By boyfriend and I are planning our tenth trip to Hawaii, and our second visit to the big island, for a romantic week of relaxation and fun this June.
On our last visit I was told by numerous people that the Mauna Lani was the place to stay. I'd been curious about the Mauna Kea but took friends's advice and went with Mauna Lani. I loved the spirit there, the quiet, and meeting folks like Danny Akaka. The dining, even at the Canoe House, I found to be fine, not spectacular. Service overall was fine, not anything out of the ordinary to be honest, and the overall tiredness of the common areas and rooms were a little disappointing, sort of on par with Turtle Bay on Oahu.
I'm still so curious about the Mauna Kea and it's storied history, architechture, art and beach! I love The Kahala on Oahu and imagine it to have a similar vibe/feeling. But the wildly disparate reviews on TA have me concerned; they swing from over the moon elated to horribly disappointed. Which is it--is Manta amazing or atrocious? Is the service warm and gracious or rude? Is the staff halfway out the door because resort is for sale, or a group who has been there for years and love to talk story? I'm being super thorough because time on the islands is so precious to us, I don't want either of us to be disappointed.
I've read comments in the forum by both SheaG and KamaainaK about the hotel and was hoping you two experts (as well as others who have visited) could elaborate a bit more and hopefully help us make our decision....Shea, you seem to really prefer the Mauna Lani and if you wouldnt mind going into a little more detail about the two hotels, I'd so appreciate it! By the way, Hualalai is out of our budget range for this Trip, unfortunately. I don't like the Fairmont Orchid (too brassy and formal) and am on the fence about staying at the Mauna Lani again. If we don't stay at the Mauna Kea, we are considering trying the Four Seasons Manele Bay instead.
I look forward to your thoughts. Thank you in advance.