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 (1122)
  • Very good (324)
  • Average (102)
  • Poor (52)
  • Terrible (31)
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Unforgettable stay and photo session at Pacific Dream Photography

Nov 13, 2019 jooae1101

My husband surprised me with a stay at Mauna Kea to celebrate our 11th year anniversary and my 40th birthday. There could not have been a better place to celebrate than at Mauna Kea. The beach view room, warm staffs at check-in and restaurant including house keeping were so warm and welcoming. I loved the whole atmosphere of serenity and peace… Read more
My husband surprised me with a stay at Mauna Kea to celebrate our 11th year anniversary and my 40th birthday. There could not have been a better place to celebrate than at Mauna Kea. The beach view room, warm staffs at check-in and restaurant including house keeping were so warm and welcoming. I loved the whole atmosphere of serenity and peace with amazing views all around the hotel. Moreover, the highlight of the stay was the complimentary photo session at Pacific Dream Photography offered through the hotel. The fact that it was right at the hotel made it so much easier for all our three generations, including three young children, to get together. The director, Alejandro, and the photographer, Edder, were so friendly, warm and kind and made the whole experience so enjoyable and pleasant. I would highly recommend Mauna Kea and making an appointment with the Pacific Dream Photography while you are there to captures the special memories at the Kona Island! Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Wonderful!

Nov 9, 2019 Questovia Minot, North Dakota

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… Read more
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! Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating It's All About The Beach!

Nov 8, 2019 JandKBoulder Boulder, Colorado

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… Read more
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. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating A 5 to a 2 - back to a 5+

Nov 6, 2019 Steven K

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… Read more
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 Steven Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Great property; should re-think how they care for their resident parrots.

Nov 4, 2019 hkk67 Los Angeles

We loved our time at the hotel - fabulous service and wonderful location. However, we were disappointed with the diet provided to the two macaws on the property. Their cage bowls were filled with peanuts and sunflower seeds and the bowls outside were filled with bread. This is a terrible diet for parrots - we’ve had birds for 25 years and have… Read more
We loved our time at the hotel - fabulous service and wonderful location. However, we were disappointed with the diet provided to the two macaws on the property. Their cage bowls were filled with peanuts and sunflower seeds and the bowls outside were filled with bread. This is a terrible diet for parrots - we’ve had birds for 25 years and have worked with avian vets. This diet provided by the Mauna Kea will shorten the lives of their resident parrots. Please look into a balanced pelleted diet. Read less