The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel Welcomes First Guests

December 20, 2008

KOHALA COAST, Hawaii, Dec. 20 /PRNewswire/ — The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel
celebrated a soft opening today marking the return of the Laurance
Rockefeller-built beachfront hotel and one of the world’s most revered resorts
on the Big Island’s Kohala Coast.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081220/CLSA906 )

Two years after being forced to close due to earthquake damage, The Mauna
reopened with a traditional Hawaiian blessing and welcomed its first
guests to experience a multi-million dollar investment in redesigned, spacious
guest rooms, new restaurants, a new spa, and an extensive makeover of the
legendary golf course complete with a new clubhouse.

“We are really excited to be open again and a lot of hard work has gone
into renovating and refreshing the property,” said Donn Takahashi, president
of Prince Resorts Hawaii. “People are eager to experience Mauna Kea again, and
we are thrilled to be back and better than ever.”

The flagship property of the Prince Hotels and Resorts international
portfolio, Mauna Kea will have its “official” Grand Opening in March.

“The soft opening serves as a final staff dress rehearsal and an
opportunity to ensure that everything is working before we really go out there
and celebrate,” said Takahashi.

General Manager Jon Gersonde added that the excitement among employees is
palpable. “We are welcoming back many old friends who loved coming here each
year. This weekend will be like a homecoming as they become reacquainted with
the hotel and greet the many former workers who have also returned. Many
long-time employees jumped at the opportunity to come back to Mauna Kea, so
the reopening has the feel of a family reunion,” said Gersonde.

The hotel’s classic exterior architecture design remains the same as
before, with the most dramatic changes taking place inside the guestrooms. The
total room and suite count has been reduced from 310 to 258 due to the
enlarging of rooms in the main building.

The Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa suites are a spacious 1,610 square feet
(including lanai) and the Junior suites measure just under 1,000 square feet,
while the regular guest rooms on the remodeled floors have been expanded to
550 square feet.

With luxurious interior furnishings, upgraded bedding, oceanview
bathrooms, and a host of the latest in entertainment amenities, the guestrooms
have never been more comfortably modern while staying true to Rockefeller’s
vision of “understated elegance.”

The new oceanview bathrooms are sure to be popular, with the super-size
baths, wall-less “rain showers,” soaking tubs, and private lanai.

“The entire guestroom experience brings a level of comfort that will
re-establish The Mauna Kea as the premier luxury hotel on the Big Island,”
said Gersonde.

Other new attractions at the hotel include a Mandara Spa offering an array
of exotic treatments, and enticing new culinary experiences directed by Resort
Executive Chef Piet Wigmans and Executive Chef George Gomes, who has returned
to Mauna Kea following a distinguished career in some of Hawaii’s finest

Also opening this week is the “new” Mauna Kea Golf Course, which has been
completely renovated from tee-to-green over the past year.

Overseen by Rees Jones, son of the original course designer, Robert Trent
Jones, Sr.
, the worldclass Mauna Kea Golf Course has been upgraded and
redesigned to USGA standards featuring new grass throughout the course layout,
rebuilt bunkers, and a new irrigation system. The renovation includes a newly
constructed Clubhouse with Pro Shop and locker rooms, as well as a restaurant
that can serve as another dinner option for resort guests.

Many popular resort activities are also back, including the 13-court
Seaside Tennis Club, the Salon at Mauna Kea, play-while-you learn children’s
activities, Hawaiian cultural experiences, the Art & Garden Tour, yoga and
exercise classes, and enhanced beach services and cabanas. The fabled manta
rays are expected to return for their nightly feeding forays off Manta Ray

Opened in 1965 and located on 60 acres overlooking Kauna’oa Bay — one of
Hawaii’s finest natural white sand beaches — the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is
known for a remarkable sense of place that embraces without intruding on its
dramatic natural surroundings. In 2007, the American Institute of Architects
recognized the hotel as one of the 150 best works of architecture nationwide.

Reservations can be arranged through a preferred travel planner or by
calling Prince Resorts Hawaii’s Luxury Desk toll-free at 1-866-977-4589. For
the latest updates and information, please visit

SOURCE Prince Resorts Hawaii

Source: newswire

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