i am looking to visit the Big island and am torn between the Mauna Kea and Waikoloa Marriott. I am redeeming points and tha is similar between both, only additional is the $30 resort fee at Waikoala. Does anyone have any recommendations or preferences based on past trips?
Definitely go to the Mauna Key!
I haven't stayed there, yet , but I heard lots of good things about it.
However, I am familiar with the Waikoloa Marriott and would not recommend it that much for the following reasons:
1. The beach is nice but it's impossible to get into the sea because all the rocks in the water. I wonder how they didn't think till now they ought to handle their beach properly and remove the rocks... Such a shame!!
2. The swimming pools in the hotel are too warm. Didn't give me any joy swimming in them.
3. The Waikoloa Marriott is soon to be partially converted to a vacation club, so bare that in mind.
I stayed at the Mauna Kea last September. Wonderful hotel.
Here's a brief write-up Mauna Kea Beach Hotel - Autograph property par excellence
And some photos Mauna Kea Beach Hotel
You might also find my blog entry from my time on the Big Island helpful County Collecting Hawaiian Style - Part 2, The Big Island
You definitely can't go wrong with the Mauna Kea. Let me know if you have any more questions about it. I'll do my best to answer.