Review & Video: Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel from the ocean

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An amazing property fronting the pristine Pacific Ocean with miles of golden sand. Match that with the exemplary service levels the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is known for and you win all day.

I stayed in a wonderful ocean-view room and had one of the best margaritas at the Copper Bar. The amenities here are in another class and the location is truly one-of-a-kind.

There are many wonderful hotels on the Big Island but the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel stands out as one of the best, it even made my list of the best luxury hotels on the Big Island. Also spend some time reading my list of the best things to do on the Big Island so you can make the most out of your visit

View from the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel
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Unique Features

Upon arrival, you will receive welcome lei of kukui nut for men and orchid/plumeria for women. At the seated check-in, you will also receive a refreshing glass of passion guava juice and a cold washcloth to wash away your travels. If only every check-in experience was this sublime.

Checkin cold towel and passion orange juice at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel

I also received a welcome gift of homemade banana bread, coconut shortbread cookies, and a chocolate mac nut spread. It arrived about 10 minutes after I got to my room. The banana bread was fresh, moist, and delicious.

a plate with food on it

The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel also does not use single-use plastic bottles so no water bottles in the room, instead, they give you these two reusable water bottles to fill up at various stations around the hotel grounds. Very nice and great gifts or mementos.

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel branded water bottles and beach bag

You will also notice a nice beach bag hanging in your closet when you arrive, yours to use during your stay at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel AND to take home. Good memories.


Did I book this hotel using Marriott Bonvoy points, how many? hold on to your hat, 50k per night. If you are patient and have a flexible schedule there are some unique redemption deals to be had.

If you are going to pay direct I recommend you use a travel agent that can get you VIP perks AND Bonvoy points on the same reservation. Classic Travel is a part of the Marriott Luminous program which gives them access to unique benefits when booking for you.

I was able to use the Marriott Bonvoy mobile app to check in and for a late checkout request which was granted. I do find that the hotels with higher service levels respond much quicker to the chat. If you use the app for chat what has been your experience? Leave a comment if you dare.

If the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is a viable option for you, consider booking a room now.

Click Here For Recent Trip Advisor Reviews For The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel


I booked a Golf Vista king bedroom but got upgraded on the check-in to an ocean-view room that had some amazing views of the Pacific and daily sunset. It was at the end of a very long hall but the walk was through a koi pond, along views of the ocean, and really helped me wind down upon arrival.

The kings sized bed came with extra large pillows, almost full body size, and the sheets were heaven. A nice lounge chair and ottoman, where I wrote most of this article was situated near the patio doors for million-dollar views. Lots of space in the room so it didn’t feel cramped or stuffy along with 2 lounge chairs on the patio deck.

a room with a bed and a chair


A wonderful, deep, soaking tub with automatic shades was the focal point in the luxurious bathroom. The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel also provides L’Occitane En Provence bath products that take the experience up a notch.

a bathroom with a large mirror and sink
a white robe with orange trim

Deep piled rugs at each of the vanity sinks make for warm toes on a chilly morning, unless of course, you use the fluffy slippers provided and the signature robe.

I almost missed it but there is also a monogrammed Mauna Kea Beach Hotel umbrella in the closet in case your day is a rainy one. Nice touch because honestly, who packs an umbrella to Hawaii?

a black umbrella with an orange flower on it


I walked by the pool a couple of times and the chairs were always about 80% full, if you don’t want the sand in your toes this is a good option to lounge and stay cool. The jacuzzi was down for repairs while I was there, it was small and tucked away by the cabanas. There were also several cabanas near the pool and only a couple were being used.

a pool with palm trees and umbrellas


Hau Tree

I had lunch here while waiting for checkin and ordered a plantation iced tea and some fish tacos. The plantation iced tea was perfect for a sunny day but the tacos came in a flour tortilla which is a no go for me. A very tasty potato salad accompanied the meal and finished it off in style.

a sign on a sidewalk with trees and chairs

This is located on the beach level and you can order food here in your swim suit, covered in sand, and you will fit right in. Seating is open and the service was top notch with friendly staff.

Copper Bar

I made a reservation well in advance for the Copper Bar and I recommend you do as well. Sometimes when you are in a large resort it may feel like its empty or not quite full. A popular restaurant will bring everyone together, even those not staying there, and you will notice how busy it truly is.

The highlight of my meal was the Moonlight Mauna Kea Margarita, unique and top shelf. Those of you who read my posts know I always try to get some tacos and margaritas no matter where I am visiting. The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel margarita will make my list of best margaritas in Hawaii for sure.

a glass of pink drink with a lemon slice and sugar rim

An artful blend of berradura anejo tequila, lemon honey mix, muddled bluebuerries, and house made limoncello. Beautiful on presentation and delicious going down

I am not a big sushi fan but I did try the Volcano Roll which was fresh with a variety of flavors. Presentation was on point but I wondered about the mixing of wasabi and jalapeno peppers, thoughts on this?

a plate of sushi with chopsticks

Growing up in Hawaii I have a fondness for all types of noodles, yakisoba, pancit, fettuccine, and gon lo mein are some of my favorites. Seeing stir friend noodles on the menu immediately grabbed my attention and off I went, I was pleasantly suprised.

Filled with bok choy, crisp green beans, shiitake mushrooms, sweet onions, atsuage, and shrimp it was a bowl full of happiness. Give it try if you can, it looks small but it was quite filling.

a bowl of food on a table

Manta Restaurant

French pressed, 100% Kona Coffee, do it.

a plate of food on a table

The Manta restaurant had a great breakfast buffet laid out but I needed to take my calorie count down a few thousand from the past few days. I got the energy bowl instead which hit the spot and carried me to lunch. A delicious mix of scrambled eggs, avocado, arugula, heirloom tomatoes, basil, and brown rice.

a plate of food on a table


Located right below the check in level is a well equipped gym with views to the outside. I was able to enter late in the evening and get some shots when no one was using it. The equipment was clean and well maintained with a wide variety available.


A daily fee of $30 with onsite electric vehicle charging stations make for a reasonable parking fee, valet available.

Final Thoughts

My next stay was at the Hapuna Beach hotel which is right next door and I asked if they had a shuttle I could take over. I was traveling alone and only had a small carry on bag and let them know. The informed me that they do not have a shuttle but maybe if the bell desk wasn’t so busy they could work something out. Even if it didn’t work out the fact that they made the effort to try really highlights the level of service you will get at the Mauana Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection.

They do have a shuttle that runs in the evening from 5:15pm to 10:15pm but nothing during the day.

So did it work out? Check out my ride.

a golf cart parked in a driveway

Have you stayed here? Have a story or tip to share with fellow travelers? Leave a comment below.


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