If they visited today, Clark Gable and Burt Lancaster would no longer recognize the Kona Inn and Kona Kai Club on Shelter Island, in San Diego, Calif. The original hotel opened in 1953 and the Polynesian-themed property quickly became popular with Hollywood celebrities, but the original celebrity hangout closed in 1998. The newest iteration of the old inn and marina, the Kona Kai Resort and Spa, opened in 2015 after a $22 million renovation, and in January 2018 the hotel will unveil a refresh of its outdoor meeting spaces, new guest suites, and an upgraded pool.
Meeting space includes the 9,400-square-foot Point Loma Ballroom with marina views, and the 1,500-square-foot Coronado Room with an adjacent courtyard. A new outdoor function venue, the 2,264-square-foot Marina View Lawn, will open in January.
The hotel now has 170 guest rooms, 55,000 square feet of meeting space, and a 7,020-square-foot spa.
The eight new Coastal Revival Suites at Kona Kai will be available to book after January 1, and feature fireplaces, patios, and views of the Point Loma hillside or San Diego Bay.
In keeping with its Polynesian-themed roots, the hotel still has a poolside Tiki Bar. The resort’s main restaurant, Vessel, overlooks the marina and San Diego Bay, won a 2017 Diners’ Choice Award.