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“Couldn't have been Better!”

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Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Puako
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Couldn't have been Better!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 June 2011

We stayed here fir 4 nights and it was EXCELLENT. When we arrived we were greeted with leis and at check- in we received a drink and wet cloth to refresh ourselves. We stayed on the 8th floor with a awesome view of the ocean. Our room was large with a large foyer and two closets. The bathroom was 2 rooms with the double sinks in one room and toilet, tub and shower in the other. The bathroom even had its own lanai. The rooms had no carpet which I love because it makes the whole room cleaner and easier to clean. There was nightly turn down service and room service was great too. All the staff was very friendly and helpful. We had the breakfast buffet during our stay and it was Phenomenal!! Every morning I looked forward to breakfast and i'm not normally a fan of breakfast. We had dinner at Manta's and Monettes and both were delicious. Manta's is where the breakfast buffet is. Beach was great an the pool was small compared to some hotels but still very nice. Pool loungers were like a miny bed and I spent the whole day on one. Spa was small and there are no added features like a pool, sauna or restaurant but my 80 minute deep tissue massage was intense. Felt like a new woman after. Just keep in mind that the spa may not offer the extras but the treatments are fantastic. The porter even weighed our luggage at the hotel before we left for the airport so we could rearrange things in our bags before we got to the airport. Overall, we can't wait to come back

  • Stayed June 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank applegateml99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,187 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (364)
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English first
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 June 2011

We got away for a long Memorial Day weekend and had a magical time at the Mauna Kea. Service was solid and just attentive enough for us--but we don't require a "hand-and-foot" style of service. Our internet was FREE, so I think they are making some improvements on the "nickel and dime" charges that were mentioned earlier.
Dinner at Manta restaurant was a bit of a disaster because our veteran waiter knew so little about wine, he had them bring us a Cabernet Sauvignon when we ordered a Sauvignon Blanc to go with our fish courses. A casual request for a wine recommendation brought about a protracted and almost comical wait while they summoned the sommelier from the other restaurant across the property. In the end, our Gruner Veltliner was super cheap and delicious (and they lost about $100 of our money that we would have spent on a nice bottle). Breakfast, on the other hand was AWESOME. you could not have the same thing twice from their beautifully stocked and varied breakfast buffet. Be sure and get a room rate that include breakfast, because at $40 per person, it can add up. However, we covered breakfast and lunch with that one generous meal, so the room rate really paid for itself!
Rooms were beautifully decorated in a modern, vaguely Asian, and serene style with Frette linens and L'Occitane toiletries (which were generously refilled daily). Free bottled water replenished daily at turn-down was really a nice touch. This hotel felt more European or urban than any other I've stayed at in Hawaii, and we truly appreciated the calm, clean, and elegant aesthetic. Unlike the Fairmont, where we stayed last year, there's not a lot of frou-frou, and I don't necessarily want to be greeted by a 6-foot tall floral arrangement in the lobby every day.
Then, of course, there's the Beach. Awesome. Amazing. Gorgeous. We saw sea turtles within 5 minutes of getting in the water, and the snorkeling was terrific. The cabana situation was absurd, with us getting up at 6:30AM on Saturday to score a free, open cabana (good thing we were on Pacific Time). They should consider charging a nominal fee for them like they do at the Fairmont, so they are not so quickly claimed every day. Umbrellas were a myth the entire time because the wind was blowing (as it seems it always does on the Big Island), so don't count on shade if you're not in a cabana.
The Hau Tree beach bar was terrific, with fresh and delicious salads and sandwiches, and really tasty drinks served by a friendly staff. Hubby ordered the grilled mahi mahi sandwich two days in a row because it was so good. I have worked in restaurants and oversaw restaurants for a luxury hotel chain, and I can tell you the food quality here was better than almost any hotel I've visited. Of course, it's not cheap, but you are in a resort and groceries themselves are expensive in the islands.
We hiked the beach trail in both directions on separate days, taking a dip at Secret beach to the north and availing ourselves of the Hapuna Beach Prince's privileges to the south. if you are mildly in-shape and have 30-45 minutes to spare, I highly recommend exploring the trails - if only to gawk and dream at the views and the mansions along the trail.
In all, a wonderful vacation at a wonderful property. We will be back again soon!

Room Tip: Book via travel agent for buffet breakfast rate
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  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank lizzard9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dallas, TX
Level Contributor
21 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 June 2011

Love, love, love the Mauna Kea. Full disclosure - since we had the kids (10 & 13) we did not stay in the hotel, but stayed at the condos at Hapuna golf course, just up the hill, but still on property. For less than the cost of one room at the hotel, we got a 2000 sq ft, new construction 3-bed 3-bath condo on property at Wai 'Ula 'Ula. Granite kitchen, laundry, gorgeous lanai with wolf grill, spectacular ocean views. We had full access to Mauna Kea and Hapuna and enjoyed free parking and free internet and saved a bundle on food. There's a nice grocery just a few minutes down the road at the Mauna Lani. We also had access to the private community pool and amenity center. Reading the reviews, we got all of the upside of the MK without the things people complained about. We ate at Manta and it was great. We did the luau and loved it - it was smaller and more low key than most, which we liked (its only on Tuesdays). We did spend a day at the Hilton, which was fun ($100 for a family day pass) and their pools were great. The MK pool was pretty small, so that was a change, but the difference in the vibes at the two hotels was amazing - the Hilton was busy, busy. If you like Disney, Vegas, or Atlantis you will love the Hilton - but if you like the spa feel of a quieter hotel, then the MK is for you. The beach is great. Hapuna is next door, and that beach is just as nice, but larger and has more locals (not a bad thing, just busier). Plus, MK has better beach chairs and covered loungers, Hapuna doesn't have cushy beach chairs. Oddly, the Hapuna pool was more populated with locals than guests, which was just weird, but not really bad if you want more company at the pool. And yes, its further from Kona, but its close to the other resorts, and an easy drive to the north part of the island where the zip lines and ATV tours were (both very fun). Its not a bad drive to Kona anyway - but if you want to stay in town, then the MK isn't for you. But if you want a beautiful, serene resort, then you can't beat the MK. Check out the condos on VRBO! Enjoy!!

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank FullGallop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
18 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 June 2011

Location: amazing.Greeted warmly: by Yogi.Check in: indifferent and superficial smile.
Mountain room: 4.5 star with large balcony (balcony unusable due to loud diesel shuttle every 15 minutes back and forth to their sister hotel).
Beach: one of nicest anywhere.
Staff: split into two categories, friendly and unfriendly.
Food: ate first two dinners at the beach restaurant with our young son: good service, good food and...well, it does not get better setting than this.
Unfortunately, beach restaurant not open Thursday through Sunday (can't imagine why).
Went to fine dining at Manta restaurant: Perfect romantic setting.
Ordered fish (tasted good) and chicken off the children's menu. I ate some and my son ate more (my wife does not eat meat of any kind). At about 5AM, we awoke with our son throwing up. He seemed fine later in the morning, although my stomach did not feel good, and we went to have buffet breakfast at Manta. Almost immediately, little guy threw up again and no staff seemed to notice or even care.
We left in a hurry back to room, only to be chased through the hotel lobby by one of the restaurant hostesses demanding that we come back to the restaurant and sign the check; told her that little guy was ill and she could place check on our room. She insisted but we kept going to our room.
Went back to breakfast 2 days later: given same child seat..still had dried throw up on it.
On passing by our old table, noticed that the floor still had dried throw up and stain on it.
Despite, the perfect setting and Zen design...clearly, there is a cleanliness problem in the restaurant.
Sunday, back at hotel after a day at ER: Manager greeted us, and asked whatever he could help in any way.
Told him that our son had thrown up on a lot of our clothes and we were running low, could he please have hotel do laundry.
His response was more out of Faulty Towers than a 5 star resort "we don't have laundry service during weekend but I can give you come coins for the laundry matt"..thanked him but after day in ER and feeling quite unwell, not up to doing laundry.
Asked concierge to change our airline tickets; end result; we have to call airline ourselves.
In two days, 3 false fire alarms and request to immediately evacuate property: one at 4.30AM, with no follow up on two of them.
Many other flaws in the service, including major attitude from housekeeping and many of Manta restaurant staff…especially hostesses.. who seem to be upset when any customers walk in. The wine manager was an exception.
This is not a 5 star resort service-wise..what a shame..the setting is perfect but does not deserve a place in top Hawaiian hotels of Conde Nast list (as hotel manager requested of every guest to vote this year for the Mauna Kea).
Check out: hotel credited one night and no apology from assistant manager.
Requested assistant manager to ask manger as to why they would not comp whole stay; Manager’s response after talking to the ‘Director’.. “we are having our attorneys working on this and they will get back to you in a few days”.
Told him that I would give him an opportunity to do what hotel felt was fair, get Director on line again and make sure he was clear that I was a very unhappy customer.
Manager came back and said had spoken to GM and they would credit 4 nights, internet and valet parking.
Was it worth being here for 6 days, of which 4 days were spent mostly in bed with our sick son, and to have hotel credit 4 nights: NO.
Two weeks now since check out and no follow up from hotel.
Eventually, after my emailing copy of this review to hotel GM, he called and apologized and said next time he would be sure to take care of us.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Horatiolh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Arizona
Level Contributor
60 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 May 2011

Mauna Kea is a beatiful property on a great location, right on beach. But to charge $20/day for valet parking when there is plenty of space! Plus a luxury hotel charging for internet? Most mid to low cost hotels do not charge for internet. Upon arrival, a host (Jessica) showed us around and took us to our room. While professional, she did not make us feel welcome and when my wife asked about Hapuna Beach (right nearby, we found out later), Jessica acted like my wife had no idea what she was talking about. We had a slow drain in the shower and had to call 3 times before maintenance came to fix it. Like other reviewers commented, food prices are very high for very average food.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Mugsy001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 May 2011

Why do budget hotels give you free wi-fi while luxury hotels charge you for wi-fi???? In this case, the Mauna Kea charges for wi-fi, as well as $15.00 per day for self parking privileges. And, while their beach cafe charges $13.00 for a hot dog, they won't give you a free re-fill on soda. Free re-fills on iced tea; but not soda. The lack of these amenities certainly brings this resort down several notches especially with room rates over $500. per night. And why in the world are there down comforters in Hawaii?? Cats abound on the property indicating a rodent problem. Several giant roaches were seen at night on the outdoor corridors. Sorry Mauna Kea, you don't live up to a 4 star expectation.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Skymuffin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
43 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 May 2011

Definitely my all time favorite of many hotels worldwide. (My stay was before the tidal wave, and very glad it recovered.) Room was wonderful with cool breezes and amenities. Beautiful woodwork. Very island. Beach was perfect -- a few steps from the room. Dining met all our expectations, both formal and casual. Service impeccable. It's the farthest from Kona, but still close enough to dine elsewhere, if you choose. We went to Four Seasons and Hilton, but just for variety and getting out and about. I recommend Mauna Kea to friends often, whether families or couples, without hesitancy.

  • Stayed June 2010
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank BillPride
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection

Property: Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection
Address: 62-100 Mauna Kea Beach Drive, Puako, Island of Hawaii, HI 96743-9706
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 Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Puako
#1 Luxury Hotel in Puako
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Puako
#3 Family Hotel in Puako
#3 Romantic Hotel in Puako
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection 4.5*
Number of rooms: 252
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel located on Hawaii Island's Kohala Coast. Legendary, timeless hospitality. Exceptional value. No mandatory resort fees. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mauna Kea Beach Kamuela
Hotel Mauna Kea Beach
Mauna Kea Beach Hotel

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