Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection
What We Love
- A 2013 head-to-toe revamp has this grande dame looking better than ever
- Four restaurants, plus a twice-weekly Luau and clambake on the beach
- The new Balinese-inspired Mauna Kea Spa by Mandara
- A dramatic open kitchen at restaurant Manta
What To Know
- WiFi costs around $15 per day
- Parking onsite is available, from $15 per day
- Pets are not allowed
- Golf Course
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
This legendary Big Island resort has been luring VIPs since the 1960s, when Laurance S. Rockefeller discovered the sublime white sand beach on the Kohala Coast. Revamped rooms by L.A.’s Barry Design Associates have brought up-to-the-minute technology, airy modern white interiors with splashes of tropical sunset colors, and luxe touches like soaking tubs with views of the golf course or ocean. The walls are adorned with the museum-quality Pacific and Asian art collection gathered by Mr. Rockefeller and Davis Allen in 1965. Patrician activities abound, from golf on the newly updated course to tennis on one of 11 seaside courts. Those more interested in pampering can chill at the spa, which offers exotic treatments from both Southeast Asia and Hawaii, from lomi massage to bamboo massage–you can even book an oceanside cabana.
In the Area
Experience some of the world’s most breathtaking scenery from above on a flight-seeing tour over the island with Sunshine Helicopters. Fly direct from the Hapuna Helipad to the live Kīlauea volcano, taking in lush green valleys and waterfalls along the way. Closer to home, frolic on Kauna‘oa Beach, in front of the resort, widely considered one of Hawaii’s best–the concierge can help arrange a slew of activities from whale watching tours to stand-up paddle boarding. After dark, take in the spectacular night sky at the summit of Mauna Kea; the Visitor Information Station at 9300 foot offers daily free star-gazing sessions.
How to Get There
My sister and I enjoyed two glorious nights here - not long enough! The property is so beautiful from the drive in off the main road, to all of the well groomed grounds and the gorgeous beach. So easy to relax and enjoy the lovely surroundings most anywhere on site. I particularly enjoyed lounging by the pool and having lunch served to us there. Great service & the rooms and sleep quality were superb. Looking forward to returning someday and staying longer!
We returned to the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel for four days in September. Kauna'oa Beach is perfection. The water is clear, warm and calm this time of year. This is one of our most favorite beaches in all of Hawaii and why we return to the Mauna Kea. We enjoyed getting our loungers/umbrellas but more importantly the little low rise beach chairs that we pulled to the water's edge.
We stayed in an Ocean Front Room in the Main Tower. At first we were placed on the 5th floor end room. We were not happy here as there was lots of noise and a chlorine smell from the pool. For the huge price of the room - just shy of $1000 - we asked to be moved. After some attitude from reception they were able to move us to the 7th floor more center after 2 nights. This room was much better. The views from the two lanais just spectacular! However the rooms are showing their age and not as fresh as our previous 3 stays. The towels were like cardboard - no pile whatsoever.
The food program at the hotel is mediocre at best. Mantra provided a stunning view and sunset for our first night's dinner however the menu is very uninspiring and expensive. Service was very slow and unprofessional. We asked to talk to someone knowledgeable with their wine list and told no one was working this evening that knew about wine. Really, Saturday night?! All other dinners we took elsewhere. Merrimans, Sansei and Ulu Ocean Grill at Four Seasons were our choices and did not disappoint. Lunches at Hau Tree on the beach provided friendly service but again a pretty mainstream dining menu.
We liked the addition of the little store where we could purchase snacks, drinks and sundries.
We never saw a manager circulating and making contact with guests. No one asked how our stay was going, if we needed anything.The overall feel of the staff was like they were just going through motions but not genuinely caring.
If it were not for the beach we would not return to Mauna Kea. They have a premium spot on Hawaii and we feel like they are just coasting on this asset. They could be so much better! The hotel lists itself as one of the Marriott Autograph Collection Hotels which offer upper-upscale luxury. They have a long way to go to be true to this category of hotels.
My wife and I get away most November’s without the kids. I asked her where in the world she would like to go and she picked this hotel. I am a Titanium Elite with Marriott (over 1000 nights) so we travel broadly. The start of our trip was wonderful. The deluxe ocean view is amazing, the staff was welcoming and the beach is pristine. However at 9:00 am out first day jack hammers started with no warning. The beauty of this hotel is its intimate setting and the proximity of its beautiful, secluded and peaceful beach to the hotel. However this meant that the unexpected jack hammering (unplanned tile work on rooms face the beach) made the morning extremely painful. After dealing with repairs at the JW in Cancun last Nov (a nightmare) we thought here we go again. In stepped the front desk staff and Hotel assistant mng Mana Akana, the group assured us the this would only be over soon, calmed my wife (which changed everything), offered us some nice amenities and most importantly the staff helped us figure out where to head to get away from the temporary noise, and made us feel like we were in this together. I am truly glad we stayed. The rest of our trip has been terrific. While the beaches are fantastic, the food excellent, and the hotel is beautiful, It has been the staff that has made a 5 out of what could have been a 2. We have all been there at a turning moment when a visit can go from 0 to 5 or the other way very quickly, and from Mana to the entire front desk crew, to Eloy (our wonderful waiter) at Mantas dinning, to every house keeping person we ran into, they made it a 5 with genuine smiles and kindness. And thank you Kansas Henderson (hotel manager) for the extra touches and the customer delight culture (one that is genuine vs manufactured). My wife truly feels this will be our go to for romantic November’s for years to come.
Many thanks Mauna Kea