One-on-One: What's in Store for Mauna Kea Beach Hotel's 50th Anniversary

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, the first resort built on the Kohala Coast in 1965, turns 50 in July.

Travel Agent recently sat down with representatives of the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, the first resort built on the raw Kohala Coast in 1965, to find out what the hotel has in store for its 50th anniversary celebration.

Although the actual 50th anniversary isn't until July of next year, the hotel began celebrating this past August and will continue offering special packages and discounts for clients right up to the actual anniversary. 

Paying tribute to the hotel’s legendary Rockefeller pedigree and timeless charm, the roughly year-long celebration is appropriately themed, “What was, is.”


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In August, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel introduced a special logo to be featured in commemorative items and all marketing collateral. The logo features the iconic orange-colored blossom, a symbolic representation of the architects’ first vivid sights of the hotel site—plumeria scattered along the sands of Kauna‘oa Bay and orange sunsets.

Anniversary festivities tee off in December with the 41st annual Mauna Kea Pro-Am and will continue throughout 2015 with a generous “50 Acts of Aloha” giving campaign. These special promotions include a $50,000 Golden Anniversary package.

A highlight of the yearlong celebration will include a grand celebration scheduled for July 24, 2015, 50 years to the day of the hotel’s opening.

Special Packages

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is celebrating its 50th anniversary with exclusive promotions throughout 2015 including an over-the-top $50,000 Golden Anniversary Package fit for royalty. Those looking for a more understated experience can book any room package and choose a special value-added component to enhance their stay.

Golden Anniversary Package

The Golden Anniversary Package includes a host of luxurious amenities and experiences for two including first-class roundtrip airfare from the continental U.S., accommodations in the Mauna Kea Suite or Mauna Loa Suite for five evenings, airport transfer via private helicopter, VIP seating and access to all 50th anniversary events, all-inclusive dining, and exclusive activities, such as private stargazing “Under the Dome” with the W.M. Keck Observatory atop Mauna Kea and a private helicopter tour over Hawaii Volcanoes National Park with Sunshine Helicopters.

The Golden Anniversary Package is available from January 4 – December 19, 2015. 

Quarterly Package Enhancements

Clients will have the opportunity to add additional value to 2015’s best available rates and seasonal packages by choosing a special package enhancement. During each quarter, a new value-add will be introduced pertaining to the quarter’s special 50th anniversary theme.

The first package enhancement, Unlimited Golf, offers just that—unlimited play at the legendary Mauna Kea Golf Course for $150 plus tax/night. Guests might also opt to add unlimited tennis, including lessons and ball machine, for $150 plus tax/night. Valid on three-night minimum stays, the enhancements can be applied to any rate or package from January 4 – March 31, 2015.

The second quarter package enhancement, launching April 2015, will focus on fun on the beach at Kauna‘oa Bay, while the third quarter is all about culinary offerings. Rounding out the milestone year will be the final package enhancement, incorporating art, architecture and design.

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel welcomes clients to enjoy every fourth night free, including complimentary daily breakfast buffet for two, and up to $1000 in resort credits for dining, golf and more. Credits are based on room category. This program is available for stays from now through December 19, inclusive, with no resort fees. Some restrictions apply.

Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel similarly offers every fourth night free with breakfast buffets and up to $750 resort credits for stays from now through December 22, inclusive, with no resort fees. Some restrictions apply.

The Backstory

From his first swim in Kauna‘oa Bay with the towering summit of Mauna Kea looming in the distance, venture capitalist Laurance S. Rockefeller sought to build a great hotel that reflected the spirit of the Kohala Coast. 

With thoughtful sensitivity for the dramatic natural surroundings, Rockefeller hired the best people for the job, including architects Skidmore Owings Merrill and Robert Trent Jones, Sr., the golf course architect who pioneered a technique of creating a soil base from lava rock that became a staple of Hawaii Island golf courses. Golf legends Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus, christened the Mauna Kea Golf Course in a legendary match in December 1964, which was then televised nationwide on March 6, 1965.

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel opened a few months later on July 24, 1965 with 154 guest rooms. The most expensive hotel built at the time, Esquire magazine immediately named it one of the “Three greatest hotels in the world.” The Mauna Kea was also the first resort on the Kohala Coast and is credited for paving the way for tourism on Hawaii Island.

Mauna Kea Today

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel offers 252 newly refreshed guest rooms and suites. In addition to the 18-hole championship golf course, the hotel also offers an 11-court seaside tennis club, a 2,500-square foot fitness center, boutique shops and a business center. Dining options showcase Executive Chef Hans Lentz’s emphasis on farm to table with a Hawaii twist and international flair, while Hawaiian culture experiences and warm gracious service inspire the resort’s timeless tradition of aloha.

Visit and

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