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Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows
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Reviews (2,166)
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1,171 - 1,176 of 2,166 reviews
Reviewed May 1, 2013

The Mauna Lani is my favorite hotel on the Kohala coast, surpassing the Mauna Kea, Fairmont and Hapuna Price all of which I've had the pleasure of staying at. It doesn't even belong in the same mention as the lower-end hotels like the Hilton or Marriott, those two are in a much lower league. From the moment you are greeted to the moment you leave you feel like you are part of their family. The staff are very friendly in a casual, relaxing way. The pool is awesome, the beach is nice with wonderful chairs and umbrellas and the grounds are immaculate. The resort just felt more relaxing and less crowded than the Fairmont and was less pretentious than the Mauna Kea. The Hapuna also has the same vibe but what makes the Mauna Lani great is the easy access to shops and restaurants in the Mauna Lani resort complex. There is a grocery store with awesome sushi and 4 or 5 decent restaurants all in the shopping complex which is a 2 minute van ride away from the hotel. I truly feel like this is one of the best places in the USA to just get away from it all.

Room Tip: I had the lowest level room, garden view which faced the parking lot but it was still quiet and lovely.
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank travelindudeS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 1, 2013

We had a very good time with our three kids, thanks to the beach with turtles, the setting close to the beach and the very nice snorkeling right there. Hence four stars. The hotel on its own only gets 3 stars. It always felt empty, no atmosphere and the food prices relative to the offering were steep. We were able to solve the wireless internet access issues and did okay with the fairly dark rooms.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Nick F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 1, 2013

We have visited the Mauna Lani with our two children 4 times. While this is not the most modern hotel on the Kohala Coast, it is the one the embodies the true aloha sprit. The relaxed atmosphere, beautifully situated location and friendly staff make this a great vacation spot. We were disappointed this year to see the pool side restaurant removed making the dining options at the hotel even more limited. We hope they bring back a casual beach front dining option to give families more cost effective lunch and dinner options.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Lisaannsigler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 30, 2013

This is a hard review to write because there are so many lovely things about this hotel, such as the very friendly service oriented staff. However I do have to give it 3 stars because of some of the less nice things. This was our second stay at this hotel.

The Good: The hotel staff are really terrific. They aim to please and try to make your vacation as pleasant as possible. This hotel does not appear to be popular which is great because when we went it was almost empty and, I hate crowds, so this is a good thing. No lines to wait on. An almost empty pool and beach. Lovely. Our corner ocean front room had a beautiful view of palm trees and beach. The waves are so close you hear them lapping. We had a large lanai (a must for Hawaii) with several chairs and a table. Housekeeping did a good job. They listened to our requests. The beach has chairs that have a covering for shade. Lots of hammocks. They provide towels. There are normal walkways to the beach (unlike the hotel in Kauai I reviewed) for easy access to the beach. The vibe of the property is laid back and relaxed.

The Bad: This hotel is old and feels dated. A 1970's vibe. You feel as if time has stopped here. To get to our room we had to take two different elevators. The room was small and disappointingly dated. The shower had black mold which is unhealthy. The sink had a large crack in the marble side. The carpeted floors needed to be ripped out and replaced with tile. Instead of two Queen beds there was one Queen and one Double. Annoying. The beds themselves were comfortable. However, my daughter ended up getting a series of what looked like small insect bites on her leg and hand and, since we are not experts, can not say what exactly caused this. Thank goodness we did not see any roaches (as one guest has written) in the room. We did see a few on outside paths both at this hotel and outdoors at the Four Seasons. We also saw a lot of cute lizards/geckos. Another big problem ...the WiFi did not work the entire time we were there. We complained about it every day and they kept sending up people to work on it but it never did work. My daughter was especially annoyed and went to the coffee cafe to use the internet there. We were fairly compensated for this problem by the wonderful hotel staff.

The Good again: You walk through an indoor/outdoor series of ponds that are stocked with lots of different fish, rays, sea turtles etc. We met the man who takes care of it all (I think his name was Pi'i) and he gave us a very interesting explanation of how they use environmental methods to filter the water in and out. They work to save baby sea turtles and release them into the wild when they are old enough. My kids were very happy to feed the Koi fish at the entrance. We also liked seeing all the exotic birds that fly around the ponds (and unfortunately dine on the fish). The birds make a huge racket first thing in the morning but that didn't bother me all that much for some reason.

The Beach: is pretty with a narrow strip of rough sand and lots of lava rocks and tide pools. It is not really a great beach for swimming. The tide pools are nice for kids to look at the sea turtles napping and see little fish and urchins. You need to wear swim shoes because the lava rocks are sharp. The algae on the rocks tends to give off an unpleasant odor at night- sort of like a zoo smell. Sunsets on the beach are awesome.

The Pool: not much of a pool. If you are a pool person (I am not) you will be disappointed.

The Food: the only good thing about anything edible here is the little Mountain Thunder coffee shop. Relaxing little salon for a drink. A little attitude with your smoothie and overpriced coffee but worth the calm setting. Otherwise it is food hell. We ate breakfast once at the hotel. The outside seating, like at the Merrimans Cafe, is a setting for Hitchcock's The Birds. Somehow, the inside seating avoids most of the bird problem. Unfortunately the food is just awful. Diner food. Think it can't get worse? Wrong. We made the mistake of ordering lunch at the hotel from the waiters that serve the beach chair area. The food was worse than anything you could imagine. First they place a bag of bad quality chips on top of your food (unsanitary) and the food itself is not edible. Watery tuna that is all mayo. Hot fish that is rubbery. I would advise never eating at the hotel.

The Spa: the last time we went I enjoyed a couple's massage and thought it was a good experience. This time I took my daughter for a couple's massage and found the staff (other than the nice man at check in) to be unprofessional and the experience not very good. We did get a shuttle back to the hotel which was convenient. I am unlikely to return to the spa.

The Car Valets: Very friendly and professional. One is a bit too enthusiastic and nearly slammed my leg with the car door. They give you towels when you go off to explore other beaches.

Overall a good experience but not perfect.

Room Tip: Must get an oceanfront view room. Avoid rooms facing front of hotel as you will be looking at a parking lot.
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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Thank misanthropicdreamer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 27, 2013

This is my fourth year at the Mauna Lani and it is still the best place to stay in the Hawaiian Islands. This year we upgraded to the ocean front rooms (4th floor) and loved the sound of the ocean while we slept at night. The rooms are wonderful, as is the staff, the pool, and the beach. A few key improvements this year: there is no longer free coffee, granted it wasn't that great before, so paying $4 for great Mountain Thunder Kona coffee is a welcome change...plus the options for espressos, iced, muffins, and sandwiches is a good option for breakfast; next the pool bar/ restaurant was removed which opens up the views. The bar is still there, but for lunch you now just go to the main restaurant.
They offered to upgrade our party to a private bungalow, which is something we might consider next year. They are always open to dealing depending on occupancy. The tennis is still free and it's a great set of courts. We snorkeled with Ola, who showed us how to make it out to the good stuff right off the beach.
The maitais that Michael makes are amazing, so is the green flash.
This year we invited a friend-couple who we shared our secret with!
Love this place!!

Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
3  Thank Jmdidday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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