Best Hotels in Hawaii
This serene resort enjoys a vast, oceanfront setting embraced by lava rock and sandy beaches.
Even if you weren't familiar with this resort's longstanding reputation for quality service and unforgettable surroundings, you would be impressed the minute you arrived. Thirty oceanfront acres include three miles of shoreline dotted with bays and inlets, the dramatic atrium lobby is filled with fish tanks and a waterfall, and the staff greets guests with a welcome lei and freshly squeezed tropical juice.
This Kohala Coast hotel has an iconic, arrow-shaped design that makes the most of the scenic oceanfront location. Most of the 336 guest rooms and suites have an ocean view, and the Ocean Front Rooms are just steps from the beach. These coveted digs enjoy a prime location for watching the sunset and passing whales in season. The 4,000-square-foot, indoor/outdoor Bungalows each comes with two master bedrooms, a large hydrotherapy tub, a shower that extends into a private garden, and a refreshing al fresco living space. Guests staying here also enjoy their very own private heated plunge pool and outdoor Jacuzzi.
Inspired by Hawaii's geographic beauty, from the snowy peaks of Mauna Kea to the flowing lava of Kilauea Crater, Mauna Lani Spa resembles a Hawaiian village with thatched outdoor hale (huts) for treatments. The unique open-air Lava Sauna Experience is the perfect way to discover the healing powers of the surroundings as black volcanic clay is applied to the body, followed by signature Cocanilla body oil — a fresh coconut and vanilla blend. Also popular is the Lava Watsu Experience, a passive form of aquatic body work that gently moves your body through warm water in graceful, fluid movements. This relaxing meditative treatment is designed to bring total tranquility as the therapist supports, stretches and massages you. The design of Mauna Lani Spa's Watsu pool replicates the experience of being inside a lava tube, which in the Hawaiian culture symbolizes the umbilical cord to Mother Earth.
Matching the luxury of the spa is the resort's top-of-the-line dining, which includes CanoeHouse. With its magnificent ocean and sunset views, it operates under the expertise of chef de cuisine Allan Nagun. Nagun's menu showcases the best of fresh, local, sustainable ingredients. Ocean Bar & Grill is a more casual poolside experience, serving dishes like burgers, peel 'n eat shrimp and salads. As for where to start the day, Bay Terrace wows with its crunchy coconut French toast (with to-die-for ginger syrup), famous breakfast tacos and Sunday Crab Feast buffet.
For recreation, guests can play golf on one of the resort's two 18-hole, championship courses, or enjoy the many free activities Mauna Lani has to offer, including lei making classes, hula and ukulele lessons, historic tours of the grounds and snorkeling. Bicycle use is free and ideal for exploring the area, while poolside and beachside cabanas make the perfect setting to sit and sip a tropical Hawaiian cocktail.
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