Kona Inn and Kona Kai Club

San Diego, CA
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1551 Shelter Island Drive
San Diego, CA
Opened in 1953
Closed in 1998
No longer in operation.

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Kona Inn and Kona Kai Club



by 2 people



Everyone You
Former Glory 10

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Humuhumu’s description

Kona Kai Club opened in 1953, and along with the nearby Bali Hai Restaurant
Bali Hai Restaurant
San Diego, CA
Bar & Restaurant
, was one of the first developments on the predominantly Polynesian-themed Shelter Island. The Kona Kai Club was a marina, intended from the start to serve high-end yachts, and it developed into the premiere marina in San Diego. The catalog of celebrities mooring pleasure boats there is impressive: Clark Gable, Burt Lancaster, Jack Lemmon, Gregory Peck, Jimmy Durante, Dick Van Dyke, Liberace, and many more.
In 1959, the Kona Inn hotel was opened nextdoor (at 1901 Shelter Island Drive). Later in the year, the entire property was purchased by Jack Wrather, a Hollywood producer who was the original owner of the Disneyland Hotel. Wrather expanded the marina, and in 1963 sold the club to John Alessio, owner of the famous Hotel del Coronado. Alessio started to add Mediterranean touches, including an octagonal structure echoing the one at the Coronado.
The Kona Inn and Kona Kai Club underwent their final renovation from 1995-1997, which completed the conversion from Polynesian to Mediterranean. The name was removed in 1998, and it became Shelter Pointe Hotel & Marina.
Today, the name is back (well, nearly: it is called Kona Kai Resort) but the theming is entirely Mediterranean.


August 7, 2017, 2:51 PM
My Parents met at the Voyager Restaurant, next to the Kona Inn at 1901 Shelter Island Drive, San Diego CA back in the early 60's. Their 50th Wedding Anniversary is next year and I am trying to find out if the Voyager Restaurant Bldg is still there. If so, I am sure it has a different name. Does anyone happen to know what it is? I would love to have a 50th celebration there for them.
July 18, 2017, 5:34 PM
I believe The Voyager Restaurant and Tahitian Lounge were part of the Kona Inn Hotel. Does anyone know what happened to those two venues? Were they renovated into the new Kona Kai Hotel?
Krakatoa Kate
Krakatoa Kate has visited Kona Inn and Kona Kai Club.
July 10, 2017, 1:41 PM
My father and grandfather owned a huge catering business in the 60s and 70s. As a child, my father would take me to the Kona Kai Club for the luaus they catered. I would eat "from a real whole pig" and watch the dancers and musicians from the sidelines. I have some great photos from these luaus.
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Regulars & Visitors
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View all 8 Kona Inn and Kona Kai Club regulars & visitors