Hawaii Island’s First Resort

It was while swimming in the turquoise waters of Kauna‘oa Bay, surrounded by a wide landscape of lava rock and ranchland with clear views of the Mauna Kea summit, that American conservationist and venture capitalist Laurance S. Rockefeller decided to build Hawaii Island’s first resort. His inspiration to capture the spirit of this special place and ensure the hotel conformed to, rather than intruded upon, these beautiful natural surroundings, became today’s Mauna Kea Beach Hotel.

1960: Experimenting on the beach

Rockefeller’s original concept was a cluster of individual cottages along the beach, with no televisions or air-conditioning to interfere with the natural environment of the Kohala Coast. Architects Skidmore Owings Merrill produced a dome-shaped model that was almost washed out by a tropical storm, so a single-building design was next refined by lead architect Charles Bassett. Air-conditioning proved to be crucial in the warm, nearly always sunny South Kohala climate. But from 1965 to 1995, the hotel operated contentedly without guestroom televisions as Rockefeller had always intended.

1964Golf First

In 1964, a year before the hotel was ready to receive guests, Mauna Kea Golf Course opened and became Hawaii Island’s first course. Designed by Robert Trent Jones, who had pioneered a technique to create soil from lava rock, the course debuted with a televised “Big 3” match between Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player.

1965: Great beginnings

When it opened in July 1965 with 154 guestrooms after a $15 million build-out, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel was the most expensive hotel ever built. Praised by travel writers and critics worldwide, it was named one of the “three greatest hotels in the world” by Esquire magazine, one of the “10 best buildings of 1966” by Fortune, and presented with an honors award by the American Institute of Architects in 1967. What were viewed as exorbitant room rates started at $43 per night, including breakfast and dinner in the Pavilion, which featured international cuisine.

1968: The New Wing

A new Beachfront Wing was added in 1968, designed by Honolulu architects Wimberly, Whisenand, Allison, Tong and Goo, with interior design by Phyllis Brownlee. Original paintings by John Young were commissioned for the guestrooms, and the Batik restaurant and Lounge was also added.

1994-95: A Sister Property

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel closed for renovation in 1994, a few months before the opening of adjacent Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel that August. Designed by Beachfront Wing architects Wimberly Allison Tong and Goo, Hapuna delivered a contemporary resort experience at the other end of the Mauna Kea Resort property, featuring all ocean-facing rooms, meeting and business facilities, and an exclusive villa. Mauna Kea Beach Hotel reopened in December 1995 and the two hotels in tandem comprised a world-class resort and residential experience on the beautiful Kohala Coast.

2008: Next Generation

Following a damaging earthquake in October 2006 and an unprecedented two year, $150 million renovation, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel reopened in December 2008. In classic Mauna Kea style, the hotel continues to welcome generations of guests to reconnect with life’s most authentic pleasures.

2015: Marriott’s Autograph Collection

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel became Hawaii’s first Autograph Collection Hotel through a marketing partnership. The Autograph Collection is an ensemble of strikingly independent hotels across the country. Each destination has been selected for its quality, bold originality, rich character and uncommon details.

2016: Historic Hotel

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel was inducted as a member of Historic Hotels of America. HHA is the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which recognizes and celebrates the finest historic hotels across America.


December 7 – 12, 2021 | “Celebrating a Legacy of Tradition and Aloha.”


Be a part of history and legacy of the Mauna Kea Pro-Am! Combine years of tradition, fun, and camaraderie on the beautiful, and award-winning Mauna Kea Golf Course.

The Mauna Kea Pro-Am, a Big Island event since 1973, provides an opportunity for club members and their home club PGA golf professional to play challenging oceanfront golf on a renowned championship golf course in the footsteps of many great golf legends while enjoying the ambiance of Mauna Kea Resort.


47th Annual Pro-Am Video Highlights

Tournament Entry Fee $3,500

Price per Amateur

~ Teams consist of one professional and three amateurs
~ 54 hole. 2 best balls: one gross, one net
~ Four day golf tournament

Tournament Fee Includes:

  • 5 Rounds of golf at Mauna Kea Golf Course (3 tournament rounds, 2 practice rounds)
  • Welcome cocktail reception and dinner with live entertainment (spouse included)
  • Awards cocktail reception and dinner with live entertainment (spouse included)
  • Lunch on course for 3 tournament days
  • Horse Race Shootout entry
  • Amenity tee gifts and memorabilia
  • Entry into Ladies Golf Event at Hapuna Golf Course for spouse

To Register for the 48th Mauna Kea Pro-Am contact Duane Otte, tournament liaison, at [email protected] or (808) 882-5414.

Starting From

Exclusive Pro-Am Room Rates

  • (5) Night Accommodations
  • Daily Breakfast for two
  • Complimentary Parking
  • Complimentary Internet

In conjunction with the Mauna Kea Pro-Am, very special room rates are being offered to confirmed tournament participants.

$425 Golf Vista
$500 Golf Vista Deluxe
$575 Beachfront
$675 Beachfront Lawn
$675 Ocean View
$715 Oceanfront
$790 Ocean Front Deluxe
$890 Premier Ocean Front Deluxe

For room reservations: Call the Legacy Desk at 1-877-880-6524 and ask for the Pro-Am Group  or email Reservations at [email protected]

Terms/Conditions: Rooms rates are based on the category booked and subject to availability at the time of reservation. Rates are per night plus tax. Valid only in conjunction with Pro-Am tournament entry.

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