While staying here we walked over to the Fairmont Orchid and found its a really huge hotel that happens to be next to the beach. Hotel in the sense of long, poorly lit hallways and rooms most of which aren't really concerned with the ocean or the beach. Waikoloa is the home to what seems like 10,000 condos, timeshares, and chain hotel patrons. People everywhere.
What Mauna Lani is good at - the facility itself puts you in Hawaii on the beach away from crowds and the more obnoxious tourists. Open, airy, palm trees inside the hotel and out. Great views of the ocean (or the mountain if you are in the cheap rooms). There's lots of rooms but also lots of room - nothing crammed in or small - clearly a luxury resort approach compared to the pack 'em in and maximize the profits. I can count on one hand the number of buildings that are as well done as this resort.
Regarding the comments by others about being tired and dated, there is a little of dated, but a big NO to tired. The facility is over 30 years old and if staying in new hotels is your thing (and I know it is for some people) you won't be happy here and should go somewhere else. However, when you start with an incredible facility and maintain it admirably the rest of us can see the gem in the middle of the ring and love it here.
Now for the cheapskates... Yes, a hot buffet breakfast for 2 will run more than 50 bucks. I'm not sure you can do anything fun at the spa for under $100. You can see where this is going. If your room looks at the mountain you have to leave the property to afford to eat. If your room looks at the ocean you probably don't care. If your room is somewhere in between then I recommend you stick with lunch or a big night out when eating on site.
Nightlife? If your definition of nightlife is a bar scene - drinking, music, dancing, etc. you will not find it here. If your definition is a quiet sunset on an incredible beach, maybe a swim or a walk or a cocktail with your best buddy, then you will be in the right place. Its hard to describe "beauty" "seclusion" "wonder" except to use the word "paradise."
Family friendly? Leave your kids at home and they can come to Hawaii when they work hard and earn it for themselves. By the way, there isn't a lot of juvenile attractions on site, so your kids have to be able to entertain themselves on a warm water sand beach with perfect weather. If they can't do that for three or four days then you would do better with a hotel with an attached waterpark and a game system in the room.
Did I mention the weather is perfect every day? My thermometer says -21F right now (December 31). Sure wish it was 100 degrees warmer... like in HAWAII!
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- Also Known As:
- Mauna Lani Bay Hotel And Bungalows
- Mauna Lani Bay Resort
- Mauna Lani Resort