Written by Jani Carr, Converge multimedia journalism intern and Senior at Parkview High School
Safe travelling has always been important, but in 2021, the pandemic is redefining the meaning of “safe.” Now, while searching for the perfect family destination, you have a lot more to consider than just where to eat and what to do. Luckily, the Mauna Lani Resort on Hawaii’s Big Island solves that issue for you with comprehensive COVID procedures, great dining and awesome activities to enjoy all within property lines. If you’re looking for a luxurious and relaxing family getaway, this is the place to go.
The Big Island is different from the others in the Hawaiian chain in that it has considerably less tourist traffic there. Its landscape is also covered in lava rocks due to the live volcano, however, that does not diminish the island’s beauty. Beyond the rock fields, you can see lush mountains on one side, and the blue Pacific on the other. This polarization makes the 35-minute drive from the Kona Airport to the Mauna Lani Resort a fascinating one. Just remember to bring your vaccination card or proof of a negative COVID test with you or you won’t be allowed beyond the airport.
Once you arrive at Mauna Lani, you see the resort’s sprawling grounds that include a golf course, private direct beach access and the beautiful hotel itself, which was recently renovated and reopened in 2020. The entrance is wonderfully grand, with the sides open to the outside, allowing a gentle breeze to sway the tall palm trees and many plants around the lobby.
Mauna Lani has so many activities to choose from and enjoy as a family or by yourself including golfing, biking, snorkeling, yoga and much more. When snorkeling, after canoeing out to a depth of around 40 feet, you can see a variety of sea creatures, fish and coral of all colors and sizes. Standup paddle boarding lends the opportunity to drift along the clear waters just off the beach and see some turtles swimming under you. Most of your time, though, will probably be spent at the pool where they have excellent poolside service for ordering meals and drinks, and comfy seats to sunbathe in.
Finally, the hotel has two great restaurants on property: the Hā Bar and Grill and CanoeHouse. While both are delicious options, the CanoeHouse is a bit more high-end and has better service overall. Both restaurants are perfect because of the low effort required to go to them, since they are only a few steps away from the pool.
While there are a few shops off-property to go to for souvenirs, food and clothes, there’s hardly any reason you’d need to leave the hotel grounds. If you’ve been saving up for a vacation, the Mauna Lani Resort is an excellent choice because you can have a luxurious experience that leaves you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.