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Best hotels - big island

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Best hotels - big island

Hi! We're looking for a super nice hotel on the Big Island (that isn't the Four Seasons - their prices are just astronomical!). We were wondering, of the higher end hotels, which one people have had the best experiences at?

The ones we looked at are:

-Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows

-Fairmount Orchid

-Mauna Kea beach hotel

Maybe there is another one we missed?

Thanks so much for your help!!


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1. Re: Best hotels - big island

Mauna Kea has a picture postcard beach.

Everyone seems to like the Mauna Lani.

I'm drawing a blank on the Fairmont Orchid.

Hapuna Beach or Prince?

The Four Season Hualalai is possibly the best hotel in Hawaii, but it IS very expensive...and it has no beach.

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2. Re: Best hotels - big island

Those would also (and most peoples!) be my top 3. For me I would stay in the Mauna Lani resort simply because the area has much more to offer in the way of dining, shopping and great area's for morning walks yet it still feels very uncrowded.

San Carlos...
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3. Re: Best hotels - big island

We love the Fairmont Orchid. Going back for the fifth time in august. Elegant but affordable. It used to be a Ritz so it has some great bones, but it isn't stuffy at all because of the open architecture. The Mauna Lani nearby also gets great reviews. If you want to be on a great beach the Mauna Kea is the one to look at.

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4. Re: Best hotels - big island

The Four Seasons is definitely the best.

I find Mauna Kea's affordable rooms to be very plain, but they have a wonderful quiet beach. You will have to drive everywhere as there is little within walking distance.

The Mauna Lani is a lovely hotel. It would be a good choice.

I happend to really like Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel, but you need to be staying in one of the ocean-front suites to get the best experience and that often puts it in the price range of the Four Seasons.

Big Island, Hawaii
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5. Re: Best hotels - big island

The Four Seasons actually has a number of beaches, including one of the best beach areas on the island (Kukio Bay/Kikaua Point). The whole hotel is fronted by sand and coastline and two ocean lagoons for swimming, it's just that for open ocean access you have to walk about 3-5 minutes north to the beach at Kahuwai Bay or south about 10 minutes toward Kukio. It's a similar setup to the Mauna Lani in that regard.

You can actually sometimes get rooms at the FS in the same price range as the Mauna Kea if you get the stay 5/pay for 4 or stay 3/pay for two packages, or during dates with large resort credits. Also, bear in mind all of the rooms at the FS are exactly the same inside (excluding the suites), and they all have ocean views. So even at the lowest category you aren't getting a parking lot view or basic room. Also if you book through a FSPP like whatahotel.com you usually get a free upgrade when available, breakfast, and other perks. It's a much better hotel than any of the others on island, and consistently rates as one of the best hotels in the world. I've stayed at almost two dozen Four Seasons hotels, and it's in my top five.

Aside from that, I agree basically with the assessments below. The Mauna Lani has the best snorkeling on site and has extensive Hawaiiana grounds and "feel", the Fairmont is nice but can feel crowded, especially if there are groups in house, the Mauna Kea rooms are a bit nicer than the Mauna Lani's, and is on what I think is the best beach on the island, but service, restaurants, pool aren't up to snuff IMO. The Hapuna Prince is no way as nice as the other ones.

6. Re: Best hotels - big island

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