Mauna Kea or Mauna Lani?

Jun 30th, 2005, 03:08 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
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Mauna Kea or Mauna Lani?

Would like to hear what my Fodor Friends think of these hotels for couple in their 60's. Looking for warm, peaceful (but not stuffy) atmosphere. Also nice beach where surf won't be too rough for swimming in early February. I'm leaning towards Mauna Kea, which is about $150 a night less expensive. Heard that the TV's were really small though, and not sure hubby would like that! Is Mauna Lani worth the extra $$$?
Barbara5353 is offline  
Jun 30th, 2005, 04:46 PM
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The beach at the Mauna Kea is more beautiful and people will tell you it's better, but if you don't like rough surf you won't like the Mauna Kea beach any time, especially winter! There is a nice calm beach at the Mauna Lani Point you can walk to easily from the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel if you want to really escape the waves. I have also heard guests say the tv's are small at the Mauna Kea. And, even though I like it, it has an old money atmosphere that can seem stuffy. $150 a night is alot more to pay, of course. And I don't think you can beat the setting of the Mauna Kea. But the Canoe House restaurant at the Mauna Lani is still one of the best on the island. Of course if you choose to stay at the Mauna Kea you can still dine at the Canoe House. The other thing to keep in mind is that at the Mauna Lani you are next door to the Fairmont Orchid (my other favorite calm beach and another possibility to consider with rates that should be alot better than the Mauna Kea).
tartangal is offline  
Jun 30th, 2005, 04:58 PM
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I always thought the beach at the Mauna Kea was supposed to be a great swimming and snrokeling beach. Is that not true?
iamq is offline  
Jun 30th, 2005, 05:30 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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The water at the Mauna Kea was dead calm at the end of September last year, it was wonderful, great for swimming and snorkeling. The Kona/Kohala waters are known for being calm, though I don't really know what they're like in the winter.

I stayed at the Mauna Kea and had an awesome room...I don't remember the TV being especially small, but how big are you looking for? I guess you should ask the hotel. Although in that case, you would have to ask both hotels how big the TVs are...maybe the ML's will turn out to be smaller.

Here is my Big Island trip report where I talk in detail about the Mauna Kea:

I don't know if I would describe the MK as "stuffy". It's not like fancy-Ritz-Carlton stuffy at all. It's got this relaxing, Asian-inspired atmosphere and the employees were really friendly.

turn_it_on is offline  
Jun 30th, 2005, 07:00 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 3,960
tartangal: You must have hit bad luck when you were at the MK. Its waters are normally not rough, even in winter, except when there's an offshore storm kicking up the surf.

Barbara: At least in my opinion, if the rates you're getting at the Mauna Kea are $150/night less expensive, the decision is a no-brainer. February is high season for golfers in Hawaii, and the Mauna Lani can get crowded, depending on how many tournaments/conventions/etc are there.

Bill: Yes, the MK has a better beach and snorkeling than the ML.
fdecarlo is offline  
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