My wife and I stayed at the Mauna Kea for four nights in late June, early July of this year. We were celebrating our second honeymoon, and it was our first time on the big island. You arrive at the hotel via a long driveway that winds through part of the golf course. We knew we were in paradise as we cruised toward the hotel with breathtaking blue ocean views coming into view.
At check in we were presented with flower leis and glasses of cool passion fruit juice. Our ocean view room was one floor up from the lobby, and I'll try to be succinct in my descriptions of the hotel from here on in.
Understated elegance sums it up. Tasteful furnishings, '60s modern with asian influences. You feel completely at home with none of the typical Hawaiian tourist trappings. We felt that it was a calm and healing place to be. There are asian antiques spread throughout the hotel (Thank Laurence Rockefeller for the concept). He wanted the hotel to be part of the environment, and indeed the breeze ways throughout the hotel create a feeling of oneness with the outdoors. Lots of greenery and birds that stop in for a visit. There are also two parrots that go outside every day. Their tree was just outside our balcony.
The beach is rated the best on the big island. Just perfect -clean and cool turquoise water and light brown sand.
We enjoyed the breakfast buffet every morning of our stay. The first day I had an omelette made to order for me, and supplemented it with fresh papaya, pineapple, and probably 5 other things I tried. The second morning I tried the eggs Benedict, third day was soft boiled eggs, and the last morning I tried the scrambled eggs. Each day we loved the fresh fruit, juices and the pot of coffee. I learned to take it easy and not eat so much as the days went by. Being a serious lover of food, particularly breakfast I felt like I needed to sample most everything!
At the beach you pick up towels and find a chair or chaise lounge under an umbrella and you're set. There's a round swimming pool and hot tub as well. Other things we enjoyed: great fitness room -we enjoyed the elliptical trainers one morning (trying to burn some of those breakfast calories). Water bottles, fresh fruit and towels are provided. We played a few games of ping pong on an outdoor patio that also had a pool table. What we mostly liked to do was just relax, take it easy, go swimming, or hang out in our room listening to the sounds of the waves crashing (and yes, we watched a couple of World Cup soccer games)...
We did leave intermittently to explore nearby towns, went on an eco tour to the Mauna Kea summit, and we went sea kayaking and snorkeling one day in Puako Bay. You can find out about those adventures in my other reviews. All in all it was an awesome second honeymoon, one my wife and I will always remember. Thank you Mauna Kea Beach Hotel for sharing your beautiful aloha spirit with us for four memorable nights.