The Mauna Lani Bay Hotel: Jewel of the Kohala Coast

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  • The Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows is a gleaming white edifice on a sweeping peninsula of land surrounded by one of the most glorious stretches of the Kohala Coast. The Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows is a gleaming white edifice on a sweeping peninsula of land surrounded by one of the most glorious stretches of the Kohala Coast. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • A flying wing of ocean front rooms at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel rises like a gleaming white arrowhead shaped obelisk overlooking the Pacific Ocean. A flying wing of ocean front rooms at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel rises like a gleaming white arrowhead shaped obelisk overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • The iconic 15th hole of the South Course at the Mauna Lay Bay Resort is a spectacular open ocean fairway between the golf tee and the green. The iconic 15th hole of the South Course at the Mauna Lay Bay Resort is a spectacular open ocean fairway between the golf tee and the green. Photo by: Mauna Lani Hotel
  • The Canoe House at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel is a revelation of fine dining, a true destination restaurant with a defiantly innovative take on Hawaiian Regional Cuisine. The Canoe House at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel is a revelation of fine dining, a true destination restaurant with a defiantly innovative take on Hawaiian Regional Cuisine. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • An explosion of Koi enthusiastically greets you along the walkway at the entrance to the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel An explosion of Koi enthusiastically greets you along the walkway at the entrance to the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • The lobby of the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel is a spectacular open air atrium that extends the length of the hotel. The lobby of the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel is a spectacular open air atrium that extends the length of the hotel. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • The interior atrium of the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel is a 7 story tropical wonder of lush gardens amidst a meandering stream. The interior atrium of the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel is a 7 story tropical wonder of lush gardens amidst a meandering stream. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • View from the Canoe House of the ocean front edifice of the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel, a commanding presence on the shores of Mauna Lani Bay.
View from the Canoe House of the ocean front edifice of the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel, a commanding presence on the shores of Mauna Lani Bay. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • A look across the terrace as the sun begins to set at the ocean side Canoe House restaurant at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel. A look across the terrace as the sun begins to set at the ocean side Canoe House restaurant at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • The ultra talented Grammy Award winning slack key guitarist Charles Brotman performs on the terrace at the Canoe House restaurant every weekend evening at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel. The ultra talented Grammy Award winning slack key guitarist Charles Brotman performs on the terrace at the Canoe House restaurant every weekend evening at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • Kampachi sashimi laid over a tower of tuna tartar on a medley of aioli stripes at the Canoe House  restaurant of the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel. Kampachi sashimi laid over a tower of tuna tartar on a medley of aioli stripes at the Canoe House restaurant of the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • Canoe House Chef de Cuisine Allen Hess holds one of his signature triumphs, goat tacos on pressed manapua buns with a daikon salsa, taking Hawaiian Regional Cuisine to new heights of innovation. Canoe House Chef de Cuisine Allen Hess holds one of his signature triumphs, goat tacos on pressed manapua buns with a daikon salsa, taking Hawaiian Regional Cuisine to new heights of innovation. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • The Canoe House is a culinary delight with a singularly lovely location along the oceanfront of the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel. The Canoe House is a culinary delight with a singularly lovely location along the oceanfront of the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • Executive Chef Clayton Arakawa has overseen a transformation of the Canoe House and the Bay Terrace restaurants with brilliant takes on Hawaiian Regional Cuisine. Executive Chef Clayton Arakawa has overseen a transformation of the Canoe House and the Bay Terrace restaurants with brilliant takes on Hawaiian Regional Cuisine. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • The view from the pool of the ultra-exclusive private bungalows at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows, where the very well heeled can retreat with spacious indulgence. The view from the pool of the ultra-exclusive private bungalows at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows, where the very well heeled can retreat with spacious indulgence. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • An ethereal moment of serenity in an oceanside hammock as the sun sets on the beach at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel. An ethereal moment of serenity in an oceanside hammock as the sun sets on the beach at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • The view from the 5th floor oceanfront terrace of the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel overlooking the beach and the Pacific Ocean at high tide. The view from the 5th floor oceanfront terrace of the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel overlooking the beach and the Pacific Ocean at high tide. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • The sun sets on the beach at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel as a guest sways gently in an oceanside  hammock strung between two palm trees. The sun sets on the beach at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel as a guest sways gently in an oceanside hammock strung between two palm trees. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • Michelle Kaulu Amaral dances an authentic traditional hula on the grassy lawn of the Bay Terrace restaurant at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel. Michelle Kaulu Amaral dances an authentic traditional hula on the grassy lawn of the Bay Terrace restaurant at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • A river of Koi swims frantically to greet you at the entrance of the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel A river of Koi swims frantically to greet you at the entrance of the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • A catamaran sits in the crystal blue waters of Mauna Lani Bay. A catamaran sits in the crystal blue waters of Mauna Lani Bay. Photo by: Alison Reynolds

LOS ANGELES, June 21, 2013 — The Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows www.maunalani.com is a space age tropical dream in a stunning ocean side oasis. It sits like a gleaming white edifice on a sweeping peninsula of land surrounded by one of the most glorious stretches of the Kohala Coast. With world class dining, an impeccable location and brilliant architecture, it becomes a destination unto itself in the search for the intimate Hawaiian getaway.

Now celebrating its 30th anniversary, the Mauna Lani was built in 1983 on sacred grounds reserved for the Hawaiian alii. It is surrounded by a string of ancient fish ponds that were the feeding grounds of native Hawaiians for hundreds of years.

This exquisite seaside area, known as Kalahuipua’a, was passed from descendants of John Parker of the famed Parker Ranch to a descendant of Hawaiian royalty, Francis H. I’i Brown. Brown oversaw the preservation and restoration of these remarkable, unique and still functional fishponds and the surrounding lands.

The hotel itself is an architectural marvel. Enter through gleaming koi ponds filled with a ravenously orange parade of dancing koi fish. A sweeping 7 story open air atrium filled with massive tropical plantings and a meandering stream extends the full length of the hotel.

At ocean side a flying wing of 84 rooms rises like a giant arrowhead shaped obelisk with 180 degree views of the ocean and the Kohala Coast around it. The visual effect is mesmerizing.


SEE RELATED: Along the Kohala Coast at The Four Seasons Hualalai


The Deluxe Ocean Front rooms on the fifth and sixth floor all have awesome balconies with ridiculously amazing views of the Pacific. Elegantly furnished, these 84 ocean front rooms are without question the best places to stay in the hotel itself. Private ocean side bungalows, with their own pools overlooking a golf fairway, provide spacious ultra-luxurious accommodations for the well heeled.

The ocean front is a soft curving beach on a point of land on Mauna Lani Bay lined with hammocks swung between palm trees. It is an idyllic moment in paradise, swaying to the breeze while suspended yards from the Pacific Ocean.

Sunrise and twilight are truly magical. Much time is spent simply gazing from the balcony at the beauty all around, punctuated by pounding ocean waves as palm trees rustle in silhouette below. 

Two spectacular 18-hole championship golf courses make the Mauna Lani a golfer’s delight. The iconic 15th hole on the South Course is a renowned open ocean of fairway between tee-off and green. A superb clubhouse restaurant, Huli Sue’s, is a great place for a casual lunch.  

Dinner at the ocean side Canoe House is a revelation of fine dining and haute cuisine under the steady and very original hand of Chef de Cuisine Allen Hess. Colossal shrimp on a bed of crunchy refried taro, mochi, and mexican kim chi is brilliant, innovative and delicious. Goat taco on pressed manapua buns with daikon salsa is simply exquisite, a completely original signature dish combining a local Filipino staple with a kind of kalua goat barbecue.

Seared Ono is almost an Ono sashimi, and a fabulous grilled Kampachi explodes with delicate flavors. Working alongside Executive Chef Clayton Arakawa, Chef Hess has taken Hawaiian Regional Cuisine to new heights, creating a genuinely outstanding destination restaurant that is defiantly innovative, a true gem.

A wonderful surprise is the appearance of Grammy award winning guitarist Charles Brotman performing Hawaiian slack key guitar throughout dinner, as he does every weekend. The founder of legendary Palm Records www.palmrecords.com  and an internationally recognized musician and producer, Charles is frequently referred to as the Eric Clapton of the slack key guitar.

The Bay Terrace is a lovely outdoor space for breakfast, but also gives the Canoe House a run for its money at dinner, specializing in sushi and seafood. Uni sashimi and Kona clams are delightful, Waimea skirt steak is fantastic, and fresh caught lobster in a black bean sauce is an especially amazing taste sensation. 

A combo performs Hawaiian music on the grass nearby while Michelle Kaulu Amaral dances an intricate authentic hula.  The sky is ablaze with a million stars. Breathe in the night air of paradise and embrace the dream that is Kalahuipua’a.

Joel Berliner is a travel writer based in Los Angeles.


This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Joel Berliner

Joel Berliner is a travel writer based in Los Angeles who has written for The Washington Times, Dallas Morning News, New York Newsday, Chicago Tribune, Honolulu Advertiser, El Paso Times, and the Minneapolis Star Tribune, among many other publications.  He is excited to be back where his travel writing career began, at The Washington Times, where along with his wife, photographer extraordinaire Alison Reynolds, they will travel the globe in order to bring you The Good Life.

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