January 2, 2009.
That’s when the long-shuttered Mauna Kea Beach Hotel on Hawaii’s Big Island will reopen. Reservations are being taken now.
The 43-year-old luxury resort shut down in October 2006 after an earthquake caused extensive structural damage and safety concerns. More than $150 million has since been poured into the venerable Kohala Coast resort’s renovation.
The improvements leave us anxious to reserve a room.
First off, there are fewer guest rooms to reserve—258 instead of 310. They’re larger and completely refurbished from beds to baths to amenities. A handful of guest rooms even have private bath lanais with views of the ocean or golf course.
The Mauna Kea’s common areas and restaurants were redesigned. New retail shops and a spa and fitness center are planned. Front desk check-in will be replaced by seated, personalized check-in for all guests—these days, an expected amenity at luxury resorts of the Mauna Kea’s caliber.
Even the Mauna Kea Golf Course—closed since May 2007—has been given a makeover for an inaugural tee off in December.
The view from the hotel, overlooking Kauna’oa Beach, one of the Big Island’s best white sand expanses? Couldn’t be improved. It was and is still stunning.
To keep up with progress, consult Mauna Kea Beach resort’s new preview Web site here. Call (866) 977-4589 to make a reservation.
A gala grand opening weekend for the resort is being planned for March 26, 27 & 28. Packages and amenities will be announced soon.