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 (1127)
  • Very good (326)
  • Average (103)
  • Poor (52)
  • Terrible (31)
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Polished resort drips relaxation in perfect surrounds

Nov 28, 2019 ScottN Honolulu, Hawaii

From the moment that we arrived, we knew that this was a very special place. The lush tropical foliage sparkles with tropical flowers and the simple open concrete lobby built in the 1960's with the drop-dead view of the beach is as classic as ever. The resort was gracious enough to upgrade us to a deluxe room which had a cavernous bathroom that… Read more
From the moment that we arrived, we knew that this was a very special place. The lush tropical foliage sparkles with tropical flowers and the simple open concrete lobby built in the 1960's with the drop-dead view of the beach is as classic as ever. The resort was gracious enough to upgrade us to a deluxe room which had a cavernous bathroom that was 50% the size of the bedroom itself and had its own lanai. The "closet" was a large mirrored dressing room. Rooms were in perfect working condition and impeccably clean. Lanai furniture was covered with terry towels. They provided true turn down service each night which we rarely experience at hotels anymore. The only service flaw in our rooms was that one of the housekeepers accidentally disposed of our store-bought shower cap and hair bandanna we had hanging on the towel rack. We opted for self parking due to the longish wait it looked like other guests had for their cars in valet parking. The price for either is similar. The self parking lot is close to the lobby and convenient, but there are some stairs down to it which could impact anyone with mobility issues. The front lobby service is adequate, but both valets and check-in staff were definitely on the "cool" side and without the warm "aloha" we have come to expect at most upscale Hawaii resorts. There are multiple restaurants, each with their own live musical entertainment. We tried all of them and the food was above average but nothing spectacular although the atmosphere is lovely and the musical talent excellent. The view from their restaurant Mantra above the crescent beach area is beautiful, and it is obvious why they built the resort here first, definitely the prime location beach-wise in Kohala. Service at the restaurants were excellent for lunch and dinner, but was sub-par for breakfast at Mantra each morning...retraining on customer service definitely needed. For instance, we came down late one morning and they took away the sugar and salt/pepper in preparation for setting up the tables for lunch even though we were still eating and drinking coffee. Twice, we had to get up to ask for the bill because we waited for our food server over 15 minutes. Each night, they have a lit lookout point where huge mantras come up to the shore to feed on the plankton attracted to the light. This is one of the highlights of the property. Breathtaking and this by itself makes staying here special! We felt that the oversized statuary scattered around the resort has become really dated and it really would look a lot better if they would just remove it. Elevators were shabby and definitely need an overhaul. We stayed here because our usual resort (the Mauna Lani) is currently closed and being renovated, but our feeling is that even with the slight service flaws this has become our new preferred hotel on the Big Island. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating A Dreamy Experience In Paradise – Best Hawaii Beach, Sunset and Manta Rays

Nov 28, 2019 Traveller5670 Toronto, Ontario

My baby boomer wife and I visited the famous Mauna Kea Beach luxury resort on the Big Island, Hawaii for a romantic vacation in November 2019 and we were simply thrilled by our dreamy experience in paradise. Our large oceanfront room and balcony overlooked a magnificent soft white sand beach and tranquil swimmable ocean at Kauna’oa Bay, including… Read more
My baby boomer wife and I visited the famous Mauna Kea Beach luxury resort on the Big Island, Hawaii for a romantic vacation in November 2019 and we were simply thrilled by our dreamy experience in paradise. Our large oceanfront room and balcony overlooked a magnificent soft white sand beach and tranquil swimmable ocean at Kauna’oa Bay, including amazing sunsets and the nightly manta ray visits. We loved the iconic Rockefeller designs from 1965 in this updated resort. The staff were all very friendly and caring. We loved the fresh local food and drinks at all 3 onsite restaurants (Manta, Copper Bar and Hau Tree – try the delicious Frederico cocktail, banana bread and POG passion/orange/guava fruit juice). My wife also enjoyed her Spa massages, although we skipped the superb golf, tennis and fitness facilities. But to be clear again, the Mauna Kea Beach is outstanding and serene: skewed to adults including young professionals, perfect for romantic vacations or honeymoons, not crowded, easy access to beach chairs and umbrellas, family friendly but not overrun with kids, lots of water activities including snorkeling with the manta rays (or simply watching from the rock outcrop or your balcony). After visiting Maui, Kauai and Hawaii, this is our favourite resort and beach in the Hawaii Islands. We see why many come back again and again. We will be back again too. Mahalo! Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating SW-Golfer

Nov 22, 2019 stevecarolh2019

One of the terrific resorts in the world. Exceptional service, spectacular beach, top-tier golf course, wonderful tennis, diverse offerings of fine restaurants, easy access to plenty of Big Island activities, .... Also had photos taken by Pacific Dream Photography - Alejandro it the best.... Take time to look at the Manta Rays after dark -… Read more
One of the terrific resorts in the world. Exceptional service, spectacular beach, top-tier golf course, wonderful tennis, diverse offerings of fine restaurants, easy access to plenty of Big Island activities, .... Also had photos taken by Pacific Dream Photography - Alejandro it the best.... Take time to look at the Manta Rays after dark - better than an aquarium... Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Relaxing vacation time with photography, pool and beach time!

Nov 21, 2019 saraivory Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California

We fell in love with the Mauna Kea!! We took advantage of the various amenities and services provided on the property. We had such a fun experience as newlyweds getting our pictures taken throughout the Mauna Kea property at sunset. Eddor the photographer made it super easy for us to naturally pose against the gorgeous backdrop of the Big… Read more
We fell in love with the Mauna Kea!! We took advantage of the various amenities and services provided on the property. We had such a fun experience as newlyweds getting our pictures taken throughout the Mauna Kea property at sunset. Eddor the photographer made it super easy for us to naturally pose against the gorgeous backdrop of the Big Island. He took over 100 pics of us and we loved them all! Definitely Christmas card worthy and well worth the time and money. We’d use Pacific Dream Photography again for our next photo shoot. We'd definitely go back to the Mauna Kea. Early December was a good time to go, didn't seem too crowded. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating amazing location

Nov 18, 2019 Richard F Los Angeles, California

The MK is located on a prime beach and surrounded by beautiful gardens/walkways. The setting is very hard to beat. Kudos to Rockefeller and Bassett from SOM. A fantastic structure and prime example of Mid Century architecture. The design has lasted thru the decades and still delivers. For Mid Century enthusiasts, this property is a must stay.… Read more
The MK is located on a prime beach and surrounded by beautiful gardens/walkways. The setting is very hard to beat. Kudos to Rockefeller and Bassett from SOM. A fantastic structure and prime example of Mid Century architecture. The design has lasted thru the decades and still delivers. For Mid Century enthusiasts, this property is a must stay. While the location and architecture are stunning, the property needs some TLC. A revamp of the room interiors is needed (without removing the amazing original cabinetry). Updated bathrooms, amenities, balconies and furnishings are needed. While the beach is stunning - the beach chairs and umbrellas are an embarrassment for any hotel boasting 5 stars. Similarly the beach restaurant and bar are beyond tired and need a complete overhaul - what are they thinking? I was asked to bring my towels back at the end of the day by the towel service man - what??? And while alcohol is "not allowed on the beach" how about beach service for food and other beverages? Really? A 5 star hotel should not expect guests to order, collect and clean up after a beach lunch. NEVER! And how about a towel set up for me on the beach? The staff are friendly and the service was good all week. Nothing to write home about. Food in the restos is good - not amazing. Chef could do some work on menus. Breakfast buffet is very nice but could be revamped. An additional beach front pool in front of the beach villa bldg would be a super addition as well but not needed to make this an amazing hotel. The spa is a joke... you must add a world class spa to this report - must have. NO amenities... ?? Just treatment rooms? so much lost revenue. All in all, I would return to this historic and beautifully located property after they fix the items above. Some much needed TLC would bring this hotel back into it's original 1960s status as one of the best resorts in the world. You have one of the most amazing beaches and locations - now match the hotel and you will be at 100% occupancy all year. Read less