Mauna Kea Part II | a travelhappier luxury hotel review
My first time to the magical Mauna Kea was last year, and I just fell in love with everything (I wrote all about it here). So when my husband asked if I wanted to go back this year, my answer was a resounding heck yes!
The white sand and blue waters of Kauna’oa Bay are as close to heaven on earth as I’ve experienced, and although that sounds like hyperbole (i mean, it literally is hyperbole…) - it is also true. Also, the food and cocktails are uniformly delicious, the staff is wonderful, and the midcentury modern hotel design and bright orange plumeria motif are nostalgic perfection. This is a five heart hotel for me. Love!
Do you remember the season 6 premiere of Mad Men, when Don and Megan vacation in Waikiki? Don reads Dante’s Inferno on the beach in front of the Royal Hawaiian and everything was like, ‘60s retro-aloha glam? To me, that’s my best analogy for staying at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel — it’s like stepping into 1960s old Hawaii, except with all the comforts of a modern resort.
You’ll leave the property loving bright orange plumerias!
The hotel was built in 1965 by financier and philanthropist Laurance S. Rockefeller, and its design reflects a sixties vibe. Pacific and Asian art decorate every public space, it is really fabulous.
Copper Bar (below) is equally great for muffins and coffee in the morning; a relaxed lunch; or evening pupus and cocktails with live music. We were given free breakfast every morning at Manta in recognition of my husband’s Platinum Elite status with Marriott. We also had dinner at Manta the first night, and I’d highly recommend both.
Tower Wing: King Ocean Front Deluxe Room
We got a sweet upgrade to a King Deluxe Ocean Front room (thank you Samantha!) and it was perfect for the three of us. The walk-in closet was large enough to fit the crib (amazing for Jules’ naps!), and I loved the shower setup.
All rooms come with flatscreen TVs, though for years the hotel was famous for not having televisions.
Soaps and toiletries are Verbena L’Occitane, with a crisp, lemony scent that is perfect for vacation.
Rooms in the beach wing are perfect for families, as they are able to be paired off and become adjoining rooms. Complimentary washers and dryers are available to do laundry, which is perfect for families doing long stays (and of course there is traditional laundry service as well).
What else? There’s golf, tennis, a hiking trail, a saltwater swimming pool, bocce ball, table tennis, and a billiards table. But the big draw is the beach, and we had the best time every day just playing on the sand and floating in the ocean. You can also do yoga, paddle boarding, snorkeling, a nighttime manta-ray dive, or learn about the honeybees kept on property (and sample some Hawaiian honey, too!)
Side note: Yay for New Friends!
I was not compensated by the hotel for writing this blog post, but we were given a complimentary upgrade and treated to a delivery of banana bread, prosecco, and fresh fruit upon arrival. I had sent a letter to the Resort Manager before we arrived in order to introduce myself and request a site inspection, and he put me in touch with Samantha Emmons. I had actually just met Sam a few months earlier bc she stumbled onto this blog (yay!) Long story short, we had coffee and now I’m pretty sure she is my new BIBF (Big Island Best Friend, it’s a new thing lol!) This benefits you too as it’s always nice to have someone onsite that you trust to help make your clients’ stay amazing!
Virtuoso Benefits at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel
The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is a Virtuoso property, which means that it’s among the best of the best in luxury travel. I’m a Virtuoso advisor, so I get to offer my clients the special amenities and VIP treatment!
For more photos, hotel details, and information regarding Virtuoso benefits click here; then contact me for a quote and to book! It’s that easy. In 99% of cases, all that’s required is a credit card guarantee and you just pay the hotel at checkout. I can also find out directly from the hotel about any special offers or promotions they’re running (yay!)
2019 Virtuoso Amenities and Promotions at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel
Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
Daily Buffet breakfast daily at Manta for up to 2 in-room guests
$100 resort credit to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate or any third party vendor charges, no cash value if not redeemed in full); $200 credit for suite bookings
Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
More Reading About the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel
5 Reasons to Stay at One of Hawaii’s Grandest Classic Hotels (Jen Murphy, AFAR)
Mauna Kea Beach Hotel (Travel+Leisure)