Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Mauna Kea Hotel Closes
Sometimes we hear news of the passing of someone or a closing of a famous place, and it hits us hard...even if we didn't know them all that well. Such was the case when I watched the television news report this past week and heard the famous Big Island Resort Hotel, the Mauna Kea, had been closed down, perhaps permanently. This sad news felt like the end of an era for me. Apparently an October earthquake wreaked heavy structural damage to this older hotel.
The blog in USA Today online by Larry Olmsted says it so very well, "Mauna Kea is not just any big Hawaiian luxury hotel. It is the oldest and most venerable golf resort in the state, and was once the flagship property of Laurence Rockefeller's Rock Resorts chain." You can read the rest of his blog here.
Here's my personal connection with the Mauna Kea Hotel. She was the FIRST resort hotel I ever visited in the Hawaiian Islands, and back then, she was the bomb. Beautiful antiquities and exotic Oriental and Hawaiian items and sculptures were artfully placed around the property. The hospitality and staff were amazing and communicated the warm "Aloha" vibe. I loved staying there, and I visited with TWO husbands on several vacations. Within my photo albums are photos of many happy moments I enjoyed at this beautiful Grand Dame of a hotel. One time I was driving around in a golf cart with a husband on the famous golf course, and because the day was hot, I had taken off my shirt with just my bikini top showing. Someone had reported me, and the golf club marshall showed up to tell me to put my shirt back on because I was distracting the golfers. Those were the days!