I get an early start on my vacations by scouring through VBRO and other condo options - I love reading the descriptions and trying to find the Just Right thing for me. Since we were just the 2 of us, I thought this place might be a little big and much more expensive than if I could get a good deal on a resort so I did a little comparison shopping. Here's why this place won out in my mind - and proved to be totally true:
Access to a beach for surfing: Some of the resorts have decent private beaches for bogey boarding, but not really surfing. The beach across the street from the condo is THE beginner's spot on the island, with an outside break for more advanced surfing. Fairly welcoming to tourists here, as opposed to Banyans and other local famous spots. There is a surf shop a few doors down, but I got a better price on a great private lesson & rental from Kona Boys (they also do kayak/SUP). Even better boards are avail from their shop which they'll deliver to the beach (Dominic is a neighbor). If I had known that, I wouldn't have rented an SUV.
Snorkeling: There is a very (very) popular snorkel spot in this cove as well. Decent, and I had it to myself at sunset and early mornings.
Quiet: There is a major road running between the house and the beach. and it's totally quiet. In fact, after looking at how big some of the resorts are, I realized that we were actually closer to the beach and had no screaming kids to contend with.
Lanai and own kitchen: We love to watch the surf from our own lanai with our morning coffee or afternoon cocktail/pu pus. This kitchen was great, and there were two lanai's - so we could easily watch the surf break and see if it was good to go out. You never know what you'll get at a resort. And some "ocean view" ones get so much sun there is no where to hide.
Quiet & Clean: I looked at some other resort/condos on Trip adviser and heard complaints about cleanliness. This place is spotless. Bonnie would like you to help keep it that way, but I can appreciate how hard it must be to fight sand and hard water to keep a new place looking new.
Beach toys: they have decent bogey boards, beach chairs, mats and - the kicker for me - beach bikes. They're heavy, but will work to get to the KTA store or to A Poke Place.
In the end, I think that it was a financial break-even with a 1 bedroom condo at a resort, but this place was bigger, private, good kitchen, Netflix, two lanai's to choose from. The beds are very firm.