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 (1115)
  • Very good (323)
  • Average (101)
  • Poor (52)
  • Terrible (31)
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Beautiful 8 Days!

Oct 20, 2019 CTBERRY Palm Desert, California

This property is absolutely beautiful!! We were fortunate enough to have a tower room overlooking the Mauna Beach and couldn't have been more pleased with our stay! We spent many mornings on our Patio having room service breakfast and enjoying the air, waves and warmth. The cleanliness was top-notch, the room-service was fantastic and every… Read more
This property is absolutely beautiful!! We were fortunate enough to have a tower room overlooking the Mauna Beach and couldn't have been more pleased with our stay! We spent many mornings on our Patio having room service breakfast and enjoying the air, waves and warmth. The cleanliness was top-notch, the room-service was fantastic and every employee was spot on. We never heard the word 'No' to any guest and were amazed that they were all so professional and courteous! We took advantage of MOST amenities and visited each of the restaurants (the Manta 3 times it was that good!) We will definitely return and this is one of our new favorites!!! Mahalo! Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating A week of mishaps amongst a beautiful beach

Oct 13, 2019 N1250KXannec Portland, Oregon

I love Mauna Kea and have stayed there many times over the years. We’ve considered this beach one of the best in the world and the hotel exceptional. This year was an unusual exception to a perfect vacation and I’m trying very hard to not let the unfortunate incidents fully tarnish my feelings for this beautiful place. We had a friendly and… Read more
I love Mauna Kea and have stayed there many times over the years. We’ve considered this beach one of the best in the world and the hotel exceptional. This year was an unusual exception to a perfect vacation and I’m trying very hard to not let the unfortunate incidents fully tarnish my feelings for this beautiful place. We had a friendly and accommodating reception upon checking in. Our room appeared clean and the location was great- 4th floor in the beach wing which was exactly what we hoped for because of its close proximity to the beach and pool and beautiful sunset views. The first issue occurred that night when my husband and I were trying to sleep. We individually heard banging noises in the room which we assumed were from each other but at 3:00 am we both were awakened by the crash of some plates we had used the night before. It was then that my husband confirmed we had a big rat running around our room and in & out of the entertainment center. We immediately called the front desk and requested to be moved immediately. Initially they moved us three rooms down but I was sure that I would not be comfortable in the same exact room just down the way from a room with a rodent. So at 3 am we had to pack up our bags (we were completely unpacked and settled in) and temporarily moved to the room down the way while they looked for another room. Then at 4 am we moved to a room in the tower with view of a roof. Because we’ve stayed several times before, we purposely booked our room in the beach wing for the view and proximity to the beach so the roof view although on the beach side was a big disappointment. By the next afternoon they were able to move us once again to the 8th floor. Needless to say, we were really exhausted our first day of vacation. The manager offered us a $400 credit and then we asked for breakfast and he added that too. Both very nice but sleeping with a rat in the room was truly awful. After the first incident we then had another issue after returning from dinner. Housekeeping had been to our room and apparently broke a glass but failed to clean up some of the glass. When my husband washed his hands he was cut by the small shards that were on his soap. When we called to get housekeeping back to clean up the glass they were sure that we were the ones who broke it. Of course if we had, we wouldn’t have had any problem with just telling them we did, so this was an annoying response. The next issue was that there was a smoker within close proximity to our balcony which made it really unpleasant to sit outside and enjoy the sunset. We called each time but for three nights in a row, they did not locate him. It wasn’t until we worked with another guest below us looking for the smoker as well that we were successful in identifying the smoker in the room below us. The staff came to our room to personally apologize for this unfortunate occurrence which was nice but didn’t give us back our 3 nights that we couldn’t use our balcony. The last unfortunate thing was that two tee shirts that my husband brought were taken from our room. We called and asked if maybe housekeeping accidentally picked them up with towels or linens but the manager said that my husband must have misplaced them. He didn’t and they never found them. As I said earlier, this is one of our very favorite places to go and during all of the other stays we never had any problems whatsoever. If it were just one of the unfortunate incidents we experienced, we would chalk it up as “thing happen” however, this was exceptional in the number of bad things that happened and it’s difficult not to wonder if the quality of our favorite hotel is going downhill. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Wished I Could Have Stayed Longer

Oct 11, 2019 BILLJ_GA Atlanta, Georgia

1st class resort! From check-in to check-out I have no complaints. We only stayed here 2 nights, but wished we could have stayed longer! From the rooms, restaurants, beach, staff, I have nothing bad to say. We had an ocean front room with a large balcony with excellent views. I liked the resort as it was large, but not big due to the fact of… Read more
1st class resort! From check-in to check-out I have no complaints. We only stayed here 2 nights, but wished we could have stayed longer! From the rooms, restaurants, beach, staff, I have nothing bad to say. We had an ocean front room with a large balcony with excellent views. I liked the resort as it was large, but not big due to the fact of trying to have as many rooms as possible crammed into the property. It was designed just right in 1961 and I hope it stays this way as there are many open air places and plenty of breezes. If it was another resort, there would be very few common areas as they would all be rooms. There was never a problem finding a spot on the beach, and 100% of the staff was amazing. It is obvious that management knows what they are doing. It is a bit pricey, but unlike resorts like the Waldorf-Astoria collections, I feel you get what you pay for here. Really.. I have nothing bad or even a little concerning to say. If you are looking for a place to relax and enjoy top-notch service, then this is your place. If you are looking to party all day and night, then this is not your place. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Fun

Sep 26, 2019 JSBIV Midland, Michigan

The facilities were great and the staff was awesome. We swam with the Manta Rays from shore at night! Spectacular!! Golf at the resort was excellent! This place is a hit!! Great place to snorkel and swim in the ocean.
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Beautiful beach

Sep 24, 2019 VickyBee333 Medina, Ohio

We spent a few quiet days in the Mauna Kea shortly after Labor Day. It was our first visit to this particular property and we booked the hotel on the recommendation of friends whose family has been vacationing there for decades. After reading the negative reviews about bugs and the need for updating, I admit I was rather unsure of our choice. As… Read more
We spent a few quiet days in the Mauna Kea shortly after Labor Day. It was our first visit to this particular property and we booked the hotel on the recommendation of friends whose family has been vacationing there for decades. After reading the negative reviews about bugs and the need for updating, I admit I was rather unsure of our choice. As it happened, our room (on the 3rd floor) was bug-free. We encountered some of those roach-like things in the hallway in the evening, which was a little disconcerting, but the bugs were more afraid of us than we were of them. We were very pleased that there was no sign of them or any other creepy-crawlies in our room. As far as the condition of the rooms goes, furniture is a kind of dinged up, and public areas in particular are dated. Chairs in the Copper Bar really should be replaced. On the plus side, our bed was very comfortable (loved the soft sheets), and the bath was clean and functional, although towels were rather worn. As others have mentioned, the beach is lovely. We had no trouble snagging lounge chairs. One negative is that there is apparently no beach bar service. On the beaches at other Hawaiian resorts, servers frequently came by to take orders and serve, but that didn't happen at all at this beach. One of the biggest gripes we had was with the breakfast buffet, which was offered in the Copper Bar because Manta was closed (in the morning, anyway) for remodeling. (This didn't seem to make sense, because we had dinner in Manta.) In any case, there is a huge problem with fruit flies on many of the buffet items. One morning I had to point out the problem to one of the wait staff, who quickly draped cloth napkins over bowls of fruit. A guest really shouldn't have to point out something so obvious. We found the restaurant food ordered from the menu to be above average for Hawaiian resort food. Service throughout the hotel was friendly and accommodating. Overall, it was a pleasant stay - not super luxurious, but above average. Read less