More about Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows
Luxury Beachfront Hotel Disability Friendly
I was most impressed by the Mauna Lani hotel. Quiet and stately the hotel is on a beautiful beach on the Kohala Coast of Hawai'i's Big Island. This hotel is pure luxury, if yopu are one of those people who can afford it, the Bungalows are awaiting your arrival. You will be met at the airport by your private butler, driven to the resort in a limo and you will have a personal chef to cater to your every culinary whim. Wow! Ok and for those of us who are not in that financial bracket the Mauna Lani offers very lovely rooms minus the butler, the chauffer and the chef. The Mauna Lani has a great spa, tennis and golf course with a "North" and "South" course as well.
"The Canoe House" seaside dining al fresco is a lovely place to have a romantic dinner and the bar at the pool had a terrific bartender who whipped up drinks--both alcoholic and virgin--with flair and appeal.
The beachfront activites include seaside massage, hammock relaxation, double covered chaise lounges and What clearly impressed me was the catering to those who have disabilites. The ramps and the handicapped rooms as well as the "Hoyer Lift" used to assist patrons in and out of the Mauna Lani pool were clear indicators that this hotel cared about all its patrons.
Islands of Mauna Lani
$395.00 to $450.00 (low season to high season) Great for families, you rent a full house with 2 or three bedrooms and sofa bed, full kitchen, dining area, more than 2000 square feet. Washing machine, dryer, 2 car garage, gated entry and no visitors or noise. The pool is great in September there were few tourists, great weather.
Expensive for a couple, good for sharing!
Mauna Lani Bay Hotel ~ Kohala Coast - Part III
The "Mauna Lani Bay Hotel" on the Big Island of Hawaii is the perfect spot for those who treasure peace and tranquility with a splendid setting. From the moment you turn into the drive leading up to the hotel, the natural geography is unforgettable---dark lava fields give way to a green oasis bound by the azure ocean. The beach is studded with mostly smooth, black lava which did not detract from its beauty in my opinion.
At the risk of repetition, I mentioned again that upon arrival, we were greeted with fresh leis of plumeria and a refreshing tropical juice drink. Our room on the second level, unfortunately did not have the wonderful view I wished for, but it was very comfortable for us and our two children. The two-bedded room was furnished with warm woods, excellent linens, screens to block against excessive heat or light, orchid plants, and an excellent bathroom and dressing area. Aveda toiletries were fragrant and replenished every day. A bathroom and slippers added extra luxuriousness to the room for me.
There were several dining options on the property, including one at poolside. During the 5 nights we stayed at the Mauna Lani, we tried other restaurants off the hotel property, but at that time (2000), there were all a bit of a drive to get to. The meals that we did take at the Mauna Lani good though.
A spa was an amenity at the hotel that I unfortunately did not take advantage of. The beach at the Mauna Lani is extremely scenic. See the contrast of the white sandy beach, and black lava meeting the bluest ocean. Trees will shade you if the sun becomes too intense. An entire day slips away while gazing at the water and sky and trying to determine where each starts and stops.
While we were in the shallows not far off the beach one day, two very friendly turtles swam up to us to see if we might have a little food! There were probably two of the many released by the Mauna Lani and were unafraid of people. However, be advised it is against the law to hinder, or harm or even TOUCH the turtles in any way. Seeing these wonderful, gentle creatures was the highlight of my stay on the Big Island.
The shallow water near this beach makes snorkeling a must and you can go quite far out before the water becomes very deep.
Five Star experience. Exclusive. Secluded. SPECIAL. An oasis in a volcanic Desert! Tranquil fish ponds w/ baby turtle hatchlings. Plenty of koi fish. Beautiful Bay to swim in and nice pool, too. Lots of empty hammocks to swing from while watching the beautiful surf and mountains in the background.
The accompanying picture is one of an interior hall of the Royal Orchid leading to guest rooms. (I almost got yanked for taking this pictures where only hotel guests are allowed.) This will give you some idea of the interior decor of the hotel and the quality of the furnishings. I was not able to view to any great degree any of the guest rooms, but I can guess they must be quite exquisite if the hotel lobby, and corridors are any indication!!
Mauna Lani Bay Hotel ~ Kohala Coast - Part I
A beauty among beauties, the Mauna Lani Hotel & Bungalows located on the Kohala Coast on the Big Island of Hawaii is for those who enjoy luxury and splendid surroundings. Though a hotel of this caliber is not normally in our budget range, we were able to stay here for five nights through a Disney Vacation Club exchange.
The Mauna Lani provides luxury and seclusion. When arriving, you are ushered to an area overlooking the hotel's soaring atrium lobby, served fresh tropical juice and registered there on a one-party basis. We were treated as royalty -- as if our last name was Windsor, Astor, Kennedy or Trump and the service throughout our stay was excellent and unobtrusive. This is the type of service and atmostphere the "regular" hotel clientele has come to expect. As I would go to the hotel lobby for complimentary morning coffee or tea, other guests rarely spoke and often seemed surprised to be encountered by another guest! (I wasn't quite sure how I felt about the generally unfriendly aspect of the other guests.)
Though we had no view, our room was light, airy, and sumptious. The decor left no doubt that you were in Hawaii, but was understatedly elegant. The room furniture was a mixture of rattan and teak including the sliding, louvered window shutters. There was a large bathroom suite where fluffy robes and slippers were provided as were Aveda bath products and any personal amenities you might require. (See following tips for room photos.)
There are two restaurants plus a poolside take-out restaurant on the premises, the most famous of which is "The Canoe House." This restaurant can be extremely pricey but in return you can expect top notch cuisine and a fabulous setting. My friend who once lived on the island, had a dinner table next to Broadway star, Michael Crawford, from "Phantom of the Opera" during one of her dinner visits at "The Canoe House." Upon your arrival you will find that on each side of the entrance there are koi ponds where these large and colorful fish await any nugget of food you wish to feed them. As a matter of fact, fish ponds can be found in the atrium lobby and all over the grounds of the Mauna Lani. Restoration of fish species and especially green turtles ("Hanu") is an important mission of this hotel! Every year a special day is designated as turtle release day and it is a fairly large event. Check the hotel's website for more information about this event.
Although the accompanying picture doesn't do it justice, the hotel atrium lobby is a tropical oasis in itself. The atrium, about five stories high, is filled with lush foliage and live palm trees. Walkways on the upper floors have natural light and a view to the lobby below. Waterfalls, ponds and streams fill the lobby with foot bridges crossing over the moving water and terraces allow you to glimpse into the rock-strewn rivulets which are home to many varieties of fish, including small sharks.
During the week guests are invited to a cocktail party in the lobby with Hawaiian muscians serenading the attendees. With the sounds of waterfalls as a backdrop, you start to relax and realize you really are in Hawaii. Complimentary morning coffee and tea are also served in the lobby.
The grounds of the hotel are varied and magnificent. Ancient etchings are found nearby on the grounds of the Mauna Lani's sister hotel, "The Orchid at Mauna Lani."
Mauna Lani Bay Hotel ~ Kohala Coast - Part II
Our room was large, with 2 double beds and a sitting area and balcony. The biggest disappointment was having no view! There were potted orchids in our room which I thought added a great deal to the Hawaiian ambience. All the furniture was light, blond wood or wicker. There was a very large closet which accommodated the belongings of all 4 of us.
The bathroom area was very large and was actually divided into a dressing area, a shower/bathtub area and privacy area. The Aveda toiletries were restocked each and every day along with huge fluffy towels. Bathrobes and slippers were also part of the pampering which this hotel bestows on its lucky guests. The bath area was actually my favorite part of our room and seemed like a private spa! Upon arriving at the hotel you will be given a beautiful flower lei. While I always heard that this was a traditional ceremony for arriving guests at the O'ahu airport, it didn't happen for us til we came to the Mauna Lani!
The Crown Jewel
Although we did not stay at this hotel, we did visit it. It is the even more expensive sister of the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel. This hotel exudes luxury and is a favorite of Japanese guests. The richly decorated, Asian decor is accented by expensive Asian antiques. There are several restaurants, gift shops and a fabulous pool (click on the accompanying picture). You can see from the photo how beautiful the grounds are around this hotel. The hotel is also situated on the most lovely beach making it a sublime perfect combination of natural beauty and man-made beauty. This hotel is luxurious and somewhat isolated on its own perfect beach. If you like a peaceful, beautiful setting and don't mind the costs, this is the perfect hotel for you. This is the type of hotel which strives to offer superb service, pampering, top-notch amenities and privacy.
If most of the guests at our hotel were "stand-offish", you have to wonder what they are like at this hotel !!
Pool Lover in Paradise
Although the ocean is only a short walk away, the Mauna Lani's pool is a fabulous alternative. One of the prettiest pool settings I've ever seen surrounding by swaying palms, greenways, and flowering foliage. There is also a shallow pool for children and good-size hot tub. The hotel spa is also just steps away off of the hotel lobby. A small, pool-side, open-air restaurant and bar is a great place to enjoy all the views and a tasty lunch too. The setting is simply fantastic!
Just beyond the pool, the Pacific Ocean carressing the beach and smoothes the remnants of black lava. The water remains shallow and clear for yards and yards and don't be surprised if you see "Hanu." This is a superb beach for snorkeling.
Lap of luxury
This was by far the most luxurious place I've ever stayed in, a tropical resort on 32 beach acres next to a golf course. It was absolutely beautiful and thanks to my traveling friend who is used to much more upscale accomodations than me.
We had a roomy one bedroom with twin beds so my son could sleep on the fold out couch in the living room. Our balcony gave us an absolutely beautiful view of the ocean. It was five star all the way. The Orchid had its own beach for snorkeling and playing in the sand, huge swimming pool, restaurants, spa (massages oceanside if you liked), gift and clothing shops, and on and on. I mentioned the wonderful big hot tub overlooking the ocean elsewhere. Staying here was truly living in the lap of luxury for a week. A one in a lifetime experience for someone used to living on a tight budget.
The Mauna Lani Bay Hotel
Our room at the Mauna Lani
Mauna Lani's Main Pool
Mauna Lani shorefront
Grocery shopping on the Kohala Coast
We'll be staying for a week in a condo in the Mauna Lani Resort on Kohala Coast and will need some groceries.
1. What's the nearest "full size" grocery store to the Kohala area?
2. What's the best way to GET THERE, WITHOUT A RENTAL CAR?
Mahalo for your help!
RE: Grocery shopping on the Kohala Coast
I think it's either north in Waimea or south of the airport, each about 20 miles from Mauna Lani. Sorry, you will need a rental car. Maybe someone else knows a closer store.
We stayed at the Mauna Lani a month ago. It was very isolated.
RE: Grocery shopping on the Kohala Coast
Full service groceries can be found up the hill in Waikoloa Village.
If you won't have a rental car, I'm sure the Mauna Lani can provide you with limo service.
Dare I ask why you are staying at the Mauna Lani w/o car AND wanting to buy groceries?
RE: Grocery shopping on the Kohala Coast
many thanks for the tip.
Sure you may ask, and the question is of course very justified.
Why would we go to an isolated place and then want to go grocery shopping.
The answer is that we:
1. Like the place and don't plan on doing a lot of sightseeing out of the resort.
2. Have no drivers licence. Sounds very odd for an american, I know. Since here in Switzerland, public transport really gets you anywhere, so there's no real need for a car if you don't live really far up in the mountains.
(...and the annual savings easily pay for the Mauna Lani.)
RE: Grocery shopping on the Kohala Coast
Definitely going to need a car where ever you go.
Waikoloa Village grocery store - Very expensive
There is a Costco in Kona (you need to belong to get in )
There are other grocery stores in the Kona area that have to be cheaper than Waikoloa Village.
There are some roadside markets (one near the Catholic church in Kona)fruit and vegetables (ask when it is open, I don't think its open all the time. Maybe you can make one big trip.
RE: RE: Grocery shopping on the Kohala Coast
Thank you all for your help!
After all, if found that there is the Hele On Bus for us poor non rental-car-drivers...