To put this and my other reviews of hotels in Hawaii, I have vacationed in Hawaii over the last 15 years and stayed at almost every top notch resort on the Big Island, Kauai, Lanai, and Maui. Every resort has something unique to offer. I always find myself coming back for at least a few days to the Mauna Lani. What sets the Mauna Lani apart - hands down - from the other resorts on the Big Island is it genuinely warm service and integration of the hotel and the exterior environment. There are palm trees, fish ponds, birds, and other natural features literally within the hotel itself. The hotel is compared to the other top resorts on the Big Island actually a good value.
In addition, the Spa at the Mauna Lani - both with respect to the quality of the treatments and natural setting - is heads-and-shoulders above the Four Seasons, both of which I have had the occasion to frequent on multiple trips. It also is better than the spa at the Mauna Kea.
The Canoe House restaurant at the Mauna Lani is equal in quality, service, and setting to Browns at the Fairmount, and Monettes at the Mauna Kea (which suffers only slightly from a somewhat disadvantaged setting). The Canoe House is also superior to the fine dining option available at the Four Seasons.
The pool is more than adequate, quite nicely outfitted with chaises and daybeds. There are two well-sized jacuzzis as well.
There are only three drawbacks to this hotel that I presently see. First, the beach (where service could still be improved) itself is not as certainly not equal to the beach at either the Mauna Kea or Hapuna resorts - both of which exceed any of the other hotel beaches on the Big Island. That said, the beach itself is better than the beach at the Four Seasons. Second, the rooms, including the bathrooms and lanais, are not quite on par with the comfort and features offered in the rooms at either the Four Seasons or the Mauna Kea resorts, even if comparable in size. The hotel has, however, recently updated its furnishings throughout. The bathroom does offer one unique feature not at any other hotel on the Big Island: a fantastic toilet that is an experience unto itself. The fitness center offers less than the Four Seasons and is more on par with the Mauna Kea, both of which are certainly adequate enough.
Despite its drawbacks, go and experience the place for yourself, while there is still some aloha spirit left on the Big Island, and especially at the Mauna Lani. Overall, four and one-half stars out of five.
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- Also Known As:
- Mauna Lani Bay Hotel And Bungalows
- Mauna Lani Bay Resort
- Mauna Lani Resort