Westin Hapuna Beach Resort
It’s easy to see why U.S. News & World Report awarded The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort the “Best Hotels in Hawaii and The Big Island” in 2011 through 2014. The main entrance is flanked by towering royal palm trees. A swath of pink and orange bougainvillea trimmed in neat rows fills the center.
After Dan and I leave our car with the the kind valet, we walk into a breezy lobby that blossoms into a view of Hapuna Bay. The expansive hotel ends at a wide beach, facing west so you’ll see the sunset every night.
Our oceanfront suite is on the ground floor, opening to a lanai and a wide lawn. Inside, a kitchenette has a granite-topped bar, sink and small refrigerator. A half bathroom is just off the kitchenette and there’s a spacious living room with a flat screen TV.
A full bathroom with a shower and two sinks is inside the master bedroom, which has a comfortable king-size bed, dressers, an arm chair, couch, another full-screen TV and a lanai. Patios outside the living room and bedroom are decked with lawn chairs and tables.
The hotel opened in Aug. 1994 and includes 350 rooms, 36 of which are suites. Mauna Kea Resort was the vision and dream of respected developer Laurance S. Rockefeller. Fifty years ago he chose a patch of black lava in an inaccessible area with two beautiful beaches. Rockefeller envisioned a resort of world-class standards — complete with hotels, golf courses and homes.
Mauna Kea Beach Hotel was built in 1965. Steeped in aloha, the classic elegance perpetuates true Hawaiian traditions of the islands. The contemporary feel of The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort is manifested in its bold design. Together, these two distinct hotels reside on more than 1800 acres.
The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort is situated on 32 oceanfront acres, nestled in natural bluffs overlooking the silky white sands of Hapuna Beach. People run and walk along a short hiking trail that’s tucked against the hotel’s property. The trail follows Kaunaoa Point, starts near the end of Mauna Kea Beach Drive and ends near Ocean Terrace.
Every morning, a breakfast buffet ($22) is served at Ocean Terrace. I pile my plate with fresh fruit, including pineapple and papaya and stop at the omelette station. While it’s being made, I grab a small Belgium waffle. Dan gets crisp strips of bacon and potatoes before ordering his omelette.
We sit at a table overlooking the bay. As we eat, eight foot waves pound the shore, sending low rumbles throughout the property. Fantastic fans of spray splash across the sand on this blustery morning and lifeguards warn guests to be careful. The next day is calm and quite and the ocean reflects the rich blue sky while swimmers get their morning exercise. I take a bite of ripe papaya and breathe in the ocean air. The property has worked its magic and I begin to unwind.
Partial Ocean View $575
Ocean View $625
Premium Ocean View $700
Oceanfront Suite $1,125
Add tax to rates and a daily resort charge of $31.25, which includes daily self-parking, unlimited internet connections in room and designated WiFi spots, two bottles water daily, one hour snorkel gear daily, one bucket range balls daily, one time 10 percent spa service discount at Hapuna Spa, 20 percent discount on golf merchandise at Pro Shop daily and one eco-shopping-bag per room per stay. Resort charge rate and inclusions are subject to change without prior notice.
The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort
62-100 Kaunaoa Drive
Kohala Coast, Hawaii
This is post two of seven of our Big Island trip. For more information, read “Big Island Bounty Tour.”
All images copyright Daniel E. Lane Photography. For more information, visit www.DanielELane.com.