Our stay was close to perfect. The location of the Mauna Kea is one of the most beautiful, protected beaches in the world. The entire setting is hard to match, particularly watching the sunset on the Pacific from our lanai. The staff at the hotel were terrific--very unobtrusive but always available to help. Ms. Joy, the concierge was very helpful with great recommendations for activities and things to see nearby. The room was spacious and well appointed--everything was well
Stayed here for a week. We stayed at the 4 seasons nearby just prior. Its not the 4 seasons, but it is very nice and reasonable priced. The beach is the best and the pool is fine. Will return with the kids. Plenty of water sports and good snorkeling from the shore. One thing that really stood out. Housekeeping. Wonderful and on par with the 4 seasons.
We booked five nights on Bonvoy points at this old but well maintained hotel, celebrating its 50th anniversary. It is reputed to have the Big Island’s best beach and I can see why. The beach is a perfect crescent, with a decent amount of sand, beautiful trees and an accessible reef. As a bonus, the site has cultivated an attraction for manta rays at night by shining a bright light into the water, which attracts the plankton that the rays feed off of. Very cool to watch the rays circling around, lazily flapping their “wings” at the surface of the water. The architecture of the hotel is traditional, with open lobby and open atriums throughout. This is definitely not a place that will wow you with its luxury or style, but it should relax you with its gracious feel. The rooms are well-sized and appear to have been recently renovated. Our room overlooked the front of the hotel (odd-numbered room), with partial golf course views. (See my photo) There is a very large lanai with two chairs and a small table. The room is equipped with a large flat screen TV, a mini fridge, a coffeemaker, a safe, robes and slippers. Our room also had a very large/deep soaking tub that also did double duty as a shower. And, a first for me: the bathroom was in two parts, on either side of the entry hallway; one side had the tub/shower and a sink, while the other side had the toilet and another sink. So, my wife and I each got our own sink. The hotel has a rather small circular pool but the beach is the main attraction in any event. There is also a decent but not extravagant fitness center; a gift shop/market, a fine dining restaurant (Manta), a more casual bar/restaurant (Copper Bar) and a pool/beachside bar that also offers lunch items. Friends we travelled with had Diamond status with Bonvoy so they were upgraded to ocean view rooms (even numbered), which was an astonishing vista. (See photo). They could even see the mantas in the water at night from their lanai. Service at the hotel was uniformly excellent (save for one unsatisfactory experience at Copper Bar). Although the hotel apparently was full while we were there, it never felt crowded in restaurants or at the beach. The one regret is that it rained most of the time we were on the Big Island. I am used to rains in Hawaii passing over quickly but this time, they or at least clouds hung around for extended periods. This prevented us from enjoying the beach on some days and although I did snorkel, the visibility and light conditions were such that I couldn’t really assess if the snorkeling under better conditions was worthwhile at the Mauna Kea beach. The other thing to note is that there is almost nothing you can walk to if you stay at either the Mauna Kea or its sister hotel, the Westin Hapuna Beach resort. The two properties do have an evening van shuttle to facilitate moving between them. But otherwise, you will need a car to explore anything outside the resorts. The Big Island is truly big, with extremely diverse landscapes, climates, and attractions. I would encourage you to rent a car and explore. But be aware that from the resorts on the Kohala Coast, the distances are quite long to get to other places (up to an hour to Kailua-Kona, 20-30 minutes to Waimea, 90-120 minutes to Hilo, etc. …
We arrived at the hotel restaurant at 5:30 in order to watch the beautiful Hawaiian sunset. It took some time before anyone came to take a drink order. We finally ordered dinner around 6;15, but we waited more than an hour for our food to arrive. When it did come it was warm at best and not all that tasty. The prices charged were high for the quality of the food. Earlier on, we asked for a Japanese menu (which they purportedly have) but it never arrived. I also ordered a soda water which only came when we reminded the waiter of the order. He was embarrassed and "comped" me on the beverage. We won't be going to the Copper Bar again.
Met our expectations and much more. Carla, was a seasoned photographer, very easy to work with, had great vision and ideas. There was never any pressure to buy a huge package, and no-one had a problem that we were there for a single family portrait and a Christmas card. They were nice, very accommodating, and the end product was magnificent. Lots of in-fighting among the family on which photos to be chosen, because there were so many good picks. It was well worth the time and money.