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Mauna Kea Hotel Beach

The Big Island, HI
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Mauna Kea Hotel Beach, The Big Island Hawaii


Hawaii's Kohala coast contains some of the world's most luxurious and beautiful resorts. The good thing for you is that you don't have to stay there to benefit from them! Hawaii's laws guarantee beach access for everyone, so you can often park at the hotels in designated areas, and enjoy a stroll along the hotel's lush grounds.
At Mauna Kea hotel you can park near the left side of the beach, and dive in for a fantastic swim. The beach is a long crescent of lovely yellow sand. There are often small waves for kids to bodyboard on. The bouncy waves make for a relaxing swim. Aaah, perfection! The right (north) side of the beach, or the area out near the reef is not recommended as it can be rough.
At night, there couldn't be a more romantic spot. A short path with railing looks out over the golden curve of beach and the pale green water. Stop along the path for a kiss under the moonlight. Just near the path is a lookout with a large floodlight. The floodlight accentuates the gorgeous colors of the water, and manta rays are attracted to the light. Most nights you can watch manta rays glide serenely by just a few feet below. It's a great view!
The Mauna Kea has an exceptional collection of ancient eastern art and sculpture scattered throughout the hotel. The friendly concierge at the desk will give you a brochure detailing the art if you ask about it.
If you're hungry and have found out that restaurants in Kohala are around $30 a plate, try Cafe Pesto. It's located at ugly Kawaihae Boat Harbor, but inside it's surprisingly pretty and filled with some lovely island art. The food is not memorable, but the atmosphere is nice, and the service is friendly, and you can't beat the price! FYI: The restaurant is indoors and air-conditioned.
Another beach to check out in this area is Waialae Beach, which, on calm days is just glorious, and has some great snorkeling. Big shade trees stretching over the sand make this a nice place to take kids without the risk of sunburn.


Photo Gallery

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The Buddha statue- one of the many art treasures at the Mauna Kea hotel.
The Buddha statue- one of the many art treasures at the Mauna Kea hotel.
The lookout where manta rays can be viewed at night.
The lookout where manta rays can be viewed at night.


Mauna Kea Hotel is located at 62-100 Mauna Kea Beach Drive, Waimea HI 96743, call (808) 882-7222. 
Thirty miles north of Kailua-Kona. Take Hwy 19 and turn onto Mauna Kea Beach Drive near the 68 mile marker.
There are only 30 parking spots for the public so arrive early for a swim.
To get to Cafe Pesto, head North on Hwy 19, then take Hwy 270 to the west. Soon you come to Kawaihae Harbor. It is before the 3 mile marker. Cafe Pesto is in the little shopping center with the convenience store, on the lower level.

Cafe Pesto, 61-3665 Hwy 270, Kawaihae HI 96743, call (808) 882-1071.

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Visitor Ratings

Overall Visitor Rating:

04/18/2011 11:59
Most wonderful place to stay and restaurant and to see Manda Rays at night.

07/30/2010 10:54
I miss the ocean! Thanks for updates on facebook and photos that make me salivate!

10/22/2009 20:32

Last Updated Tue, 19 Feb 2013 00:58:42 GMT