Copper Bar at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel
We stopped by Copper Bar at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel on the way back from Kailua-Kona. It was a picturesque day: balmy, breezy and beautiful. Our car was full of gifts, including chocolate from the Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory, as well as chocolate covered coffee beans from Kona Coffee & Tea. I expressed concern to the valet about my precious chocolate melting on such a hot day, and they kindly stored it in an air-conditioned room while we ate.
Ancient art is placed throughout Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, which is tucked along a protected bay with a vast reef that’s perfect for snorkeling. The hotel, designed 51 years ago by Laurance S. Rockefeller, is smaller than its sister, Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel.
Recently, Copper Bar underwent a multi-million dollar renovation, which includes an elongated bar and panoramic views of Kaunaoa Bay. Copper panels from the original bar were reused for the back bar as well as an artistic marine-rope wall feature. Kaunaoa Bay and its deep cultural significance is reflected in a triptych painted by Solomon Enos, a well-known Hawaii artist.
Pillow-clad armchairs are set around granite tables, which are topped with a chopstick-filled pint glass. A field of coconut palms lean toward the ocean and the sounds of Israel Kamakawiwoole, Adelle and Jack Johnson float over the splash of waves and bird song.
Sous Chef, Rio Miceli, born and raised in nearby Hawi, developed a new menu for the casual atmosphere, which includes sharable plates. The bar serves artisanal cocktails, crafted from local and exotic ingredients, along with tap beer and wine. Mauna Kea Mule ($16), is made with house-made ginger beer, Pau Vodka, fresh lime, soda and a dash of bitters, and served in a custom copper mug.
Located in Mauna Kea Beach Hotel
62-100 Mauna Kea Beach Dr., Waimea
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Live music nightly from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
This is post four of seven of our Big Island trip. For more information, read “Big Island Bounty Tour.”
Images copyright Daniel Lane/Pono Photo. For more information, visit www.PonoPhoto.com.