Mauna Kea Beach Hotel

Big Island, Hawaii

The hotel

A statement of pure luxury, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel was the most expensive hotel ever built when it opened in 1965. It’s maintained its high-class status ever since with dramatic renovations creating oversized rooms while still keeping it’s mid-century modern magic. Consistently winning awards for its scenic golf course, oceanfront tennis club, and incredible dining, the white sands of Kauna’oa Bay are the stage for this luxury Big Island retreat. Mauna Kea’s decadent dining prime location is Manta & Pavilion Wine Bar, where you can take the stone path to see Manta Rays ‘dance’ at night, but it’s the authentic Hawaiian twists of the hotel that make this place truly special with lei-making tutorials, lu’au parties with local dishes and fire dancing, beachside clambakes with dancing on the sands and Sunday Brunch Buffets with legendary dessert tables.

Amenities

  • Bar
  • Spa
  • Swimming Pool
  • Kids Club
  • Valet parking
  • Safety Deposit Box
  • Fitness Centre/Gym
  • Internet Access
  • Close to Beach
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Restaurant

Where is it

On a stretch of sand along Big Island’s Kohala Coast, it’s 20 minutes from the scenic ‘cowboy country’ town of Waimea, with its ranches and restaurants, 40 minutes from the seaside town of Kailua-Kona, and 2 hours from traditional Hilo. Transfer time from airport: 30 minutes.

Hotel information

252 rooms and suites. All with private lanai (balcony), 32-40” flat-screen HDTV with movies on demand*, media hub, WiFi*, iPod clock radio, mini-fridge (bottled water restocked daily), coffee maker and Kona Blend coffee service, safe, hairdryer, iron and board, copy of The Art of Mauna Kea, and bathrobes and slippers. Golf Vista Rooms provide a view of the championship golf course’s lush green fairway and the distant Kohala Mountains and offer 1 king-size or 2 double beds, sleeping a maximum 3 adults.

Beach Front Rooms offer a view of green lawns and the ocean with direct access to the beach and have 1 king size bed or 2 double beds, sleeping maximum 3 adults.

Ocean View Rooms offer unobstructed panoramic views of the ocean and Kohala coastline and have 1 king size bed or 2 double beds, sleeping maximum 3 adults.

Ocean Front Rooms offer an unobstructed panoramic view of Kauna‘oa Bay, the ocean and the Kohala coastline and have 1 king size bed or 2 double beds, sleeping maximum 3 adults.

Ocean Front Deluxe Rooms offer two balconies with unparalleled views of Kauna‘oa Bay, the beach and coastline. The bathroom has a soaking tub and separate shower. These rooms offer 1 king size bed or 2 double beds, sleeping maximum 3 adults.

Premier Ocean Front Deluxe Rooms are on the hotel’s top floor with unsurpassed panoramic views of beach and coastline, there's an oversized bathroom with soaking tub, wall-less shower and walk-out balcony. These rooms offer 1 king size bed or 2 double beds, sleeping maximum 3 adults.

Hau Tree Beachside (casual menu and cocktails, daily grab-n-go breakfast, daily lunch and Sun-Fri dinner). Number 3 (casual dining and cocktails, lunch and light afternoon menu, located at golf course). Manta & Pavilion Wine Bar (show kitchen, extensive wine list, breakfast and dinner). Copper Bar (creative casual menu, craft cocktails and beer, wine list, lunch and dinner). Sunday Brunch Buffet (featuring dessert table, terrace with ocean views). Mauna Kea Lu’au (Hawaiian menu, hula and fire dancing, Tue and Fri). Clambake (beachside buffet including seafood selection and dessert bar, Hawaiian music and beach dancing, weekly). Room service* (6:00am-10:00pm). Swimming pool. Beach and pool service (padded chaise lounges, cabanas, beach umbrellas, beach towels, beach activities, and equipment). Mauna Kea Golf Course (18-hole championship course, golf clubhouse, pro shop). Seaside Tennis Club* (11 courts, equipment rental*, tennis clinics*, pro shop, oceanside setting). Mauna Kea Spa by Mandara. Fitness centre. Mauna Kea Salon*. Hawaiian experiences*. Ocean sports* (including outrigger canoe charters, snorkelling, scuba-diving, sailing, boogie boarding, fishing, seasonal whale watching, and evening Glow SUP stand up paddle boarding with LED lighting). Yoga and fitness classes*. Kids’ activities. Shops. WiFi*. Self-parking $15, valet parking $20, plus tax per day (payable locally, subject to change).

*Denotes local charge.

Rating summary

  • Location Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Sleep Quality Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Rooms Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Service Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Value Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Cleanliness Image of the Tripadvisor rating

Traveller rating

  • Excellent (1111)
  • Very good (322)
  • Average (101)
  • Poor (52)
  • Terrible (31)
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Overall an excelent hotel

Sep 21, 2019 Notlaw008 Cheshire, United Kingdom

It's clean, got several good restaurants, Manta in particular, albeit a bit expensive. Copper pot is good for a cold beer and something less formal. Look at the pictures and reviews - can't go far wrong to be fair.
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Snorkeling, sunsets, superb! An amazing experience from start to finish

Sep 19, 2019 luvs_trvl_and_dogs Athens, Greece

The Mauna Kea was an absolutely spectacular experience. The hotel is absolutely beautiful and on one of the most stunning beaches on the Big Island. The snorkeling right on the beach is fantastic - you don't need a boat or a tour, just strap on a mask and you can go to town. The service was great - we had a problem with ants in our bathroom -… Read more
The Mauna Kea was an absolutely spectacular experience. The hotel is absolutely beautiful and on one of the most stunning beaches on the Big Island. The snorkeling right on the beach is fantastic - you don't need a boat or a tour, just strap on a mask and you can go to town. The service was great - we had a problem with ants in our bathroom - the hotel took care of the issue and sent up a bottle of sparkling wine to make up for the issue. The food at the restaurants was fantastic. We just had a wonderful stay and will definitely be back! Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Nice resort however service was a disappointment

Sep 15, 2019 jennifer c

This review pertains specifically to the hotel's handling of breastmilk that I was pumping for my baby. As a breastfeeding mom, I took a small vacation away with my husband as my parents watched my 4 month old. I called ahead of time and was assured that the hotel would be able to handle putting my pumped breastmilk in the freezer, and then asked… Read more
This review pertains specifically to the hotel's handling of breastmilk that I was pumping for my baby. As a breastfeeding mom, I took a small vacation away with my husband as my parents watched my 4 month old. I called ahead of time and was assured that the hotel would be able to handle putting my pumped breastmilk in the freezer, and then asked again when I checked in. Everyday someone picked up the milk and we tipped them for helping us put it in the hotel freezer. However, at checkout, turns out that the bags were put in the fridge and not the freezer, and so most of it had to be thrown out. This was particularly disappointing as the service at manta, copper bar, and hau tree were great and we loved the staff, however this was so important to us and our family that we could not believe this had happened at such a nice resort. Manager apologized, but only after this was mentioned at checkout, without anything comped. We enjoyed our stay otherwise, but were so upset by this that I had to leave this review. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Nice summer stay with our family

Sep 15, 2019 Trishamh Washington DC, District of Columbia

Truthfully, I was not expecting much as I usually find Marriott hotels to be too corporate for me. This place is the exception. The actual rooms are pretty standard but the hotel stands out because of its beautiful beach and ocean views. It was the nicest beach we experienced during our whole trip. The sand was nice, the water was great, the views… Read more
Truthfully, I was not expecting much as I usually find Marriott hotels to be too corporate for me. This place is the exception. The actual rooms are pretty standard but the hotel stands out because of its beautiful beach and ocean views. It was the nicest beach we experienced during our whole trip. The sand was nice, the water was great, the views were stunning. In general, the grounds were very nice and the views from breakfast and other areas were always impressive. There was also plenty of activities from tennis, golf, hula dance lessons, yoga, and on and on. We had a great time for all 5 nights we stayed there. If you wanted to upgrade the already great experience, spend money on the rooms and building more impressive pools (one adults only please) that would match the level of the rest of the resort. Still without its worth the stay! Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Fabulous, we booked through Luxury Escapes, leaving was hard

Sep 13, 2019 Et3e

This was our first trip to the Big Island of Hawaii, and we stayed Mon to Sat. We drove up from Kona Airport, and upon arrival got a traditional greeting, flowers/ beads included. Main building, restaurants are open, facing the water, and a great place to stay cool. Concierge and reception very helpful, see below. Some state, national… Read more
This was our first trip to the Big Island of Hawaii, and we stayed Mon to Sat. We drove up from Kona Airport, and upon arrival got a traditional greeting, flowers/ beads included. Main building, restaurants are open, facing the water, and a great place to stay cool. Concierge and reception very helpful, see below. Some state, national newspapers and NYT summary (with listing of resort activities). Usual range of shops. Water, banana bread and fruit ready in the room. The rooms - we had a ocean view room towards the southern end of the property, behind the grassy area with palm trees with lotsa seating spaces - are well designed, practical, properly maintained and up to date. No noise from corridor, and there are double doors just to be sure. Upon entry there is a toilet, bathroom with double sink, rubbish section has recycled and trash sections, storage, and shower (make sure you put out the bathroom mat to catch some water bound to get through)/ bathtub area. The bathtub area can be open though a window to watch towards the ocean or shaded through a screen. Bathrobes, good collection of towels (also for beach or use whilst out towels available for off resort use near beach restaurant). L’Occitane essentials. Hairdryer. Proper shaving mirror. In the room there is a wall unit which can close to hide the TV (range of channels and streaming services, no AppleTV or Google Chromecast or Roku though), and which has a range of connectors, including a HDMI cable ready to go. It also has easily accessible powerpoints. Mirror. One of the bedside tables had a clockradio with a bunch of different charging points (USB A, B etc). Enough space next to wall unit for two intercontinental sized suitcases to be left open. The balcony doors we mostly left open, preferring to use the flyscreens and ceiling fan, rather than the airco (which has Centigrade and Fahrenheit settings). Besides comfy furniture, balcony has a small drying rack. Temps were in the upper twenties to mid thirties Centigrade during the [mid Sep period] day. Comfortable loungey chair, same for bed and hard and soft pillows. Additional storage drawers near coffee/ tea/ minibar/ water station, with a few types of classes. Empty minibar though. No corridor noise. Housekeeping would be visit mornings and for turn down, leaving flowers on the pillow. Wi-Fi, be it public or guest seems to be by Hawaii Telcom and on our iPad fifth gen did about 30/ 30 Mbps over Wi-Fi. No issues with FaceTime, iMessage/ Whatsapp or otherwise. This time of year was fairly quiet, and apparently busier on weekends. Beautiful sunsets, different areas to sit around the resort, great facilities and equipment. Menu of activities. Snorkeling off the beach. A very good choice of bars and restaurants, beach/ pool/ Copper/ Manta with views of the bay, even birds, mongooses and cats. Gym is smallish but well equipped, inside though. Landscaping appears to be ongoing, often using blowers rather than rakes, though near guests rakes would be used. It sounds like this hotel is now somehow a Marriott affiliate, or associated with them, and the one next door a Westin. Besides a drive towards Mouna Kea (tallest mountain on Earth when measured from sea floor to peak, expansion of observatory subject to protests at access road and beyond, it would appear having dealt with the Poms/ Cook/ 1779, the American coup/ 1893 has left quite a few issues, and though we saw fewer upside down Hawaiian flags on Hawaii than on Oahu, some areas aren’t keen on visitors, checkout the movie Aloha, as in below the Aloha exterior), across to Hilo and by way of America’s most southern point back up through Kona. We did do a helo flight with Sunshine Helicopters of about 90 mins (bring water, video or stills are extra, live commentary from an ex-Army pilot whose been around and done loads, great views of landscape, even updates on geothermal fracking, diesel, windmills, solar for energy), swam with Manta Rays Advocates (GoPro footage included), and used the golf course. Anyway ... recommended. (On this trip we did Oahu/ Northshore, Big Island Hawaii, and Oahu/ Waikiki over two weeks. Hawaiian Air luggage practices are different than we expected, be it First (or cattle) even self tagging, having come in Business internationally. Check in luggage weights matter, not just number of pieces, and carry on seems not to get as much scrutiny. Go figure. Also some car rental places are NEAR rather than at the airport, not sure if due to remodelling/ renovations, which then required dragging luggage into a shuttle. Note, mobile phone coverage varies even with new model iPhones, confusing Google Maps several times. Still not used to the whole American price plus resort fees plus tax plus tips thing. Overall pleased we visited, but other Asian/ Australasian/ South Pacific locations, islands are much better value for money.) Read less