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“Fabulous fabulous fabulous” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mauna Kea Beach Hotel

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Mauna Kea Beach Hotel
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   62-100 Mauna Kea Beach Drive, Puako, Island of Hawaii, HI 96743   |  
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Hotel amenities
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Fourth Night FREE!
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Puako
Certificate of Excellence 2014
GreenLeadersGold level
New York City, New York
Top Contributor
118 reviews 118 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
“Fabulous fabulous fabulous”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2013

My wife and I and two sons (6 and 9) have stayed here and the sister resort Hapuna Beach. It is the nicest place to stay on the big Island. It has a beautiful perfect beach with fabulous snorkeling, great tennis/workout facilities and the golf looked great (we don't golf). The food is also quite good (although I recommend making a reservation well in advance for manta as it was difficult to secure a reservation there) and if that does not work the place down on the beach was excellent. Mauna Kea is the "old money" place to stay versus the Four Seasons which I would argue is where the "new money" Hollywood types stay (don't get me wrong the 4 seasons is nice). I would say my only issue was they did not have suites so for larger families you have to get adjoining rooms. Consider staying at the sister resort Hapuna Beach which is also on a fantastic beach and they have reasonable priced very large one-bedroom suites. While at Hapuna we spent all of our resort time at Mauna Kea. Highly recommended!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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730 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    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 (207)
Date | Rating
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English first
Newport Beach, California
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2013 via mobile

This hotel and the location are perfect. It may sound silly but there is so much aloha here. If you want frills or excitement go somewhere else. If you want a truly Hawaiian experience then this is it. I've been several times and will come again.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
newport beach
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2013

this was our third visit to mauna kea with kids. we had not been back since the earthquake and subsequent refurbishing of the hotel. While we did not stay in the main hotel tower rooms, we did stay for the first time in the plumeria wing. what a fantastic stay! we booked 2 connecting rooms. we enjoyed that the rooms had a little foyer where we could leave sandy flip flops/boogie boards & snorkel equipment...the 2 bedroom doors open off this mini hall. great set up!
i was not sure we were going to like the plumeria wing, but it proved ideal...i think this will be where we always stay! in the morning there is fresh coffee/decaf/hot water set out for the people staying on this side...perfect! the kids easily could come and go to the beach/pool/ping pong table...LOVED the views from these rooms. the beds are ultra comfortable. i like the 2x a day housekeeping....keeps the mess in check from towels, etc....FOOD: the breakfast buffet cannot be beat! something for everyone...and with 12 and under eating free....we really felt like we were not being over charged. i always enjoy having the NYTimes Digest to read or a local paper with breakfast. We ate every lunch at Hau Tree....great food, sitting on the sand...easy easy easy!! we had plans to eat off the property for dinner, but were 100% content staying on the property and chilling...every night we would go listen to a little hawaiian music at the copper terrace. ..followed either by dinner at Manta or Hau Tree. Both were great. We tended to like dinner at hau tree best - grilled fresh fish was all of our favorites. We wanted to relax and have a beach vacation....eating on the sand in front of the ocean was really awesome...watching the sunset while drinking a frederico....ahhhh......
Speaking of the Hau Tree...JUDY is one of the most special employees they have. she says YES to all requests and makes things happen. we were extremely impressed with all the staff everywhere at the hotel, actually. Kind, thoughtful, happy, funny employees....the management is doing something right!
Luau: wasn't sure how we would like it, but we LOVED it! they have upgraded this Luau from your typically touristy hula show, to more of an educational, polynesian dance and fire show. The entire family enjoyed it and i highly recommend it!
Everyday we would have breakfast, take a run on the fabulous trail to hapuna, take a swim in the bay, read, and enjoy our time together...easy to get to the hotel and truly relaxing. Oh, and the gym upgrade is top notch. One of the best hotel gyms i have been to....
A+ trip. can't wait to return!!!

  • Stayed April 2013, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, MA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2013

Mauna Kea is an architectural masterpiece perfectly suited to it's idyllic setting. The staff is fantastic (Except for the beach staff which is much better over at Hapuna - the guy who runs that is terrific.The beach staff at MK is sloven, with attitude.)

Mantra is a great restaurant. The only places worth going off campus for dinner are Bamboo and Merriman's. Otherwise, eat at MK. Do not go to the chain restaurants there, like Ruth's Chris. The steak is much better at Mantra, not greasy feed-lot stuff.

The Hapuna restaurants seemed dead compared to Mauna Kea's. The breakfast at Mauna Kea is fantastic. The hostess, Alma, is worth the price of admission.

The Mauna Kea staff is just fantastic, even the "loss prevention" guy who is on guard to prevent wayward palm fronds from stabbing guests or coconuts from clunking heads.

This was a place where one wore black tie to dinner at 8 in the 1960s. I saw tattoos and sequins at breakfast one morning. I wish they would enforce a dress code that matched the elegance of the place.

The tennis courts and golf course are fantastic.This is the place to go to on the Big Island.

Room Tip: Rooms at Hapuna have the shutter outer doors that Mauna Kea lost during the renovation following the...
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glendale, California
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2013

We have been enjoying the MKBH for more than 25 years. She is our all time favorite "Grand Old Lady" most fabulous Hawaii hotel ever. We waited patiently after the earthquake for it to reopen after the great remodel.

She is still fabulous, with the most beautiful location and beach in all of Hawaii. But sadly
Management, whomever that may be now, is operating the great property with a minimum of staff to keep things running. Gone are the days of two or three restaurants, beach and pool drink service, the Garden Room, hot snacks on hibachis at the Brass Bar, the Manager's reception, etc, etc. We miss the catamaran (remember the Alii Nui?), the floating dock in the bay, scuba lessons in the pool and the South Point volleyball games. Do you remember the old hiking trail through the bushes to Hapuna?

But this is not to say we won't go back, or that you won't love your stay here. Go for sure, soak up the atmosphere and love the MKBH. You won't regret it, and you will return, we promise.

Aloha.

Room Tip: The best rooms are at the south end, ocean view. The Beachfront wing is. Also great.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Ma
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2013

I am a lover of art and architecture and the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel offered a buffet of aesthetic experiences along with the many amenities one would expect at a beach resort. I never got tired of walking through the lobby and public spaces of the handsome Modern building, admiring Lawrence Rockefeller's collection of Hawaiian, South Pacific, and Asian art collected specifically for the hotel. The building has been beautifully restored and is located on the best beach on the Kona coast. (Rockefeller got first choice in the days before this stretch of the Big Island was developed. Our room in the four-story wing was so well set up that three of us (myself and my two adult children) co-existed comfortably and enjoyed relaxing on the balcony. The landscaping is wonderful. It was a treat just to walk to the restaurant, where we would sit and look out over the beach while enjoying excellent food and service. If you are lucky enough to be there on Saturday mornings at 10:00, a very knowledgeable tour guide takes guests (and non-guests) on a tour of the art collection.

Room Tip: we enjoyed the four story wing, which was very convenient to the beach and beautifully renovated.
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  • Stayed March 2013, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baden-Baden, Germany
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2013

my wife and i spend a week in feb 2013 on hawaii. being on one of the most expensive hotels othe island our expectations were high...
i have to say, that this hotel did no meet any of our expectations... worse, it was way beyond and one of the worse we were for our holidays for a while
appart of the great sand beach, we were very disappointed by e.g.

the rooms and hallways are dirty
the staff is unbelievablely unpolite
the food at the restaurant not worth the price
the staff at the beach is unpolite
liturally bad service everywhere

too bad
this place could be great due to its great location
but there is no effort from neither staff nor management to improve

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mauna Kea Beach Hotel

Address: 62-100 Mauna Kea Beach 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 Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Puako
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Puako
#3 Romantic Hotel in Puako
#3 Luxury Hotel in Puako
#3 Family Hotel in Puako
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Mauna Kea Beach Hotel 4.5*
Number of rooms: 252
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel located on Hawaii Island's Kohala Coast. Legendary, timeless hospitality. Exceptional value. No mandatory resort fees. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mauna Kea Beach Kamuela
Hotel Mauna Kea Beach

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