Big Island/Kamuela - Hapuna Beach Prince Resort*

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Big Island/Kamuela - Hapuna Beach Prince Resort*

pbarnette
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pbarnette
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Joined: May 16th, 2002, 6:26 am

May 15th, 2002, 11:30 pm #1

Stayed at the Hapuna Beach Hotel in Late February, through Hotwire. An absolutely fantastic hotel. Super clean rooms, with gorgeous bathrooms, balconies and all the conveniences. Very nice, infinity-style pool. Short walk to the beach (rated the best in the world a few years back). Fantastically helpful staff. No Hotwire-downgrade; in fact we were upgraded too rate classes. Restaurants were only middling, though no worse than Roy's at the Hilton.

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denise624
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denise624
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Joined: July 31st, 2002, 9:46 am

August 23rd, 2002, 10:46 pm #2

What a great hotel!!! Just returned from a 5 night stay in August. Although hotel is 40 minutes north of Kona Airport, this Hotel sits on the second best beach on Hawaii, with the best beach being at the sister resort the Mauna Kea. The hotel staff is wonderful and very accommodating. No priceline downgrade here!! We took our two kids. The rooms are huge, 600 sq. feet with two Queen size beds, not two doubles. Bathroom is huge, with separate shower and tub and separate toilet area, with two sinks. Rooms have refrigerator for your use only, not a wet bar. They stock it with water bottles every day. In room safe and we had a room with a large patio, with table and chair, and lounge chair. They upgraded our room to ocean view, although I have to say it was a partial ocean view. Great pool, great beach with lounge chairs, towels and umbrellas provided for you right on the beach. Parking is free, but I have to say, unless you are right by the elevator, the walk was very long from the parking and the lobby. The place was very quiet, hardly saw any other people, and rooms were so quiet, we never heard any neighbor. There is a free shuttle that will take you to the Mauna Kea, they have the best beach we have ever been to on any island, and we have been to all four main islands. Defiantly spend some time on their beach. They are sister properties, so you are welcome to use any services at that hotel, such as the pool and the lounge chairs at the beach. We stayed at the Hilton Waiakoloa for one night and hated it. Our kids thought it was fun, but the place is too full of people. A day at Disneyland is more relaxing. Stay at the Hapuna if you want to find paradise and relax!!!
Denise - 44
D&C, Hysteroscopy, Hydro Thermalablation 11/2/06
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kansaw
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kansaw
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Joined: January 1st, 2003, 12:47 pm

January 28th, 2003, 10:20 am #3

Wonderful hotel. Paid $140 + tax. We were upgraded to a deluxe oceanfront room without asking on the 7th floor. The view was actually partial oceanview because of a short hotel building that you had to see over (beach access rooms). The hotel sits on a small corner of Hapuna Beach. I had previously visited the Hapuna State Beach Park which I think is the main part of the beach. The Hapuna State Beach Park is the most beautiful beach that I have ever seen. The hotel beach did not seem to communicate with the larger part of the beach. The sister resort of Mauna Kea fronts a beautiful beach.

When you enter the open air lobby, pleasant tropical breezes blow across from the ocean. The atmosphere was peaceful and serene. The rooms are very clean and large. The veranda alone must have been over 80 sq ft. A fridge was available for free to use. We were given welcoming glasses of passionfruit juice, free bags of chips and macadamia nuts, and water bottles. The bathrooms were posh (but the doors had no locks).

It was a long walk from our room to the lobby or parking lot. The nicely maintained lawns and gardens made the walk pleasant. Valet parking was free. A golf course was across the street from the lobby. The workout area of the spa was free for guests.

The hotel employees all smiled and greeted me whenever I passed by. The overall service was excellent. We ate at the Mauna Kea for Sunday Brunch which is a good value at $38 for the variety that they offer.

I highly recommend this place.
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kdagerman
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kdagerman
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Joined: February 10th, 2003, 1:07 pm

March 16th, 2003, 8:08 am #4

stayed for three nights in early march for 145 +tax...had a really really wonderful time. We arrived at 10am and were checked right into our room...we were also upgraded to an oceanview room.

Our room was very spacious and clean and the staff was very courteous throughout our stay.

On our last day we requested and received a late checkout 5pm which essentially gave us an extra day.

Two of our favorite misc things about the hotel were the gym and the restaurant Arties at the golf club (great cobb salad and reasonable prices).

We would definately consider going back to this hotel and would even pay the rack rate.
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nhasler
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nhasler
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Joined: April 12th, 2001, 10:35 am

July 31st, 2003, 10:36 pm #5

What a wonderful hotel!! A very relaxing setting. We stayed in a premium ocean view room in tower 5. I really couldn't see the ocean through the palm trees, but I could hear the waves.

The room was very large with a large patio and two double beds. The bathroom was very large with a separate tub and shower, and the toilet had a door. There were two double sinks as well. We had a refrigerator in the room that was filled with two bottles of water per day.

The room had twice daily maid service. This is so nice when you go to the beach during the day and then want to get cleaned up to go out to dinner.

The hotel has a everything you would expect. My son's favorite thing about the hotel was the kids camp. It was half price while we were there. So for $25 per day, my son got to go hang out with the other kids, do crafts, eat lunch and go to the pool. His younger sister went to do one of the crafts one day and it was $8 throw in a PBJ at the pool cafe and the kids camp pays for itself.

The beach is amazing!!! The water is warm and fairly shallow. It also was not too rough for my kids to play in. The beach was great for building sand castles. The hotel also provided lounge chairs and beach umbrellas at the beach. The hotels beach is separate from the state beach and seemed much less busy although there didn't seem to be any reason you couldn't stroll down to the other side of the beach. The pool was very pretty, but too warm to be refreshing in the hot Kohala sun.

Although the hotel is 40 miles from the airport/Kona, it is only about a 10- 15 minute drive up the mountain to Waimea. There were several very nice places to eat there and it is a very pretty town. They also have a McDonalds and KFC if you are looking for something cheaper than the standard resort dining.

The hotel was very quiet while we were there with the exception of a wedding reception on Friday night. We would love to go back to this hotel. Everything was so perfect.
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Guest
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August 2nd, 2003, 5:40 pm #6

posted by
numexbigjim
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(8/1/03 9:41 pm)
Hapuna Prince 7/24-28
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I concur with all previous statements, although I have a slightly different perspective. We spent the previous 5 days in Waikiki, which is fun, but a bit maddening. I hoped for some peace and quiet on the Big Island. When I got the Prince (instead of the Hilton), I was very happy and looked forward to a few days of serenity. In that vein, the Hapuna Prince came through in a big way. Walking into the lobby, you feel the stress melt away. The desk clerk was extremely helpful, giving us juice and a cold towel. She assured me that our car would be parked and luggage delivered. Early check in (and late check out) was no problem. The hotel has a quiet class and elegance about it.
Our room was beautiful, the beds cozy, and amenities were plenty. Hapuna beach is the focus of the hotel and is a real winner. Lounge chairs, umbrellas and unlimited towels are free (this is a big deal, as many places charge a lot for the beach set up). The ocean was clean and delightful. I could not drag my daughter out of the water and she really fell in love with the beach.
Meals were good, but fairly expensive, especially at dinner. The breakfast buffet was decent, but could not compare with other first class resorts in Hawaii (eg. the Kea Lani and Grand Wailea on Maui).
What made me really happy we got the Prince, rather than the Hilton Waikaola, was visiting the Hilton for Dolphin Quest. As has been stated in other reviews, the Hilton is like disneyland. Although I stayed at the Hilton a long time ago (without family), I didn't recall just how frenetic and hyper the place really is. It was such a relief to get back to the Prince to relax and enjoy.
I will pay rack rate (a relatively low rate, as well) in the future to stay here.
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tnguye3
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tnguye3
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Joined: January 27th, 2005, 12:08 pm

January 27th, 2005, 5:08 am #7

I have to say this is one of the best locations we stayed at in terms of hotel and location. You will not regret this place for all your stress will wash away in the waters. The sand is pure white and the strip is a mile long. The waters are calm so as a parent, you will not have to worry too much. The beach is public but only locals and resort folks are present. With the white sands, you can see right through the clear waters to the bottom. You will be welcomed with a wet towel and drink at the front desk. The layout is open air so you feel one with the island. I would definitely recommend this hotel and visit again when the kids get a little older (we brought our 2 year old with us on the trip).
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Virageadroit
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Virageadroit
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Joined: July 31st, 2002, 1:00 am

July 12th, 2007, 12:10 am #8

This is the best hotel we've ever stayed at - and that includes the Prince in Honolulu and Marriott in Wailea. Everything here is splendid and serene. They gave an upgrade to a two room ocean view suite. Service is outstanding and Hawaiian hospitality is at its best. Food is creative and the beach is lovely and quiet. Worth whatever you bid...
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billandcindy
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billandcindy
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Joined: April 12th, 2007, 2:15 pm

August 17th, 2007, 6:22 am #9

We are looking to stay a week on the Big Island and will probably rent a car and explore. Stayed at the Hilton Waikola previously, but were wondering what kind of bids this place is getting?
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efsch
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efsch
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Joined: February 4th, 2006, 12:45 am

March 5th, 2009, 12:53 am #10

The Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel is an American-huge, Japanese-elegant, and Hawaiian-friendly hotel with a fantastic beach (our favorite in Hawaii) and a beautiful golf course. It is located at the north end of the Kohala resort district on the Kona (sunny) side of the big Island of Hawaii.

It is the sister property of the historic next-beach-north Mauna Kea Hotel. By car it is about an hour north of Kailua-Kona town, and half an hour north of the Kona (KOA) airport (a rental car is almost essential here).

On our recent stay in February, 2009, we split our ten day vacation between the Outrigger Keauhou Hotel near Kailua-Kona (for the world-class and easy snorkeling next door at Kahalu'u Beach) and the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel (for the world-class beach and relaxing atmosphere).

Because of the recent economic downturn, especially in Japan, this hotel has made some rooms available to bidding on priceline.com, where we obtained our room for the amazing price of $105 per night plus tax. This is a fraction of the hotel's usual rates, and is a special value since the hotel does not impose the annoying resort and parking surcharges that some other hotels in the area do.

The Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel is shaped like a huge X, with the lobby at the center and each arm extending outward about 200 meters (two football fields long). It is built on a slope above the beach, so one enters on the top floor (eighth) and the hotel extends down the hillside to the pool and beach.

All rooms face the ocean to the west, but not all rooms have a full ocean view. The golf course and fitness center are to the east. The parking structure and convention center are in the lower right arm, the deluxe ocean front rooms are in the upper left arm, and the remaining rooms (most with great views) are in the lower left and upper right arms.

The hotel web site has a diagram of the hotel, which is worth reviewing before your stay. We made the mistake of self-parking on arrival (valet parking is not surcharged) and getting lost with our luggage between the parking structure and the lobby.

The front desk was a bit off-putting on our arrival (the clerks whispered about our reservation in front of us, and gave us no choice of bed configuration), but the remainder of the staff was absolutely wonderful.

The standard rooms are quite large (over 600 square feet or 55 square meters). Each has an enormous marble bathroom with double sink and separate tub and shower. The bedroom has a refrigerator and coffee maker alcove, a touch pad room safe, internet access, a small CD player, cable TV, and a sliding glass wall accessing a private patio or balcony.

Instead of drapes, the rooms have wooden shutters, and there is a secure shuttered screen door at the entry for maximum cross ventilation if one prefers that to air-conditioning. We slept with the windows open, and were delighted by the absolute quiet.

The large infinity pool is beautiful and kid-friendly (only about 4 feet at the deepest), but the adjacent Hapuna Beach is what makes this our favorite hotel in Hawaii. All beaches are public access in Hawaii, but the northern end of Hapuna (below the hotel) seems almost private.

The beach is long enough for great sunrise and sunset walks. The rocky headlands at each end of the beach are supposed to be good snorkeling, but in the winter the ocean surge is often too rough and the visibility too low.

The hotel's beach staff is very friendly and very safety conscious. When you pick up your beach towel at poolside, they will give you the latest surf conditions. Listen to them -- a rough shore break can be dangerous.

The surf is usually great for boogie boarding. The hotel charges $7 per hour for board rental, so buy or bring your own.

What amazes me is that most other Kohala resorts do not have a nice beach, and some do not even have a beach at all. The Waikoloa Hilton, for example, is great for families with kids due to its water parks and (expensive) dolphin encounters, but it has no natural beach, which is the sine qua non for us.

In addition to the golf course and fitness center, those who like exercise can walk the beautiful beach trail past mega-mansions to the neighboring Mauna Kea Hotel, where there is another great beach and a wonderful lobby art collection. A twice hourly free shuttle between the hotels will take you back to the Hapuna Prince.

The Hapuna's restaurants and grills are expensive by our standards but average for the Kohala resort area (the breakfast buffet is $30 pp, and an evening meal can easily cost more than $60 pp, although the restaurant features a small dinner entrée and salad combination for $30 pp).

The poolside lunch grill has hot dogs for $10 and hamburgers for $15. As a concession to budget conscious guests, there is a deli in the lobby area which offers hot sandwiches and snacks for less than $10.

The Mauna Lani and Waikoloa resort areas 4-8 miles south of the Hapuna both have small shopping centers with grocery stores (and a fast food court in the Waikoloa Queen's shops).

In the evening the lobby lounge has very pleasant vocalists who specialize in Hawaiian songs. Because the lobby is huge (half a football field in size) and completely open to the ocean, a drink and music during sunset make a wonderful way to relax at the end of each day.

The Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel is one of our favorite hotels in all the world, and our favorite in Hawaii.

Two pieces of advice before I close:

First, what really helps us enjoy all our Hawaii vacations is Andrew Doughty's fantastic guide (with maps) Hawaii the Big Island Revealed. It is the best travel guide we have ever encountered anywhere -- just like having a best friend who lives on the island. He has a book for each of the other main islands also.

Second, the Hapuna's self-parking is adjacent to its valet parking in an underground structure with three car stalls between concrete pillars. For some reason, drivers seem to have a problem with this. If one of them hits your car (and does not leave a note), the damage can cost more than your entire vacation. Enough said.
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