A Site Visit and Dinner at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel
Mauna Kea Beach Hotel ~ Hawaii, the Big Island – In 1960 Hawaii’s Governor William Quinn invited American venture capitalist Laurance S. Rockefeller to visit the Big Island and scout beachfront sites for potential resorts. A noted conservationist and lover of the outdoors, Mr. Rockefeller believed that buildings should conform to, not intrude on, beautiful natural surroundings. As they flew over the white sand crescent of Kauna‘oa Beach, Mr. Rockefeller asked if he could go in for a swim. From the water, he looked upslope at the towering summit of Mauna Kea and was inspired to create a great hotel that reflected the spirit of this special place.
When it opened in 1965, The Mauna Kea was the most expensive hotel ever built at the time, at $15 million. Praised by travel writers and critics worldwide, the luxury resort hotel was named one of the “Three greatest hotels in the world” by Esquire magazine, one of “10 best buildings of 1966” by Fortune, and presented with an honors award by the American Institute of Architects.
I’ll say one thing for Mr. Laurance S. Rockefeller, he sure knows how to pick a beach location. Our stay at his former Virgin Island plantation (Caneel Bay) certainly proved that point.
We were unable to fit a Mauna Kea Beach Hotel stay in our calendar during our most recent visit to Hawaii, the Big Island. However, Dan Conklin (Director of Sales and Marketing, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel) was kind enough to give us a site tour, and buy us dinner at the resort’s Manta & Pavilion Wine Bar.
The setting for our dinner at Manta & Pavilion Wine Bar was one I imagine to be written in the pages of a romance novel. We sat under tiki torches and watched the sun set and then sizzle into the Pacific ocean. As darkness approached, a spotlight shined into the gentle waves of the ocean as a sort of calling beacon to any nearby manta rays.
Carol and I started our meal with a shared bowl of Kabocha Pumpkin Soup (Kalua Pig, Volcano Ohelo Berries, Truffle Marshmallow). Let me just say that this was hands down, the best serving of pumpkin soup we have ever encountered. Absolutely mouthgasmic!
The rest of our meal was absolutely epic, but I will save a little suspense until we again visit Hawaii, the Big Island (which we plan to do each year), and have the opportunity to actually stay at the historic, and luxurious Mauna Kea Beach Restaurant.
We can’t wait to stay here and share it with you. Stay tuned!
PS – Check out that beach! The best resort beach on the island! Can’t wait!