October 10, 2016

Why I Chose Mauna Lani Bay For My Hawaii Vacation

This summer our family vacationed on the Big Island of Hawaii. We had not been there in many years, so we were eager to go back now that the kids were old enough to do some of the more adventurous activities.
Zodiac snorkel tour
There are so many great resort choices that it can be quite overwhelming to decide where to stay.  And even though I had it narrowed down to a Virtuoso resort, there were four from which to choose. They are all unique in style, location, and amenities,and understanding these differences helped determine which was the best fit for my family.

I know we would have had a fantastic trip no matter where we stayed, but here are a dozen reasons we chose The Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows.

1) The coral reef in front of the hotel offers easy access to great snorkeling.  And turtles are seen frequently near shore.

Maui visible in the distance
Coral in front of Mauna Lani
Getting underwater video of a turtle

2) Connecting rooms are practically guaranteed due to the number of them available.
Queen beds!

3) There are natural lagoons throughout the grounds, filled with fish, turtles, eels, and even a shark!

The resort was built around the original fishponds.
4) Their resort credit is one of the most inclusive in Hawaii, including use of snorkel gear, spa and gear rental discounts, 10% discount on lunch and dinner at two of the restaurants, self-parking, 30 min of long distance and international calls daily, wifi, cultural activities, and more.

Family favorite: Macadamia encrusted mahi mahi over fried rice
5) They are devoted to preserving the cultural history of Hawaii.  A self-guided tour over 27 acres of historic parks visits ancient shelter caves, petroglyphs, and a prehistoric fishing village.  Or guests can go on a tour with the resident historian.

Interesting history lesson about Mauna Lani
Petroglyphs hidden in plain sight
6) The Mauna Lani Beach Club is a easy walk or short shuttle ride away, offering a great swimming beach, another beachfront restaurant and more excellent snorkeling.
The Beach Club is visible in the top left,
an easy 10 min walk along the waterfront
7) It has authentic Hawaiian ambiance including a large,open air atrium with lush vegetation and ponds filled with their youngest turtles waiting for their turn to be released.  Kids gather to watch the turtles get fed in the afternoon.

What a welcome sight! Live music here each evening, too
8) The grounds are compact, so it's easy to get from room to pool to beach to poolside restaurant and bar.   And there is plenty of lawn space and uncrowded beachfront with cabanas included in the resort fee.

View from our room (could see fireworks from here, too).
It was never hard to get one of these cabanas.
9) A quiet black sand beach is just a few minutes drive away within the resort complex, which also has great snorkeling.

Practically have the bay to ourselves
10) The Mauna Lani Resort shopping center has a full service grocery store, several restaurants, coffee and ice cream shop, Snorkel Bob's, and complimentary activities like a weekly Polynesian hula show.

Lei making class!
11) They have a reputation for warm hospitality and great service. The staff is well-trained and genuine, they treated us like guests in their home.
Soon an attendant will be by with ice cream

12) And by timing our visit over the Fourth of July holiday, we got to experience their signature event:  Turtle Independence Day!  Young turtles raised in their ponds are released to the ocean in a traditional ceremony.  
This little guy is getting his freedom soon.
The days leading up to the event are fun and educational for families, as they can watch researchers measure and inspect the turtles to ensure they are ready for release. Children staying at the hotel are chosen by lottery to escort the turtles from the pond to the ocean during the ceremony.
Making sure this guy is big enough to have a fighting chance in the ocean.
The entire community comes out for this annual event. 
Let me go, let me go!

And did I mention the snorkeling?? 

My clients receive these Virtuoso amenities:

  * Upgrade one category at time of booking subject to availability
  * Daily buffet American buffet breakfast two
  * $100 resort credit 
  * Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability

Loco moco breakfast!
They also have five 2700 sq ft bungalows, great for larger families, multi-generational groups, or couples traveling together.  They all have two master bedrooms, a private kitchen, and plenty of living space. Outdoors is a 1,300 sq. ft. private terrace with a Jacuzzi and heated swimming pool.  And through Dec 20 they are offering one of the best all-inclusive values in Hawaii.

Spacious and bright living and dining area.
A lagoon provides separation from the beachfront path.
The Bungalow Inclusive Experience includes:

* Transportation to and from the airport and/or a premium rental car 
* Daily $500 Credit for Mauna Lani golf or spa 
* Pantry stocked on arrival with non-alcoholic beverages, fruits & snacks * Welcome bar set-up
* Daily afternoon amenity
* Breakfast, lunch and dinner for up to 6 guests (excluding alcohol)

Canoe House oceanfront dining 
A great sunset on our last evening
For assistance with planning a fantastic vacation to Hawaii, and to receive the Virtuoso amenities, contact me at suzette@family-treks.com.

There can never be too many sunset pictures!

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