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“Outstanding Hospitality Service” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Volcano House

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Volcano House
2.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Crater Rim Dr, PO Box 53, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Island of Hawaii, HI 96718   |  
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Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
El Granada, California
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Outstanding Hospitality Service”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2014

We had planned to stay in one of the cabins offered by the Operators of Volcano House. My 6 yr-old daughter was very excited about the bunk bed. Unfortunately we only discovered at check-in that the cabins are three miles down the road in the National Park and not adjacent to the caldera like the hotel. The leading criterion my wife had is that our accommodations were close enough to the caldera that we could walk there and see the glow that evening. Oops!, I am responsible for missing this because I booked the reservation online through their website - it's right there in the first line of the description! I only note it here in order to help you avoid making the same mistake. So, the hotel...

We were fortunate enough that there were two rooms remaining and the Front Desk changed our reservation on the spot. He even gave us a break on the price given the hour of the day and their obvious desire to book the rooms.

We had a standard room on the side of the hotel opposite the caldera so no view of the glow from our room. But the sitting area, inside and out, behind the lobby was fantastic. The beds were comfortable, every single hotel and restaurant Staff I spoke with was friendly and helpful. I have the sense that the Hotel Management goes to great lengths to train the Staff because their execution was consistent and so very courteous (as it should be).

In the morning I wanted to get some ice for our cooler of drinks and sandwiches. I asked at the front desk and she told me to run and grab my cooler. When I returned, a very nice woman from the restaurant (very yummy and also great service) took me to their ice machine and she filled the whole cooler for me - so nice. I overheard housekeeping Staff offer hiking suggestions to other guests, the woman in the gift shop was just as helpful. The Volcano House Staff seem to enjoy their jobs and it was reflected in their personalized and professional service.

We will definitely stay at Volcano House again. We love to visit the Park and making it an overnight trip of it from Kohala is definitely the way to go. Great service.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David M, General Manager at Volcano House, responded to this review, August 12, 2014
Aloha Keith G,

Thank you for taking the time to leave a TripAdvisor review for your stay at Volcano House - I'm pleased that you found our staff helpful and friendly. I apologize fro my delayed response, the summer has gotten away from me and I'm just now catching up!

I'm glad to hear that you had a pleasant experience and that we were ably to accommodate you in the lodge. It's true our cabins are three miles away from the crater - thank you for letting other potential guests know about this. (The cabins do provide a unique experience on their now, though. They are a very affordable way to stay in the park and have quick access to all of the sights.)

Thanks again for the response and I wish you safe travels!

Mahalo,

David MacIlwraith
General Manager
Hawaii Volcanoes Lodge Company
dmacilwraith@hawaiivolcanohouse.com
808.756.9625
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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358 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2014

If you are a first time to the area, I recommend staying at least one night at the Volcano House to enjoy the night time scenery of the Kilauea Caldera! I did splurge and booked the Crater View room. Yes, it is a bit pricey, but for one night worth the experience to see the caldera glowing in the evening and then to wake up to see the steam coming out in the morning. My husband and I enjoyed our overnight. We really enjoyed our views for dinner and then again at breakfast. We were able to enjoy the hiking trails and get an early start since we were already up there. Enjoy going to the Jaggar Museum patio at night (it is open even after the Museum closes) to get a closer view of the caldera glow.
The hotel staff has been very pleasant and made our stay very enjoyable! There is no A/C but they do provide a fan.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David M, General Manager at Volcano House, responded to this review, July 16, 2014
Aloha Travel206Girl,

Thank you for choosing to stay at Volcano House on your recent trip to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. It's great to hear that you enjoyed the glow from the Caldera in the evening and the view of the steam during the day!

I'm also glad to hear that you found our staff very peasant and that they were able to make your stay very enjoyable!

Mahalo,

David MacIlwraith
General Manager
Hawaii Volcanoes Lodge Company
dmacilwraith@hawaiivolcanohouse.com
808.756.9625
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ede, Nederland
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2014

The hotel is on a beautiful location, right in the park (across the visitor center) with a view on the caldera. In the evening you can see the glow from the lava. Unfortunately not all rooms were looking out on the caldera, and our room was at the parking lot side.

Rooms were okay. Bed good, amenities simple but sufficient. The room lacked a fridge, and there also was no public ice machine. Since we were traveling with some food, we were required to ask bar personel for ice to keep goods fresh.
Also there was no airconditioning in the rooms, though during our stay the weather didn't require any more artificial cooling.

Breakfast (not included) in the hotel is GREAT. Best omelettes and waffles ever! Also there are two nice little giftshops in the hotel.

Stayed July 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David M, General Manager at Volcano House, responded to this review, July 16, 2014
Aloha RuudKok,

Thank you for providing feedback on your stay at Volcano House. I'm excited to read that you found our omelets and waffles are the best ever! I'm also pleased that you found our rooms comfortable and our view amazing.

It's true we don't have public ice machines, but we provide ice whenever you require it. A simple call to the front desk and we will gladly fill your ice bucket or cooler for you.

It's also true that we don't have air conditioning. This fact is advertised on the rooms page of our website and in our two pre stay letters.

The average high temperature in Volcano, Hawaii runs between 66.9 degrees and 72.4 degrees Fahrenheit with average lows in the low to mid fifties. At an elevation of nearly 4000 feet, most guests are often surprised how cool it can be in the Park and that is why we've installed new heaters in all of our rooms. We do have fans available in all rooms to our guests that may require a bit of additional cooling.

Thanks again for the feedback!

Mahalo,

David MacIlwraith
General Manager
Hawaii Volcanoes Lodge Company
dmacilwraith@hawaiivolcanohouse.com
808.756.9625
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sunnyvale, California
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2014

Newly renovated and recently re-opened this is one cool (or maybe hot) spot. Most rooms have large glass windows that face the volcano. We could see in the not too far distance the red glow of lava reflective off the rising steam. The rooms are larger than expected (originally built in the 1920s) and very clean and comfortable. No TVs so get out and enjoy nature. The food at the Rim restaurant was amazing. During dinner they turn off the lights and you can watch the glow from the crater just outside the windows. It isn't cheap but should be on your bucket list.

Room Tip: Make sure you as for crater side!!
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David M, General Manager at Volcano House, responded to this review, July 16, 2014
Aloha KonaBoyCA,

Mahalo for taking the time to write a great review about your recent stay at Volcano House, located in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed our rooms and found dinner in the Rim amazing!

Thanks again and safe travels!

Mahalo,

David MacIlwraith
General Manager
Hawaii Volcanoes Lodge Company
dmacilwraith@hawaiivolcanohouse.com
808.756.9625
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waianae, Hawaii
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2014

I booked a room about 2 months ago which makes me wonder why I got the room I did.

From what I've read there is no need for AC (true, quite chilly) nor do the rooms have t.v.s as they wanted their guest to enjoy the view of the crater. Problem was that my window overlooked the parking lot.

There is free parking but one has to pay to get into the national park to get to the hotel and parking is limited as those outside come in for dinner.

There is no elevator; my room was up three flight of stairs and down the hall to the end. Difficult if one suffers from sciatica and trying to lug up luggage.

The restaurant needs reservations for dinner. Just don't try coming early or they will make you wait. (There was a group of people who only had to wait 5 minutes and it appeared that they didn't have a reservation at all.) Our reservation was for 6pm and we came there at 5:30pm on the fourth of July. The restaurant was half empty but we were told to come back in 20 minutes. We waited 25 minutes just to be sure and the hostess didn't recognize us even though she called the party that came after us by name. This ruined the whole experience for us but the waiter was alright and the food good so we gave our normal 25% tip.

Our last day there, the 6th of July, we decided to eat the buffet breakfast. Unfortunately a bunch of people were waiting as the staff wasn't ready (it was pass 7am when the buffet was supposed to begin.)

The bathroom was ridiculously tiny. Honestly, I wasn't given an option when I was booking the room for an upgrade. I would have gladly paid more for a room with a view (which is the whole reason I booked with Volcano House). And my husband would have appreciated a bathroom that he could turn around and move about without bumping into something.

The only reason I didn't give this a total one star was Chantelle the front desk clerk and Lily the housekeeping staff. These ladies were so helpful, giving us suggestions as to where we could find things in Hilo. Oh and the omelet chef was great. He remembered us from the previous morning and asked if we wanted the same kind of omelet or did we want to try something new.

I had visited the Volcano House years ago and remembered the restaurant and the gorgeous view with awe. I jumped at the chance to stay there for my vacation. Very disappointed.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a view of the crater. Make sure to use the heater. Be prepared for a very tiny...
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David M, General Manager at Volcano House, responded to this review, July 7, 2014
Aloha Victoria T,

I’m glad to see that Volcano House is your first TripAdvisor review. It sounds like you enjoyed Shantel and Lily as well as our breakfast cook – I’ll let them know you appreciated their level of service. It does sound like we didn’t meet your expectations on some items – I apologize for this. Since you had a number of issues, I’d like to address each separately:

As our restaurant is quite popular and books up early, we do recommend dinner reservations. We communicate this in our pre-stay letters and we also call all future hotel guests three days prior to their arrival if they haven’t made reservations to ensure they get a table for dinner (if we have a contact number and we are able to connect to them). I’m sorry we weren’t able to seat you earlier than your scheduled 6:00 pm reservation time. Our reservation system is set up with two hours between a table’s seatings and we have a limited number of tables per server in order to provide a quality experience to each and every guest. We also space out tables for each server so that we can provide you with an adequate amount of time so that you don’t ever feel rushed.

The breakfast buffet is open each day from 7:00 am – 10:00 pm. I reviewed the security camera footage from the 6th and talked to the servers and we did open on time. There were even guests who came in before the official opening time.

I looked into your reservation and am glad to see that you were able to take advantage of our low Kama’aina rates for Hawaiian residents. We advertise three types of rooms on our website: standard view, crater view and deluxe crater view. You booked a standard view room which doesn’t overlook the crater. It is on the parking lot side of the building and you see both the parking lot and further out the Ohia forest. I’m sorry we didn’t do a better job communicating this to you and that you didn’t see the other options for rooms. I’ll work on ways to better explain our views.

Since we are located inside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, it’s true you have to pay the entrance fee to get to our lodge. We communicate this in both our confirmation letter and on our pre-stay letter. I’ll look at other ways that we can better communicate this to our guests.

It’s also true that we don’t have an elevator in our lodge and it is 20 steps to the second floor (with 2 landings). I looked into your reservation and saw that you were an early check-in (check-in is at 3:00 pm, but your room was ready early, so you were able to check in at 12:55 pm). Our bellman comes on at 1:00, so I apologize no bell service was offered. In these situations, the front desk is trained to offer bell service through our houseman. I will work with the agent who checked you in to make certain they understand this for future guests.

I apologize again for letting you down and hope that you will reach to me so that we may discuss any additional concerns further. Please find my contact information below.

Mahalo,

David MacIlwraith
General Manager
Hawaii Volcanoes Lodge Company
dmacilwraith@hawaiivolcanohouse.com
808.756.9625
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Louis, MO
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2014

How can it get much better than to lie in your bed at night and see the Southern Cross and the glow of the caldera. The setting is nothing short of spectacular. Besides the views from the hotel itself, the location puts you in easy access to all the park has to offer including the Jaggar Museum, the Chain of Craters Road and the best hiking trails. (Kilauea Iki is a hike not to be missed.) The hotel has been recently updated and is attractive and comfortable, within the restraints of it's historic and historical limitations. The bathrooms are small. The rooms will be cooled by your open windows. Instead of these being liabilities, they help you connect with the history of the building and park. And, if the lack of a television in your room is an issue, try looking at the thousands of stars that are visible, or watching the ever-changing glow of the caldera, or listening to the sounds of the night, or taking in the live acoustical entertainment in the family-friendly lounge.
Service at the hotel is where they lose their five star rating, as it is uneven. The young man who checked us in on the afternoon of June 27 was efficient and very friendly. The woman who checked us out two days later would hardly look up and never gave a smile. The man at the omelet station was incredible, keeping the line moving quickly as he made two omelets and two waffles at a time. Our waitress at dinner, while efficient enough, lacked the flair of service that should go with
the linens, menu and prices. The young man in housekeeping that we encountered more than once in the hallway, always greeted us with a smile and hello. If the hotel and restaurant could get all their employees to up to the same level of service, Volcano House would earn a five every time.

Room Tip: The second floor offers spectacular views of the Caldera.
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David M, General Manager at Volcano House, responded to this review, July 7, 2014
Aloha loveadventure4,

Thank you for the great review of Volcano House. It sounds like you had a wonderful time here and really understood that we are a historic lodge located in a National Park and offer a unique experience to our guests. I'm glad you enjoyed our live entertainment in Uncle George's lounge. This is free to all to enjoy on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

I'm sorry that you found our level of service uneven, I'll let the afternoon front desk clerk, the breakfast cook and our houseman know hat you enjoyed their service. We are in the process of providing all front of house employees with extensive training on working with our guests. Most have completed four hours on interpretive information about Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and next is training to help elevate our level of customer service that we provide to our guests.

Thank you for the feedback!

Mahalo,

David MacIlwraith
General Manager
Hawaii Volcanoes Lodge Company
dmacilwraith@hawaiivolcanohouse.com
808.756.9625




Mahalo,

David MacIlwraith
General Manager
Hawaii Volcanoes Lodge Company
dmacilwraith@hawaiivolcanohouse.com
808.756.9625
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2014

I love national park hotels. They may not be the most modern or comfortable, but you can't beat their historic vibe, interesting architectural details, and ambience. This one is no different. Where else can you sit in comfort and watch a volcano glowing red hot not a mile away? Amazing! I didn't stay in the lodge--all sold out--so I stayed in a camper cabin that is part of the lodging. It's four miles away, and you have to have some basic gear, but they provided very comfortable beds, bedding, and towels. The cabin is half mile from Jaggar Museum and night viewing of the crater; and is surrounded by forest so you wake up to bird song.

My only complaint: they were breaking in a new key card system and I had to go back several times (4 miles each way) to get two keys that worked. They should bring the new keys out to you if they can't fix the system. Old-fashioned keys might be a lot better!

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David M, General Manager at Volcano House, responded to this review, July 7, 2014
Aloha 123carolyn123,

I appreciate you taking the time to write a recent review of your stay with us at our cabins. I also appreciate you sharing your experience of the lodge and the iconic view of the glow from the crater - it is indeed magnificent!

I'm sorry that you were on of our guests that experienced issues with our card system. It's been in use for a year, but we believe we may have had a bad batch of blank keys. We had a couple of days of all sorts of lock issues out of the ordinary. I agree, we shouldn't have made you drive back and forth. We've actually started a system were our night porter can drive new keys over to guests so that we don't have this issue again.

Thank you again for the wonderful feedback!

Mahalo,

David MacIlwraith
General Manager
Hawaii Volcanoes Lodge Company
dmacilwraith@hawaiivolcanohouse.com
808.756.9625




Mahalo,

David MacIlwraith
General Manager
Hawaii Volcanoes Lodge Company
dmacilwraith@hawaiivolcanohouse.com
808.756.9625
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Volcano House

Address: Crater Rim Dr, PO Box 53, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Island of Hawaii, HI 96718
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Hawaii > Island of Hawaii > Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Volcano House 2.5*
Number of rooms: 43
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Volcano House is the only hotel located within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and is perched on the rim of Kilauea's Halemaumau crater. The historic Volcano House Hotel has long captured the imagination of visitors from all over the world with its iconic location, rich cultural legacy, and warm Hawaiian hospitality. Drawing upon a storied history dating back to 1846, Volcano House Hotel is now re-imagined for a new era with updated rooms, a restaurant and lounge serving Pacific Rim fare, and retail shops. Come experience the best Hawaii Island has to offer. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Volcano House Hotel Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Volcano Hotel
Volcano House Hawaii/Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

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