Spa Terre was voted one of the 10 Best Spas in San Diego in 2018 by Condé Nast. Indulge in one of the tempting specials— such as the Tropical Essence or Himalayan Salt Stone Massage— and receive 25% off during certain days of the week.

Tiki to the max
Enjoy the resort’s new Marina View Lawn, with views of the harbor. Cool off with a dip in one of the refreshing outdoor pools, relax at a poolside cabana or private beach, and grab a quick bite at the outdoor Tiki Bar. Take a joy ride on a beach cruiser bicycle and explore the surrounding island and bay. Later, sip a tasty Konarita or Point Loma Paloma with tequila and grapefruit soda while you watch the sun dip slowly into the Pacific at the new Paloma Bar.

Tempt your taste buds with Chef Roy Hendrickson’s delectable creations at the renowned Vessel Restaurant. Specialties include pork chops with mustard parsley spaetzle, upland cress and caramelized cipollini with sour cherry glace, and succulent sea bass with porcini dusted, confit peewee potatoes, avocado, and wild mushrooms in a smoked-bacon Dijon sauce. Or try one of the classic 60th-anniversary specials, such as the boeuf bourguignon and pineapple upside- down cake.

Room to relax
Kona Kai recently renovated its 170 tastefully appointed guestrooms and suites. Retreat to one of the newly refurbished pet-friendly rooms, eight new “Coastal Revival Suites” with modern wood furnishings and private balconies, or 33 luxurious “Endless Summer Suites” boasting colorful bursts of orange and red. All suites include a double-sided fireplace, oversized soaking tub, and rainfall shower, plus priceless views of the marina or pool for an added romantic touch. Those looking for a relaxing vacation or the perfect spot for a corporate event, wedding, or family gathering within a three-hour drive from Los Angeles and just 10 minutes from the San Diego Airport, need look no further than the charming Polynesian and Spanish Colonial-themed Kona Kai Resort & Spa in San Diego.