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Transportation from KOA airport to Mauna Lani Bay hotel

Fort Smith, Arkansas
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Transportation from KOA airport to Mauna Lani Bay hotel

Any suggestions for arranging transportation from the KOA airport to the Mauna Lani Bay hotel? I will be arriving on Halloween, alone, and I tentatively made arrangements through the hotel but wonder if there isn't a shuttle service that might be less expensive. I am not interested in renting a car for just myself. The cost for the taxi ride set up by the hotel is $76 one way. Is this simply what I should expect to pay or are there other less expensive alternatives? I am a "single, white female" arriving in the evening so safety is a concern! Thanks.

Island of Hawaii...
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1. Re: Transportation from KOA airport to Mauna Lani Bay hotel

White, brown, blue or yellow; single or married; they all are pretty safe here. :):):) There are no shuttles, your options are either a cab or rent a car. You probably can rent a car for less than the R/T cab ride will be. Not to mention that you are dead here without a car, and unless you plan to spend all of your time at the hotel, you do need a car here.

Washington DC...
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2. Re: Transportation from KOA airport to Mauna Lani Bay hotel

You probably are paying a premium for the hotel-arranged cab. On the other hand, it probably WILL be there to get you. A consideration especially if you are arriving later at night. There just are not that many cabs. You are going to need a car unless you just plan or vegging out at the hotel or are joining others with a car.

I would not be concerned about safety...the airport and resort area are very safe.

Port Angeles, WA
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for Olympic National Park
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3. Re: Transportation from KOA airport to Mauna Lani Bay hotel

May I ask why you chose the Big Island?(I'm not being snippy; I just want to know if there is a special reason, or if you are, indeed, meeting others with a car). It's not a good choice for someone without a car. The Mauna Lani is lovely, but you will be trapped there. Eating every meal at the hotel restaurants will cost a fortune.

The Big Island is a treasure, with so much to see, but you need a car to get around.

Fort Smith, Arkansas
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4. Re: Transportation from KOA airport to Mauna Lani Bay hotel

Well, it sounds as if renting a car is highly recommended and safety should not be an issue! Thank you so much for the responses. I am traveling for a conference being held at that particular location and had hoped that there would be plenty for me to do within walking distance or by using public transportation. I have never visited this island but I have vacationed on Maui and Oahu. Both times I was able to get around fine without car rental. Sounds like this is going to be much more secluded away from things. I'm still hoping to get off the resort and explore. Any suggestions? The botanical gardens sound nice and I would like to take some sort of a boat excursion although I do not dive. I love to sail though.

Island of Hawaii...
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5. Re: Transportation from KOA airport to Mauna Lani Bay hotel

"...had hoped that there would be plenty for me to do within walking distance or by using public transportation."

You need to do a little research on the Big Island and on the location of the hotel. There is nothing within walking distance there and there in no public transportation to speak of on this island.

Livermore...
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238 posts
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6. Re: Transportation from KOA airport to Mauna Lani Bay hotel

Beg to differ with TT but we did see a shuttle a few times on our visit to the BI earlier this month. Perhaps he was talking about hotel shuttles but this was a third party company. It was an all black Dodge Sprinter and the text was in white on it. The name was something like Speedy Shuttle but it had 'shuttle' in the company's name.

Once it was picking up guests at the Hilton and we also saw it on the highway between Waikoloa and the airport.

Island of Hawaii...
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7. Re: Transportation from KOA airport to Mauna Lani Bay hotel

"Beg to differ with TT but we did see a shuttle a few times on our visit to the BI earlier this month."

Speedy Shuttle is not a public transportation, they will take you the airport for somewhat less that the cabs, but you have to call them to arrange the trip.

Livermore...
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8. Re: Transportation from KOA airport to Mauna Lani Bay hotel

That was them alright. I've used a similar service from downtown New Orleans (also not close to the airport) and it was much less expensive than a cab.

Corvallis, Oregon
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9. Re: Transportation from KOA airport to Mauna Lani Bay hotel

The shuttle situation here is quite different than you'll find in a big city. In most larger city airports there are numerous plane arrivals every hour, here you can be looking at one or two on any given hour.

Most travelers arriving here rent cars. Instead of having dozens of shuttle users divided into shuttles heading to properties in similar locales, Speedi may have one passenger heading to the Mauna Kea and two headed to the Keauhou Sheraton... they'll send two vans, one for each direction, and need to charge accordingly to make sure the trips aren't money losers (it can take almost an hour and a half to get a passenger to the Mauna Kea and back to the airport). They make money IF they can pick up more than one passenger, add on passengers without arranged rides, or with any luck have someone coming back from the resorts. You won't find $15 shuttle rides here.

You'll likely find shuttle prices to be cheaper than a taxi for individuals, maybe around the same for couples, typically more expensive if there are more in your group (to a point, taxis can only take a max of 7 and often start running short of luggage space with smaller numbers than that if golf clubs and other items are along for the ride, multiple taxis could cost more than a shuttle if you have a large group). I worked for them for a while a few years back, I'm kinda familiar with their workings. They're a viable alternative for some travelers... rental cars are your best bet if you plan on getting away from the resort though.

Washington DC...
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10. Re: Transportation from KOA airport to Mauna Lani Bay hotel

There is a free Mauna Lani hotel shuttle that will take you from the hotel to the golf club, the boat house/beach club beach (the one with good snorkeling that is a 10 minute walk from the hotel), to the shops at Mauna Lani (including a grocery store and a few eateries) and to the Orchid hotel and the Puako petroglyph trail). There are 2 beaches, a shoreline to walk on, nearby (half hour nice walk) petroglyphs, etc. If you are only there for a couple of days and it is mostly conference, then maybe you can get by. But if you want to sightsee anywhere--the botanical gardens are over on the east side--you will need a car.

There is sailing/snorkeling on Mauna Lani Sea Adventures' boat Winona that leaves from the boat house. But they may not have trips the day you want to go--you might want a sunset if you do not want to go in the water at all (they are good with novices)--so you might want to get a hotel pickup from Ocean Sports to go out on their boats. Some tours may also do hotel pickup there but the cost of the tour and taxis will approach/exceed the cost of a rental car.