At some point in our lives, most of us have dreamed of that ultimate vacation in Hawaii -- the sun, secluded sandy beaches, the ocean blue stretching endlessly before us.
At some point in our lives, most of us have dreamed of that ultimate vacation in Hawaii -- the sun, secluded sandy beaches, the ocean blue stretching endlessly before us. Whatever the reason you want to go -- to experience the culture, celebrate a milestone in your life, or simply to bask in its famed sunshine, Hawaii has long been considered a dream vacation.
Thankfully, the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows on the island of Hawaii has made it possible to experience an affordable, family vacation. Yes, I did say affordable, family and Hawaii all in one sentence.
The Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows is understandably proud of its commitment to quality and savings for families. This summer, book a room at the best available rate and receive a second room for just $99 per night. (Summertime savings package is valid through September 30, 2010, for travel through September 30, 2010.) The resort received top accolades in 2010 from organizations such as Conde Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure.
"Family (ohana in Hawaiian) is a huge part of the Hawaiian way of life and at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows, we truly embrace Hawaiian traditions and culture in everything we do," said Brian Butterworth, general manager. "Our team genuinely loves being able to bring families together and share the experience. Many of our guests have been visiting us for years [and] we've been able to see children grow up to then go on to start their own families. We regard these families as part of the Mauna Lani ohana and believe it's important that we continue to provide special offers and create new experiences that make a visit to Mauna Lani unlike anywhere else."
The Mauna Lani Bay offers a long list of complimentary guest services that appeal to families. Along with an Hawaiian floral lei greeting, guests have internet and WIFI access, a fitness club, swimming pool, snorkeling equipment, sand volleyball, beachside and poolside cabanas, twice daily maid service, bicycle riding, special classes such as coconut frond weaving, ukulele and hula lessons, plus so much more.
The hotel is upfront about offering these opportunities with no hidden resort fees. In fact, it has taken quite a stand against them. "Resort fees and mandatory charges to use our facilities go against everything we represent," Butterworth said. "We are here to create lifetime memories and authentic experiences that cannot be found anywhere else in the world but Hawaii. An itemized bill is not the final impression that we want our guests to leave with."
A true family-friendly hotel, the Mauna Lani Bay offers a complete children's program. Children ages 5 through 12 are welcomed to Camp Mauna Lani, a unique opportunity for children to not only have fun, but to learn the customs and culture of the islands. Kids can explore, create Hawaiian arts and crafts, play organized games and enjoy outdoor activities. While the children's camp fees are extra, the cost is reasonable: $50 for the entire day, including a snack. Day camp excursions also are available, such as cave explorations, lei making, net fishing and more.
While the children are enjoying Camp Mauna Lani, parents can enjoy time at the renowned spa. Or get in some rounds of golf. Mauna Lani's two championship golf courses are the Francis H. I'i Brown North and South. The courses are built on historic lava flow and total 36 holes. The resort also proudly offers Hawaii's only children's golf course - a nine-hole walking course that's perfect for families, beginning players or junior golfers to enjoy.
Of course, one shouldn't miss the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful Pacific Ocean. Be sure to carve out time for some ocean and beachside fun. Plan an afternoon of snorkeling in the warm Pacific waters, take in a sail, a sunset cruise, or build a sandcastle or two.
Whatever your family size, a number of accommodations are available. And since visitors want to enjoy the incredible ocean views, the Mauna Lani has made sure that almost 90 percent of the 343 guest rooms at the resort, including the five bungalows, have an ocean view. Enjoy your stay in a lovely standard guest room, or opt for a truly luxurious and spacious bungalow.
The Mauna Lani is home to the famous CanoeHouse restaurant. It is known for offering the freshest island ingredients within 100 miles of the resort. On the property, are five restaurants. In-room dining also is available.
Rosanna Scott, mother of three, is a writer specializing in family/parenting issues and travel. She is the author of the children's book, Peter & Friends at Camp.