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“Comfort & Relaxation, Incredible Beach, Five-Star Staff” 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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Hotel amenities
Special Offer
4th Nite Free & Breakfast
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Puako
Certificate of Excellence
Silverton, Oregon, United States
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Comfort & Relaxation, Incredible Beach, Five-Star Staff”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

If you are skeptical about the Mauna Lani, you are in the same boat we were in before our phenomenal stay and my goal of this review is to help you make your decision. I was extremely intrigued by the overwhelming positive reviews and high rankings on countless travel sites yet I was concerned about the facility itself based on photos alone. I'm not ashamed to admit I prefer to stay in the "best of the best". While the Mauna Lani indeed is an older hotel with dated architecture, the spacious rooms have been beautifully updated, offer unbeatable ocean views, private lanai's with louvered doors in addition to the sliding glass allowing you to keep the breeze flowing in all night and a beach right outside the door. While the hotel doesn't have the "Wow Factor" that will take your breath away, the experience itself and service from staff gives you that feeling throughout your stay. While it's fun to show pictures of the fancy places we go, honestly, this trip felt better than any we've been on in many, many years!
Every single staff member from Valet to Bartenders to Concierge went above and beyond in service. Being greeted at check-in with shell lei's, fresh squeezed tropical juice and chilled lavender towels was a perfect touch. Our room was ready when we arrived, even though we were a couple hours before check-in. The Pool Bar is a great place to hang out - Gil is absolutely the most amazing crafter of Mai Tai's and super entertaining. Note: Be careful, the Mai Tai's are not typical "juicy resort drinks" and two of them will have you spinning! Happy Hour drinks are very reasonable and VERY well poured plus the food is extremely reasonable. The Ahi Poke WonTon's were fantastic!
Over all, possibly the most enjoyable part of our stay was the fact that we never once encountered any of the "Snob Factor" that is rampant at most high end resorts (Four Seasons, Fairmont, etc). We met lots of wonderful people (think "Cheers" style at happy hour), some of who have been coming annually for over 15 years right back to Mauna Lani! We felt comfortable whether we were dressed up or just came in off the beach. The cabanas are plentiful and there's always plenty to choose from (forget that morning rush to take "dibs" on a cabana). Snorkeling is incredible right at the hotel. Your daily resort fee (only $25) includes valet parking, Wi-Fi, two bottles of water in your room daily, snorkeling gear rental daily, 10% off at the spa (OH, THE SPA WAS AMAZING!!!), and many other discounts and perks.
Rounding out a wonderful stay was the hospitality room offered on our day of checkout. The desk was happy to offer us a late checkout but when we mentioned how incredibly late our flight was, they offered us the use of their hospitality suite. We were able to come back to the hotel before our flight to a pristine room to shower and refresh before our flight. VERY APPRECIATED.
We most certainly will be back, very soon, to the Mauna Lani and this time, with no hesitation at all! Trust the reviews and have a beautiful vacation!

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1,325 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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (336)
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English first
Christchurch NZ
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

Our second stay at Mauna Lani for my wife and family in 18 months, and we will undoubtedly be back again. This resort has so much space. Its very easy to find a beautiful quiet spot in any of the public areas to read a book or just contemplate the beauty of the design, particularly the atrium gardens and fish ponds. Apparently average annual occupancy rates across the whole of the Big Island are 55% , compared to 80% in Oahu, and this is the part of Hawaii that really reflects the concept of Island time. The resort still has plenty of activities though, the daily schedule had my daughters doing yoga and the guided snorkelling experience was excellent too. The reef alongside the resort gives a combination of sheltered swimming and spectacular drop offs into the deep blue Pacific, and the views and walks along the coast are stunning. Missing it already!

Room Tip: Pool view rooms are slightly cheaper than absolute ocean front and the views still extend along the...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
101 reviews 101 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014

If there were a good rating I would choose this, as the rooms and setting at Mauna Lani are very good but I found the aspects of the resort experience to be average. Our king sized ocean view room was spacious and tastefully furnished with muted chocolate tones. A nice big and comfortable king sized bed and separate sofa area with large balcony with good side view of pool and ocean beyond.

The grounds are very lovely and with own beach and great pool is a great spot to relax. I really liked fact resort was not overrun with kids and didn't have the mega resort vibe others in the area have. The downside of it being quiet was both nights we were there the bar was empty so apart for spending time in room or getting car somewhere it felt somewhat isolated.

The check in experience started well, cool towels & a drink (but this was standard at all the hotels we stayed in for our holiday). Sitting down at a big desk however it did start to feel like a little bit of a hard sell for activities when all you wanted to do after a long day was get to your room to freshen up.

What really let the hotel down for me was the pool side experience. Service whilst friendly, it was slow. I understand the challenge of serving drinks by the pool and the risk of using glass. At all the other hotels I stayed at across Hawaii this was dealt with with classy plastic glassware that was similar to glass...upmarket picnic ware. At Mauna Lani they served all the pool side drinks in plastic take out containers you would get from a take away outlet. Very hard to enjoy that full priced cocktail with the plastic glass collapsing around you.

Very comfortable accommodation, friendly staff, but lacking the finesse the pricing would have you expect and when I compared it to other similar priced accommodation on this holiday.

Room Tip: Ocean View as a nice aspect over ocean and grounds...not sure if ocean front would get you much more...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2014

When can I go back? This is a wonderful hotel, stunning grounds (fish swimming in ponds all around the hotel) an amazing snorkeling beach and nice pools. Tasteful, respectful of its amazing location. The staff is welcoming, our room was lovely, even the food was very good, which is often not the case in resorts. There were 9 of us staying there and all of us, adults and children had a magical time.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Santa Barbara, California
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2014

first time stay at the mauna lani. Leigh greeting as soon as we drove up. Personal check in at a desk with guava juice and towels was very nice. We were upgraded to a ocean view room. Room itself was very clean. Bathroom had 2 separate vanities. We had the complimentary breakfast every morning. this was the full buffet breakfast which was fantastic. enjoyed breakfast with a fantastic view every day. staff was very helpful and friendly. location was ideal with the mauna lani shops within walking distance. there was a market located on the grounds as well which was very convenient. many dining choices with the Queens Market Place and Kings Shops 5 minute drive away. Hapuna beach is a 10 minute drive away. overall vibe of the hotel was very relaxed. great for couples. Would definitely return!

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Columbus, Ohio
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2014

This was our second stay at the Mauna Lani and I have only positive things to say about this hotel. From the second you walk in the door, you are greeted with friendly staff and little extra touches (fresh juice and a cold towel upon check-in) that make for a wonderful experience. We stay in the ocean view room which is lovely and relaxing. The pool is great for lounging by, the beach is nice, and the entire property is fun to walk around and explore.
The only advice I would give is that if you've never been to the Big Island, make sure and do your research. There's not as much around as on say, Maui, and things close early. We love it though and are already planning our next trip!

Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shanghai, China
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
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
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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Puako
#1 Family Hotel in Puako
#2 Luxury Hotel in Puako
#2 On the Beach 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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