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South Kohala Area

Resorts by Name

Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i

(800) 845-9905 or (808) 885-2000
1 N Kaniku Dr, Mauna Lani

We try not to blather on about a resort—it hurts our credibility. But when it’s right, it’s right. The Fairmont Orchid has an intoxicating richness that permeates everything. The lush grounds have a very sculpted and precise feel. Nothing is out of place. The inside is just as flawless. The lobby, halls and rooms are all richly furnished with lots of wood and fine carpets—even the elevators are paneled in koa with crystal chandeliers. The overall effect of the resort’s rooms and common areas is European-Hawaiian elegance. The entire staff seems obsessed with pleasing you. Restaurants are what you’d expect, on the higher end with delicious results. They have their own garden and bees on property and use items they grow for their recipes. The manmade beach is usually calm and protected; it’s also one of the only beaches in Hawaii you may (legally) enjoy a beverage, making it prime for weddings. Lots of activities are available, including a sunrise canoe paddle and professionally-led stargazing.

2020-07-10T10:25:49-10:00 Rating: A Real Gem

Fairway Villas

(800) 688-7444 or (808) 886-0036
69-200 Pohakulana Pl, Waikoloa

This gated condo property is located close to the Kings’ Shops with decent golf course views and some pleasant lake views from buildings I–O. This resort is a combination of condos with two-story townhouses on the end of each building. Furnishings vary drastically from unit to unit. Some are very nice, others not so much. Overall, the building quality feels cheap to us. There’s optional housekeeping for a fee. 1/1s (850–925 sq. ft.) are $195–$319, 2/2s (1,100 sq. ft.) are $215–$610, 2/2s plus loft (1,250 sq. ft.) are $235–$638, 3/3s (1,730 sq. ft.) are $315–$957. 2-night minimum. The agent listed below has cheaper prices and overall, their units actually seemed nicer. 5-night minimum for their units.

To view more agents’ units see:

2020-07-10T10:19:08-10:00 Rating: No Award

Hali‘i Kai

(800) 367-5004 or (808) 886-4307
69-1029 Nawahine Pl, Waikoloa

Hali‘i Kai is a long, narrow, gated condo property. Some units are two-story townhouses. Buildings 13–15 directly face the ocean. (A narrow lava field separates you and the ocean, but you can’t climb over the lava to get to it.) Buildings 10, 11 and 12 have more distant ocean views over a golf course. If you prefer greener views, pick those, though we don’t mind looking at black lava rock when the blue ocean is right behind it. Other buildings are less desirable to us because they are too far away from the pool and the water. The condos are lovely with comfortable layouts and upscale furnishings. Many master baths have a separate shower and tub. The second bedroom is a generous size, which makes it good for two couples traveling together. The ocean front unit lanais have a wet bar. There are BBQs available by the pool (if your lanai does not have one) and by a grassy area with hammocks. The meandering pool is great with an ocean view, fitness room, spa and cushy deck chairs.

2020-07-10T10:21:21-10:00 Rating: A Real Gem

Hilton Waikoloa Village

(800) 221-2424 or (808) 886-1234
69-425 Waikoloa Beach Dr, Waikoloa

Where do we start? How about wow! This is the one you’ve probably heard about. This resort spread over 62 acres, is the most elaborate of them all. (By the way, despite its name, it is not located in or next to the town of Waikoloa Village.) Three separate towers are joined by a tram and boat network right out of Disneyland. One swimming pool has a pounding waterfall and an Indiana Jones-type swinging bridge overhead. There is a dolphin pool where lucky guests can get in the water with dolphins. The whole experience is described in Adventures. More than 1,800 pieces of artwork are spread all over the resort and they do tours once week. Parrots and exotic birds are also scattered about. There are multiple concierge desks around to assist in booking activities, making reservations or pointing the way to a particular part of the resort. Large groups will find the meeting facilities superb—from conference rooms to a ballroom the size of Waikiki.

2020-07-10T10:20:04-10:00 Rating: Solid Gold Value

Islands at Mauna Lani

(855) 235-0806 or (808) 885-5022
68-1375 Pauoa Rd, Mauna Lani

Even with all the new area condos that went up after its construction, this continues to be a stunning property. The two-story townhouse-type units have high-end amenities (like Sub-Zero refrigerators), large bathrooms, bathtubs with bay windows, private garages (which you may or may not be able to use, depending on the owner), etc. This very quiet and secluded gated property is located on the Mauna Lani North Golf Course. (Not oceanfront—hey, you can’t have it all.) These condos are huge. Two-bedroom units are 2,100 sq. ft., 3/3s are 2,500 sq. ft. The grounds are manicured, and the pool area with a dashing waterfall is inviting. There is also a full kitchen there. If you are looking for privacy and the feel of an upscale home, look no further. Some privileges at Mauna Lani Beach Club and discounts on golf. Room rates are $311–$400 for a 2/3, $446–$500 for a 3/3. 3-night minimum.

2020-07-10T10:23:39-10:00 Rating: A Real Gem

Kolea

(808) 987-4519
69-1000 Kolea Kai Circle, Waikoloa

It’s hard to imagine being unhappy here. These are some of the most impressively appointed condos we’ve seen, and it’s the only gated complex in Waikoloa that’s next to a beach. Rooms are richly furnished with high-end appliances in the gourmet kitchens, African mahogany trim and high ceilings throughout, travertine floors, granite countertops, a wall of glass that’ll fold away from the large lanai (and its separate kitchen), making it part of the living space, large soaking tubs and separate showers in the master baths and so much more. Even the closets light up automatically when you walk in. Although decor varies from unit to unit, we didn’t see any that weren’t outstanding. The pool area has a sand bottom children’s pool with its own waterfall, but it can get crowded during busy seasons. (The main agent listed has an agreement with Hilton Waikoloa Village that guests may use the pools there—which are much bigger but probably just as busy.

2020-07-10T10:18:28-10:00 Rating: A Real Gem

Kumulani at Mauna Kea

(808) 880-3490
Lolii Pl, Kohala

These low-rise condo buildings in a gated complex house four units each. This was one of the earlier condos finished in the area, and it is very similar to Wai‘ula‘ula at Mauna Kea from the outside, but inside the finishes are not as upscale in these 2/2 units. Between the two, we preferred Wai‘ula‘ula. Don’t get us wrong—we do think the units are nicely furnished and you will be comfortable here, but they lack some of the wow factor of other condos in the Mauna Kea area. The master baths do have large oval tubs and separate showers. From your wraparound lanai the ocean views are distant but pleasant. The pool area is not much to speak of, but the BBQs are located there. You are not on the beach, but about a mile away, and you will want to drive there. Luckily, you may use all the facilities at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and the Westin Hapuna Beach Resort, and sign for anything you do or eat at either resort. When you book through the agent we list, you are treated as any other guest would be at these two hotels.

2020-07-10T10:34:00-10:00 Rating: No Award

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel

(866) 977-4589 or (808) 882-7222
62-100 Mauna Kea Beach Dr, Kohala

This was the first resort to grace the Kohala lava desert area, and a large part of their business is repeat customers. Built by Laurance S. Rockefeller in 1965, it set the standard for all that came afterward. The Mauna Kea has traditionally been one of the most popular resorts on the island, and it’s a grand place to stay. The resort is very restful and pleasing, and the staff is top-notch. Many people like the slow pace here. They are now getting fourth-generation guests who often have such an affection for the place that before the hotel remodeled the rooms, they asked the guests for input about what they would like to keep and see added. There are 1,200 pieces of art from the Asia-Pacific region, and tours are given to learn about the outstanding collection. The rooms in the main tower are modern and clean with the touches of teal and orange, the hotel’s trademark colors. Bathrooms in the deluxe units in this tower are smashing with a deep soaking tub and open shower next to a full glass window looking at the ocean.

2020-07-10T10:27:08-10:00 Rating: A Real Gem

Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows

(800) 367-2323 or (808) 885-6622
68-1400 Mauna Lani Dr, Mauna Lani

Note: This hotel will close Oct. 1, 2018 for 14 months for renovations.

This is one of those resorts that is hard for us to review without sounding like a drooling commercial. If you read our other reviews, you’ll see that we’re not shy about finding fault with resorts. But this one’s different. In short, this is one of our favorite resorts in Kohala. As soon as you walk in, you are greeted by the magnificent atrium around which the building is centered. Palm trees and flowing pools stocked with fish create an instantly calming atmosphere. It’s open air, yet shielded from the sun. Right away, you notice something different. The staff here is exceptionally accommodating. Instead of standing at the counter to check in, you have a seat at one of the desks and sip fruit juice while all the particulars are handled by the staff. Then it’s off to your room, which is on the small side but immaculate and smartly designed with bold island prints in browns and creams. Oceanfront rooms have dazzling views.

2020-07-10T10:24:08-10:00 Rating: A Real Gem

Mauna Lani Point

(855) 235-0806 or (808) 885-5022
68-1050 Mauna Lani Point Dr, Mauna Lani

This condo property consistently looks pristine on our visits. The interiors have nice furnishings, huge master bathrooms, pleasing layouts, good location and relaxing views across the golf course with some decent ocean views. Many of the units have been nicely updated at this gated property, so ask for one. Some have very good ocean views. Some privileges at Mauna Lani Beach Club and discounts on golf. 1/2 units (1,100 sq. ft.) are $260–$600, 2/3 units (1,700 sq. ft.) are $300–$870. 3- or 5-night minimum.

2020-07-10T10:22:44-10:00 Rating: No Award

Mauna Lani Terrace

(800) 822-4252 or (808) 883-8500
68-1399 Mauna Lani Dr, Mauna Lani

Most of these condos overlook the ancient fishponds, creating an amazingly tranquil setting. Some units have ocean views as well. Buildings J, K and L often have nice sunset views. Many contain higher-end furnishings and some have been updated. Two- and three-bedroom units are better. Most units have stairs leading to them—either up or down. There are two units available without stairs—one in building F and the other in building G. Master bathrooms are large. The complex is right next to the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel. Grounds are nicely groomed and mature but have been under some construction maintenance. Even though this is an older property, it has been very well cared for, and we still like it. 1/2 units (1,058–1,150 sq. ft.) are $395–$425, 2/3 (1,407–1,481 sq. ft.) units are $495–$595, 3/3 (1,941 sq. ft.) are $750–$1190. 5-night minimum. Below agent has similar offers.

To view more agents’ units see:

2020-07-10T10:23:09-10:00 Rating: A Real Gem

Shores at Waikoloa

(855) 747-0763 or (808) 886-5001
69-1035 Keana Pl, Waikoloa

These condos are smaller and aren’t as nice as Vista Waikoloa (its neighbor). By the way, despite the name, it’s not at the shore. The furnishings vary a lot, depending on the owner. The grounds were looking better on our visit but still could use some work in places. You’re probably better off at Vista—or anyplace else in Kohala, for that matter. Only pluses here are some large, oval tubs and wraparound lanais. Prices vary a lot for this property, don’t be surprised if the ranges spike or drop (seemingly) arbitrarily. 1/1 units (878 sq. ft.) are $170–$509, 2/2 units (1,283 sq. ft.) are $299–$559. The two-bedroom golf villas (1,484 sq. ft.) are $280–$659. There is limited availability on the latter. 3-night minimum for all units.

2020-07-10T10:19:35-10:00 Rating: No Award

The Fairways at Mauna Lani

(877) 322-2407 or (808) 329-2140
68-1125 N Kaniku Dr, Mauna Lani

This gated condo complex is made up of 21 six-unit buildings. The exteriors are sort of English manor meets Frank Lloyd Wright-goes-to-Hawai‘i. The garages are really too narrow to use—must have been designed by someone who owns a Smart Car. The only views here are of the golf course. There are three layout styles. Of them, we liked the Pueo units best because they have one bedroom on the main floor, one on the second floor and a 365 sq. ft. lanai. Some units have whirlpool tubs in the baths. The units are large and very nicely decorated. You’ll be happy here. 2/2s or 2/3s (1,289–1,646 sq. ft.) are $209–$439, 3/3s (1,932 sq. ft.) are $239–$362. Minimum stays vary by unit—usually 4- to 10-nights at holidays. The agent listed below has units for similar money.

To view more agents’ units see:

2020-07-10T10:25:07-10:00 Rating: No Award

Villages at Mauna Lani

(800) 822-4252 or (808) 883-8500
68-1025 N Kaniku Dr, Mauna Lani

Wow! We almost didn’t want to leave these condos and doubt you’ll want to either. Most buildings in this gated property are two units attached—either single-story or townhouse style. They are huge, ranging from 2,174–2,752 sq. ft. and feel more like a home—especially the Ali‘i and Kahili single-story layouts with their own pool and spa (albeit small ones) and outdoor lava rock shower. The finishes are very upscale, and no expense was spared here—even the closets have shoe racks and dressers. The bathrooms are so large our voices actually echoed. You can cook up (better yet, have catered) a meal for 20 people in the huge kitchens. Some even have an office for those of you who can’t leave work at home. You’ll have privileges at the Mauna Lani Resort, including the spa, Beach Club and golf. The only ding is that they have no ocean views, but some of the golf course views are beautiful. This property is probably our favorite condo in Mauna Lani, with the Islands being a very close second.

2020-07-10T10:24:35-10:00 Rating: A Real Gem

Villas at Mauna Kea

(808) 880-3490
Kamahoi Pl, Kohala

Completed in 1982, these 21 single-story individually gated condo duplexes look like stand-alone homes but are attached by one common wall. Drive up and you’ll feel like you‘ve entered a 1950s-style home complete with garage and flat roof. It’s not the facade that shines here. Once inside, you’ll be greeted by an open floor plan, a sunken living room and 2,700 sq. ft. of space to spread out. Units are updated and include every amenity you can think of (and some you may have thought of—like a soaking tub in the middle of the bathroom floor). But walk out onto the patio with your own small pool (in most), and you’ll see why this place really works for us. Expansive views over the greens down to the ocean are fantastic from here. Mauna Kea Beach is only a 3- to 5-minute walk away. You may use all the facilities at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel, and sign for anything you do or eat at either resort. When you book through the agent we list, you are treated as any other guest would be at these two hotels.

2020-07-10T10:33:47-10:00 Rating: A Real Gem

Vista Waikoloa

(800) 822-4252 or (808) 883-8500
69-1010 Keana Pl, Waikoloa

Considering the caliber of these condos and the fact they’re in Kohala, it’s a pretty good deal. Units are large and nicely furnished, the layout is pleasing, grounds are well-groomed at this gated property. Many bathrooms have nice, deep tubs. Ocean views aren’t overwhelming—most are blocked by the Kolea resort or trees. 3/3 units are a better deal. Buildings E & F are the best, A & B feel closest to the road. 2/2 units (1,262–1,406 sq. ft. plus large lanais) are $229–$255. 3/3 units (2,630 sq. ft. plus enormous lanais) are $355–$500. 3- or 5-night minimum.

2012-03-13T23:47:08-10:00 Rating: Solid Gold Value

Wai‘ula‘ula at Mauna Kea

(808) 880-3490
62-3600 Amaui Pl, Kohala

These two-story condo buildings in a gated complex were completed in 2006 and house four units each (and a couple of duplexes not in the rental pool). The units are very spacious and richly furnished. Wolf ranges, Subzero fridges, granite countertops, double drawer dishwashers and everything else you need to cook a gourmet meal can be found in the kitchens. These three-bedroom units all have two master suites, which makes them ideal for two couples traveling together. Each has the same bathroom layout with deep oval tubs and separate showers (so you won’t be fighting over who gets the better room). The rooms are all spacious, even the third bedroom and full bath. Free room safes in some. All the units in the rental pool have a view of the ocean—some better than others—from the large lanais. You may use all the facilities at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel, and sign for anything you do or eat at either resort when you book through the main agent listed. You are treated as any other guest would be at these two hotels.

2020-07-09T13:56:03-10:00 Rating: A Real Gem

Waikoloa Beach Marriott

(800) 922-5533 or (808) 886-6789
69-275 Waikoloa Beach Dr, Waikoloa

This resort, located directly across from the Kings’ Shops, went for a modern look they call “contemporary elegance.” The effect isn’t very Hawaiian—more like a 1950s retro-style with abstract patterns in colors to match the surroundings—but it’s bright, fresh, clean and comfortable.

The resort is located next to the ‘Anaeho‘omalu Fishponds and Beach on 15 acres of well-maintained grounds. Though the rooms are smallish (approx. 410 sq. ft.), they’re comfortable. The 24-hour pool has a keiki pool offshoot that’s lined with sand at one end, forming a tiny kids’ beach. The other end features a small waterslide. The saltwater pool with an infinity edge is heated. Casabella chairs (two chairs with a retractable cover) are $50, Cabanas are $100 for two people, and larger cabanas are also $100 and have a sofa and other seating and may include some amenities, but umbrellas are still free by pool. The “oceanfront” rooms are pretty far from the ocean and certainly not worth the upgrade price.

2012-03-14T00:53:45-10:00 Rating: No Award

Waikoloa Colony Villas

(855) 747-0763 or (808) 886-8899
69-555 Waikoloa Beach Dr, Waikoloa

This gated condo property is very similar to the Fairway Villas, but the buildings seem a bit quieter and less dense than at Fairway. But Fairway is closer to the Kings’ Shops and the ocean. Furnishings vary from unit to unit, but overall are pretty good. These are two-story townhouses in clusters of six with solid walls between them. The large bathrooms have very small tubs and separate showers. Some layouts are awkward (such as when you have to close the master bedroom door to get to the bathroom door). Other layouts, such as ones with the sunken living rooms, are pleasing. Pool view units are actually better than ocean views, which are very distant. 1/2s (1,000 sq. ft.) are $260–$529, 2/2s (1,723 sq. ft.) are $319–$599. 3/2s (2,107 sq. ft.) are $369–$699. Prices for these rooms vary a lot. Agent listed below usually has better prices.

To view more agents’ units see:

2020-07-10T10:20:41-10:00 Rating: No Award

Westin Hapuna Beach Resort

(877) 619-0407 or (808) 880-1111
62-100 Kaunaoa Dr, Kohala
Visit website

The Hapuna was built near (but not in front of) one of the best beaches on the island and is owned by the same company that owns the nearby Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. Their kitty-corner location denies the resort the true beachfront designation the Mauna Kea has, but you can access Hapuna Beach with ease. In past editions we have found the resort clean but stark and cold. Sounds easily echo off the bare cement walls. Though the lobby is sparse, they have added some furnishings. The rooms’ latest facelift made them brighter and more modern, but ultimately not remarkable. The bathrooms are large with separate tubs and showers. Besides the room improvements, the $46 million 2018 renovations added an adult pool, revamped wellness and fitness center, and added new furniture. (They also transformed the building formerly known as “Tower 3” into private residences). Common areas seem top-notch.

2020-07-10T10:26:27-10:00 Rating: No Award