• Bring Your Event to the Beautiful New Kaunaoa Ballroom at Mauna Kea

    September 26th 2016 - by admin

    Are you looking for the perfect place for your meeting or social function? Mauna Kea Beach Hotel recently opened its brand-new Kauna‘oa Ballroom. It’s a gorgeous space with huge, floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides with beautiful views of Kauana‘oa Bay and its white sand beach, which has been called the best beach in the world.

    The ballroom features nearly 3,500 square feet of indoor function space, as well as outdoor pre-function areas. A lanai with a view surrounds the ballroom. There’s also a nearby open-air area with a striking mural by local artist Solomon Enos. The venue is flexible and can accommodate larger or smaller events.

    A new breezeway connects the ballroom and the 100-room Beachfront Wing, meaning a group staying at the hotel for their event can have the unique opportunity of a “hotel with a hotel” experience. And in addition to the new Kauna‘oa Ballroom, event participants can also enjoy the hotel’s amazing location, championship golf, enhanced beach services and cultural classes.

    Together with sister property Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel, the hotel offers nearly 150,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space with fulltime banquet and conference services staff to ensure every event is a big success.

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  • 20 Interesting Facts About the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel’s History

    September 26th 2016 - by admin

    How much do you know about the early days of Mauna Kea Beach Hotel? Here are 20 fun facts about the hotel’s origins.

    1. Hotel founder Laurance S. Rockefeller chose the site for Mauna Kea Beach Hotel after spotting its beautiful, crescent-shaped, white sand beach from the air and subsequently going for a swim there.
    2. Before the hotel was built, there were no roads, water or electricity – just the beautiful beach, the bay and black lava.
    3. Rockefeller signed a 99-year lease with Parker Ranch for 1,800 acres.
    4. Before he started building, Rockefeller hired a crew to set up a weather station to track temperatures and wind; he was checking to see if the hotel could be built without air-conditioning, which he detested.
    5. His goal was to make the hotel blend into the natural environment and be open to the sun and fresh air.
    6. He didn’t want the hotel to have radios, televisions or air-conditioning, which he considered negative “distractions of civilization.”
    7. The winning hotel design, by Skidmore Owings and Merrill, was a concrete mega-structure with 154 guest rooms opening to corridor-less floors “floating” over an ocean-facing atrium with suspended stairways rising throughout. The hotel exterior was painted the color of the sand on Kauna‘oa Beach.
    8. The freestanding Dining Pavilion was designed to mimic a Buddhist temple with a bronze carp outside its entry as guardian.
    9. Its lobby featured Hawai‘i’s first retractable roof, a skylight that could be closed when it rained.
    10. Blue tile floors led across the wall-less space toward an equally blue ocean.
    11. Materials included 54,000 square feet of Mexican flagstone, 5,000 square feet of Italian marble and 30,000 square feet of local lava, one mile of Narra wood, 11 miles of pipe, 1,700 tons of reinforcing steel, and 20,242 cubic yards of concrete.
    12. Black beach pebbles for the roof were trucked in from 90 miles away.
    13. The original landscaping included 200,000 plants representing more than 200 varieties.
    14. It took 1.5 million man hours to build and open the hotel.
    15. Mauna Kea Beach Hotel was the most expensive hotel ever built at the time. It cost $15 million dollars (more than $115 million in today’s dollars).
    16. In 1965, all rooms came with two twin beds because double beds were thought to be inappropriate, and smoking was permitted.
    17. Rooms cost between $43 and $48 per day and included breakfast and dinner.
    18. The hotel’s opening team consisted of 325 employees (2.11 per guestroom) hired from among 500 applicants.
    19. The hotel’s Robert Trent Jones, Sr., golf course opened in 1964 and was christened by the “Big Three” – Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Arnold Palmer.
    20. Almost immediately, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel was highly acclaimed. It received the Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects, Fortune called it one of the Ten Best Buildings of 1966, and in 1967 Esquire declared it one of the three best hotels in the world.
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