Big Island Hotels

Nov 29th, 2001, 08:30 AM
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Big Island Hotels

Going to the Big Island in January and spending 4 nights on Kohala Coast (Mauna Kea, Mauna Lani or Hapuna Beach Prince) and then 3 nights near Volcano. Any comments on these hotels and suggestion for east coast? We could stay in Hilo when we do the east side as it is only 30mins. or so from Volcano. Want a place we cannot feel comfortable walking around in shorts and flip flops. Also would like to stay at nice, white sand beach on Kohala coast but am concerned that in winter, the coastline disappears from high this true?
Nov 29th, 2001, 08:44 AM
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For the best beaches stay at either the Mauna Kea or Hapuna Prince. The tide may be high and the surf up but the beach should be assessable most of the day. If you like to surf, body surf, or boogie board you could be in for a real treat! I body surfed / boogie boarded at Hapuna one Christmas and the swells were reaching 8 ft. That was a little unusual but certainly not unheard of. FYI- Waves are measured from the back so approximately these were reaching peaks of 16 ft. on the front side. It was an experience of a life time. PS: While you need to worry about undertow, the sand is bottom and you will not get cut like you would on a wave being produced over a coral reef bottom. Enjoy!!
Nov 29th, 2001, 09:19 AM
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Loved the Mauna Lani - beach slightly protected by rocks/lava out a ways, so it was calmer water. Service is amazing, and the CanoeHouse restaurant has got to be one of the most spectacular places to dine.
Nov 29th, 2001, 10:33 AM
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Just got back from B.I. - spent 4 nights at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and loved it. It is a bit older but had tons of character. We stayed in a beachfront room that was way down at the end of a separate wing - very quiet. The Pavillion restaurant is outstanding although quite pricey. They have a great beach that is fairly sheltered but still gets some surf.

Can't compare this hotel to any of the others, but we liked the architecture (the open air lobby is spectacular) and the food. The grounds are also very nice.

Be sure to drive north from Hilo when you are on the east side. The drive 20 miles or so up the coast is spectacular!
Nov 29th, 2001, 11:42 AM
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Take a look at 'Joyful Journeys' at Look for notes on 'Hawaii for less'.
Nov 29th, 2001, 12:10 PM
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Hi J:
I second the Mauna Lani - I absolutely loved the Canoe House - it received top 20 best restaurants in Hawaii from Gourmet a few years ago (doesn't seem like a big deal until you discover it was one of a few mentioned from the Big Island! - we have very fond memories of the place and famous chefs do cook there on occasion as an aside). I could snorkel right off shore at the resort which was great. As far as Volcano is concerned, stay in Volcano itself not Hilo. We did and stayed at the Volacno House (it was a little on the 'rustic' side after coming from Mauni Lani) but the best part was the hotel was located inside the park and overlooked one of the dormant craters (from the 1960s that still had steam coming up). My husband thought this was the greatest thing. Also, you'll want to take your car to the Chain of Craters Road a few hours before dusk and walk out to the Kiluana where there is lava flow (check with the park - it was flowing when we were there). Bring water, flashlights and really sturdy shoes as it really is like walking on glass and be careful not to lose your balance. IT's a fun hike - I'm assuming you both are in good shape, no medical problems and not pregnant else forgo. The best is seeing the lava at night and knowing that you are only a 5 min drive back to your hotel. Hilo was a nice little town - we toured around for the afternoon but that's it - not worth staying there. There are other places to stay in Volcano and a really nice restaurant at one of the inns (I don't remember the name but the lodge has a fireplace with pennies on the wall). It was cozy - also bring a sweater at night - it was quite chilly!
Nov 29th, 2001, 02:13 PM
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I staied at both Hapuna Prince and Orchid at Muana Lani and also visited some others. Yes, the beach at Hapuna Beach Prince is great, but the hotel is large, and not as cozy as the Orchid (whose beach is somewhat small). You can access Hapuna Beach on your own, even if you are not staying at the hotel; it's about 15 minute drive from the Orchid.
Orchid is first class, and nice in every respect.

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