The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is an incredible hotel and resort located on Hawaii’s Big Island. This 5-star location offers island entertainment and fun for families and couples. It is a popular golfing destination spot as well as being walking distance to some of Hawaii’s most beautiful beaches. This article will provide a detailed review of the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and all it has to offer.

mauna kea hotel exterior

Accommodation type: 5-star hotel
No. of Rooms & Suites: 258
Pricing: starts at $625 for the Golf Vista, $950 for Ocean View, $1,450 for Beachfront Suite
High season: December – June
Nearest airport: Kona International Airport (KOA)
Suitable for: couples, honeymooners, families, sightseers

  • Top-Voted Mauna Kea Golf Course
  • Condé Nast Gold List
  • Trip Advisor 5x Winner – Certificate of Excellence, 2015


Mauna Kea Beach Hotel first opened in 1965 and was founded by famous conservationist Laurance S. Rockefeller. He initially designed the luxury resort around the picturesque white beaches. He aimed to provide guests with a relaxing, beautiful vacation spot with exceptional golf courses, ocean views, and authentic Hawaiian cultural influence. The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is also credited as being Hawaii Island’s first resort.

mauna kea hotel room

The design of the hotel is carefully maintained to continue showcasing the understated tropical elegance that Mr. Rockefeller founded the resort with, only now with modern upgrades for guest’s convenience.


mauna kea hotel restaurant
  • Copper Bar – This is an iconic dining location at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. It offers casual cuisine and cocktails in the newly renovated bar. The legendary artwork by Solomon Eno is still in place for guests to view.
  • Number 3 – It’s a perfect lunch location for busy vacationers and golfers. Number 3 is located near the first tee of the golf course and provides tasty lunches, family favorites, and cold beer on tap.
  • Manta – This is an excellent breakfast buffet dining experience for guests with made-to-order waffles and omelets, tropical fruits, and freshly made pastries. Live entertainment is provided during their evening buffet dining.

Complimentary Activities

Outdoor recreational activities include Hawaiian Culture Experiences where you can join in for lessons in Hawaiian culture including lei-making, hula dancing, lauhala weaving, and yard games like Paniolo Horseshoes or Makahiki Games. They also offer a kid-friendly daily program called Mauna Kea Keiki Club Adventures that includes shell hunting and supervised hiking trips for children of all ages. Moreover, many beach and pool activities are complimentary to those who stay at the resort.

Travel Options

Guests would most likely fly into the Kona International Airport (KOA) which is in the nearby city of Kailua-Kona. It is only a 40-minute drive by way of the Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway or Route 19. Renting a car would be a wise choice for vacationers to avoid high cab or shuttle fees.

The Waikoloa Village marketplace for shopping is only a 15-minute drive away. Therefore, a car rental would also be helpful if you wish for a trip away from the resort. The Hapuna Beach State Park is also very close to the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel.

Main Attractions Around Mauna Kea

1. Imiloa Astronomy Center

The Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo, Hawaii is an astronomy and educational center. It showcases Hawaiian culture exhibits alongside astronomy exhibits. A 120 seat planetarium is open at the center to see the night sky projected during a video tour. Multiple exhibits showcase the early Polynesian explorers who were thought to have discovered and settled on the Hawaiian islands.

Address: 600 Imiloa Pl, Hilo, HI 96720

2. Lava Trees State Park

This state monument is a forest of lava trees, molds of lava that were formed from tree trunks when lava flowed through in the year 1790 from and erupted volcano. This is a well-maintained trail of 0.7 miles that visitors can hike. However, it may be a difficult trail for children or the elderly because there are some tree roots that cover parts of the path.

Address: Pahoa-Kapoho Road (Highway 132) Puna district, Pahoa, HI

3. Mauna Kea Observatory

Before driving to visit the Observatory, check that the weather conditions will permit visitors to drive up the summit. There is a Visitor Information Station at 9,200 feet where you can find safety information, weather information, as well as stop to help adjust to the change in altitude before continuing. Maunakea is one of the few places in the world where a visitor can drive from sea level to 14,000 feet in just a few hours. The oxygen levels are much lower at the summit, so many visitors are at risk of experiencing altitude sickness.

There are stargazing groups and night events held at the Visitor Center nightly. In addition, you can watch documentaries and use the telescopes. A star tour is given nightly as well with a laser pointer to help identify and point out various constellations to visitors.

Address: 177 Maka’ala Street, Hilo, HI 96720-5108

4. Akatsuka Orchid Garden

The Orchid Garden is open daily from 10-4:30 and offers tours, orchid garden viewing, as well as an orchid maze to enjoy. The maze is inside an 8,000-foot showroom and open regardless of weather. There are also exhibits concerning the life stages and growth of orchids, many photo opportunities, an orchid wall, bamboo displays, and other Zen gardens to explore. There are other activities for purchase as well including a take-home orchid planting experience for people of all ages!

Address: 1-3051 Volcano Road, Volcano, HI 96785

5. Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

There are many activities you can take part in at the Volcanoes National Park. That includes incredible hiking and biking tours, the Jaggar Museum, camping, crater rim tours, Ranger presentations, art shows, and Hawaiian cultural experience sessions. If you are planning to stay for 1-3 hours, the park recommends exploring the summit of the Kilauea volcano via the Crater Rim Drive. This is an 11-mile road that goes around the entire summit, passes through a desert and rainforest biomes, and provides access to scenic points where one can stop and walk around.

Most of all, if guests are planning to stay for longer, they should see the East Rift and the coastal area of the park by way of the Craters road. This road actually descends 3,700 feet over a 20-mile span and ends where lava crossed the road in 2003. The Jaggar Museum not only showcases the history of the island’s volcanoes but the history of the National Park itself. It offers beautiful views and exhibits.

Final Words

The Mauna Keach Beach Hotel is the perfect location for everyone. With its stunning beaches and plenty of activities, you will get an incredible life experience and taste of Hawaiian culture. The sights are gorgeous and you will get a taste of every bit of luxury Rockefeller wanted the hotel to display. Therefore, it’s one of the most incredible Hawaiian locations you can think of. Alo, if you are ever in Hawaii, you can also visit the Four Seasons Hotel in Maui.

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