Big Island of Hawaii Guide
Credit: Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection

10 Things That Make Mauna Lani One of the Most Renowned Resorts on the Big Island

Dive Into the Spirit of Aloha at This Tropical Oasis

The islands are calling, and you must go! Trust us, Kona-Kohala is the destination of the summer, and Mauna Lani is where you need to be to immerse yourself in the spirit of aloha. You’ll check in, but we can’t guarantee you’ll want to check out of this seaside sanctuary. Secluded coves, five-course dining experiences and yacht excursions are enough to have you cancel that flight back. Whether it’s seeing the coast by helicopter or private charter, the views will take your breath away. Slam your laptop shut and explore beyond the reef. Here is our guide for a week of wonder at Mauna Lani. Best Big Island Hawaii Resorts

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Canoe Snorkel Beyond the Reef

Best Big Island Hawaii Resorts
Credit: Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection

Dive into the Wonderland-like waters of the Kohala coast. The turquoise waters are more tempting than a siren’s call! Beyond the reef lies vibrant marine life waiting to be explored. All you have to do is show up to Mauna Lani’s Surf Shack at 8 or 10 a.m. for the journey of this Big Island resort’s canoe and snorkel tour that encapsulates everything about the aloha spiritwarm hospitality and an unquenchable thirst for adventure. Reservations are required!


Indulge at the Mauna Lani Culinary Classic

One of the best ways to immerse yourself in a new culture is through native foods. Taste your way through the islands and beyond over Labor Day weekend at Mauna Lani’s second annual Culinary Classic. This four-day food festival attracts foodie’s from near and far and highlights James Beard Award-winning chefs like Andrew Zimmern and Nancy Silverton and sommeliers—it’s any food-lover’s dream! Toast on the sunny shores and dine under the breezy palms in celebration of Hawai’i’s rich agricultural roots. The Mauna Lani Culinary Classic also works in partnership with nonprofit, Māla`ai: The Culinary Garden of Waimea Middle School.


Soak Up the Sun at the Mauna Lani Beach Club

You can find us in the club—the Mauna Lani Beach Club, that is! Be the first to lounge in Mauna Lani’s reimagined oceanfront playground that opens this summer. Designed for ultimate bliss, this beachfront oasis is decked out with plush sunbeds and even has separate areas for families. Relax beneath a shady umbrella as the waves roll up to shore. Nestled along the Kohala Coast, this Hawai’i beach club is perfectly positioned for paddleboarding and grants access to spectacular coral reefs.


Play Food Critic at CanoeHouse

Credit: Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection

Locals and vacationers alike love the CanoeHouse for its picturesque beachside bistro setting and Japanese-Paniolo-inspired fare that you’ll dream about again and again. Dishes such as the kanpachi warayaki and steamed clam nabe by Executive Chef Mark Libunao are legendary, and the Kahuku corn ribs play a large role in the menu’s claim to fame. Book a table on Friday, because as the sun sets, this is the perfect place for a golden hour photo op. We highly recommend a Lani Tai to sip on while you watch the sky change colors.

Local Insight: Guests staying in the Residences at Mauna Lani also have the option to host tasting dinners in the comfort of their personal rooms.


Play Bartender on a Beyond the Barrel: Rum Tour + Have Lunch at Kuleana Rum Works

Cheers to the drink of the Island! Kuleana Rum comes in 35 varieties, which are all made on the island. On a Beyond the Barrel: Rum Tour, you’ll get to see where the magic happens. Roam through acres of sugarcane surrounded by the sweet scent of sugar flowers. Rum experts will share all about the farm-to-glass process, and guests will sip their way through a myriad of flavors before lunch. To complete the experience, play mixologist and create your own version of a Lani Tai with macadamia syrup, orange liqueur and Kuleana aged rum. 



Fly High with a Cultural Helicopter Tour with Paradise Helicopters

Credit: Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection

There’s so much to see on the island, and the best way to see it all is from a bird’s-eye view. Board your own private helicopter and take flight on an unforgettable adventure while learning the legends of the land. You’ll fly over sacred sites and see the Big Island’s most iconic landmarks and waterfalls—many of which are only visible from above. It’s a treasure hunt of natural wonders, and Paradise Helicopters’ three-hour island excursion also lands for a picnic lunch beneath two cascading waterfalls. 


Charter Away on Kalama Kai

Best Big Island Hawaii Resorts
Credit: Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection

What’s a trip to Hawai’i without a yacht excursion? Hop aboard Kalama Kai, Mauna Lani‘s 42-foot Yellowfin sporting yacht, to see a whole new side of the sea. This private charter whisks you away to dreamy black-sand beaches where you can make the first footprints. Experiences are fully customizable: snorkel with sea turtles, surf the tides or just soak in boatside bliss. This four-hour getaway can host up to six guests for a day on the bay, complete with seaside sips and lunch with a view.


Retreat to Private Residences 

Best Big Island Hawaii Resorts
Credit: Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection

So we’ve told you what to do while on the island, but what about where to stay? If you’re looking to be treated like island royalty, look no further than the private residences at Mauna Lani. Imagine lounging on the shore all day, refreshing in the outdoor rain shower before dinner and unwinding in a private Jacuzzi by night. Yes, please! Mauna Lani’s private residences make all of this possible. Two-bedroom bungalows sit steps from the ocean, and dedicated Experience Curators will meet your every request from check-in to checkout. 


Play All Day at Holoholo Kids Crew

Credit: Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection

A trip to Hawai’i makes anyone a shoe-in candidate for parent of the year. Keep the kiddos entertained all week at Mauna Lani’s complimentary kids club. Holoholo Kids Crew is curated for family members ages 5-12 and revolves around creativity, nature and the aloha spirit. On any given day, kids can explore tide pools while learning about the ocean’s hidden figures or can create their own oasis during garden workshops. There’s nothing more memorable than time spent in nature, and kids can also enjoy complimentary meals all summer long. 


Celebrate with a Barefoot Bonfire

Best Big Island Hawaii Resorts
Credit: Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection

When the dreaded time comes to head back to the mainland, don’t set off without one last hoorah. A celebratory barefoot bonfire at this Big Island Hawai’i resort sends travelers off with a one-of-a-kind, toes-in-the-sand experience. Inspired by the landscape, Mauna Lani’s barefoot bonfire surprises and delights with an exclusive five-course menu. Chef’s perform right in front of your table and right in front of the flames with mesmerizing knife skills that will have you on the edge of your seat. Discover the lifestyle of a fire warrior and roast s’mores beneath the stars for the perfect ending to a perfect Hawai’i vacation.


Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection
68-1400 Mauna Lani Dr
Kamuela, HI 96743

Lover of the beach, food and fitness, Emily enjoys exploring all sunny Southern California has to offer! She has a passion for sharing about her favorite local gems and began writing for Locale in 2022. On the weekends, find her creating recipes for her food blog or out in Laguna!




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