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 (1135)
  • Very good (328)
  • Average (105)
  • Poor (53)
  • Terrible (31)
Image of the Tripadvisor rating “Great natural beauty and terrific service”

Jan 14, 2020 mmitch15 Dallas, United States

Our stay was close to perfect. The location of the Mauna Kea is one of the most beautiful, protected beaches in the world. The entire setting is hard to match, particularly watching the sunset on the Pacific from our lanai. The staff at the hotel were terrific--very unobtrusive but always available to help. Ms. Joy, the concierge was very helpful… Read more
Our stay was close to perfect. The location of the Mauna Kea is one of the most beautiful, protected beaches in the world. The entire setting is hard to match, particularly watching the sunset on the Pacific from our lanai. The staff at the hotel were terrific--very unobtrusive but always available to help. Ms. Joy, the concierge was very helpful with great recommendations for activities and things to see nearby. The room was spacious and well appointed--everything was well Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Family friendly beach resort

Jan 14, 2020 TODAYSOK Beaver Creek, Colorado

Stayed here for a week. We stayed at the 4 seasons nearby just prior. Its not the 4 seasons, but it is very nice and reasonable priced. The beach is the best and the pool is fine. Will return with the kids. Plenty of water sports and good snorkeling from the shore. One thing that really stood out. Housekeeping. Wonderful and on par with… Read more
Stayed here for a week. We stayed at the 4 seasons nearby just prior. Its not the 4 seasons, but it is very nice and reasonable priced. The beach is the best and the pool is fine. Will return with the kids. Plenty of water sports and good snorkeling from the shore. One thing that really stood out. Housekeeping. Wonderful and on par with the 4 seasons. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Gracious, resort with genuine Hawaiian feel on the island’s best beach

Jan 13, 2020 traveldan21 Culver City, California

We booked five nights on Bonvoy points at this old but well maintained hotel, celebrating its 50th anniversary. It is reputed to have the Big Island’s best beach and I can see why. The beach is a perfect crescent, with a decent amount of sand, beautiful trees and an accessible reef. As a bonus, the site has cultivated an attraction for manta rays… Read more
We booked five nights on Bonvoy points at this old but well maintained hotel, celebrating its 50th anniversary. It is reputed to have the Big Island’s best beach and I can see why. The beach is a perfect crescent, with a decent amount of sand, beautiful trees and an accessible reef. As a bonus, the site has cultivated an attraction for manta rays at night by shining a bright light into the water, which attracts the plankton that the rays feed off of. Very cool to watch the rays circling around, lazily flapping their “wings” at the surface of the water. The architecture of the hotel is traditional, with open lobby and open atriums throughout. This is definitely not a place that will wow you with its luxury or style, but it should relax you with its gracious feel. The rooms are well-sized and appear to have been recently renovated. Our room overlooked the front of the hotel (odd-numbered room), with partial golf course views. (See my photo) There is a very large lanai with two chairs and a small table. The room is equipped with a large flat screen TV, a mini fridge, a coffeemaker, a safe, robes and slippers. Our room also had a very large/deep soaking tub that also did double duty as a shower. And, a first for me: the bathroom was in two parts, on either side of the entry hallway; one side had the tub/shower and a sink, while the other side had the toilet and another sink. So, my wife and I each got our own sink. The hotel has a rather small circular pool but the beach is the main attraction in any event. There is also a decent but not extravagant fitness center; a gift shop/market, a fine dining restaurant (Manta), a more casual bar/restaurant (Copper Bar) and a pool/beachside bar that also offers lunch items. Friends we travelled with had Diamond status with Bonvoy so they were upgraded to ocean view rooms (even numbered), which was an astonishing vista. (See photo). They could even see the mantas in the water at night from their lanai. Service at the hotel was uniformly excellent (save for one unsatisfactory experience at Copper Bar). Although the hotel apparently was full while we were there, it never felt crowded in restaurants or at the beach. The one regret is that it rained most of the time we were on the Big Island. I am used to rains in Hawaii passing over quickly but this time, they or at least clouds hung around for extended periods. This prevented us from enjoying the beach on some days and although I did snorkel, the visibility and light conditions were such that I couldn’t really assess if the snorkeling under better conditions was worthwhile at the Mauna Kea beach. The other thing to note is that there is almost nothing you can walk to if you stay at either the Mauna Kea or its sister hotel, the Westin Hapuna Beach resort. The two properties do have an evening van shuttle to facilitate moving between them. But otherwise, you will need a car to explore anything outside the resorts. The Big Island is truly big, with extremely diverse landscapes, climates, and attractions. I would encourage you to rent a car and explore. But be aware that from the resorts on the Kohala Coast, the distances are quite long to get to other places (up to an hour to Kailua-Kona, 20-30 minutes to Waimea, 90-120 minutes to Hilo, etc. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Copper Bar Dining

Jan 12, 2020 BobbyFair Vancouver, Canada

We arrived at the hotel restaurant at 5:30 in order to watch the beautiful Hawaiian sunset. It took some time before anyone came to take a drink order. We finally ordered dinner around 6;15, but we waited more than an hour for our food to arrive. When it did come it was warm at best and not all that tasty. The prices charged were high for the… Read more
We arrived at the hotel restaurant at 5:30 in order to watch the beautiful Hawaiian sunset. It took some time before anyone came to take a drink order. We finally ordered dinner around 6;15, but we waited more than an hour for our food to arrive. When it did come it was warm at best and not all that tasty. The prices charged were high for the quality of the food. Earlier on, we asked for a Japanese menu (which they purportedly have) but it never arrived. I also ordered a soda water which only came when we reminded the waiter of the order. He was embarrassed and "comped" me on the beverage. We won't be going to the Copper Bar again. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Pacific Dream Photo

Jan 12, 2020 MattJMcC

Met our expectations and much more. Carla, was a seasoned photographer, very easy to work with, had great vision and ideas. There was never any pressure to buy a huge package, and no-one had a problem that we were there for a single family portrait and a Christmas card. They were nice, very accommodating, and the end product was magnificent. Lots… Read more
Met our expectations and much more. Carla, was a seasoned photographer, very easy to work with, had great vision and ideas. There was never any pressure to buy a huge package, and no-one had a problem that we were there for a single family portrait and a Christmas card. They were nice, very accommodating, and the end product was magnificent. Lots of in-fighting among the family on which photos to be chosen, because there were so many good picks. It was well worth the time and money. Read less