The Legacy

In 1960, a worldly man took action on his belief that there is much the ancient East can teach the West. Laurance S. Rockefeller envisioned a marriage of cultures in the most idyllic place on earth, Hawaii.

A worldly man took action

Rockefeller sought out the crescent beach at Kauna‘oa Bay along the Kohala Coast of Hawaii Island. He proceeded to carve out an oasis from a hillside of raw a‘a, lava rock. Architects Skidmore, Owings & Merrill drafted a design of clean, simple Mid Century modern. Their work follows the topography with a cascading pair of stepped-back, open-air galleries. Mauna Kea invites the gardens in and her blue-tiled lobby brings the ocean to the threshold of the porte-cochere.

50th Anniversary logo

Beautiful as the day she opened. Mauna Kea's mid-century modern architecture remains timeless a half century later.

July 24, 2015 will be the hotel’s 50th Anniversary, just beyond the mid-point of a yearlong celebration of fitting events. Return to in the upcoming months to synchronize your visit to an event of your interest – golf or tennis, beach activities, culinary specialties, art and design.

Laurance S. Rockefeller

Laurance S. Rockefeller

“The design should follow the natural contours of the land, incorporate lava rock and in every possible way make the hotel invisible.”

Laurance S. Rockefeller

As the resort neared completion, Rockefeller took a motor launch off shore. He looked back to the bay, the beach and his hotel-to-be with snow-capped Mauna Kea volcano, the backdrop. The building was too bright. He ordered a repaint to harmonize with the surround. No man can outdo nature; mustn’t even try.

Our orange blossom is a figment of architects’ inspiration. An early site visit to Kauna‘oa Bay left them with indelible memories of plumeria along the shore and spectacular orange sunsets. They married them into a symbol universally recognized by all Hawaii nei – those who know and love the Islands.

Another star of Rockefeller’s team, Robert Trent Jones, Sr., took to the task of seamlessly blending in 18 fairways and greens of Mauna Kea Golf Course. His greatest leap of brush strokes came at the 3rd hole with an over-water carry from tee to green. The ensuing debate over the most beautiful hole in the world touched off on March 6, 1964 with a nationally televised match of Big Three Golf – Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus. The debate continues to this day.

“Mr. Rockefeller, if you allow me to build a golf course, here, this’ll be the most beautiful hole in the world.”

Robert Trent Jones, Sr., at the 3rd hole site
3rd hole
50th Anniversary logo

Mauna Kea ProAm Tournament

Fifty great years of Mauna Kea golf. To mark the occasion, we invite you to leave a divot during our celebratory Mauna Kea ProAm tournament this December. Learn more »

The Collection

Mauna Kea curators had nearly a half-century head start on what has since become The Pacific Century. Imagine their findings back then as they combed Asia and Oceania for art.

Look, but DO TOUCH

By design, Mauna Kea is far more gracious, open beach house than museum. The collection of better than 1,600 pieces roams freely – a surprise around the corner, a what’s that at the end of the hall or a Hawaiian quilt of a thousand meticulous stitches mounted just outside your door. It does a soul good to stroll among the genuine.

Red pot

The Luxury

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel opened July 24, 1965. Her accommodations were the epitome of luxury for the time. But time passes and the luxurious must keep up.

What was, is AND THEN SOME

Believing that less is indeed more, everywhere possible three rooms have been re-mastered to become two. Today nearly one-third of the complement features a full length bath inclusive of spacious ante-room with separate vanity areas fronting the personal spa. Inside, the soaking tub and rain-shower are bathed in natural light. Beyond is a totally private lanai with single chaise lounge reserved for whoever of you takes the plunge, first.

Main Tower
Mauna Kea Resort Schematic

The beachfront wing, just barefoot steps from the sand and surf, has a surprise. The curtains have been raised on an entirely new guest experience including a picture-window view from the tub through the room to the ocean.

Resort historians have noted, “It’s impossible to stay indoors at the Mauna Kea.” Today, that can be said of the new baths as well.

Beachfront Wing

The Style

Mauna Kea is true to its time yet timeless. Pan-Pacific authentic meet Mid Century modern, sleek and teak with tangerine to pop ocean blue. The exuberance of pattern is the Islands.

Mauna Kea joie de vivre carries to the dining venues. Executive Chef Lentz’s tastes range from Classical French to Italian, Californian, Southern Regional, Pacific Rim and Macrobiotic. Expect a Hawaii twist and emphasis on farm to table.

We never forget that our guests are here to let go their own particular world and breath deep another. And so they return, again and again, in waves of generations.

“At the Mauna Kea, life is always serene but never tame.”

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  • Pool
  • Pool Closeup
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Tori Richard logo

What was, is ever so stylish

Fashions shown in this introduction to Mauna Kea were provided by our long time friend, Hawaii’s leading house, Tori Richard. True to the Mauna Kea, each ensemble is drawn from their 1960s archives.

Visit Tori Richard

Fall Into Winter Program

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel welcomes you to enjoy every 4th night free including complimentary daily breakfast buffet for two, and up to $1000 resort credits for dining, golf and more – credits based on room category. This program is available for stays October 1 through December 19, 2014, inclusive, with no resort fees. Some restrictions apply.

Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel similarly offers every 4th night free with breakfast buffets and up to $750 resort credits for stays October 1 through December 22, 2014, inclusive, with no resort fees. Some restrictions apply.

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel

The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is a legend twice over – for the hotel itself and for its magnificent golf course - the 18-hole Mauna Kea Golf Course. Sporting amenities also include the 11-court Mauna Kea Seaside Tennis Club.

Hapuna Beach Hotel logo

Sister property of Mauna Kea, Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel is nestled in the bluffs just above the white sands of Hapuna Beach, named the “Best Beach in America.” The hotel offers everything for a relaxing and rejuvenating escape including the Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay designed 18-hole Hapuna Golf Course.

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Prince Preferred

It stands that a hotel that has retained the loyalty of generations of guests would have an exceptional loyalty program. Prince Preferred members are first to learn about special programs and rewards. Enroll now


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