By Narbeh Minassian
Hawaii’s Kohala Coast attracts tourists from around the world, which, in my opinion, is one of the key signs to a world-class holiday destination. A world class destination needs a world class resort and the Kohala Coast certainly has this in the shape of Mauna Kea Beach Hotel.
It is difficult to go wrong on such a spotless beach, and this resort is no exception. It is set adjacent to a crescent beach and clear blue waters; take advantage of this by reserving one of the hotel’s sun-beds, or by jumping on a jet ski to chop through the sunny waters. There may not be a better place to wake up to the Pacific Ocean and sea breeze than right here at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. In addition to the beach, the resort is near to Waimea, where you will find panolo (cowboy country) and green pastures. Just forty minutes away you will find Kailua-Kona and the home of arguably Hawaii’s finest shopping and dining area. While there, pay a visit to some of the islands most historic spots, such as Hulihee Palace and Mokuaikaua Church.
The Hotel itself offers the best that luxury could provide. Complete with 258 guestrooms and suites, a salon, and a spa, there is not much you can’t do. The more active visitors may enjoy the eleven tennis courts or the gym, while those looking to relax can make the most of the swimming, should they ever want a change of scenery from the beach. The hotel is, however, perhaps most famous for its golf course, which is up to USGA standards after being renovated recently. In addition, every Sunday there is a Luau on the beach with a traditional brunch and clambake.
The “new” Mauna Kea Beach Hotel restaurants are designed with a creative combination of cultured international cuisine and fresh, local Kohala Coast ingredients prepared with “lokomaika‘i” (sharing with kindness from within). With a mix of steadfast tradition and new attitude, their fine dining restaurants will satisfy your dinner-time without you needing to leave the resort, and whether you’re barefoot on the beach or all dressed up with someplace wonderful to go. Perhaps the standout restaurant is the new golf clubhouse and restaurant, Number 3, created by John Hara Associates and Pro Shop by Procraft Heritage Creations. Be sure to try out Manta & Pavilion Wine Bar, which has an impressive exhibition kitchen and extensive wine program.
With a resort like this, it is little wonder why Kohala Coast attracts the whole world. In a way, this resort creates a new world of its own in which to enjoy the pleasures of one of Hawaii’s most popular beaches. In every sense of the term, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is world class. •
Mauna Kea Beach Hotel
62-100 Kaunaoa Drive
Hapuna Beach, HI 96743