Mauna Lani Beach vs Fairmont Beach on Big Island

mauna lani beach vs fairmontHave you ever wondered about the Mauna Lani Beach vs Fairmont Beach on Big Island? I certainly have. Because after our stupendous afternoon at the best beach in all of West Hawaii, we headed out the same direction yesterday. Turns out the Mauna Lani Hotel is one of the few resorts I have not stayed at on Big Island. It’s a very old hotel with a dedicated following but in dire need of updating.

A woman in the gift shop where all jewelry was advertised 50% off is about to lose her job. Everybody in the gift shops pretty much will be out of work when they all shut down. About a year ago, the Mauna Lani Hotel was sold. The new owners are planning a $100 million renovation. The land alone, including the golf course, is valued at $67.5 million according to the Hawaii tax records. But it has seen better days.

mauna lani beach vs fairmont

Here is exclusive buyer’s agent Josh Amolsch strolling the beach to see Mauna Lani Beach vs Fairmont Beach. This is Mauna Lani, and you can see the sand is littered with shells, volcanic rock, very much unlike, say, Mauna Kea Beach with its sugar white sand. The surf is rough. There are large rocks in the water, and it’s littered with seaweed.

mauna lani beach vs fairmont

On the surface, Mauna Lani Beach has a good surf, very suitable for boogie boarding. But only if you don’t care if you’re thrown into the reef. The rocks were sharp on your feet without water shoes. Even the color of the water was a dark blue and uninviting. We all jumped in the water but within about 5 minutes, I asked if Josh and Vika would like to try a different beach. They did not hesitate. We left.

mauna lani beach vs fairmont

Instead, we opted for the turn in the road and headed for the Fairmont. In our quest to compare Mauna Lani Beach vs Fairmont Beach, I think it was clear that the Fairmont was a better choice. As luck would have it, the Fairmont also has a fair amount of renovation going on. Much sawing, pounding and noise. My favorite beach restaurant where you can sit in the sand was closed. In this photo, I am standing next to the quiet waters.

mauna lani beach vs fairmont

Because the beach restaurant was closed, the Fairmont opened a kitchen underneath a tent. Our lunch options were mostly sandwiches, fish and chips or a salad, with a few appetizers. Vika’s lunch seemed overly cooked and a bit burned. But when you’re staring at the water and snorkeling awaits, how bad can it be?

mauna lani beach vs fairmont

This was our view from the lunch table. Looking out over the secluded bay where I learned how to paddleboard many years ago. Those cabana chairs, btw, are not free. The Fairmont charges for them. When my husband and I stayed at the Fairmont in 2010, those cost $50 a day. These hotels charge upwards of $500 to $1,000 for a room and then they nickel and dime you to death.

But at the end of the day, when it comes to Mauna Lani Beach vs Fairmont, it’s easy to see which beach is better. Not to mention, we were able to do snorkeling at the Fairmont Orchid Beach. I spotted a white striped fish, cylindrical in shape, bury itself in the sand. Also, a green fish that was not a mahi-mahi I’ve never seen before.

By the time you read this blog, I will be sitting at the airport in Kailua-Kona studying fish on my iPad. On my way way back to Sacramento and the intense world of Sacramento Real Estate.

Elizabeth Weintraub

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