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Reviewed March 10, 2017

Solo vacation in the Spring of 2016. The staff at the Mauna Kea were attentive, accommodating and very polite. My oceanfront room was perfectly positioned to offer amazing views of Hawaiian sunsets every evening from my personal deck. The room was large and clean with a moderately sized bathroom. The bathroom had a jetted tub and rain shower and large dual sink. The oceanfront rooms are not a part of the main hotel building and a little bit of a walk from main check-in and the pool area, but very worth it for the views and the quiet. I wanted quiet and sun on my trip, and was easily able to get it - every morning I was able to easily secure a front-row beach lounger under and umbrella at 8:30am. The small beach was never too crowded that chairs were unavailable, and everyone had plenty of room to spread out. Overall the hotel is situated on a beautiful property on the Kohala Coast. The hotel structure itself is not 'architecturally' attractive and the rooms and furnishings could use updating - but the location, friendly and accommodating staff, beautiful grounds and overall value, make up for a little outdated interiors.

Room tip: Oceanfront rooms are quiet and have beautiful views; however, they are far from the pool and the lobby.
Date of stay: April 2016
  • Trip type: Traveled solo
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank astraea26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MaunaKeaResort, Guest Services Team at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection, responded to this reviewResponded March 13, 2017

Thank you for your review. We're so thrilled you had a wonderful vacation to Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. We have shared your praises and concerns with key staff leaders. We can't wait to welcome you back soon. Aloha!

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Reviewed March 9, 2017

We thoroughly enjoyed our six night stay.
Great location, great beach, very good restaurants and a comfortable Hawaiian atmosphere.
The concierge staff was very helpful in their assistance in advance of our stay to assist in dinner reservations (three outside of the property) as well as a great whale watching boat trip and a fabulous helicopter tour.
Breakfasts at the Manta restaurant were enjoyable with a wide selection.
The clambake dinner was amazing.
We enjoyed several long walks on the property and adjacent golf course and Kapuniai hotel property.
Several days of cabana rentals near the beach were very relaxing.
The staff was very helpful and accommodating.
The deck outside our ocean view room was the largest size we have ever enjoyed in Hawaii.
This was our first stay at the Mauna Kea Beach hotel but we have visited Hawaii over twenty times. We would put this stay at, or near, the top of the list of all of our very enjoyable Hawaii vacations.
We will be back.

Room tip: The ocean view rooms are worth the price
Date of stay: February 2017
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank JoeHSanFrancisco_CA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MaunaKeaResort, Guest Services Team at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection, responded to this reviewResponded March 10, 2017

Aloha and mahalo for your kind review. We are thrilled to hear that you enjoyed your time with us. It sounds like you had a very exciting stay here on the Big Island and we are thrilled to be a part of that. We hope to have you as our guests again soon. Until then, aloha!

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Reviewed March 9, 2017

Stayed 2 nights and wished we had more time here. The staff was amazing. The best service I've ever had anywhere. The property is huge and very well maintained. Beautiful flowers and impeccably groomed grounds. Don't count on good snorkling here. It is an all sand bottom for at least 200 feet out from the beach. Tip: If you have a chance to see the Polynesian Cultural Center on Ohahu, skip the overpriced and underwhelming luau at the Mauna Kea.

Room tip: Beachfront, 4th floor rooms offer excellent ocean views
Date of stay: March 2017
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank DCTraveler3716
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MaunaKeaResort, Guest Services Team at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection, responded to this reviewResponded March 10, 2017

Aloha and mahalo for your recent review. We are delighted to hear that you have enjoyed your stay. With a spirit to serve, we strive to not only meet but exceed your expectations. We hope that you will join us again soon. Until then, aloha!

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Reviewed March 6, 2017

We stayed at this hotel for 1 week in early March.

LOCATION: The hotel is on the Kohala coast where most of the luxury resorts are at (think Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Four Seasons, Mauna Lanai Bay Hotel and Bungalows). It's about a 30 minute drive north up the coast from Kona International Airport. It's a great location for restaurants because there is good (and varied) food in Waimea (Merrimans, Pau, Hawaiian Style Cafe, etc), easy access to the restaurants in Waikoloa Village, and the Four Seasons restaurants (which are amazing - Beachtree and Hualalai Grill are excellent and reasonably priced for the island). It's close to Waipio Valley in the north but it is a bit far from Kailua-Kona and all the other activities in the southern part of the island. Keep that in mind. If you want something more centrally located, Four Seasons is probably your best bet if you want to stay in that range of category or somewhere near Kailua (although in Kailua, you will likely sacrifice "luxury").

ACCOMMODATIONS: Due to our status with Marriott, we were upgraded to a Golf Vista Deluxe room (the Ocean rooms were all sold out) which was quite large. Compared to the regular Golf Vista room, this revealed a significantly bigger bathroom (880 sqft versus 589 sqft). We had the option to upgrade to a Beachfront but it would not have been a Deluxe room and we opted for the larger room, albeit with the worse view. The Ocean and Golf rooms are part of the main hotel lobby and the Beachfront rooms are part of a separate building. The most desirable rooms are the Ocean views (in my opinion) but be prepared to pay a premium for these, i.e. at least a few hundred per night more than the base Golf view rooms.

The room itself was classy, not-overly flashy, well-appointed and with very comfortable bedding and towels that everyday seemed like they had to be new because of how fluffy they were (yes, that was a small but noticeable finding). There was a rainshower and a hot tub in the large bathroom as well as two separate outdoor balconies that overlooked the golf course. These were very large areas and were fitted with multiple lounge chairs and tables. There is a drying rack outside as well for wet swim clothes after coming in from the beach.

Speaking of the beach, the beach on the hotel waterfront is considered to be one of the top two beaches on the entire island by native Big Islanders according to multiple people I spoke to (and a good friend who lives on the island). The first few days we were there, it was rainy and cloudy and we didn't get any beach time but the middle 3 days we were there the weather was PERFECT. Think high 70s, low 80s, gentle breeze, ocean water that was very comfortable temperature-wise, and fairly good visibility. This beach is considered one of the best examples in the islands of a natural beach. Half of the beach is reserved for the hotel guests (the right side) with decent quality lounge chairs and umbrellas over every chair with tables interspersed throughout. There are three rows of chairs and when we got out at 8:30am every day, we were always able to find a front row pair of chairs. The other half (the left side) is open to the public as part of the Hawaii state law that every beach must be accessible to the public. Compared to other well-known beaches, I would say that the waves here are a bit bigger than, say, Waikiki or Lanikai beach on Oahu which makes for not as calm and pleasant a visit as those, but wonderful for people interested in boogie boarding or paddle boarding. With that said, bigger is a relative term and the water was still quite calm and safe. However, the last two days we were there, the waves became very large and the beach staff put up a Red Flag to signify dangerous conditions. Even at a beautiful and relatively calm beach, the ocean has no rules and always exercise respect to the forces of nature.

There is also a decent pool with more comfortable lounge chairs but the gem of this hotel is the beach so not many people were there.

The grounds are stunning. It's a few minutes drive from the entrance to the property to the main hotel itself. As you arrive, you pass by beautiful, well-kept greens that are part of the what is considered to be one of the top 2 courses on the island (the other being Hualalai golf course at the Four Seasons).

RESTAURANTS: There are 4 restaurants on the properties - Manta, Number 3, Copper Bar and Hau Tree.

a) Manta - we only ate here for breakfast. The breakfast buffet is $35 a person and is exceptional. Just compared to a few recent trips we've been on, we enjoyed the breakfast more than breakfast at the Andaz Maui or the Park Hyatt - Paris Vendome. They had the most amazing waffles we have ever had and they had a healthy selection of fruits, pastries, hot items, and made-to-order omelettes. Given the quality and variety of the food, $35 was absolutely worth it. Also, if you have status with Marriott, you get a coupon for 10% off so it's an even better deal. We did not eat here for dinner because it got middling reviews but I'm sure it's not too bad. We just had a limited time and wanted to check out other restaurants in the area. Amazing views of the ocean as it is located on top of a mini-cliff overlooking the ocean.

b) Number 3 - this is located near the first hole of the golf course in a separate building from the main hotel. We went here for lunch and the food was very good. Service was a bit slow even though there were only 3 other tables that were occupied, but there was a good selection of salads, sandwiches, and the like.

c) Copper Bar - a trendy, modern restaurants located on the floor beneath the lobby. Beautiful open-air design with live music in the evenings. Very good food and wonderful ambience. Highly recommend for drinks or dinner in the evening.

d) Hau Tree - the beachfront restaurant. This is the one part of the hotel that didn't seem to match the excellent quality of all other aspects of the hotel. We thought the furniture was a bit dated and the food we had here was not as good as some of the other places we tried. A lot of hotels with beachfront locations also offer drink service while you're sitting in a lounge chair but they did not offer that. In fact, they had a sign requesting no alcohol on the beach. A bit odd and different from many other beach resorts we have been too.

SERVICE:
Service was good. Not exceptional and not horrible. We went to the Four Seasons three times to eat during our stay and we were blown away by the level of courtesy and genuine interest the staff there showed. If we had not had that experience to directly compare to, perhaps it would not have been as acutely felt, but regardless, nothing to seriously complain about.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT:
As mentioned, Hau Tree could use a good refreshing with better decor. The beachfront area could be improved -- chairs and chair cushions are worn and not very comfortable. Also, for an island famed for its coffee, I was surprised by the limited coffee selection. The only option I was aware of was a disappointing 10% Kona blend. Given the cost and caliber of the hotel, it seems like serving 100% Kona coffee, or at least having it as an option, would be appropriate!

OVERALL VERDICT:
This is an amazing hotel and property. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and would absolutely come back to stay. We aren't really that into golf, but if we were, it would be an even bigger no-brainer. Book here without any reservations at all.

Date of stay: March 2017
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
8  Thank Alan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MaunaKeaResort, Guest Services Team at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection, responded to this reviewResponded March 7, 2017

Thank you for your review. We're glad you had such a wonderful week at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and overall on the Big Island. We're so appreciative of the extensive review you've given us and we're so thrilled you had such a great time. We can't wait to welcome you back with our aloha soon.

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Reviewed March 6, 2017 via mobile

What an amazing place to stay. From the time you arrive at the gate house and drive down to the hotel, it's beautiful and first class all the way. The staff was excellent. I was wow-ed by the arrival greeting at the car and what a beautiful place to arrive to. Only stayed 1 night wish we could've stayed longer. The room in the main tower - room 816 - was very spacious and relaxing. Loved the common areas, beach and pool. My only criticism which is minor is that the pool was not heated during our stay. Staff said it was out of order.

I would very highly recommend this hotel to anyone and can't wait to return on our next trip to the Big Island! (My favorite Hawaiian island)

Date of stay: March 2017
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
1  Thank Matthew417
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MaunaKeaResort, Guest Services Team at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection, responded to this reviewResponded March 7, 2017

Thank you so much for your review. We're so thrilled you had such a wonderful time at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. We're glad you had such a wonderful time and we can't wait to welcome you back soon. Aloha!

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