Allison Mitchell Allison Mitchell | January 28, 2021 | Lifestyle Feature
Whether a dreamy couples getaway or a fun-filled family adventure is on your mind, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel delivers both in stunning beach-chic style.
The Big Island’s Mauna Kea Beach Hotel boasts one of the few white sand beaches on the Kohala Coast. Unlike its coral or lava counterparts, the sand in Kauna’oa Bay is silica.
Situated on the shores of Hawaii Island’s Kohala Coast, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is the first resort to take root along the waters of Kauna’oa Bay thanks to American conservationist and venture capitalist Laurance S. Rockefeller. Opened in 1965, Mauna Kea became Hawaii’s first Autograph Collection Hotel in 2015 and was officially inducted into the Historic Hotels of America in 2016, solidifying its place as one of the country’s most significant historical properties. And with one of the few white sand beaches on the Kohala Coast, Kauna’oa Bay is a haven for water enthusiasts, who can fulfill a bucket-list item of snorkeling with manta rays in the moonlight. What’s more is the adventure that awaits beyond the shore, from the opportunity to soar above the Big Island’s 4,000 square miles of live volcanoes, desert landscapes and rainforests via Blue Hawaiian Helicopters to tennis on 11 oceanfront courts to tee time on the resort’s award-winning 18-hole championship golf course. Let the games begin.
Manta restaurant offers breathtaking views teamed with impeccable cuisine and service from sunup to sundown.
With 252 guest rooms and suites, many of which are beachfront with fully furnished lanais, there’s no bad place to stay at Mauna Kea. The top-floor Golf Vista, Hualalai, Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea suites boast the property’s most spacious quarters, paired with top-notch views, and are ideal for couples or families looking for truly unique accommodations.
For those celebrating or seeking to ignite romance, book a private dinner for two on the beachfront Vista Deck, at the famous third hole on Mauna Kea Golf Course or in the serene Garden Terrace, among other options. A dedicated server will host your four-course meal as you toast with wine or Champagne and tiki torches glow in the background. Request a photographer, a private hula dancer and solo musician, or stargazing with an astronomer for a night to remember.
By day, immerse yourself in the Hawaiian culture. Upon request, guests can greet the sunrise and ocean with a morning ritual featuring Hawaiian chants led by a local. For breakfast, head to Manta restaurant and indulge in a world class buffet featuring made-to-order waffles and omelets, tropical fruits and juices, pastries and more. Next, get active. The white sand beach in Kauna’oa Bay beckons with myriad options, from snorkeling, stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking to sailing, bodysurfing and boogie boarding. Order Mauna Kea’s signature cocktail, the Frederico, from beachfront Hau Tree restaurant and bar when you’re ready to retreat to your lounge chair. Further relaxation awaits at The Mauna Kea Spa by Mandara, where a range of Balinese- and Hawaiian-inspired therapies are on offer. Book the couples massage to enjoy a customized side-by-side experience in a dedicated suite for two.
Top-floor suites include expansive oceanfront balconies, ensuring your five-star view is never far from sight.
As the sun sets, toast the day at Copper Bar or experience Manta’s evening ambiance, which includes an award-winning wine list and live jazz performances Wednesdays and Saturdays. Finally, cap off your trip by attending Mauna Kea’s famous luau, where hula and fire dancers will entertain as you feast on imu-roasted kālua pig, island fish, laulau, lomi salmon, sashimi and piles of pineapple and papaya. After all, it’s the Hawaiian way. Rooms from $599 per night, suites from $749 per night
Photography by: PHOTOS COURTESY OF MAUNA KEA BEACH HOTEL