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“Great tour, glad we went.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Arnott's Lodge and Hiking Adventures

Arnott's Lodge and Hiking Adventures
98 Apapane Rd., Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720
808-339-0921
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Ranked #19 of 59 Activities in Hilo
Type: Tours, Adventure
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Attraction details
Owner description: Arnott's Lodge and Hiking Adventures is a unique and special place for people to spend their Hawaiian stay on the Big Island and take our tours. Our tours consists of Mauna Kea Sunset/Stargazing, Volcano National Park and Valleys and Waterfall Tours. We also do custom tours to cater to your needs. Arnott's Lodge and Hiking Adventures was established in 1990 and we continue to give our guests an experience they'll never forget. Take advantage of our discounted tours when you stay with us for a minimum of 2 nights. We provide a place to pitch your tent, dormitories, semi-private units, suites, deluxe and deluxe suites.
Arizona
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
“Great tour, glad we went.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2012

We chose this tour because we were staying in downtown Hilo and did not want to drive all the way to Kona to join the more popular tour companies there. But we were not disappointed and loved our guide Daniel, who was extremely friendly and open to questions. The large tour van was in great shape and there was secure parking at Arnott's Lodge for our rental car. This company also picks up people at all Hilo hotels. No food included in tour price, but we stopped at a 7 Eleven near our Rainbow Falls photo stop that had plenty of cheap food and drink options. Daniel provided hot cocoa at the Mauna Kea visitor center after returning from the summit. BTW, the visitor center has a public microwave oven for visitors to use free of charge. Mahalo, Daniel and Arnott Tours, for a great experience.

Visited July 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AlohaArnotts, Manager at Arnott's Lodge and Hiking Adventures, responded to this review, March 30, 2013
Aloha to our friend from Arizona!! Thanks for the great review!! We are happy you enjoyed our Mauna Kea tour. You have reviewed it so comprehensively that there is little to add except perhaps had you stayed 2 nights with us here at Arnott's Lodge you would have received a discount on the price of the Mauna Kea Summit tour.

We hope to see you again in the near future. Aloha
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64 reviews from our community

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English first
Denver, Colorado
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Wonderful View of Mauna Kea Observatories at Sunset”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2012

We took the Mauna Kea Sunset and Starshow Tour offered by Arnott's Lodge. We were driven up to the Onizuka Visitor Center, where we were able to see Silversword plants, peruse the small gift store and see an informational movie (what you see seems to be hit and miss with your timing, but the point is to get used to the altitude). Then we proceeded up a curvy road (a bit narrow for two-way traffic), which is not entirely paved, in a four-wheel drive provided by Arnott's. Our driver/tour guide, Daniel, was friendly and full of information. He also sang for a group called "Mellow Mood", and had a beautiful voice.

Arnott's can provide some coats if you need them, but you will be happiest if you bring appropriate clothing. The winds were around 50mph when we were on the mountain, and the temperature drops to around 30 degrees up there at night. I brought a long sleeved duofold shirt, a wool sweater, my Columbia jacket and liner, fingerless gloves (so I could leave them on while taking pictures), and a hat, all of which I donned on the mountain. I also brought water, powerbars, sunglasses and my camera. Make sure your hat and sunglasses fit snugly or they may blow off if winds are high. I was very comfortable and had a wonderful time. The views cannot be beat. Afterwards, you return to the Visitor Center, where portable telescopes are set up. The view of the stars is amazing - so many are so clear to the naked eye. Also because of its location, they get over 80% of all constellations (many of the southern, and most of the northern) over the course of the year. In May, we were able to see both Polaris/Big Dipper and the Southern Cross at the same time.

Visited May 2012
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Ottawa, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Great budget tourS”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2012 via mobile

While staying in Hilo, we took advantage of the Arnotts Lodge Volcano tour and the Mauna Kea tour. As budget travelers, we found the price of these tours excellent, especially compared to other tour companies which charge $200+ for the Mauna Kea tour. Our guide, Eldrige, was extremely knowledgeable and provided us with interesting information on all aspects of Hawaii, including its geology, culture and history. During the Mauna Kea tour, the stargazing portion which he led was very interesting as well.

Many of the other reviews complain that the tour does not provide food and drinks and that ir is not a luxury tour. This is true but it says on the tour description when you book to bring food and water! I would gladly bring my own sandwiches and snacks in order to save that much money. If you are a budget traveller who does it expect to be catered to, these tours are a great choice!

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Phoenix
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“HORRIBLE!!!!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2012

We are tolerant travelers and rarely let bumps in the road bother us. During a big island trip last summer we took two Arnott's Lodge tours: Volcano National Park and Mauna Kea. On the first tour the guide was 45 minutes late meeting us he was not exactly an expert, reading directly from signage and explaining to us rudimentary concepts like how a volcano works.

Our trip to Mauna Kea was a joke. Firstly, when we arrived at Arnott's the staff felt inclined to give the group a speech similar to what you would expect if incarcerated, it was a comprehensive list of what we could not do, what the company was not responsible for and what we would do it the rules were broken. We thought it nice to wait for a new friend, and solo traveler, we had made on the Volcano tour and were chastised by the driver for requiring the group to be modified; it was amusing. We stopped at a gas station on the way to Mauna Kea and the driver told us to get out and get a snack because it would be a long time before arriving back in Hilo: nothing says class like dinner at a gas station. The worst part was when we arrived at the halfway point and saw the other tours. Unlike our sardine packed fifteen passenger van with old coats and 7elleven cuisine, these tours had proper tour buses, full body suits (needed in the severe cold) and bento boxes. We were insane with jealousy!

I could go on and on, but I wont. You don't need a guide for Volcano National Park and unless you cannot afford to see it otherwise, don't use Arnott's for Mauna Kea!!!

On the positive side, we have retold stories of our adventures with Arnott;s countless times since returning home. The services we received were such a joke, regaling our friends with the pathetic details has proved more entertaining than the actual tours. Live and learn. . .

Visited June 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AlohaArnotts, Owner at Arnott's Lodge and Hiking Adventures, responded to this review, March 30, 2013
Aloha Cecil, thanks for your honest review. As you can see by the number of excellent reviews we get compared to very few negative reviews, something obviously went wrong on the tour you took and the reality is, in this business 22 years that this just occasionally happens.

We apologize that you had a less than satisfactory experience and would note that we have almost completely changed our guide staff as a result of a management change.

One thing you mentioned that we would like to address is the equipment and food offered by the more expensive West side operators. As you had chosen to stay on the Hilo side you must have been aware that this is the more genuine ecological and laid back side of the island. Arnott's has responded to this demographic by using the more ecological smaller vans rather than the large fancy busses demanded by the $500 a night and up west side hotels.

We also are one of the only companies that provides heavily discounted uplift for high schools, colleges and other non profit organizations. Aloha
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Chesterfield, NJ
Top Contributor
115 reviews 115 reviews
27 attraction reviews
Reviews in 63 cities Reviews in 63 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
“Worked Well and Even With 4 WD Vehicle The Top Would be Pretty Cold without Parka”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2011

We thought this worked well and were pleased to have an option to make it to the top of the mountain from the Hilo side of the island. Even though the top is reachable with a 4 WD vehicle we would not have had the clothes with us for the extreme cold nor would I have felt comfortable coming off the mountain in the dark. Our guide was a bit late starting the tour but was VERY knowledgeable and more than willing to take questions and fully interact with his guests. I thought it was a great experience and appreciated getting my own food for the ride since the food provided by other companies did not look particularly good. Prices for these type of tours are certainly inflated on Hawaii but compared to others are a decent deal.

Visited August 2011
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