Don’t mind if I do, The Mauna Kea Hotel
(Photograph by Ashley Urban)
I don’t care if the food at the Mauna Kea’s weekly luau is barely edible and pricey, or that their room service never seems to get it right or even that their beach chairs have seen better days. I just love staying at the Mauna Kea Hotel because of all the happy memories that it evokes.
Recently, Eric and I attended a wedding at the Mauna Kea. The daughter of good friends of ours from San Francisco was getting married there because of her family’s long association with the resort.
It was a magical and picture perfect event that brought together a lot of friends from home. With them came remembrances of past spring vacations, when our daughters were growing up and a lot of our friends’ children were too.
It was at the Mauna Kea pool that Olivia first learned to swim. Mallory and Averell snorkeled for the first time from the resort’s beach, which is considered by many to be the best on the big island of Hawaii.
I’ll never forget the day that we were all out snorkeling and spotted a sea turtle. We managed to swim with it for the longest time. That’s a visual memory that I hold dear and sometimes recall when I’m trying to fall asleep at night.
My first visit there was over thirty years ago with Eric in our pre-children phase of our marriage. Back then we thought nothing of hopping on plane in NYC, where we were living at the time, and making the 10 hour flight to Kona, HI.
I remember we found the island and the resort to be quite exotic at the time. Perhaps it’s all the fabulous Polynesian and Asian art that David Rockefeller had bought for the resort that is still showcased there or the way that each guests is greeted with leis and a tropical fruit drink upon arrival at the hotel.
This last time around, Eric and I decided that another family vacation at the Mauna Kea is in order. From London, Averell will have to travel half way around the world to get there. But it will be worth it to have the whole family together, forging new memories.