Mauna Lani Resort History

By March 25, 2022About Hawaii, History

The Mauna Lani Hotel sits on 32 acres of the Kohala Coast, rich in Hawaiian history. Nestled between four ancient fishponds once used by Hawaiian royalty Waipuhi, Hopeaia, Manoku, and Kalahuipua’a, Mauna Lani Resort offers historical walking tours through the ponds and shares the history and significance around them. The most famous of them all, Kalahuipua’a, is over four acres large with two other divisions and reaches depths of twenty feet. Surrounded by ancient petroglyphs and lava tubes, the fishponds had an abundance of native fish that were caught to feed the royal families. The fishponds once belonged to King Kamehameha the Great, who was the first to rule and unite all of the Hawaiian Islands under one kingdom. In 1936 Francis Hyde I’i Brown purchased a small cottage with the 1,359 acres surrounding the ancient fishponds from James Frank Wood which he built for his bride Eva Parker Woods. Brown used the cottage and fishponds as an oasis for him and the love of his life, Winona Love. In 1972 Brown sold the property to Mauna Lani Resort; it is now an educational and historical museum that tells the history of the land and how Mauna Lani Resort came to be.

Hidden near the Mauna Lani Terrace lies the Queen’s Bath, a small brackish water pond that was once only used for the Hawaiian Queens and royal families. It was a place of luxury and relaxation. It is also home to a unique ecosystem of sea life. To this day, locals and visitors swim in the pond; however, it is advised that swimmers do not enter the water wearing any type of sunscreen or body lotion as it will harm the marine life.