HualalaiResort in Kona
Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is a landmark of luxury on Hawaii, the Big Island’s Kohala Coast. Laurance S. Rockefeller’s vision was that “Every Great Beach Deserves a Great Hotel.”
In 1965 developer and passionate conservationist Laurance S. Rockefeller envisioned Mauna Kea Resort as “a private estate offering a cross-cultural resort experience.” Through his team of experts, he quickly set about acquiring art objects from Asia, Oceania and the Pacific Rim to meet his goal.
So well did his vision come to life that some aspects of Mauna Kea Beach Hotel were designed to specifically enhance the works of art. Every hallway, every corner, is graced with something special and often surprising. In all, this priceless collection includes hundreds and hundreds of museum-quality pieces.
The expansive collection spotlights Pacific Rim culture and spirituality, from Ainu kimono and glittery Thai icons to Maori canoe prows, bronze Indian chests, and wooden carvings. Hawaiian culture is featured prominently through displays of traditional kapa (pounded bark) cloth, Hawaiian quilts, and kii (wooden images).
252 guestrooms & suites nestled along the natural white sand beach of Kauna’oa Bay, one of America’s best-ranked beaches by travel authorities. Renovations over the past several years have resulted in guestrooms with understated luxury in keeping with all that is timeless Mauna Kea.
“Open air lobby. Beautiful, quiet rooms. Fantastic view of the ocean. The beach is beautiful. The resort has every sort of beach equipment to use. The staff is helpful and friendly. We ate at the beach restaurant and one in the hotel plus room service. Everything we had was very good and promptly delivered. Enjoy the beautiful art and quilt displays.” TRIPADVISOR
Hotel View from the Barrel? Amazing shot by Ian Lindsey Photography.
While Oahu and Kauai are known for their north/south shore divide, the Big Island is an east/west side story. The youngest island in the chain, Hawaii is known as the Big Island, due to its size, which is nearly double that of the others combined and, being a live volcano, continues to grow. Lava flowing from Kilauea is continually shaping a new landscape on its’ way to the sea where it can both create future surf breaks or destroy existing ones. Whilst Oahu usually grabs the surf history limelight, Polynesian immigrants probably initiated surfing at Kealakekua Bay centuries ago, making the Big Island the birthplace of surfing and the aloha spirit. Crowds and localism do exist but remote spots requiring long hikes or 4WD access will be empty and conditions will be less competitive than most Hawaiian line-ups.
Hawaii, or the Big Island, is aptly named since it is larger than all the other islands in the Hawaiian chain put together and is also the biggest island in the USA. With 430km (270mi) of coastline there should be lots of opportunities to surf secluded breaks, but the reality is there are very few off the map surf breaks thanks to the volcanic geology of the island. When measured from the seafloor, Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain on the planet, so near vertical mountainsides are a feature along the NE Hamakua Coast, the North Kohala Coast, the South Kona Coast, the Kau Coast to the south and the SE Puna Coast where lava from Kilauea continues to flow down the mountainsides and into the sea. So far this awesome force of nature has only destroyed surf breaks, not created them and Drainpipes at Pohoiki is mourned by the older surfers who were lucky enough to ride it. There may be some phantom big wave reefs below sheer cliffs only accessible by boat and jet ski, but they are best left to the local tow crews, if they exist at all.
Hawaii’s winter swell supply is generally from the W-NW, but it should be noted that most NNW swells from 305° to 350° will suffer some serious filtering on their way to Big Island shores. Only expect 3-12ft (1-4m) from October to March, NNE being the best directions for Hilo and Hamakua, or W swells for Kohala and Kona. E-NE trades bring a nearly constant supply of E-NE 1-5ft (0.3-1.6m) windswells, best surfed during SW “kona” winds. From April to September, South Pacific SW swells bring a regular supply of 2-8ft (0.6-2.5m) waves to the Kona, Kau and Puna areas. July to October is the hot period for East Pacific hurricanes pushing 3-8ft (0.3-2.5m) E-SE swells to Puna and Hilo, but there are also rare SW winter swells from SW Pacific cyclones. Because of the high mountains, it’s offshore on both sides in the morning then Hamakua and Hilo get most of the onshore NE trades. Those trades fade a bit in winter when glassy days occur and “kona” south to westerly winds arrive courtesy of rogue low pressure cells known locally as “kona storms”. Tide times are different around the island, although tidal range never exceeds 3ft (1m) and be aware of the tide for some shallow spots where coral heads pop up at low. Water temperatures are lower so a springsuit may be needed during winter and spring.
( Source: Stormrider Surf Guides )