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Reviewed 2 May 2021

This is one of the best beaches in the world and we have stayed at the Maura Kea hotel many times over the years. This trip, as well as a week in March, has forced us to find other accommodations on the Big Island. It is sad. The hotel was crowded the first week we were there. Housekeeping was only every other day (every third day in March!) We were told this was due to COVID. I can see reducing staff if there are fewer guests but you should always have proper staff to provide daily housekeeping. The hotel looks to be dirty and in disrepair. Dirty elevators (when working) and a toilet at the beach that was out of service for the entire two weeks we were there are examples of the problems but there were many more. The chair situation at the beach has been pointed out in other reviews but suffice to say if you didn't get up early and put a towel down you didn’t get a chair on the beach. Since the Beach is their biggest asset you would think they would try to make the experience perfect. In addition to the fight for chairs, we found there were cleanliness issues as well. Straws, cups, and old lemon garnish pieces were often seen in the sand. The chairs were left out overnight and were stained with bird droppings and spilled food.

The hotel staff was friendly and accommodating for the most part. The manager seemed "put out" when we asked to speak to her. I overheard her speaking to another guest about an issue and her tone was not what it should have been for good customer relations. Even when you cannot satisfy a customer request you can show empathy and find some way to help the customer come away with a positive feeling about your efforts or solution.

Many of the hotels in the area were half the price ( we paid $1,100+ per night) and were much cleaner and although the Maura Kea beach is second to none in the world, if you have to fight for a chair it takes the fun away!

Hopefully, Marriott will upgrade this property soon. The beach is a jewel.

Date of stay: April 2021
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank DennyMcNally
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mauna Kea Resort, Agency / Consultant at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection, responded to this reviewResponded 4 May 2021

Aloha and mahalo for visiting us to enjoy the beautiful property. We do apologize for the inconvenience but have brought this to the attention of our hotel management team. Rest assured we will take all actions necessary to ensure all procedures are in place to best accommodate both our hotel guests and visitors alike. Thank you for your time and appreciate you bringing this to our attention as an area for improvement. We hope you visit us again so we may have the opportunity to restore your confidence in the resort!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 May 2021

The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel manages to have a cool retro feel with a lot of old Asian art yet feels modern. Not sure how they did that but it was a most enjoyable stay. Our room overlooked the ocean and was very comfortable. The staff from the front desk, to parking to the mini-store employees were all super helpful and friendly. The only downside was the layout of the hotel. Our room was far from the front and was a long walk to get to the front and about a 10-minute walk to the parking lot but at least our room was quiet. Otherwise, it was a great place and I recommend it highly.

Room tip: Ocean front is always best!
Date of stay: March 2021
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank rschiller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mauna Kea Resort, Agency / Consultant at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection, responded to this reviewResponded 4 May 2021

We are delighted you enjoyed your stay including the accommodations and the service provided by our staff. We hope your travels bring you back to the island again soon. Aloha!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 April 2021

This resort was part of our first post-COVID major trip and we were trying to stay at mostly self-sufficient resorts. The location is stunning on an amazing bay with a great beach. The bay is slightly sheltered so the water is mostly calm. The pool at the hotel is rather small for a resort of this size, but the expansive and comfortable beach more than make up for it. The resort grounds are beautiful and well kept. The buildings themselves are wonderful midcentury structures, open air (like most resorts in Hawaii) and well kept and offer a little Hawaii nostalgia. The staff is wonderful and another highlight of the resort. The food at the hotel was great too, a little pricey but not unexpected at a resort of this level.

The main issue we had (and why I gave 4 vs 5 stars) is the beach lounge chair situation. As the beach (opposed to the pool) is the main relaxation section of the hotel, most guests will hang out at the beach if they aren't off site on other activities. While the resort offers plenty of chairs, we found that multiple guests would go down very early each morning (7 AM or earlier) to claim large sections of beach chairs with towels and would not return for 3-4 hours, or ever. Or only a small fraction of a party would actually show up. We generally went down (and stayed there) early so observed this first hand. We would see the repeat offenders staking claim to these chairs and then not return for hours. By 8 AM, I would say almost 70% of the chairs were "taken" (but mostly empty). As a reference, the resort was about 90% occupied when we were there. We would then notice couples or smaller groups trickle in and struggle to find seats because of all the towels holding chairs. This was a bit of a stressful situation because we would worry about being pushed out of decent chairs if we wanted to sleep in a bit or eat. I did address this with the front desk as an issue they should probably deal with more directly, and they confessed they had heard the complaint before but didn't really seem too bothered to change much about it. At other comparable resorts or beach/pool chair heavy places, staff needs to secure chairs for you or will clear the chairs after 1 hour or something like that. Overall, the situation should be more equitable in a true first-come, first-serve style. These larger groups/families that show up at 10 AM shouldn't be rewarded with good seats because one person went down at 7 AM to claim them and then they took their time to get down there (or never came at all).

Would probably return but hope that this would be rectified in the meantime.

Date of stay: April 2021
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank wlfmn77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mauna Kea Resort, Agency / Consultant at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection, responded to this reviewResponded 27 April 2021

Aloha and Mahalo for choosing the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection for your recent travels along the Kohala Coast. Commitment to service and guest satisfaction is a main focus and we are delighted to hear you enjoyed your stay.
We appreciate you sharing your comments regarding the beach chairs which will be shared with the hotel management team. Thank you again for taking the time to provide your feedback! We hope to welcome you back again soon!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 April 2021 via mobile

I’ve just returned from 10 days. Seemed a bit long. I love the history of the building. I love the art collection placed throughout the common areas. The view and beach are incredible. We had an ocean front room on the 5th floor. Balcony is really large and we had dinner with friends on it. Amazing sunsets.

They handled Covid well. Limited housekeeping was not a bother to me. Things seemed cleaned regularly. Everyone complied with masks, etc.

Now for some improvements.....
although they are COVID compliant, I was really disappointed in how the beach lounge chairs were in 3 tight rows with inches between them. There is ample room to spread out the lounge chairs. The hotel was sold out and every beach chair was covered in a towel by 7am. NOT COOL. I spent $15,000 and had to rent folding chairs and an umbrella from Bob’s Snorkel and set up at the end of the beach with the locals.

I was also disappointed in the reef. (Clearly not entirely hotels fault but..) Entirely bleached and so few fish. The hotel only sold traditional sunscreen products and they should not only sell but require any swimmers to only apply reef approved sunscreens.

The food was decent. Nothing was amazing. We ended up eating at other hotel restaurants as well and all seemed to have a similar menu.

We did the Manta Ray experience. For people who have never seen something like this, I suppose it’s impressive to be so close. Saying that, the group the hotel uses to take people are great. But the hotel needs to restrict other guests from
going out on their own at that time. There were too many people around those Mantas. It was sort of unpleasant actually. AND truth be told, shining a bright light into the water and dumping small fish to unnaturally attract the mantas and then have the small approved group of 6 people be bombarded by another 20 people is not great for people or Mantas.

Overall it was a beautiful relaxing vacation. The staff were all great.

Date of stay: April 2021
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
2  Thank lalberti1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mauna Kea Resort, Agency / Consultant at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection, responded to this reviewResponded 21 April 2021

We are delighted to hear you enjoyed the beautiful art collection throughout the resort. It is always our pleasure to serve our guests with friendly and helpful service. We are sorry to see your comments regarding your beach and dining experience. We appreciate you bringing this to our attention as an area for improvement and hope to provide you with better experiences in the future. We hope to have an opportunity to welcome you once again. Mahalo!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 April 2021

We just returned from a five-day trip to Mauna Kea along with four days next door at Hapuna. This was about our tenth trip to Mauna Kea during the last several years as it's been our favorite place on earth. My wife loves the tennis facilities and my daughter and I love to play on the beach. The overall location and beach are probably one of the top three in Hawaii.

The rooms and resort are starting to show their age and neglect. Hallways were dirty, we weren't afforded daily maid service despite the high room prices. Management is using Covid as an excuse to save money on maid services and maintaining the property. Some of the framed quilt artwork had cockroaches stuck in them our entire stay.

The Hau Tree and Manta for breakfast both took about an hour a day for the food to come out. The servers were short-staffed and overworked. Guests were going down at 4:30 in the morning to save beach chairs so there weren't any for those of us who tried to play by the rules and show class.
Anyway, this resort used to be known for its aloha spirit or service which has fallen by the wayside and is no more.

Date of stay: April 2021
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Davern1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mauna Kea Resort, Agency / Consultant at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection, responded to this reviewResponded 13 April 2021

Ensuring our guests enjoy their stay is our number one priority and we apologize that we fell short. We are truly saddened to hear about your recent experience as that is not the level of service that we strive to provide to our valued guests. We appreciate you sharing your comments regarding the condition of the resort which will be shared with the hotel management team. We will continue to work closely with the engineering and housekeeping team to ensure the proper upkeep in the guestrooms and throughout the property. We hope you visit us again so we may have the opportunity to restore your confidence in the resort!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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