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“Still a wonderfully relaxing vacation” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows

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Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows
4.5 of 5 Resort   |   68-1400 Mauna Lani Drive, Puako, Island of Hawaii, HI 96743   |  
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4th Nite Free & Breakfast
Ranked #1 of 5 hotels in Puako
San Francisco, California
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Still a wonderfully relaxing vacation”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2012 via mobile

We just had a 10 day vacation at the mana lani and it's still awesome! It's a little quieter than most of the hotels around it, but that's what we wanted and needed. We were also concerned about some of the recent reviews talking about paying for parking, coffee and wifi. Honestly, it still was a better deal than most of the other hotels, there are still daily activities that are free of charge and some with a nominal price ( like $15 for an early morning yoga class facing the ocean), there's still free coffee in your room and they have a brand new coffee shop on the first floor. You can still use the bikes, snorkel equipment and foam surf boards for free. Finally, the shuttle to the shops, the fairmont or golf course is extremely convenient. The location is perfect and you can walk along the beach trail all the way to Puako or down through the golf course past the "signature" championship hole on the fisherman's trail. We love this place and hope to be back. A special thanks to the amazing staff that make this hotel what it is: binkie, ola, Mimi, George, Delia, Gerri, and Leeann.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (236)
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English first
Whittier, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2012 via mobile

The location is nice, grounds are nice,hotel little dated,rooms are small if you have a family of 4 it is a tight squeeze in a standard room. We had dinner at the Canoe house and were disappointed with the service.The waitress seemed oblivious to the menu and was unable to make recommendations.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2012

My husband and I decided to visit the Big Island for the first time this September. I chose this hotel based on the reviews and the fact that they had a lot of complimentary amenities.

Our stay couldn't have been more pleasant. We were very pleased that they informed us that our parking and internet charges would be waived since we booked early and at that time they did not charge for these services. They also upgraded us to a garden view room, which was really a partial ocean view room.

The atrium and the grounds of this hotel are so beautiful. The setting immediately makes you relax and puts you in a completely peaceful state of mind. We found ourselves kind of accidentally taking the fish feeding tour one day, and learned about the different fish that are in each pond. It was fascinating and a lot of fun. At the end of the fish feeding tour, we got to hand feed the koi that live in the ponds near the entrance of the hotel.

We almost felt like we had much of this hotel to ourselves. Our room was quiet, and the beach was never crowded. The protected bay was perfect for my husband, as he's not really an accomplished swimmer. Nice to see a couple of sea turtles swimming around and lounging on the rocks.

Our first full day we drove to Hilo and took a volcano tour from Native Hawaiian Guide Warren Costa. He's a former park ranger, and it was great to have a private tour instead of being part of a large tour group. Highly recommended.

The next few days we lounged around the grounds of the hotel, either in a beach cabana or near the pool. It was perfect, we really just wanted to relax. This beautiful hotel is the perfect place to do this. We did indulge in a couple of Lomi Lomi massages at the Blue Dragon Bodyworks, which is above the Blue Dragon Restaurant in Kawaihae, about 10 miles north of the hotel.

We also took advantage of the free bikes they have for guest usage and rode around the resort area. The free shuttle around the area was also rather nice as the grocery store and restaurants are a bit of a hike from the hotel.

We definitely plan to come back here in the future. There's still a lot of places we didn't see, and we enjoyed ourselves immensely at this hotel. We enjoyed getting "visited" each morning by a wild turkey who patrolled our deck area each day. One day he even brought a mongoose along with him on his rounds. We also saw a very happy looking feral cat who enjoyed lounging on the deck of the hotel's breakfast restaurant.

The food is really pricey at this hotel, as is the case with most hotels in Hawaii. We confined ourselves to only eating and drinking at the Ocean Bar. We did find some reasonably priced breakfast options away from the resort area. In Waikoloa Village we ate at Island Lava Java and Dave's Coffee Shack (aka Kau Kau Depot) - both excellent options with great prices. On our way to Hilo we ate at the Hawaiian Style Cafe in Waimea - cash only, great prices, but the food is not terribly fresh. On our last day on the way to the airport, we discovered the King's Grille which is in the King's Golf Course clubhouse on Waikoloa Beach Drive. Another reasonably priced breakfast option, and there are signs along the way to guide you to this restaurant.

Below is a brief list of the pros & cons of this hotel:

Pros:
Grounds are beautiful
Sense of privacy
Great amenities
Safe, protected beach
Friendly and attentive staff
Free laundry room for guests

Cons:
Very pricey food & drinks in all hotel restaurants
We had no cell phone service at all in the hotel, but this was also kind of a plus as it made us "tune out" for a while
Have to call room service for ice
One shuttle driver we got on our way back from the shops to the hotel went on a bit of a political rant, explaining some sort of argument he had gotten into with some previous guests he drove - we found this to be uncomfortable & inappropriate

The pros definitely outweigh the cons here, and we hope to discover some more reasonable dining spots on our next trip. We did enjoy Merriman's Market Cafe in the King's Shops on Waikoloa Beach Drive. We also ate at the Just Tacos Mexican Grill which is in the Shops at Mauna Lani. I liked the food here, my husband thought it was "just okay." We also had excellent burgers in Hilo at the Hilo Burger Joint. We also dined at the Blue Dragon Restaurant in Kawaihae. It was good, but seemed too pricey for what we got. Their flourless chocolate torte was delicious. And while we did find the Ocean Bar to be pretty outrageously priced, we had to admit that the food was really good. We ate about 4 meals there.

We had to agree at the end of our stay that this was our best vacation yet. We were kind of celebrating our two year wedding anniversary (2 weeks early) and we're already trying to think of a reason to come back.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangkok, Thailand
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
42 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2012

We recently went to my daughters wedding in this Hotel and resort . We had a ball. The staff were very attentive ( and not just because we were hosting a wedding there with guests coming from Australia and main land USA ) . The view is fantastic , the water teeming with fish and wonderful old turtles just a few meters from the beach . It is a beautiful part of Hawaii .. The volcanic rock flow that dominates the landscape is also very cool to look at . The weather is amazing on this side of the island and very rarely rains . ( a bonus when you are planning a wedding or any outdoor event ) . We also played golf at the Mauna Lani golf course , cut our from the volcanic lava flows , it is a fantastic test of golf and visually amazing .. Worth going to Hawaii just for that alone . All said , there are lots of great places to stay in Hawaii , and this is certainly one of them.

Room Tip: go for an ocean view room , it is worth paying a little more .
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montague
Top Contributor
113 reviews 113 reviews
57 hotel reviews
Reviews in 61 cities Reviews in 61 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2012 via mobile

The hotel is wonderful in every way. First, and fortunately, I had a wonderful rate as part of a business group meeting at this hotel. The value for the rate paid was truly exceptional. The staff were consistently kind, helpful, gracious at every encounter. The view for an "ocean view" room was lovely and the balcony a joy. This was not the top of the line room, it seemed to be the norm for a view and it was truly beautiful. I never turned on the air conditioning because I could close the wooden shutters and have privacy at night while still enjoying the trade winds and the sound of the ocean. The food was wonderful at all venues within the hotel. The attention to detail in the landscaping creates an intimate and gorgeous atmosphere. The the spa was great. Hawaiian massage was just what I needed and the facility was a short walk away, with friendly and helpful staff. I hope to come back to this property soon. I convey deep gratitude to the staff and management of this hotel. You made my brief visit to Kona a wonderful experience.

Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
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Vancouver, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2012

We stayed at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel for a week in August and we could not have been more happy and impressed with the resort. Not only was the hotel ambiance relaxing and serence, but the staff were unbelievably friendly, knowledgeable and accommodating. We liked the open-concept feel and the fish pools and flower patches located in and around the hotel. Our room was clean, spacious, and comparable to any higher end hotel though as mentioned in other reviews, aspects of the bathrooms could use upgrading (e.g., shower/bathtub). We appreciated the complimentary shuttle service from the hotel to other areas of the resort (e.g., fitness centre/spa and the Shops at Mauna Lani Bay) and took advantage of the free bike rental, and fitness centre/lap pool (classes - extra cost) . The concierge took no time in helping us rent a car and was helpful in planning different tours and answering our questions about Kona. The beachfront was cozy and quiet and we made use of the watersports equipment available from the Hulakai activity hut (some are free (boogie boards) while others require a rental fee (paddleboards)). We were also fortunate enough to see a few green sea turtles that came to shore (general rule is to observe from a distance). As for restaurants, we enjoyed the "healthier" breakfast options at the Bay Terrace restaurant and were very impressed with the lunch/dinner at the Ocean Bar and Grill (recommend the Hawaiian Ahi wrap). The Monstera Japanese restaurant at the Shops at Mauna Lani is also highly touted and recommended. Overall, the Mauna Lani is a hidden gem if one is seeking a relaxing getaway and we look forward to returning soon!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ipswich, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2012

We stayed at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel for 6 nights as part of our Honeymoon. We both found it a fantastic hotel, in a great location. The quality of the service was second to none, and all the staff were always helpful and friendly. it was clean and well run; with added touches like chocolates, slippers and fresh bottled water in your room and tea and coffee making facilities (slight nuisance was the fact it was a coffee maker, so only tea or coffee could be made at a time; but this appears to be the same in all the hotels we stayed in, while visiting America).
We ate in The Ocean Bar and Grill restaurant and enjoyed a wonderful meal and had breakfast one morning at The Bay Terrace which was fantastic. Swimming pool and jacuzzi were lovely and the hotel itself is right on the beach. With added extras including free sun beds and snorkling equipment (for 4 hours a day) and free bikes to use, all made it very special. There are lots of free activities to do throughout the day- we had a ukele lesson which was good fun and made use of the excellent fitness centre facilities.
I had a Lomi Lomi massage one day which was excellent.
We thoroughly enjoyed the stay and hope one day to return!

Room Tip: Ocean view room was lovely Well worth getting a car to help you get about and explore the island...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows

Address: 68-1400 Mauna Lani Drive, Puako, Island of Hawaii, HI 96743
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Hawaii > Island of Hawaii > Kohala Coast > Puako
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Puako
#1 Business Hotel in Puako
#1 Spa Hotel in Puako
#1 Romantic Hotel in Puako
#1 Luxury Hotel in Puako
#1 Family Hotel in Puako
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows 4.5*
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Also Known As:
Mauna Lani Bay Hotel And Bungalows
Mauna Lani Bay Resort
Mauna Lani Resort

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