Beaches, Hotels & Resorts, United States

Discover Why It’s ‘Almost’ All about the Beach at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel

September 1, 2018

I had heard it was one of the best beaches on the Big Island, and a few locals told me it’s the top beach in all of Hawaii. When I walked through the open-air lobby at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, and onto the powdery sand at crescent-shaped Kauna’oa Bay, I understood why it’s all about the beach at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel.

the beach at Mauna kea beach Hotel

Photo Credit Mauna Kea Beach Hotel

The Beach at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel

During our vacation at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, we spent every day at the beach. Early morning swims in the calm, blue-hued Pacific Ocean. Then onto the boogie boards as the swell picked up. Finally, sunset cocktails at Hau Tree followed by manta ray watching from the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel oceanside path.

Body surfing beach at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel

Laurance S. Rockefeller selected the best beach-front property for the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel – his premier resort in Hawaii – during a helicopter tour of all of the Hawaiian Islands. Once Mr. Rockefeller saw the white-sand beach and swam in crescent-shaped Kauna’oa Bay, he felt inspired to build a hotel. The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel was designed to reflect the Big Island’s natural environment – trade winds blow through the open-air structure providing natural cooling, blue-tiles throughout the lobby lead to the similarly hued Pacific Ocean, and the hotel exterior is painted the same color as the sand on nearby Kauna‘oa Beach.

Beyond the Beach – More Reasons to Stay at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel 

The beach is a compelling reason to stay at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, but it’s not the only one. Recognized by leading travel authorities including Conde Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure as one of the top hotels in the world, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel has many other desirable attributes.

Design and Decor

Integrated into the natural surroundings, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel’s design and decor is a mix of mid-century modern and Hawaiian Island tropical. It’s timeless. And soothing to the senses with ocean blue tones, koi-filled water features, and splashes of brilliant orange by way of Mauna Kea’s five-petaled plumeria logo.

Ocean beach view Mauna Kea Beach Hotel

Photo Credit Mauna Kea Beach Hotel


Dining options at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel are plentiful and diverse. Choose from ocean and sunset views at open-air Manta, toes-in-the-sand dining at Hau Tree, the iconic Copper Bar with nightly hula, or Number 3 located at the first tea of the 18-hole championship Mauna Kea Golf Course.

Golf, Tennis, & Culture

Mauna Kea Golf Course

The beach is irresistible at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, and so is the on-site golf course. I didn’t play the resort’s award-winning 18-hole course because I was too busy training for a triathlon. However, I’ve run and cycled by a few of the oceanfront holes – the course is spectacular.

Golf course Mauna Kea Beach Hotel

Photo Credit Mauna Kea Beach Hotel

Created in 1964 by Robert Trent Jones Sr. and christened by Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Gary Player in December 1964, the Mauna Kea Golf Course is one of the top courses in Hawaii.

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel Seaside Tennis Club

You don’t have to wander too far from the beach at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel for a game of tennis. Recognized as one of the top ten tennis resorts in the world, the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel Seaside Tennis Club offers 11 oceanside courts.

tennis by the beach at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel

Guests at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel can sign-up for lessons, daily clinics, and a game-matching service. Tennis equipment is available for rent or purchase at the pro shop.

Sunset tennis beach at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel

Photo Credit Mauna Kea Beach Hotel

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel Cultural Experiences

Opportunities to learn about Hawaii’s rich culture through hula lessons, lei making, and the ukulele are available to Mauna Kea Beach Hotel guests.

Hawaii best beach Mauna Kea Beach Hotel

The beach at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is a big draw, but it’s not the only reason to choose this Big Island resort for your next vacation. And if you play golf or tennis, visit the spa, or relax in a hammock surrounded by tropical plantings, the beach at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel isn’t far away.

Travel Tips – Why It’s ‘Almost’ All about the Beach at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel

  • Mauna Kea Beach Hotel offers a traditional luau – I’ve heard it’s fantastic. I hope to experience the music, dancing, and dining when we return to the Big Island of Hawaii.
  • If you plan to stay at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel as a family, look for the Mauna Kea Family Promotion. This offer provides 50% off a 2nd room. Click here for more details. Another money-saving offer is the 7th night free plus breakfast.
  • We often fly Alaska or Hawaiian Airlines to the Big Island. Read about flying Alaska Airlines Premium Economy and Hawaiian Airlines First Class.
  • You may also be interested in this article on a few of the best beach products for your next vacation.
  • If you plan to visit the Hawaiian Islands during Christmas, you might appreciate these tips on spending Christmas in Hawaii.

Have you been to the beach at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel on Hawaii’s Big Island?


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  • Reply Janice September 1, 2018 at 7:05 pm

    You have described a beautiful resort and I am looking forward to my visit.
    The beach will be my favourite spot❤️

  • Reply Jen Joslin September 2, 2018 at 9:10 pm

    Mauna Kea Beach Hotel looks gorgeous! I love the story of how Rockefeller found the property and that the design is meant to blend in with the surroundings. The beach does look lovely, and it sounds like there’s plenty to do. I would definitely want to go to the traditional luau too!

  • Reply Danik September 3, 2018 at 12:01 am

    Wow! What a beautiful hotel and it looks so spotless. Even though the Mauna Kea hotel looks amazing, the beach sells it for me. Im in need of a good beach destination and I would seriously consider staying here.

  • Reply Carrie September 3, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    I can see the appeal for the resort crowd — that beach is stunning and I’d love to have a view out of my room of the ocean like that! The interior being decorated with jungle-esque plants is a nice touch. I’m more of a camping-on-the-beach gal so won’t be staying here anytime soon, unfortunately — looks like it’s waaaaay out of my price range.

  • Reply Lisa September 4, 2018 at 6:25 am

    Wow! This hotel looks absolutely stunning, so clean and crisp. I especially love the mid-century modern mixed with Hawaiian Island tropical feel as well as the koi-filled water features. The beach looks SO BEAUTIFUL! I’d love to stay here.

  • Reply Sandy N Vyjay September 4, 2018 at 7:17 am

    The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel looks as if it has been made for the sea. It seems so beautifully integrated with the Ocean and the sands of the beach. It is nice to note that the hotel provides all luxuries and amenities without compromising the natural environment and in fact, its design is in harmony with it.

  • Reply Nisha September 4, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    What a lovely beach. If it weren’t so difficult to get there I would have put it in my list. But then who knows! 😉 😉

  • Reply Ferna Mae Fernandez September 4, 2018 at 8:28 pm

    This hotel the Mauna Kea beach hotel has a lot to offer. I agree about the design and decors on how it reflects well to the nature. What interests me the most is the beach, that stunning, secluded beach that is good for ourselves.. no crowd, no busy vendors.. that’s all what a relaxation is meant for.

  • Reply Indrani September 5, 2018 at 2:27 am

    Absolutely fantastic and luxurious. I wouldn’t want to step out. The beaches around are equally tempting though. Perfect place to halt and holiday.

  • Reply Vicky and Buddy September 5, 2018 at 7:32 am

    Yup, this sounds like the perfect hotel! I’d probably spend all day at the beach and then enjoy a cocktail at sunset. I think it’d be fun to take a lei making class too. I didn’t realize that was a thing!

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