I’m not sure why more people don’t know about this larger, more low-key sibling to the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, especially since it hovers above the wide, white sands of popular Hapuna Beach. Those who have stayed here relish the fact that rooms start at 600 square feet (the largest standard rooms on the Kohala Coast), all with balconies and an ocean view. Substantial upgrades in 2013 also brought touches of Hawaiiana in subdued colors and improved the area around the long, large pool, great for lap swimming. The sprawling, terraced grounds include an 18-hole championship golf course , several open-air restaurants, including the wonderful Coast Grille , and a small cafe/deli with affordable (for this area) takeout options. The 8,000-square-feet Hapuna Villa, a four-bedroom residence with butler service and pool, is another hidden gem, albeit one that starts at a princely $7,000 a night.
- Jeanne Cooper