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“Very Satisfying”

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Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Puako
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 10 April 2014 via mobile

This place is not glitzy but it has a quiet, dignified charm and provides all the amenities you'll need.

The room: Just wave your key card in front of the door. We had a double queen standard room. It includes: ironing board & iron, retractable clothes line over the tub, lots of hangars, sizable safe, sewing kit, empty fridge, hair dryer, robes, separate sinks, flat screen TV, large balcony, free water bottles (2 per day), coffee maker, and more.

The Grounds: amazing extensive water gardens filled with tropical fish, turtles, hammerheads, & koi. At the beach there are plenty of covered chaise lounges and they provide towel service. We spotted a turtle in the swimmer friendly beach. The water is cold. There are tide pools on the other side of the beach which is not safe for swimming. I spotted another turtle there.

There were a couple of jacuzzis in addition to the pool.

The Facility: The place could use an update but not because it looks shabby. It has an old school feel. There's a small shopping center nearby with a grocery star and good coffee shop. Some people will walk there but we drove.

The Restaurants: None really appealed to us so we never dined here.

Parking: You can opt for self parking, the lot has plenty of spaces

Service: Everyone here was friendly, The only glitch was checking in. There was only one lady behind the counter and one guest ahead of us, but it was taking forever and she never even acknowledged us until we asked if we were in the right place. When it was finally our turn however, she had no problem stopping to help people who came after us during our transaction :/

Verdict: Would I come back? Yes!

Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
2  Thank 0garibaldi0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 9 April 2014

Let me preface this review by saying I am quite biased about Mauna Lani Bay. I first visited this hotel 20 years ago and it has always been a personal favorite. That being said, I had not visited in 10 years as we decided we wanted to visit other parts of the world with our teenage daughter. Frankly, the Mauna Lani is pretty slow for a teenager.

I am quite happy to say that the Mauna Lani has changed little in 20 years. The location and setting are amazing, the fact that you can see sea turtles while standing on the beach is wonderful. All of the food that we ate was quite good and we even visited the CanoeHouse twice we enjoyed it so much. Service could be slow, but it was not annoying and I was definitely on Island time.

I am a golfer and played both courses twice - the courses are in great shape and do not get a lot of play, so the longest round I played was 3 hours. Also, the courses are priced reasonably for the location if you are staying on property. This comes from someone in Southern California where golf is grossly overpriced.

I did upgrade to an oceanfront room and was glad I did, as my wife and I spent a lot of hours on the lanai enjoying the view.

The only thing that keeps me from giving this 5 stars is that I feel the hotel is due for a bit of a refurbishment. Mind you, it is not falling apart and everything worked fine and we had no problems, but there was some peeling paint and the bathrooms could use a refresh.

Overall, I think the Mauna Lani Bay is the best place for a couples laid back get-away with some great golf thrown in. We will be giving the Mauna Lani Bay strong consideration for our 25th anniversary in 2 years.

Room Tip: If you can afford it and like to enjoy your view make sure you have an ocean view.
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank MCCAD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2014

Just returned from a 6 night stay at Mauna Lani Bay Hotel. Overall, I thought the hotel and the entire property were really nice. Hotel was less than a 30 minute drive from the Kona airport so very easy to get to once you arrived on the island. The rooms were very comfortable, the pool was great and the beach was amazing. They offered free snorkeling gear and I was honestly really surprised at how great the snorkeling was right off the beach. We went snorkeling multiple times in front of the hotel and then down the beach a couple of hundred yards and each time we saw all sorts of fish and sea turtles, big and small. There is also a bIack sand beach a short bike ride away that also had amazing snorkeling. While there I also played golf on the South Course and it was absolutely amazing. Several holes right on the Pacific Ocean provided amazing views and it was very fairly priced. My only negative comments about our stay are service related. I see a lot of positive comments in other reviews regarding the service and there were definitely areas (front desk, bellman, housekeeping staff) where I thought the service was great. With that being said, I thought the concierge staff that I personally dealt with offered horrible customer service. They were not friendly, they were argumentative and it was almost like you were inconveniencing them anytime you asked for something. I finally just started going directly to the front desk when I had a question or needed a reservation. Second, the service in the main restaurant was really, really slow. They seemed very understaffed in that area. Almost every time we ate there we had to ask for a server and we just waited and waited. Even with those negatives, I would still recommend the property. We had a great time while we were there and it was tough to leave yesterday.

Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
4  Thank Jody H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2014

My husband and I celebrated our 11th anniversary at the Mauna Lani Hotel & Bungalows!! It was awesome to wake up to the views and to experience the impeccable service from the entire staff (but special shout outs to Tovah and Binkie)!!! The free bike rentals really add to the fun, yet relaxed atmosphere and the breakfast buffet (though expensive), is awesome with its vast selection of juices, fruits, fresh pastries and perfectly prepared savory breakfast items. The hotel offers many daily activities...many of them are free and although you may encounter a beautiful bird passing through the breezeway, the hotel is soooo clean that there is NO other evidence of their visits (if you know what I mean)!!! Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows' beautiful, comfy rooms and ocean views made it hard to say goodbye!!! We would be happy to stay here each time we visit Hawaii!!!!

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank VCH_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 March 2014

The hotel staff is amazing and our coordinators made our wedding and reception very beautiful and smooth (we didn't have to worry about anything). The hotel is very nice with its open air atmosphere and water theme, and we were greeted with a lei and tropical drink. It is definitely an older property but there have been some recent efforts to renovate things. We took advantage of their hot pools and snorkeling, and definitely the good weather. The food was great and we would definitely recommend this resort to anyone who wants to have their wedding/reception here or who wants to have a relaxing, all-encompassing vacation.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank MaileAndFred
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 March 2014

We enjoyed the beautiful relaxed luxury of the Mauna Lani for three nights and would definitely stay again. The open lobby is gorgeous and every staff member was attentive and very friendly. The grounds and hotel are very well kept and clean. Valet or self park is convenient and the pool and beach areas are fantastic.

Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank Brent L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 March 2014

My family just returned from a two-week stay in Hawaii. This is our fourth year in a row vacationing in Hawaii and we did three islands this time: Hawai'i, Lana'i, and Mau'i. On the Big Island, we returned to the Mauni Lani for the third time in four years. This remains one of my favorite hotels and favorite spots in all of Hawaii.

Since we were at the Mauna Lani last (2012), the rooms have been upgraded and the pool restaurant eliminated, replaced by a new children's pool/hot tub and sunset viewing patio, which was a good idea and a big uptick on what was there before. The rooms, while small, have big bathrooms and are smartly decorated.

For anyone contemplating a stay on the Big Island, the Mauna Lani is still the best place in my opinion. The hotel's open-air layout, intimate feel and expansive grounds provide a truly restful and relaxing spot. Next to the Lana'i Four Seasons, The Mauna Lani beach setup might be the best in Hawaii. Every morning my family would get set up on the beach cabanas. At 11am, I could still count 10 empty cabanas on either side of me. The Mauna Lani gives one on opportunity for true peace and quiet. The Four Seasons Maui, where we also stayed, was just the opposite, with people right on top you, every day, all day.

The little swim cove in front of the hotel is perfect for all - little kids on up to adults. The beach club, which is a short walk from the hotel (and a nice walk at that), is much more crowded but is the spot to go for snorkeling. We went every day.

Pros: (1) superb spot to relax; (2) big, mostly empty pool; (3) great snorkeling at the hotel; (4) excellent food/shopping alternatives at the shops on the grounds - I forgot sunglasses and hopped on a hotel bike and rode to the shops and found a Sunglass Hut. Perfect.; (5) much better location than Four Season's Huaialai - close to Hapuna Beach (a must stop - we went boogie boarding there every day. . .) - with a far better beach setup than Huaialai; (6) FREE laundry. For anyone in Hawaii for a long stay (or even a short one), this is a huge benefit in my opinion. Why more hotels don't offer this is a mystery. . .;(7) kid's golf course; (8) a great feel. The hotel has a nice boutique feel to it, and it is very understated and elegant.

Cons: I'm not sure. Maybe the dumb policy of only letting you use boogie boards for only an hour or snorkeling equipment for four. Didn't matter. we went to Snorkle Bob's at the Shops and rented our own stuff for the week and had them available to us all day every day.

I love going to the Big Island and I love staying at the Mauna Lani. It's the perfect location from which one can launch day trips to Pololu valley, Volcanos, or any of the other state or national parks. It's close to Waimea, which means Merriman's for dinner (we went back to the Big Island this year just to be able to eat at Merriman's), and Monsterra, another great restaurant, is there on the grounds, The Canoe House at the hotel is also superb. Finally, the breakfast buffet was excellent. Quiet (unlike the Four Seasons Maui which was a zoo), with an excellent and diverse selection of food.

Highly recommend the Mauna Lani. One of my favorite places.

Room Tip: ask for a room on the Canoe House side, especially those oceanfront/ocean view rooms.
  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with family
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9  Thank yankeeclipper555
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
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 On the Beach Hotel in Puako
#3 Luxury Hotel in Puako
Price Range: £247 - £391 (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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