It happens every few years.. We return to one of the most ideally located and designed hotels in the world - The Mauna Kea. The setting cannot be beat and the timeless rooms are large and idea for a great stay... but NO ONE professional is running this property and the food offerings (minus breakfast) are incompetent, expensive, and bordering on inedible.
There is also a general malaise and "thrown in the towel" energy with the staff -- there are some employees that are great, and others not so much, but they all feel like foster children waiting for a new parent to lay down the rules on how to operate a great hotel.
On another note, the response was AWFUL when we tried to sleep through a night of a 1960s AC on a roof nearby groaning every 10 minutes as it turned on and off. After repeated complaints, after they said they turned it off, nothing changed. The next day we were offered a change of rooms with an UPCHARGE to a location where we could sleep. Really?!
These is a catch here however -- this is the best location for a hotel in all of Hawaii. So what to do? I think someone professional with a vision should take over operations and fix this hotel to bring it up to the level it intends to achieve. The Four Seasons down the road is a spectacularly run hotel with delicious food, but not great beach. I think the Four Seasons should take over the Mauna Kea and make it their sister property. I'm sure the Mauna Kea would then be the great hotel it so rightfully deserves to be!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection is located on Hawaii Island's Kohala Coast at at Kauna’oa Bay. 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