When I traveled to the Big Island several years ago, all I remember was my exclamations of "Oh, how nice, another historical lava flow. Isn't it cute how they have markers in each one to record the specific date." Yawn, yawn. I must have been traveling with my eyes closed! This time, I was amazed at the diversity of this island. Where else in the world can you begin a two hour drive departing from a balmy white sand beach, heading up through rain forests, deserts, cattle ranches, and end up in a ski resort where the chair lift allows you to view the whole island at a height of approximately 13,000 feet?
On to my accommodation...I arrived at the Mauna Loa earlier than planned. Check-in was at 4pm, and I was there at noon to inform the resort that my luggage have been lost and to be on the look-out for its arrival. How surprised I was that the resort had already cleaned and prepared my room. This was during peak season when most hotels are lucky to have your rooms ready at check-in! I decided to press my luck and see if there were any upper floors available as I have gotten to the point in my travels that the sound of children frolicking above my head brings out a very manic personality, and postal is not the way I like to spend my holidays. Back to my request, I digress. I was informed I had both an upper and lower unit. The Mauna Loa is a series of townhouses, where there are four townhouses in each cluster. Private entrances, each two bedroom unit had private baths with both bedrooms, and private lanais attached to each bedroom! There are units on one floor, which you can request, for those who don't do stairs.
When you enter the unit on the lower level you find the bedrooms and laundry room located off a small foyer. Upstairs, there is a spacious living room with a pull out couch, dining area, a well equipped gallery kitchen, and another half bath. Each two to three clusters of homes share a pool and a hot tub. There were never more than two to three people at our pool when we were there.
The staff here are marvelous! There were no questions that they did not answer regarding the area. They went over backwards to give you as much information as they could about directions, best beaches, restaurants, parking, etc. I have never had such a receptive experience when dealing with staff anywhere I have traveled.
Very few rooms in this resort have ocean views of any kind. Many overlook the golf course (the resort sits between two fairways), or just peer up at the mountains and coffee fields above. Recommendations: families (lots of room to spread out and get some private space); honeymooners (for the same reasons); anyone who wishes to discover a vacation paradise at a reasonably priced vacation home.