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“Dream Wedding” 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
Shanghai, China
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Dream Wedding”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2014

We got married at the Mauna Lani on Saturday. After deciding on a destination wedding, I contacted several resorts in Hawaii and the friendliness and response rate from Lauren really surpassed the others. They worked within my budget and basically had the wedding planned before I even put down a deposit. After we did, I worked with Cheryl and she is an absolute angel. She followed up on every detail right down to running to the hair salon with the flowers for my bridesmaid's hair and then leaving champagne and chocolate covered pineapples for us to enjoy in our upgraded room. She made me feel so relaxed and happy the entire week. I live in China and everyone kept asking how the wedding planning was going. I said, "Cheryl and the staff at the Mauna Lani are really the ones planning everything. I get to do the fun stuff like picking bouquets and appetizers." It was more than I dreamed and we could not be more grateful.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1,215 reviews from our community

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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
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English first
Silicon Valley, CA
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2014

I originally booked at Fairmont, which is just a couple miles away and adjacent - mainly due to name familiarity.

But I noticed that there are stronger excellent rating with this property, so we went with it after reading the comments.

This is a "wow" property -- they have excellent rooms, superb and large bathroom (absolutely perfect for wife and I), and the resort grounds are to drool for. They have a turtle, small hammerhead shark and other exotic fishes in their giant array of fish ponds. There is even a secret freshwater pool that is a 10 min walk away. We didn't have time to check it all out and would want to stay here again to get the full picture.

Just about everything you need is in the Mauna Lani community - scuba dive shops, etc. The bellmen are superb here and concierge in morning knew everything to suggest.

The prices for food are expensive and we opted to eat about 15 min away in Waikola Village for 2 breakfasts - we had one at the restaurant at the resort, and thought it was very good (and classy, though pricy).

This is definitely the best resort property I've stayed at in Hawaii, and have been to 4 islands so far (Kuai, Maui, Oahu are the others). The closest I can compare to this is Hyatt in Maui, but this is a superior property.

Our very minor critical items are that some angled windows could be cleaned better and tile floors in main area are dated. Those are such minor items in comparison to the good here. I have no doubt we made the right decision and wish we would have had 1-2 more nights here.

Got a great rate of $249/night by going with non-refundable. It was mountain view, but 6th floor, so we were fine. If you can get ocean view, it is amazing!

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2014

We are on the way to the airport after three perfect nights at the Mauna Lani Hotel. Our room was a single king with a partial ocean view. It was spacious, clean, and updated. The breakfast buffet included healthy and decadent choices. It included American, European, and Asian foods. There were always plenty of beach chairs with awnings to keep out the sun. Be sure to get the newest chairs if you're tall. My 6'2" husband found that the older lounge chairs didn't fit him as well. The beach itself was clean and gorgeous. Hubby loved the free snorkeling. Be sure to ask the staff for directions to the best spots. My favorite place was the open air living room above the restaurant. It was cooler than the beach with stunning views and surprisingly little foot traffic. We could go on forever, but know that it was a remarkable experience. We will be back.

Stayed July 2014
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Lausanne
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2014

We spent only two nights in the Mauna Lani resort but they were very good. People take good care of you there and make your life easy.
The rooms are very nice and comfortable with a balcony everybody can enjoy. The resort has a rather large garden with multiple amenities. You can enjoy beaches, fish ponds (everywhere) Tennis, Spa, Golf, Snorkeling/Diving...
It is a bit far from the east side of the coast where the Volcano National Park is located (1.5-2h drive) but close enough to the north side of the island to enjoy more green activities and keep the beach for the evenings. The Kona airport is also just 20min away.
There are not a lot of restaurants in the area, something to keep in mind for longer stay!

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
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Massachusetts
Top Contributor
129 reviews 129 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 58 cities Reviews in 58 cities
170 helpful votes 170 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2014

We landed in Kona on Monday June 23rd with our two teenage children, 19 and 15. Kona Airport is rought 30 minutes south of the resort, so easy to get to off Highway 19. Mauna Lani is a left off the highway heading north. When you turn left into Mauna Lani, its a long drive/about 1 mile down, but before you get there, there is a shopping market. Take advantage of it. There is a supermarket (the locals use and the prices are great, like back home) there is a coffee shop, we frequented, smoothie shop, and high end stores like Tommy Bahama's and its restaurant too, never knew Tommy Bahama had a restaurant, it was fantastic. You'll see these plaza as you go through the rotary on the right hand side.

We were immediately greeted at the carport by the valet, which we used the entire time we were there. Just tip them to and from. Nice perk!

Check in: Pleasant and not at a tall counter, at an individual desk where we were greeted by our names. Given guava juice and moist towels after our long flight. We had booked a standard room for 4 and she immediately upgraded us to an ocean view, didn't disappoint and didn't cost extra. We were in room 226. The main lobby is open air all around, nice décor and just pleasant. We walked down a flight of stairs that had waterfalls on either side of it, then across the walkway to our elevator to go up, but we took the stairs, we were on the 2nd floor and you could see the door to our room.

The property is huge, Had condo's off to one side, then another beach by those condo's and a restaurant (but you can't charge to your room there, bring a credit card). Food was excellent and the service was too. The water by the condo's is just as nice as the hotel and that is where you snorkel. Get your gear (free for 4 hours per person per day while at Mauna Lani) and snorkel, about a 15 min walk to get there, You can also snorkel off the beach in front of the hotel, but its better further over.

Room: Huge, 2 Queen beds, cabinet with a huge flat screen TV, that we never turned on once the entire time we were there, too much to see and do. A table with 2 chairs, proper lighting, a big comfy cushy chair as well, a huge closet with robes and slippers, to the left was where the coffee maker, fridge was and complimentary 2 bottles of water every day. We put those in the fridge and used them the next day to go touring with. There was 3 doors, sliding glass, then the louver door then the screened door, we slept with the sliders open and listened to the waterfalls outside our room and the view of the ocean. Had two patio chairs, wide and a round table, just perfect.

The bathroom, pocket doors to enter, a separate door for the toilet, a huge 7ft celiing for the shower bath tub, with a shower had that had tons of pressure, two sinks, and one had a lighted magnifying mirror for makeup with a stool, blow dryer and amenities shampoo etc, we never used and plenty of towels. They always turned down the bed with a Belgian chocolate on top of each pillow, yum and creamy! Hooks behind the bathroom door, a shower line in the shower to hang wet bathing suits a hook also outside between the shower and toilet area and racks on the left side by the vanity. Just very spacious and that is what you want in paradise and away from home.


The Bay Terrace is the main dining area for B/L/D, we ate dinner their only the night we got in as we didnt' want to get back in car. It didn't disappoint, great mahi mahi, my daughter had the pizza, which was huge, my son a steak and my husband had fish as well. We could charge everything to the room.

The pool is huge, upkeep was excellent, and warm, you didn't have to get use to it to get into it. The hot tubs were huge, warm and not crowded. In fact the whole week there, we didn't have to fight for a chair, cabanna or spot at the pool, place looked empty but it wasn't. Just a good time of year to go. Don't go at Xmas time a zoo!

We grabbed a 2 person cabanna every day and only once did I have to put the top up. Sunny, warm, calm low tide every morning then about 12 or 1pm or so, the clouds roll in but still warm, no rain and you can swim still. Beach is beautiful, rocks, and buoys so if you paddleboard you know the boundaries and you can go to open sea with them if you choose. Best paddle boarding in the morning rather in the afternoon when the winds pick up. Most stayed close to shore others who knew how to do it, went out to open sea. The hut by the beach has towels take as many as you want if they get wet etc, there is no wrist band or having to bring it back at a certain time etc. The girls working there were locals and very friendly, personable and helpful.

The bar is bewtween the hot tub and the pool. Great staff, great Mai Tai's. not cheap, $14 and $7 a beer. Happy hour is at 5-6 or 7pm I think, we took advantage of that a few times.

There is Thunder Mountain Coffee Café/Bar lounge on the first floor. If you don't want the buffet breakfast you can go there and get coffee's, tea, bagles, banana bread, croissants etc. Not cheap, bagel and cream cheese $6.95 and Chobani Yogurt with a 1/4lb container of fresh vanilla almond granola was $8.95. Very expensive. We found the Foodland Supermarket 1 mile up the road was cheap and the Kimobean Café cheap as well. Kimobean we had egg cheese bacon on an everything bagel for $6.95, Belgian Waffle with fruit $7.95, better for breakfast. The days we ventured out we hit Kimobean and the supermarket for snacks and then beers which my husband put in the fridge in our room then brought them to the beach in our collapsible cooler we brought, $8.00 6 pack compared to $7 a beer. and he bought the local beer at the supermarket made in Kona. Only twice did we eat at the hotel. The first morning and the last day we ate at the Buffet, it was excellent. Pricey but worth it.

The pool area was always spotless, the beach was too. Plenty of shade with palm tree's and trees on the beach plus the cabana's. There are hammocks on the property too, around the bend by the point, and a resident turtle that comes out and beaches itself for a few hours then scampers back to the ocean. When the tide is coming in you can see the turtles feasting off the rocks, don't touch, just take a photo, they are protected, but so cute!

It was a great time at Mauna Lani, only con on the entire trip, if you wanted ice for your room, had to call room service, they don't have ice machines, that was it.

Staff was courteous and kind, caring and made you felt welcome. They take customer service to the 10th level.

Around the corner from the lobby is a gift shop and a high end store also a business center with computers so that you can get your boarding passes before you leave on your next flight.

The hotel offers free bikes. You just sign a waiver. They have sanitizing wipes for the helmets but you don't have to wear one. My husband and I had a bike with no gears and the kids had ones that did. You didn't need the gears, the bikes were huge and the roads were flat. The afternoon we decided to tour the bikes out of the property by the golf course, was fine, till we hit a sea of bugs, we were the human windshields for them, rather gross, got 3/4 of the way there and had to turn around and flick off bugs, not fun. The landscape is all lava and rocks so cool, like your on the moon. Go when there is wind to keep the bugs away. Spray won't work, they didn't bite, just annoying in your face bugs.

The entrance has a coi pond with tons of fish. The waterfalls were outside our rooms and had a hammerhead shark in it, small but it was there. Also a turtle in the other pond as well. The grounds are great.

The Canoe House sits right on the ocean and its only opened for dinner. Was packed, and its the perfect spot to view the sunset. There is a bench there, little bridges and the beach so anyone can catch the sunset at the hotel.

Great hotel, would go back in a heartbeat. More info, email. We toured the north and south shores over Hilo and through the middle of the island, lots to do. Don't miss the green sand beach, only 4 in the world!

The hotel had a spa, separate but we never used it. I'm sure it was great. My son did use the gym and said it was great.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 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 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
atlanta
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2014

This hotel is fantastic. Period! I just had a fantastic 5 days here and was very sad to leave. After staying in a treehouse and completely off the grid for a few days I was completely looking forward to a few days of calm and relaxed fun on the beach. The hotel is situated on beautiful stretch of coast. The beach isn't huge, but as the hotel isn't huge either, it was perfect, sitting on a small point, so one half of the beach is sandy, the other half is rocky. You could see turtles basking in the late afternoon sun. About 5 mins walk along the beach there was also a beach club available for use, with a great little restaurant on it. The hotel is right on the beach and takes seconds to get to. The pool area is great and to be honest we spent quite a bit of time around the pool. The hotel didn't seem anywhere near fully booked, so getting one of the poolside loungers was always instant and the pool never seemed full with guests. They had 2 or 3 hot-tubs but I didn't use them, but they didn't appear to be busy either. There was a pool bar, but again I didn't use it.
The interior of the hotel is completely open and built around a beautifully landscaped atrium with fish pond running through the building. As I mentioned the hotel didn't seem all that busy, so even inside the hotel is felt calm and serene. Some families were with children (including us), but again we never felt that there were too many kids.
Breakfast buffet was included in my rate and despite its obvious quality I didn't go too overboard on it. There were American and Asian options, mostly standard fare, and there didn't seem to be a limit on what you could eat. I did get a menu on the first day for a la carte, but I didn't see what was offered on that as I dived straight into the buffet.
The best part about this hotel was the staff. The rooms are beautiful. The suite we booked had a minor problem with AC & also some early morning construction from the room next door, which they were very helpful in finding us another room on the floor above. Just as we got into the new room (after a sleepless hot night!!) the drilling could still be heard, so after many apologies they found us yet another room. We had originally had a sea view suite, but due to the AC/Drilling issue got moved to a sea front unit which was a nice upgrade and a great way of resolving the initial mis-hap. I have to say that all the staff are amazing, but would especially like to thank Alex for hearing me out and dealing with the mis-hap so professionally and courteously.
Once we could finally settle and begin to relax we really enjoyed the comforts of the suite. The beds were amazing, firm but comfortable. The interior was calm and collected and with great views of the ocean it was a great way to spend the mornings & watch world cup games from the balcony!!
I'm not a golfer, so can't comment on the course, but I did make use of the tennis courts and had a great couple of lessons with Andrew (I apologize if I got the name wrong!), picked up some useful tips and had a great couple of hours hitting. I also used the health club, and same as the pool, it never seemed busy. The hotel has bikes for use and I believe they will shuttle you around the property if you ask. I rode up to the 'Shops' a couple of times to pick up some supplies.
I travel a lot for business and see a lot of hotels around the country and have to honestly say I have never been happier in a hotel. It had the perfect balance of guests and amenities, coupled with the comfort and complimented by the staff this hotel is amazing and we will already planning our next trip.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2014

I've been coming to this hotel for over 20 years. Not yearly, but several times. Not everyone can appreciate the understated charm and mellow vibe. Definitely not a "party" destination or a place to go for entertainment.

But for sheer serenity, stunning property and an excellent beach, it's the best property on the BI in my opinion. 4 Seasons, while lovely, has no oceanfront rooms - only suites - that are exorbitant. Mauna Lani has dozens of ocean front rooms where you can hear the surf at night and spot whales all day. [But I highly recommend the 4 Seasons Maui).

Mauna Lani has also made a concerted effort to bring the culture of Hawaii to its guests, not only with the famous grounds and fishponds, but with Danny Akaka, a well-known and loved local historian and artist who holds a "talk story" by a cottage on the grounds at the full moon, and is available for other activities and events as well. He's a talented musician as well.

This is not a "kid hotel" in the sense of the Hilton next door with it's activities galore, but children are made to feel welcome.

In short, it's a special place for people really looking to connect with their surroundings and relax.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
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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 Spa Hotel in Puako
#1 Luxury Hotel in Puako
#1 Family Hotel in Puako
#1 Business Hotel in Puako
#1 Romantic Hotel in Puako
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows 4.5*
Number of rooms: 345
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Also Known As:
Mauna Lani Bay Hotel And Bungalows
Mauna Lani Bay Resort
Mauna Lani Resort

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