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“the best pampered relaxing Hawaiian vacation hotel ever”

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Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Puako
Certificate of Excellence
Los Angeles, California area
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“the best pampered relaxing Hawaiian vacation hotel ever”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 October 2010

My wife and I have been to the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel many times so we start relaxing on our drive to the airport from home because we know it will be perfect. This is not a slick marble glitzy type of beach hotel. It has tile, concrete stucco in an interesting style that is welcoming and calming. The rooms face the ocean or the mountains and we like both, the mountain rooms are quieter since the ocean is a little farther away and less expensive and cooler to sit out in the afternoon on your lania (deck). The rooms have lots of teakwood and are tastefully and serenly decorated. It was just rebuilt and we had a main bathroom my wife used and the man's bathroom without the shower. the bigger rooms have gigantic bathrooms with full glass walls and an ocean view if you choose that side of the hotel. No big nightlife here but who can stay awake after snorkeling with the fish and turtles just after dawn each morning, eating at the buffet breakfast (don't miss the waffles with macadamia nuts and maple syrup and coconut syrup) driving around the island to sightsee, back for swimming then drinks at 5pm on the terrace to music and dancing and then a great dinner from casual to elegant, say good night to the manta rays and off to bed to be ready for more of the same on the next day. there are amazing golf courses, tennis courts, spa therapies and the best soft white sand beach with amazing underwater coral formations and the beach boys/girls are really helpful. The bar/cafe on the sand really helps too. They don't allow any new hotels to be built this close to the sand anymore. When we are here we see large family groups of three generations to other couples relaxing like us.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank vinatarta
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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sc
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 September 2010

We stayed in a plumeria beach club room. Although our room was small, it was very comfortable. The bed slept well. The bathroom had a nice layout with double sinks. The shower and toliet were together behind a door making it easier for two to get ready. The balcony was comfortable with a great view of the ocean. I felted like I was camping out in luxury. The beach was out of this world. The snorkling great with turtles and lots of fish. The beach is large and not crowded. The resturants are good. The staff very friendly and helpful. Some of the staff had been there since Rockfeller want the resort. They would tell you stories of Rockfeller and what a great man we was to work for. I really enjoyed myself and will definitely stay there again if I'm on the BIG Island!

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank 458897
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 September 2010

Although some of the employees at Mauna Kea resort are friendly most of them never smile.
Beach attendants are rude and unfriendly. Quite often there are no towels at the beach.
There are definitely not enough beach chairs and umbrellas and if you do not come very early to the beach you will not find any chairs. If you want real service go to the Four Seasons Hualalai where they know how to pamper their guests

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank eurotny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
56 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 September 2010

We found an unbelievable rate for this 5 star resort. Easily one of the best hotels I have ever stayed in. From the welcome beverage to the room, the amenities, the beach, the staff - everything is 5 star through and through.
Be prepared to hand out stacks of tips. If you want an unbelievable experience and the best beach on the Big Island, this is the place to go. Amazing and would definitely go back.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank ATravelVixen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York, NY
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 September 2010

I spent 10 days at the Mauna Kea in late June 2010 (my third visit in four years) and, once again, found the Mauna Kea to be a wonderful place to decompress.

Pros:

1. An absolutely magnificent beach, perfect for swimming and snorkeling (but not for surfing), which is rarely crowded. The beach is open to the public, but limited parking effectively restricts the number of non-guests using the beach. I have been to numerous beaches in Oahu, Maui and the Big Island, and the Mauna Kea is my favorite.

2. Friendly, helpful and professional staff.

3. Updated rooms. I have always stayed in the main building (my last two visits were in Golf Vista rooms) and many, if not most, of the rooms that were updated in the main building following the earthquake were also significantly expanded in size. Very spacious and comfortable. The Golf Vista rooms have two lanais (one for the main room and the other for the bathroom).

4. Rates. Yes, they are on the steep side, but due to discounting by Prince Resorts they are lower than the rates charged by other first class Hawaii resorts such as the Four Seasons Maui or the Grand Wailea. The Mauna Kea may not be as glitzy as those resorts, but it has, in my opinion, a superior beach, a more relaxing ambience and is significantly less crowded.

Cons.

1. Food. Fine, but overpriced. Each guest room has a small refrigerator, which I use to stock up on food purchases from Waimea or Waikoloa.

2. School vacation-related disruptions. I would recommend visiting the Mauna Kea outside of school vacation season. When I was there in late June, the grassy area between the Plumeria wing and the beach was often being used as a playing field by large family groups. More than a few guests using lounge chairs and hammocks in that area were annoyed by having to contend with yelling and shouting by children, teenagers (and a few adults) playing, for example, softball. The low point of my last visit: being awakened from a nap in one of those hammocks by a loud "THWACK" caused by someone a few yards away swinging a baseball bat. One of the best features of the Mauna Kea is how quiet and low key the resort usually is; I hope that the management will be able to keep it that way. Perhaps the management will consider designating an area as a playing field that is located away from the areas closest to the beach?

3. Internet and parking charges. As is far too often the case with top hotels, the Mauna Kea charges a fee for use of the Internet. Guests staying longer than a few days can benefit from a lower average daily rate; the daily rate I paid in June 2010 was slightly under $8.00. Also, the Mauna Kea recently began charging $15 per day for self-parking. Annoying, but the Mauna Kea is hardly alone in doing this among major Hawaii resorts (including the Four Seasons Maui, the Kahala and St. Regis Princeville).

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank NorskNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
73 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 August 2010

My wife has been coming to this hotel since she was four years old - so we were very excited about staying at the hotel after its major refurbishment. However, our inital contact with the Prince Booking agent was less than stellar - the agent actually tried to convince us that the Hapuna next door was a better fit for us with a three year old. The Hapuna caters to travel groups and is definitely not a hotel we would ever stay at. In spite of the booking agent we went ahead and stayed at the Mauna Kea - overall it was great. The pool is a little small for the size of the hotel and is not child friendly - however, the spectacular beach more than makes up for it. Service is uneven. Food is fine for a hotel of this level but not particularly memorable.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank EricLosAngeles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
33 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 August 2010

This was my fourth time at the Mauna Kea, mostly because my wife loves the beach and the airy open architecture of the building so much. I have to admit, I think it will have been our last time.

The hotel is just not delivering anymore on what you can expect from such an expensive place. The service levels are basic, instead of receiving a warm welcome at reception the girl started a persistent upselling attempt at check-in ("you need to wait for your room till 3 pm, but if you are willing to spend the small amount of USD 300 more per night we can give you an oceanfront room right away"). The attitude from many staff members is lackluster.

For self parking there now is a charge of USD 15 per day - for what??? I have not seen that in any luxury hotel on any outer Hawaiian island! The Grille next to the Golf course has been renovated, and they installed a loud AC on top of that building. So that, when you are sitting on your Golf view room balcony, it feels like a lawn mower is running right next to your room, all day. Why do I come to a remote resort when you cannot escape such noise?

Yes, the beach is beautiful, the food very good - but the spirit is gone. Bye bye, Mauna Kea.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank CalFlyer
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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