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Mauna Kea Beach Hotel Reviews

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel

Image via Flickr

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is an iconic property of Hawaii. While the beautiful, tropical island of Hawaii is currently filled with stunning resorts, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel was the first ever of its kind on the island. It has since continued to grow and renovate while always honoring its roots by focusing on friendly and helpful customer service. Is it worth the cost though?While booking your next unforgettable vacation you may be wondering where you should save a bit of money. Is a luxury hotel worth the extra cost, or should you go the more budget-friendly route and find a great hostel? Both hotels and hostels have their disadvantages and it is really up to each individual person to decide what aspects of each accommodation style is important to them.Hotels provide private and large rooms with several amenities and services available at all times, plus most have several activities to explore and do without having to leave the resort’s property.On the other side, hostels may have fewer amenities available, however, hostels are a much more affordable option for those looking to save money or who wish to use their extra cash for local attractions. Hostels are also great for social travelers who like to talk and interact with other fellow travelers.

What Is Mauna Kea Beach Hotel?

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is a luxury hotel located on a secluded, 60-acre property on the beautiful Kohala Coast. Built in 1965 by Laurance S. Rockefeller, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel was the first resort ever opened in Hawaii. The hotel’s property boasts a private white sand beach and a coastal golf course that guests can explore and enjoy during their stay. While The Mauna Kea Hotel is a luxury hotel, it is also considered one of the most kid-friendly resorts on the island as well.

Product Specs

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel Front View

Image via Wikimedia

Upon arrival at Mauna Kea Beach, guests are greeted with flower leis and are escorted to their private rooms. Inside their rooms, guests can enjoy a private balcony, flat screen TVs, L’Occitane bath amenities, and complimentary wireless internet.

Outside the private rooms, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel’s property boasts a complimentary fitness center, Bocce Ball Courts, and multiple water sports and activities on the beach. The property also houses seven dining options, and the hotel offers in-room and private dining upon request.


The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel offers several room options, the most affordable being their golf view guest room at around $565 per night and the most expensive option being their beachfront deluxe suite at around $2145 per night.

How It Compares

We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare.

  • Hostel Fish
  • HI Marin Headlands
  • HostelHilo Bay Hostel

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel


The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel fills its 60-acre property with tons of things for guests to see and do. For athletic guests, there is a complimentary fitness center that offers daily yoga and fitness classes, bocce ball courts, 11 seaside tennis courts, and several ocean sports and activity options on the beach.

Guests looking to relax may enjoy some time in one of the padded chaise lounges and cabanas or a trip to the hotel’s spa that offers skincare services, massages, body treatments, and salon services. There is also shopping available in the resort with six available shops on-site.

For families, there are cultural learning activities and kids programs. For those learning to learn more about the Hawaiian culture, the resort offers an art tour where guests can view hundreds of art objects from the Pacific and Asia right in the hotel. For those who need some time away from their little ones, Mauna Key Beach Hotel offers the Mauna Kea Keiki Club adventures. The club takes care of children ages 5-12 for full or half day adventures that include shell hunting, hiking, and finding treasures at the Kauna’oa Bay.

The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel also prides itself in its customer service, so guests can enjoy lobby hostesses who greet you with fresh flower leis and escort you to your room upon arrival, nightly turn-down service, and Hapuna Laundry at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel where guests can get any of their clothes cleaned or pressed such as wedding gowns and tuxedos.

Every room at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel has a stunning view of either the golf course, the mountains or the ocean. Inside each room guests can enjoy their own private balcony, a built-in entertainment center with a flat screen TV, complimentary wireless internet, mini-refrigerators that are stocked with bottles of water daily, and luxurious L’Occitane bath amenities.

Aside from in-room dining and private dining, there are seven on-site dining options at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. For lighter meals inside, guests can enjoy a quick bite and a coffee at the Copper Bar Café or head over to Mantra for their daily breakfast buffet. While outside guests can enjoy Number 3 out on the golf course, Hau Tree by the beach, or Mauna Kea Luau for a great luau style dinner. Lastly, guests can enjoy Clambake for a seafood buffet dinner to end the night.

While there is a lot to explore and enjoy in the Mauna Key Beach Hotel property, there isn’t much to walk to outside its walls. However, a sixteen minute drive down the shore and you can find yourself at the Waikoloa Anchialine Pond Preservation Area to take in the natural beauty the island has to offer.


  • Luxury amenities
  • Family friendly hotel
  • Private beach and golf course


  • Not many different types of cuisine options
  • Pool is smaller than ones that can be found at other luxury resorts
  • Far from local attractions

Hostel Fish

Hostel Fish is a boutique hostel found in downtown Denver, Colorado. Hostel Fish boasts that it is a “hostel of backpackers, by backpackers, and for backpackers”. Combining high-end amenities with the communal style living space that hostels are known for, Hostel Fish is perfect for travelers who are on a budget but looking for a modern and clean place to stay.

Hostel Fish offers both private rooms and shared bunk rooms. Private rooms are perfect for those who are looking for more privacy and their own bathrooms while bunk rooms are more budget friendly and offer a more authentic hostel experience.

A private suite can be booked for around $155 per night, while the price for beds in bunk rooms are based on how many people are in one room and range from around $40 per night to around $57 per night.

Hostel Fish has someone at their front desk and on security 24 hours a day. This ensures that while at the hostel guests can still feel safe inside. Hostel Fish also offers free iPad use with internet access, a guest lounge and bar, a communal kitchen, daily housekeeping, and group tours for guests to explore downtown Denver and enjoy pub crawls.

Guests in private rooms can enjoy queen or king-size beds, private bathrooms, and top floor views of downtown Denver.

Guests in shared bunk rooms will be in shared rooms of four to ten people and can find communal bathrooms down the hall.

Both private and shared rooms come with complimentary WiFi, charging stations by every bed, and free coffee provided daily.

Other than free coffee daily, Hostel Fish does not seem to offer any food or drink options.

Located right in downtown Denver, Hostel Fish is near all the best local restaurants and bars. Guests of the hostel can also walk to Coors Field to watch the Colorado Rockies play baseball or over to the Marquis Theatre to catch a live musical performance.


  • Near tons of restaurants and bars
  • Near Coors Field
  • Modern amenities
  • 24-hour front desk and security


  • No dining offerings inside the hostel
  • Limited private room options

HI Marin Headlands Hostel

HI Marin Headlands hostel is right outside the busy urban landscape of San Francisco and nestles in peaceful nature. Located in a historic building, guests have the option of a private or dorm style room.

HI Marin Headlands Hostel offers both private and dorm style rooms. Private rooms can be booked from around $95 to around $115 per night, while a bed in a shared room can be booked for around $33 per night.

Based on the hostel’s website, they do not seem to offer many services. It seems the only service available is the check-in desk that is available from 4:00 PM to 11:00 PM.

Inside their rooms guests can enjoy wireless internet and lockers for storage. Outside their rooms within the hostel guests can enjoy the library, bicycle storage, a shop with basic necessities, a laundry facility, a communal kitchen, a patio, and a games room with table tennis and a pool table.

The hostel does not appear to offer any dining options to guests, however guests can utilize the communal kitchen or the outdoor grill.

HI Marin Headlands Hostel is perfect for travelers who want to get out of San Francisco and see what nature has to offer. The hostel is near several great attractions such as the Point Bonita lighthouse, the nation’s only officially restored Nike missile site, Mount Tamalpais State Park, Muir Woods and several local beaches.


  • Near several of the local attractions
  • Several rooming options
  • Secluded location


  • No activities offered by the hostel
  • No dining options inside the hostel

Hilo Bay Hostel

The Hilo Bay Hostel was built in 1913 in Hilo, Hawaii and has since been beautifully restored to offer guests a blend vintage charm with modern amenities.

Shared dorms are separated by gender and can be booked for around $40 a night, while private rooms can be booked for around $100 per night.

The only service Hilo Bay Hostel seems to offer is free coffee and tea daily.

Guests in each room of the hostel can utilize the communal kitchen to make meals, free lockers for safe storage, and the coin operated washers and dryers for laundry while also enjoying free wireless internet.

The only food or drinks offering the hostel has is free coffee and tea daily.

Located on Big Island, The Hilo Bay Hostel is near several sites to see and activities to do.

Some nearby must-see sites include Hawaii Volcano National Park where visitors can hike through lava or adventure through a lava tube and HiloBoiling Pots where visitors can see big water pools that are always bubbling. Guests of The Hilo Bay Hostel can also visit Mauna Kea Observatory, which is a 3,200-meter-high summit that houses the world’s largest observatory for optical and infrared astronomy.

Guests of the hostel can also visit Dahana Ranch, the only Native Hawaiian family owned ranch on Big Island where visitors can go horseback riding or head to the beach to learn how to surf.

Lastly, there is also the Kona Le’a Plantation where visitors can explore the coffee farm and get quality coffee that is “As Fresh as it Gets”.


  • Several nearby attractions
  • Free coffee or tea daily
  • Modern amenities


  • While the hostel was recently restored, the furnishings are still rather dated
  • No dining options within the hostel other than the communal kitchen
  • Limited room options
  • No services provided by the hostel


Beach Front of Mauna Kea

Image via Flickr

While there are several great hostels around the country that offer a variety of positive aspects, hotels are hard to beat. Hostels give guests closer access to local attractions and must-see sights, but if amenities or services are important to you while on your relaxing vacation in Hawaii, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is a great option.

While it is a short drive away from local attractions, with its multiple on-site restaurants, abundance of luxury amenities, lengthy menu of services available, and private beach and golf course access it is hard to deny that The Mauna Hotel Beach Hotel gives guests a level of convenience and comfort that hostels just cannot do.

Based on all the accommodations we have looked at in this list, we are giving The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel a 4-Star rating for its luxury amenities and variety of activities to explore and enjoy. However, no matter where you stay for your next vacation, it is sure to be unforgettable.

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