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