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“Heaven.” 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 website
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Hotel amenities
Special Offer
Free Night $300 RC
Ranked #2 of 5 hotels in Puako
GreenLeadersGold level
New York, NY
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
“Heaven.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

Once the original Rock Resort, someone once described Mauna Kea as a cross between a luxury hotel, sculpture garden and secret archeological site. Breakfasts while humpbacks and their babies are breaching and frolicking in the water. Koi in an in-door stream. 9 a.m. tennis with Dan, Hector, Wayne or Craig to start the day off right. Generations of family coming back for 20-30 years. The orange towels and chaise covers. An afternoon novel in the afternoon breezes. Losing golf balls on incredible hole #3. This year....turkeys wandering around. Heaven.

Room Tip: We've always had a water view, and there is nothing better than slipping into bed, with the soun...
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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
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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 (155)
Date | Rating
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English first
Roseland, New Jersey
Top Contributor
284 reviews 284 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 97 cities Reviews in 97 cities
169 helpful votes 169 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2013 via mobile

Mauna Kea Beach Resort is as good as it gets. The crescent shaped white sandy beach is gorgeous, and usually calm and very safe for swimming, SUP, and snorkeling near Manta Point. We have been there a half dozen times, including the last two years, in addition to our honeymoon back in its Rock Resort days. The room improvements were excellent. The Rock Resort features were respected, and lets not forget this was one of the places that first defined the modern beach resort. Terrific lanais and bathrooms and as pretty a beach view as you will ever see. It is quieter than some of the other Kohala Coast resorts, and we love that. Never a problem finding a beach chair. They get it right. Excellent Manta restaurant with its indoor/outdoor ambiance and quality food. Great beach bar/lunch on the beach at the Hau Tree. Terrific golf course! The par 3 #3 is one of the great golf holes of the world with its water carry. Accomodating staff. This year they added the Plumeria, a little cafe takeout in the AM which hits the spot in addition to the supplied room coffee pot. The rooms have refrigerators which also gives you nice light breakfast and lanai cocktail options, a feature we love about Hawaiian hotels. If you are looking for a place to chill out and relax, Mauna Kea is that place.

Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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New York City, New York
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newport Beach, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2013

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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
newport beach
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
45 helpful votes 45 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, MA
1 review
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
35 reviews 35 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
12 helpful votes 12 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.

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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
#2 Luxury Hotel in Puako
#2 Spa Hotel in Puako
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Puako
#3 Family Hotel in Puako
#3 Romantic Hotel in Puako
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Mauna Kea Beach Hotel 4.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel located on the big island of Hawaii. Gracious 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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