Visitors have posted that the pass system is still in play, same as before, no more passes than before.
Whether the construction noise is impacting the pleasure of the beach, I haven't heard .... I would like to know too!
I know the beach is still open and the pass system is still at work. It's a good idea to either go early, or late in the day (for sunset) so you don't have to wait for your pass. So far, construction noise really isn't an issue.
We travel from Kona to Mauna Kea Beach at least twice a week. Passes seem to go faster than before the earthquake, security has been beefed up making sure people do not wander about. I hear the occasional banging when I set up in front of the long wing of the building. Also some when I was near the outside bar, it seems to come and go depending on the day.
I would imagine you can still walk over on the path from Hapuna?
Does that mean you can walk that path whether you are staying at Hapuna Prince or just visiting the beach there? I am curious, as I may stay at HP for beach access but wonder what does that get me? I could also stay in a very nice looking home with ocean views but drive down to the beaches. So could I walk around the beaches and enjoy as easy access as one staying at the hotel? I am not one to try to get something for nothing, just wanting to know what will actually be available to me if I stay off hotel premises vs. staying on the hotel grounds. Mindy
Forgot to say, I chose HP for the access to Mauna Kea. Thinking about ending our stay on BI in that area. So would be nice to just chill and enjoy the beaches.
The beaches all have public access. The "problem" with the Mauna Kea is that when they built the hotel they got away with a very limited amount of PARKING for public use. Hence the passes and strategizing over how to get one.
Hapuna Beach is a big public beach with lifeguards, camping, etc. The Prince hotel sits above it.
What I was referring to is that there is a path from the far end of Hapuna beach, over a hill, down to Mauna Kea Beach. It's been a while since I used it (just a rough trail then) but I heard it got improved. So if you are willing to walk, you can walk over to Mauna Kea Beach.
That does not mean you get to use the hotel facilities, but you get the sand and water....I think Prince GUESTS might get reciprocal provileges and get to use the chairs, etc. but am not sure.
We walked the path when we were there a few weeks ago. I would recommend sneakers or shoes. It was a little tough in flip flops.
Just got back yesterday from a few nights at the Hapuna...
If you stay at the hotel, you can use the facilities at either beach - towels, chairs and umbrellas as well as charging refreshments to your room. They have a shuttle that goes between the resorts every 20 minutes and takes you from the Hapuna's lobby directly to the beach at the Mauna Kea (down the access road). We didn't hear any construction noise at all at the Mauna Kea.
The rough trail between the beaches is a nice little hike, but not carrying any beach gear. If you aren't staying on the resort property, just get to the Mauna Kea early to make sure you get parking. I can't really comment on the crowds because the end of May is a really slow time (except for the 70.3 Ironman last Saturday).
mrob - not sure if the house you mentioned renting is on the Mauna Kea resort property or not... If so, you should have full access to the resort amenities including the Hapuna pool and both beaches. Just check with the owner or the property manager before you commit. We usually stay at a condo in Waikoloa or Mauna Lani to enjoy those resorts and go do all of our activities. We then tranfer to the Mauna Kea resort for the last couple of nights (checking in early on day of arrival) to use the facilities and relax for a couple of days before our return to reality. You usually don't have to book the highest room category... Every time I have been to the Hapuna, I have been upgraded from the basic Terrace View to at least an Ocean View (once even to a beach front suite).