Mauna Kea Beach Hotel sits on one of the few white-sand beaches on the Kohala Coast – Kauna’oa Bay. Unlike most beaches on the island, which are formed from coral or lava, the sand here is silica.
The shape and terrain of the bay make it a perfect haven for relaxing, swimming and paddling. There is also a raft moored mid-bay. Mornings are often the best time for ocean activities, while the wind is light and the waters calm. Summer months don’t usually see much surf, but on a big swell during winter months, the waves sometimes break across the entire bay. Both points have fun surf spots and when a sandbar forms, it makes for great bodysurfing and boogie boarding.
As with most Hawaiian words, Kauna’oa refers to several different things, any which the Hawaiians could have been referring to when naming the bay. First, and the most likely origin of the name, is the yellow-orange vine (Cuscuta Sandwichiana) that sprawls along the coastline and is the official lei vine of Lanai island; next is a mollusk (Vermetidae) found in the area that solidly fixes itself to rocks; and finally is a coarse seaweed (Galaxaura Rugosa) that is yellow and gold in color. Coincidentally, the yellow-orange color of the Kauna’oa compliments Mauna Kea’s orange plumeria logo and could well have been its inspiration.
Beach Club Activities and Price List
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We have everything you need for a memorable day at the beach!
Whether paddling along the coast in a sleek outrigger canoe or starting your day on a Stand-Up Paddle Board, we offer a wide range of ocean adventures for all to enjoy!
Join us for a private snorkel tour with the Mauna Kea Mantas and enjoy the manta rays in their natural habitat. Don’t miss the opportunity to be guided by the researcher that has studied these gentle giants for 26 years.
- Join researcher James Wing for a private tour with the Mauna Kea mantas. Experience and understand what you are seeing and learn interesting and educational information you’d never have thought to ask!
- Tours available Monday through Saturday.
- To book your reservations, visits Manta Moonlight Snorkel
Beach – one of the best on the island. Silky white sand hugs your feet. Turquoise water with white beach sand creates a secret paradise spot.
Anna M. | Yelp