Mauna Kea Beach Hotel

The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, located on the sunny Kohala Coast of the Big Island of Hawaii, stands as a testament to luxury, elegance, and timeless beauty. Renowned for its stunning location, exceptional architecture, and rich history, the hotel offers guests a unique blend of Hawaiian hospitality and modern amenities.

Historical Background

The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel was the brainchild of Laurance S. Rockefeller, who envisioned creating a resort that harmonized with the natural beauty of its surroundings. Opened in 1965, it was the first resort built on the Big Island and set a new standard for luxury in the hospitality industry. Rockefeller’s vision was to create a place where guests could experience the tranquility and beauty of Hawaii in a setting that respected and enhanced the natural environment.

Architecture and Design

The hotel was designed by architect Edward Charles Bassett of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, one of the leading architectural firms of the time. The design of the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is a masterful blend of modernist principles and traditional Hawaiian elements. The use of open spaces, natural light, and native materials creates an atmosphere that is both elegant and inviting. The centerpiece of the hotel is the open-air lobby, which offers breathtaking views of Kauna‘oa Bay and sets the tone for the entire property.


The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel features 252 luxurious guest rooms and suites, each thoughtfully designed to provide comfort and serenity. The rooms are spacious and elegantly furnished, with private lanais offering stunning views of the ocean, gardens, or golf course. Modern amenities such as flat-screen TVs, high-speed internet, and luxurious bath products ensure that guests enjoy the utmost comfort during their stay.


Dining at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is a culinary delight, with several on-site restaurants offering a variety of dining experiences. Manta, the hotel's signature restaurant, offers contemporary island cuisine with a focus on fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Guests can enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner with spectacular ocean views. The Copper Bar, with its casual yet sophisticated atmosphere, is the perfect place to unwind with a cocktail and enjoy live music. Additionally, the hotel's weekly Luau and Clambake events provide guests with an opportunity to experience traditional Hawaiian cuisine and culture.

Recreation and Activities

The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is renowned for its world-class amenities and recreational activities. The Mauna Kea Golf Course, designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr., is considered one of the best golf courses in the world. The course offers challenging play and stunning ocean views, making it a favorite among golf enthusiasts.

For those seeking relaxation, the Mauna Kea Beach is one of the finest beaches in Hawaii. Its crescent-shaped white sand beach and crystal-clear waters provide the perfect setting for swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing. The hotel also offers a variety of water sports, including kayaking, paddleboarding, and sailing.

The Seaside Tennis Club at Mauna Kea is another highlight, featuring 11 oceanfront courts and professional instruction for players of all levels. Additionally, the hotel offers a fully equipped fitness center, yoga classes, and a variety of wellness programs.

Cultural and Environmental Stewardship

The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is committed to preserving and celebrating the rich cultural heritage of Hawaii. The hotel's art collection, curated by Rockefeller himself, includes over 1,600 pieces of Pacific and Asian art, displayed throughout the property. Guests can participate in cultural activities such as lei making, hula lessons, and Hawaiian language classes.

In terms of environmental stewardship, the hotel has implemented numerous sustainability initiatives, including energy-efficient practices, waste reduction programs, and support for local conservation efforts. The hotel's dedication to preserving the natural beauty of its surroundings ensures that future generations can continue to enjoy the pristine environment of the Kohala Coast.

The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is more than just a luxury resort; it is a destination that captures the essence of Hawaii. Its rich history, stunning architecture, luxurious accommodations, and commitment to cultural and environmental stewardship make it a truly unique and unforgettable place to stay. Whether you are seeking adventure, relaxation, or a deeper connection with the Hawaiian culture, the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel offers an experience that is second to none.

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