“Every great beach deserves a great hotel.” And with a great hotel comes a great pool, right? According to The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, the quote is from Laurance S. Rockefeller, who founded the property in 1965. Did you have any idea that Rockefellers built hotels? It should come as no surprise that at the time it was built, it was the first hotel on the Kohala coast and the most expensive one ever built at that time, $15 million.

Over four decades later, following a $150 million repair and renovation in 2009, the Mauna Kea stands as a landmark of luxury on the Big Island’s golden Kohala Coast.

The vibe is low-key glam. There’s an old-school, historic feeing to the property. Not outdated, but not super contemporary either. Island breezes, palm trees swaying. Cool architecture. Here’s a shot of the room, taken by our “resident twenty-something hipster A” who you may remember from such posts as this and this.

Doncha love the textiles? If Don Draper took Megan on an exotic Hawaiian vacation, this is probably where they would stay.  The location, right in the perfect crescent of a cove, is stunning. It’s quiet and calm. Beautiful. Serene. The pool is no-nonsense, right by the beach.

It’s ten feet deep, which on the one hand gives it a slightly dated feel, and on the other, is a refreshing change. It’s round, lined with umbrellas. Classic.

On a December visit it wasn’t well heated. A bit chilly. Probably better for one of those super hot tropical heat kind of days than one when the trade winds were blowing into town.

There are a few cabanas available, with chaise lounges and plenty of shade. It’s no destination pool, but the resort itself is worth checking out.


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