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“Island Paradise”

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Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Puako
Certificate of Excellence
North Saanich
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Island Paradise”
Reviewed 28 February 2014

There were a number of options in this area of the Big Island but we chose the Mauna Lani based on its more tropical atmosphere. We made the right decision. The room was very comfortable and quiet. The staff were very thoughtful, the housekeeper kept our ice bucket full, the front desk and concierge were very accommodating and they had an incredible cultural specialist who really made this place special
The food at the breakfast buffet was delicious, plenty of fresh fruit and tasty things and the staff there were great. The fitness pavilion had great equipment and good staff. All in an excellent choice.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Madrona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (499)
Date | Rating
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Seattle
Level Contributor
17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 February 2014

Just got back with our family from staying at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows during the February break and we all had a great time.
The room were very comfortable and spacy. We also had an ocean view which was fantastic as it is a great time of the year to spot whales. We enjoyed the breakfast buffet every morning with a very good and tasty selection.
The staff was really nice and always ready to help.
The beach in front of the hotel is very safe and a good spot for snorkeling but they are other beached walking distance that are also good too. There are also trails around the hotel for walking or biking. My kids (11, 14 & 15 years old) really enjoyed renting the bike (free) from the hotel and bike around to get lunch at the little shopping area very close to the hotel. It is a safe bike ride, very close to the golf course.
Overall a very relaxing and fun stay and I highly recommend this hotel if you are visiting the big island.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
2 Thank Flo S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Connecticut
Level Contributor
87 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 February 2014

We found the staff very warm, friendly, and knowledgeable. The front deck manager upgraded us to an oceanfront large beautiful room. We could hear the sounds of the waves at night...Awesome! Breakfast was great, and there was a huge selection. The orange juice was fresh squeezed, the best I've tasted in years. The Canoe Restaurant on the property was excellent. Ocean front outside seating, great service, good, and prices were very fair. We watched a beautiful sunset from our table, and they gave us free dessert because we were celebrating our wedding anniversary. The beach is quiet, not like the Fairmount. They provided free snorkel gear, etc. Fun in the water, swimming with fish & turtles. Whales jumping just off shore too. They provide a free shuttle to the shopping area, 5 mins., away. We bought wine, beer, and food there. Doubles sinks in the bathroom, and full size soaps, shampoos, etc., not the mini ones most hotels have gone to.

Room Tip: Good for an ocean front room.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank big52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pittsburgh, PA
Level Contributor
35 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 February 2014

We stayed at the Mauna Lani for 9 nights this month. It was a great stay and we would definitely return. This was our first trip to the Big Island so we found ourselves comparing both the island and the hotel to other places we've stayed on Kauai, Maui and Oahu. Our absolute favorite hotel is they Hyatt on Kauai so we measure everywhere else to that location.

We loved the atmosphere at the Mauna Lani with the open air lobby, fish ponds, and beautiful flowers and plants all around. Be sure to see the sea turtles and hammerhead sharks. Check in was smooth and pleasant while seated at a desk instead of standing at a counter. The cold towel and juice were a nice touch although I was a little disappointed that I received a shell lei instead of the flower lei I've received at the other places we've stayed. We had booked an ocean view room and upon check in we were told we were upgraded to a deluxe ocean view room which is on a higher floor (5th floor). The grounds are expansive and beautiful with ancient fish ponds sprinkled throughout.

Our room was lovely and looked like it was recently updated. There was a nice sized balcony with a table, chair and lounger overlooking the pool and hot tubs with a nice view of the ocean. The bed was probably our least favorite part of the room--it was a little hard and uncomfortable. There was a cute sitting area with soft and coffee table. The bathroom wasn't as large as some of the others but was nicely laid out with a sink and vanity on either side of the bathroom. The tub/shower combo was nicely tiled but felt a little tight once the curtain was closed. Imagine our surprise to find a Toto system attached to the toilet that kind of functioned as a bidet AND heated the toilet seat!

The pool are was very nice, if a little small and uninspired compared to some other hotels where we've stayed. It never seemed too busy and we were able to get chairs easily each time we went down. Around 3 PM each afternoon the pool attended gave out free yummy popsicles around the pool which was a nice touch! While we were there, they completed construction on the 3rd hot tub which struck as a strange. Not sure why they need 3 hot tubs all next to each other.

The beach area was very nice and peaceful. There was no additional charge for the nicer lounges as you get at some hotels. How amazing to lay on your lounge chair and watch the whales breaching out in the ocean. The beach service was also great...regular checks from staff to see if anything was needed. The water was very calm and shallow so lots of people snorkeled and took advantage. There were also frequent sea turtle sightings.

Dining at the resort was good-not great. The breakfast buffet was pretty standard, offering the same selections each day. We did love the chef who cooked the omelettes on the buffet--great personality with a smile for everyone! Most days we decided to order off of the menu for breakfast based on price and quality. Service at the Bay Terrace was on the slow side for breakfast and VERY slow for dinner. Dinner at the Bay Terrace was again, good not great. We ate at the Canoe House one night. The ambiance and view were amazing and we loved the guitar player. However the food and service felt a little too pretentious. Our first night we wondered into the Thunder Mountain bar/coffee/lounge/pool table area hoping to just get some appetizers after a long day of travel. This place suffers from a severe identity crisis! It doesn't know if it's a coffee shop or bar or hang out area. Food and drink choices were very limited and when we asked about other places at the hotel to eat, they attempted to send us up to the shopping plaza up the street and told us they didn't really know because they weren't part of the hotel.

One morning I took advantage of the complimentary bikes at the valet area and took a nice ride around the resort area. I also used it to go to the spa since it's not attached to the hotel and about a 5-10 minute walk there along with the gym area. I had the Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage at one of the outside huts and highly recommend it!

There is not a daily activity fee at this resort as so many others have imposed so that was nice. Just be aware that there is a daily parking fee ($18 I think) that you are charged no matter if you valet or self park. The self parking lots are very close and there was always availability so we parked ourselves rather than use the valet just as a matter of personal preference for us.

Staff was nice and pleasant everywhere we went on property. Loved staying somewhere where we felt the Aloha spirit was alive and well.

On our last day, our flight wasn't until 11:45 PM so we requested a late check out. They were not able to accommodate due to being full that night but did offer us a courtesy room at the end of the day that we could use to shower and clean up for the trip home.

Overall, we had a great experience and can recommend this hotel as a great place to stay with a wonderful Hawaiian vibe.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank PghParrothead
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
McKinleyville, CA
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 February 2014

My husband and I just spent 10 days at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and it is our favorite in Hawaii. We have been there many times before and we were pleased to see that the beauty and charm of this lovely hotel is still carrying on as always. It is truly a paradise unlike any other hotel offering on the Big Island. The service, rooms and grounds were excellent as we have grown to expect. It is apparent in the many return guests that we see each year. There was lots of talk about the new hot tub on the ocean front, which is beautiful and possibly unnecessary however many guests were enjoying it. Fortunately the beach bar is still there and now fully functioning! I am always surprised to see the negative reviews about this hotel because frankly it is beautiful and beautifully run. Can't wait til our next visit.

Room Tip: Spend the extra and get and ocean view. We were in room 614 this year and it is a bit noisy because...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Dianne B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Savannah, Georgia
Level Contributor
184 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 275 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 February 2014 via mobile

Stayed for a week. Positives: setting and grounds and views are beautiful, staff are friendly, spa amazing, and pools and hot tubs excellent. Negatives: Food mixed, Canoe House restaurant a huge disappointment, breakfast buffet too crowded. Shut coffee shop with no warning for a week. Had annoying problem with bill.

Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
7 Thank Sicnarfer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Upland, California
Level Contributor
24 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 February 2014

We stayed at the Mauna Lani for 5 nights in late January. The service was fantastic, from the front desk, to shuttle guys and Lester in room service- everyone was so nice. Our oceanfront room was great- the view was amazing, one of the best I've had.
This was our first time on the big island, we usually visit Maui but I absolutely loved it. The hotel was quiet so it made for such a relaxing time- they were full by the time we left but it never seemed close to busy. The pool was very nice, I would have to say if you have kids they might want more activity. My husband said the gym was nice and he liked the lap pool as well.
We ate at the golf course restaurant, it was decent for the one time we went. The in room dining dinner was great- I really appreciated the exceptions they made for us and that everything was correct and delivered with a smile (I didn't feel like I was inconveniencing anyone which is how some places make you feel)
There is a small shopping center near the hotel which has a few restaurants, shops and a grocery store where you can pick up water/etc for the in room fridge.
I would definitely recommend the Mauna Lani if you want a low key, relaxing, quiet resort and I can't wait to return!!

Room Tip: The oceanfront room was great I loved the 6th floor
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Lovetogolf71
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

Property: 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 Romantic Hotel in Puako
#1 Family Hotel in Puako
#3 Spa Hotel in Puako
#3 Luxury Hotel in Puako
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Puako
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
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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