When Laurance Rockefeller founded the Mauna Kea (“white mountain”) Beach Hotel in 1965, he said, “Every great beach deserves a great hotel.” The resort is situated on a white crescent beach, with the Mauna Kea volcano on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other, and has played host to such guests as Jackie Kennedy and Jeanne Moreau. After an earthquake in 2006, the hotel underwent a $150 million dollar renovation and reopened in 2008. The resort has a modern design inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright. Its Japanese shibumi structures are home to more than 1,600 pieces of original Asian art collected by Laurance Rockefeller. As guests arrive, they receive a fresh flower lei, refreshments, and even welcome gifts just for keiki (children.) After playing the links on the 18-hole championship Rees Jones-designed golf course, guests can unwind with a treatment at the Mauna Kea Spa by Mandara.
Facilities & Amenities
The 18-hole championship Mauna Kea golf course was originally designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr., in the 1960s, and recently underwent a restoration helmed by his son, Rees Jones. The course was inaugurated with a match between Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, and Jack Nicklaus. Its dramatic highlight is the Third Hole, where waves crash against the shoreline nearby.
Tennis courts and a fitness center are on-site, and guests lounging at the beach and pool can make use of the property’s amenities and water sports options. Resort activities include tours of the Asian and Pacific art collected by Laurance Rockefeller, garden tours, Hawaiian culture classes, and stargazing. For the younger set, the Keiki Club, for ages five to 12 years old, provides diversions including beach activities and Hawaiian arts and crafts.
Boutiques and galleries are situated along koi ponds, and guests can watch manta rays “dance” in a nightly ritual. Wedding and event space is available, and guests have access to the sister resort of Hapuna Beach Hotel via a free shuttle service.
Hair and Beauty
Rooms & Dining
The resort’s 258 guest rooms and suites have a crisp, clean design created by Barry Design Associates, with cloud white and bold sunset colors and sleek wood furnishings. The private lanais provide views of the ocean or the golf courses. Bathrooms are stocked with L’Occitane toiletries and large tubs. High-tech features include wide-screen HD TVs, wireless Internet access, and bedside iPod dock with clock radio.
All guests have access to the Plumeria Beach Club Lounge, which provides a full-service concierge, an Internet station for a nominal fee, and complimentary snacks and soft drinks. The Mountain View Suite Kohala and the Ocean View Suite Hualalai both have two private lanais, a separate living area, a large master bedroom with separate shower and tub, and double vanities.
The luxurious Presidential Suites are furnished with three private lanais, a dining area with a table, and sitting area with a sectional sofa, as well as living areas and master bedrooms with separate shower and tub facilities.
On Tuesday nights, guests can experience a traditional Hawaiian luau complete with roasted k?lua pig, poi, hula lessons, and a fire-knife dance. On Saturday nights al fresco dining is available at the resort’s weekly clambake.
Monettes, founded by the Monette brothers of the Flagstaff House Restaurant in Boulder, Colorado, features American French cuisine with an island twist. A “temptation table” and champagne are the highlights of the resort’s Sunday brunch buffet. Manta serves up a breakfast buffet, and at night dinner is prepared in an exhibition kitchen and paired with one of 48 wines.
After hitting the links, Number 3 provides golfers with gourmet pizza, tap drinks, and smoothies. Casual options are available beachside at Hau Tree, and guests can mingle nightly at Copper Terrace while enjoying appetizers (pupus) and drinks, including the bar’s signature beverage.
In-room dining has been a resort staple since the Rockefeller days and may include breakfast on the lanai with a personal toaster or a candlelight dinner for two.
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