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“Charming, Relaxing, and Friendly” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Inn at Kulaniapia Falls

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The Inn at Kulaniapia Falls
3.5 of 5 Inn   |   100 Kulaniapia Drive, P.O. Box 646, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96721   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #9 of 18 Hilo B&B and Inns
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Powell, Ohio
1 review
“Charming, Relaxing, and Friendly”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2012

The inn is located about 30 minutes from the Hilo airport. The grounds are beautiful and well maintained. There is a walking path along the river and waterfalls that has an impressive collection of bamboo. But watch your step; the trail is sometimes muddy, slippery, and littered with fallen fruit. We stayed in the King Kamehameha Room, which was nicely furnished and very comfortable. It also provided a good view of the big waterfall from both the room's windows and balcony. The morning breakfast service was quite good. A cheerful attendant cooked eggs and waffles, and kept the small buffet stocked with some fruits, breads, and other breakfast foods. I recommend the Inn at Kulaniapia Falls for couples or individuals seeking a quiet and relaxing stay in near Hilo.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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512 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (127)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Big Island, Hawaii
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2012

Come here for the outdoor experience of the beautiful grounds. Lovely trails and several amazing waterfalls amidst established vegetation. We spent hours out there and never saw anyone else on the trails. Spectacular view of the waterfall from the upper room lanai. Definitely romantic. I loved the polished wood floors in Harmony House. The mac nut waffles were a treat!

Room Tip: If you want a waterfall view from your room, be sure to look for that on your room selection options...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2012

This place is for you if relaxation is your #1 goal and resort living is too structured for you.

As stated by others, it's true there is no welcoming committee. After figuring out how to get there (you need to follow the web site's directions to the T), the instructions are out front and you figure it out. You may or may not run into anyone. Check-out is similarly free of bureaucracy.

We took the "King Kamehameha" room. If I'm not mistaken, it's the largest room in the main building, but don't expect big. The pictures made it look bigger than it was, trust me. But it was quite comfortable, although my wife would have appreciated AC. It had a nice deck which made for a pleasant spot to read.

Breakfast is quite casual and the service is very friendly. Not five-star by any means, but very pleasant with waffles, eggs, breads, and fruit.

The property cannot be beat. The river with not one, but four, falls roaring past. A lovely bamboo garden. The surrounding macadamia trees. Which brings me back to this: if chilling out is your #1 goal, then this property is perfect. The bamboo garden and associated trail have many places where you can rest, read, watch the water, or generally zone out. Only the rain will move you, at which point you can go to your own deck or the breakfast area and hang out there.

Of course, you'll need to drive down to Hilo for lunch and dinner as there are no facilities for guests to eat there (at least in the main residence where we stayed). Not even a microwave. But it's a small price to pay for the ultimate casual and restful stay you can ask for.

Not recommended for those that want to be waited on hand-and-foot a la Four Seasons. Highly recommended for those that just want to be left alone for true peace and quiet.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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San Jose, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

Someone obviously took a lot of trouble to build this B&B overlooking the falls which were beautiful, and had a couple of nice walking trails down to the water, one of them through a number of different bamboo species. This must have taken years to build and maintain, so it was all the more surprising that the B&B itself was showing signs of neglect. The view from our room (King Kamehameha) to the falls was framed by a weathered corrugated roof over the communal lanai and wooden boards that were rotting away. Aside from a brief passing in the parking area we didn't see the owners at all and we didn't feel very welcome. Breakfast was OK but nothing special. If this place ever changes ownership it would be a top choice, but I wouldn't consider returning otherwise.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Haleiwa, Hawaii
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2012

Best part of this place, you have your own falls to yourself! You don't have to worry about a lot of people in your way! Breakfast was awesome! Rooms are comfortable and the balconies are a plus. Great atmosphere! Would go back!

Room Tip: We stayed in the Queen Liluokalani room. Very nice. The balcony was pretty and relaxing. Did not hav...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Melbourne, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2012

What a disappointment! The service was poor - there was no welcome or orientation to the property, and no information in our room. Staff were unfriendly and the owners were almost 'invisible'. There was a dirty towel in the bathroom. The breakfast was poor (including waffles prepared from a packet mix; bottled, rather than fresh, juice; and a limited offer of fruit). Flies walked over the food left on the 'buffet' for guests. The key to our room did not work properly. The hot tub is not working. Although the waterfall is beautiful, this alone is not sufficient reason to stay at this property given the overall lack of welcome and service.

Room Tip: There are better places to stay in the Hilo area and many other, even more beautiful, waterfalls to...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Calgary, Canada
Top Contributor
159 reviews 159 reviews
108 hotel reviews
Reviews in 85 cities Reviews in 85 cities
80 helpful votes 80 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2012

I did a road trip around the Big Island starting in Kona and wanted to stay on the north end for a night. While researching for a b&b, I stumbled upon the Inn at Kulaniapia Falls and booked it for one night. I must say that the area is breaktakingly beautiful. I took time on the property to enjoy the bamboo collection in the gardens and ate breakfast on the veranda (or lanai as they call it in Hawaii) overlooking the big waterfall.I guess this review is more for FYI and pointers so that you have all the info to decide whether it is right for you. What this place offers is plenty of nature in peaceful solitude.

1) For me, a GPS system was essential to get there and I typed in "Kulaniapia" and was lead the way by my Garmin. This place is nestled in a very secluded place If you are driving here later in the afternoon/evening, I recommend picking up dinner/snacks/water as it will be a long ways to get back out to a store. From the highway, we exited out to smaller roads and then passed by farmland to even smaller roads but soon we had a "Inn at Kulanipia" road sign that directed me where to go and I followed those signs for the rest of the way. When I arrived, I was greeted by a red Chinese style house, a Japanese pagoda and the main residence of the innkeepers. My room was on the second floor of the main residence.

2)Be advised that there is no air conditioning. This is an eco friendly property with all the electricity being generated by the scenic waterfall. We just used the ceiling fan and it worked fine for me. Those who are not heat tolerant might find it a bit uncomfortable.

3) Room and bathroom was cozy and comfortable for a bed and breakfast. Overall, I quite liked the property and would highly recommend it most for a couples retreat or any party of two travelling as the rooms are not equipped to house more than two people.

4) No televisions in the room. But yes, there is wifi on the property that you can access with your phone/ereader/tablet.

I met the inn keepers in the morning and was treated to a breakfast of Kona coffee, eggs, macadamian nut waffles, and fresh fruit. Splendid way to start my morning.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Inn at Kulaniapia Falls

Address: 100 Kulaniapia Drive, P.O. Box 646, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96721
Location: United States > Hawaii > Island of Hawaii > Hilo
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 18 B&Bs / Inns in Hilo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Inn at Kulaniapia Falls 3.5*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A charming Inn offering 10 rooms or a private guest house. Three waterfalls and a botanical garden. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Inn At Kulaniapia Falls Hotel Hilo
The Inn At Kulaniapia Falls Hilo, Hawaii

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