Reimagined Mauna Lani Elevates the Accommodation and Dining Experience on the Kohala Coast
Once considered part of Kona in terms of Big Island geography, the Kohala Coast just north carves out its own distinct vacation philosophy, a load led by Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection. The property recently underwent a $ 200 million renovation that focused on brightening and energizing the rooms, upgrading the spa, and adding two swimming pools, both family and adult-sized, to the options. water. Perhaps the most impressive upgrade of all is the redesign of Canoe House, the property’s main restaurant, which hits all the right culinary marks while balancing luxury and casual comfort, formality and kid-friendly – and there is no better view, as it sits right on the beach.
The rooms are either on the pool / lawn side or on the north or is quieter side, and since the building is diagonal to the ocean, you can get good views from any angle. While the resort vibe is somewhat groovy for adults, kids will also be happy around the pool and kids’ club, where they can play under supervision and learn about Hawaiian culture and history. Danny Akaka, Jr., the kahu hanai (Keeper of Knowledge), is the heart and soul of the property, leading educational tours of the resort’s ancient fish ponds and telling stories with guests of all ages.
There are 295 rooms, 38 suites, and five private bungalows on 32 acres, and in some ways the resort feels like a private island given its distance from the main road.
But you can easily walk, cycle, or take a Moke (small electric) car around the neighborhood to Puako Petrogylyph Archaeological Reserve, where you can take a gentle hike to see petroglyphs dating back to AD 1200, or you head the other way towards the fish ponds, one of which you can dip your feet into for a “fish pedicure”.
Back at the hotel, the rooms are peaceful and well appointed, minimalist in style with natural elements anchoring the functional aspects. The renovation was led by New York-based Meyer Davis.
A centerpiece of the resort experience is the pool, which has a large sundeck and full food and beverage service, as well as three oceanfront cabanas. There’s plenty of space for families looking for activities and a huge lawn leading down to the beach where kids run and play, plus a separate adult pool for a more meditative experience. And there’s an ocean beach activity center where you can rent gear and sign up for snorkeling, canoeing, and more.
Mauna Lani’s fine dining restaurant, Canoe House, is a tough booking these days, so book well in advance for what is one of the best dining experiences on the entire island. Start with the perfectly curated wine list to achieve the perfect pairing for one of Chef Matt Raso’s elegantly simple fish dishes. General Manager Yuka Raso seamlessly runs the front of the house.
Even a few days, as this magical resort will lighten your load, rejuvenate and recharge you and your family, and deepen your connection with this beautiful part of the Big Island of Hawaii.