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“Built with the land... not imposed on it.”

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Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Puako
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 23 November 2013 via mobile

The natural beauty and history of this location is kept in tact. Many other hotels have man made landscapes making one feel like you are in Disneyland....This place is Not one of them. Thank Goodness! Natural ancient fish ponds and turtles everywhere. The hotel is under going renovations...this stuff happens. :-)
All the staff I met were genuinely friendly and helpful. Many employees have been with the hotel for many...many years, this speaks highly of the hotel management. I found that the employees take pride in their job, their hotel. What a pleasure.
I highly recommend the fish tacos at Canoe House and the Thunder Coffee, hummm.

The only thing missing was someone to share the ocean front hammock with. Next time...

  • Stayed: November 2013
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Thank AnaBanana2u
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 23 November 2013

Beautiful grounds, rooms and ammenities. Stayed over the 4th of July and enjoyed the turtle release parade. The hotel grounds are open to the public with lots of activities. On quieter days, the beach is inviting and clear. Close to shopping; both upscale and a shopping center which is more moderate. Wonderful location!! Staff over the moon helpful!! Disappointed it isn't a Disney concierge location anymore. SPA--is a must!!!

Room Tip: Jump for the ocean view--well worth it!!
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank FloridaBeaches_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 November 2013

The hotel is dated but was undergoing renovations. Our room (not yet renovated) was clean and comfortable but does need some work to make it look less drab. Hopefully the renovations will brighten up the rooms.
The hotel does excel in liveliness and activities. Throughout the entire day they offer free classes such as yoga, aqua aerobics, hula dancing lessons, ect. We did not get a chance to participate in any classes but everyone appeared to be having a great time.
The hotel has done a great job incorporating much of the naturally occurring fish and plant species throughout the atrium and grounds. There are ponds that run throughout the hotel and grounds which are filled with colorful fish, turtles, and sharks!
The beach is not the best on the island but is adequate. The sand is coarse and there are rocks in the water as you swim out. But I really did enjoy the watching the turtles swimming and coming up on the beach to rest.
This hotel does not nickel and dime you like the other hotels in the area and has great service. I would like to visit again when the renovations are completed.

Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
1  Thank Andrea S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 November 2013

We just came back from an 8-day stay at the Mauna Lani Hotel, and I couldn't imagine a better place to stay while on the Big Island. My reasons for recommending it highly are as follows:

1) The hotel and grounds are beautiful, spacious, and relaxing: The hotel is situated right on the ocean, with its own private beaches, ocean-facing restaurants, beautiful landscaping and grounds, including decorative fish ponds (with turtles and sharks!) and a beautiful open-air atrium, its own golf course, tennis courts, and spa, etc. The grounds include several ancient Hawaiian ponds for food fish culture, which the hotel maintains and explains. The part of the beach about a 15-minute walk from the hotel has great snorkeling; it was awesome to be able to wake up and just walk to excellent snorkeling. We did come during an off-week in November when construction was occurring, so the hotel was almost empty; maybe a different week would have been more crowded. In our case, everything was very easy and relaxing -- cabanas and hammocks were always available, we could always park in a space near the hotel, and the hotel felt very intimate despite being so large.
I particularly recommend watching the sunset from a hammock on the beach.
A note about the construction: when we were there the first through second weeks of November, the pool and hot tubs were being worked on, and the rooms on the left side of the hotel were closed off for some kind of renovation. The construction noise generally did not bother us, since we were out and about during the day anyway, and we couldn't hear anything from our room. It was mostly a problem when we ate breakfast at the restaurant one morning. However, it was probably due to the construction that we got a 50% discount on the room rate online, so I felt the small inconvenience was definitely worth it.

2) They don't nickel and dime you for "extras": Parking, wifi, cabanas, beach towel service - all included with the price. There's even a free laundry, stocked with detergent and fabric softener! Also a "hospitality room" so that guests taking the redeye out on their last day, who have already checked out of their rooms, can enjoy their last day on the beach, and then use the room to shower and change (and use the laundry to dry their clothes before packing as well).

3) The hotel staff is friendly and helpful: I mean they seem to be truly friendly, not just courteous. The feeling that the hotel staff really wanted to help you enjoy your stay made a big difference.

4) They run many interesting activities - There are about 8 activities per day run by the hotel (yoga on the beach, snorkeling...), some free and some not. During our week we took a 1-hour ukelele lesson, and a 1-hour hula lesson (both free). We also enjoyed the Hawaiian music and hula dancing in the atrium several nights. In all cases we felt like the teachers and performers were people who were truly advanced in their art form and loved their craft -- not just token lessons/performances for tourists. And the teachers were very patient with us as well!

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Susan G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 November 2013

Aged and in need of some refurbishment but overall a great setting. Beautiful beach, staff is incredibly helpful. Great snorkeling at white sand beach with fabulous lunch and dinner at Canoe House. Great views from our rooms which were large and comfortable. We also enjoyed several Spa treatments at the Mauna Lani Spa and golfed on the famous South course.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
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5  Thank cheryl m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 November 2013

Water front, higher-level rooms are nothing short of spectacular. I'd add particular compliments to the staff (super friendly) and the fact that the water features in the interior of the hotel itself and surrounding ponds are nature preserves. Our room and balcony were huge, even by luxury resort standards.

Shortcomings? The food service is "OK" -- not bad, but clearly they're not trying to set any culinary records. Also, the pool bar doesn't open until surprisingly late in the day. Also, the walking paths around the area aren't very well marked. The landscaping is beautiful, but from a tourist perspective, it would be nice to know what we're looking at.

Will we be back? Most definitely!

Room Tip: Water front, higher level will give you the best view, although none of the rooms have lousy views.
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled on business
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4  Thank JohnK1954
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 November 2013

The Mauna Lani really is heaven on earth. From the wide open atrium where you can hear water running and birds chirping to the unbelievable snorkeling right off the beach, the beautiful sunsets and the sea turtles walking right by you, it's hard to beat the location for a beautiful, romantic vacation. And though I think their "refresh" is coming at the right time, I didn't feel that the place felt old or dated yet -- it was very well-maintained.

There was plenty to explore/do on the grounds, from trails to walk to the aforementioned snorkeling (the beach club beach seriously was excellent) to kayaking/canoeing (well, this probably would have been fun, though every time we asked to go out after noon the kayak guys were already gone for the day). Room service was expensive (of course) but good, and views from oceanview (not ocean front) rooms were great - no need to shell out the extra.

So what's there to quibble about? Well, between that refresh I mentioned (with everything under construction) and the off season, the hotel was nearly empty -- we had the whole beach to ourselves some days (yay!). You'd think they'd use as a cue to give some easy upgrades to the customers putting up with the construction. But the "amenities" they offered as a "sorry about the closed pool" concession were pretty underwhelming (a $20 spa gift card when massages are $180? Free self-parking in an empty lot?). We essentially had to beg to get a room with a view (in a nearly empty hotel) and when we asked to sit at the Canoe House and get just a drink to watch the sunset, we were told that you could only sit there for dinner. Who knows if our drink would have turned into dinner if they'd let us sit? But they weren't willing to be flexible even looking at a patio of empty tables.

By the time we're ready to go back, the refresh will be finished and the prices will be much higher. This would have been a good opportunity to make loyal customers for life. We wouldn't have changed our experience for anything, but it was just surprising at such a nice place.

Room Tip: Ocean view are as good as ocean front and much cheaper
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank happycamper519
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows

Address: 68-1400 Mauna Lani Drive, Puako, Island of Hawaii, HI 96743-9726
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Hawaii > Island of Hawaii > Kohala Coast > Puako
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Puako
#1 Romantic Hotel in Puako
#3 Spa Hotel in Puako
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Puako
#3 Luxury Hotel in Puako
Price Range: £244 - £447 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows 4.5*
Number of rooms: 341
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Also Known As:
Mauna Lani Bay Hotel And Bungalows
Mauna Lani Bay Resort
Mauna Lani Resort

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