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Reviewed 6 November 2018 via mobile

I enjoyed the private beach club. The beach was not crowded. Very clean and not a lot of children running over top of you. You have to get there before 10 am to get a covered cabana chair. You can rent paddle boards and snorkel gear. Beautiful!!!

Date of stay: November 2018
Trip type: Travelled with friends
Thank pioneermastiffs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 October 2018

The Mauna Lani resort on the Kohala Coast of Hawaii had been one of our very favorite vacation resorts. It was a wonderful place in a great location with a true Aloha vibe and a very loyal clientele. The entrance welcomed you with lushly landscaped koi ponds. Once inside the lobby, waterfalls and streams traversed a magnificent lanai ultimately feeding lush salt water pools brimming with native fish and sea turtles. It was a magical place to sit and have cocktails. You may notice I use the past tense. Eight months earlier we made reservations to once again visit the Mauna Lani the last week in September of 2018. Shortly before leaving for our vacation, we learned that the resort was to begin undergoing a remodel a few days after we checked out. Upon further checking, we found that it was now owned by the Auberge Resorts Collection. We were at least grateful to visit the original Mauna Lani one more time. We could never have been prepared for what awaited us. The koi ponds were essentially empty. The lanai pools were devoid of all marine life and smelled of a lack of maintenance. The lanai bar had been permanently closed. Only one of the many shops remained opened, just for the purpose of returning items on consignment to their owners. As lights burned out across the property, they were not replaced. One morning I saw several large carts rumbling down the hall carrying dozens of irons and ironing boards and that were being removed from vacated guest rooms. The entire scene was reminiscent of a low end restaurant putting the chairs up on the tables while you were still eating your dinner. Then we heard about the future plans for the resort from the current employees who would also very soon be displaced. It would undergo a 18-month renovation during which time, all the ponds, waterfalls, streams, and saltwater pools would be demolished. Only the natural estuary pools that could not be touched by law, would remain. All the long-time guests we spoke with at breakfast were bracing for the worst and were going to start looking at other resorts for future trips. And it got worse. A couple we talked with who were regular guests were actually removed from their room along with other guests and relocated because the new owners wanted to try out a “new” paint theme on the front door and entryway. It was a frightening prison combination of gray, white, and black. How Aloha! To say the least we were shocked at this disrespect for guests. The real insult to injury was the day before we were to check out, when they decided to DRAIN THE POND IN FRONT OF THE BREAKFAST AREA. My wife and I looked at each other knowing that we would not be able to have breakfast there the next morning knowing how warmer than usual temperatures would affect the drained pond in 24 hours. I even talked to the head engineer who sheepishly agreed that it was a bad idea “but that’s what I was told to do”. And as predicted, we couldn’t even get off the elevator the next morning without almost retching from the stench coming off the drained pond. You could even smell it from the 5th floor! Needless to say we were forced to have breakfast elsewhere. Now you tell me why with a projected remodel time of 18 months, the new owners had to lose the shark pool, close the shops and bar, displace people from their rooms, and make breakfast in what was a beautiful place to dine an impossibility before the last guests even checked out? Clear disrespect and indifference! A complete 180 degrees from what the Mauna Lani had previously represented. I think it is important to point out that the staff has always been the best you could ask for and it was clear that they were still working to make your time at the Mauna Lani a special time. The manager at the front desk was more than sympathetic and adjusted our final bill (acknowledging that no one could have endured breakfast next to an “open sewer”). Binky, a server who had been at the Mauna Lani since it first opened, and our regular server when we visited, was so apologetic and simply shook her head in disbelief at what was being done while guests were still trying to enjoy their last days at the resort. If this is any indication of how the “New Mauna Lani” under the auspices of the Auberge Resorts Collection will value its guests, we, along with many whom we talked with, will be making future plans at the Mauna Kea, which, at least as of this writing, embraces what the original Mauna Lani was all about. My rating is based not on what this once 5-Star resort was, but what it had become during our stay.

Date of stay: September 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Service
8  Thank bvanlent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 October 2018

My wife and I just returned from spending 10 Wonderful nights at the absolutely beautiful resort. Our Ocean Front 4th floor room was spacious and very clean. Champagne and fresh fruit awaited our arrival. We did celebrate a 42nd anniversary while here. The ocean view was spectacular. A view of the Hualalai 8,271’ volcano was ever present. Off the beach was a clear view of Maui just 26 miles away. The ocean was user friendly and the old lava flow entry was great for snorkeling.

The resort had a wonderful open air outdoor seating morning breakfast buffet that was a very good valve when included as part of the room stay package. Limited menu lunch and dinner options however. There was onsite the Canoe restaurant that was clearly fine dining at a high end dining cost. We chose to travel off site within minutes to many dining options.

The staff were friendly and always willing to answer questions or assist our stay in any way possible.

It is well known they are closing October 1 for renovations until November 2019. We departed September 28th and was not affected by their pending closing. The resort has a beautiful atrium within with many ponds with soothing running water and mini waterfalls. A beautiful place. A tropical paradise that you hope for on a Hawaiian vacation.

I can only hope the new owners preserve the wonderful tropical resort atmosphere and create more dining choices throughout the resort. They lacked a open late bar and entertainment for the guests.

Anxious to return to the Newly Remodeled Resort.

Date of stay: September 2018
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank Palacerat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 October 2018

Mauna Lani Bay Hotel is now closed (as of 1 Oct 2018) for 14 months. My wife an I spent a week there just before the closing. I'm looking forward to it re-opening, and hoping that the extensive renovations they have planned keep the great ambience of the hotel. Renovations to the facility really are needed. The glass staircase-waterfall is dated, and was - at the time we visited - in need of serious cleaning. I suspect it will be taken out and replaced, hopefully with another perhaps more natural-looking water feature. Sadly, I've heard that most of the interior pools will be removed. That's too bad - the trees, plants, and pools are a nice distinguishing feature of the Mauna Lani.

We stayed in a Deluxe Ocean Front Room (641) with an excellent view of the shore and Mauna Loa. We heard that they may break out a couple of walls and create some ocean front suites. That would be nice. Our room was comfortable, and included amenities like a safe & refrigerator. We appreciated the dual sinks in the bathroom.

The pool and beach facilities were very good. It's especially nice that there are lots of beach mini-cabanas (twin lounge chairs with a tent cover), and that they are open to guests without reservations or extra fees. You don't find that at a lot of the competing hotels. Beach equipment like masks, fins, and snorkels was available. Snorkeling was fair - pretty sandy and cloudy water until you got quite a way out. We heard that the snorkeling was better in the next little bay a short walk to the south.

Food was generally very good. The breakfast buffet was top-notch. We had the Sunday Crab Buffet dinner, which had a great variety to seafood. We had a couple of dinners at the poolside Bay Terrace, and they were very tasty.

Service everywhere was excellent, and a lot of the hotel employees had been there for a long time. If people are happy with their jobs and the hotel management is good to their employees, it really shows in the service you get as a guest. Let's hope that the current employees return to enjoyable jobs when the hotel re-opens.

Room tip: Higher floors toward the beach have the best views.
Date of stay: September 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Marc_Majka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 September 2018

We booked our stay in March and arrived on September 21st to find out that the hotel was closing down for renovations the day after we were to leave. This had a very noticeable and negative impact on our experience.

The facility was well kept though obviously not new. The employees were very nice though the service was often very slow. The food varied depending upon the venue: The Canoe House was very good but very expensive, the pool bar was very mediocre, the breakfast buffet (included in our room rate) was generally pretty good (the egg bar chefs were both very good, funny and helpful).

What is unbelievable to me is that prior to the end of our stay the facility was already being shutdown to prepare for the construction. The Honu bar was shut down the day after we arrived, the indoor fish ponds were emptied a few days after we arrived so we were subjected to the foul smell of the drying muck at the bottom of the ponds for 3 or 4 days and then, the final touch, the fish ponds in front of the breakfast area were drained with the fish still in them! We were subjected to a bunch of fish flapping around on the drying bottom of the pond while trying to eat our breakfast. Unbelievable.

For the price we paid we received very poor consideration by the hotel. The employees seemed to be doing their best to stay positive and we were well treated by everyone we interacted with but the fact that the management disregarded the impact of their work on the guest's experience was very disappointing. We will find another location to return to on our next stay.

Room tip: For the best room, choose another hotel.
Date of stay: September 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank leogmichael
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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