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62-100 Kaunaoa Dr, Kohala
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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. The adult pool especially (which we wish was a hotel staple) is a beautiful addition. The pathways to and from the pools and lobby can feel slightly labyrinth-esque (or like a meditation maze, for the glass half-full crowd). There’s a children’s program if enough guests sign up, but even if there aren’t, bring your keiki by the kids fun room with its very own lego wall. (We may have played a little too long with this…)

The resort is pretty spread out, so expect to do a lot of walking. Other items, such as the umbrellas by the pool and beach, are free. Many cultural activities are available. You have signing privileges at the Mauna Kea, and they run a free nightly shuttle to the restaurants and lu‘au there.

Rooms (600–880 sq. ft.) are $575–$825. Suites (1,200 sq. ft.) are $1,125.