by Marcia B.
My husband and I fly to Hawai'i at least twice a year. We have stayed at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel on the Big Island a few times, and it's become one of our favorites of all the islands. It is in an amazing location about 30 minutes north of the Kona airport, right along the coast with a magnificent beach. The views are genuinely breathtaking.
Mauna Kea is a beautiful hotel and in a beautiful location. We love spreading out in the grassy area below the hotel and behind the beach. It’s a perfect place to relax out of the sun under the shade of the pretty palm trees. One night we actually watched manta rays swimming – very interesting. They are attracted to the lights that are shining right off shore from the hotel.
The hotel itself is wonderful. The rooms have all the details that can make or break a trip. The beds and pillows are soft, the air conditioning is quiet, water pressure is perfect, etc. The in-room dining options are also very high quality (which for me is super-important.) The staff is warm and friendly, and the concierge service was great. We didn't plan activities in advance, but we'd stop in and talk with them most days, and they arranged everything for us.
The only things that I considered less than perfect was that the bar closed pretty early, so we couldn't go there after being out most nights. Also, the pool is gorgeous but it gets rather crowded and it was hard to find lounge chairs a few times. But all in all, I will most likely choose this hotel first on future trips to the Big Island. The price is very reasonable, and you get far more than you would expect for that range. I highly recommend this hotel!
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