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“Great retreat in the country” 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
Ocala, Florida
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Great retreat in the country”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

The Inn at Kulaniapia Falls is situated in a gorgeous area-with their own waterfall right out your door! I would say the property outdoors deserves 5 stars and is the reason I chose to stay there for over a week. This B&B is very Zen, perhaps not for a city slicker that expects plenty of attention; more of a great retreat. Upon your arrival you are directed by a previous email to a board hung above a welcoming bench area-it gves you your room name in one of the three homes that are offered on the beautiful property. It is at your leisure that you find your room and carry your things to it. The key will be in the door. Mornings you are greeted with a great breakfast by an experienced, wonderful staff including local fresh fruit, toast, waffles eggs any way you like-all prepared in your residence's common area /kitchen. Very yummy and a brilliant way to start the day!
As far as the rooms-they are pulled together with interesting furnishings, great sheets, yet a bit lacking in the details for more than a 3 * rating. I am an interior designer that has helped during some of the renovation and design of The Inn at Little Washington a true 5 * Inn-so I may hold a higher standard for anything over 3*. At The Inn at Kulanapia Falls-they do attempt to emulate more-just not quite there yet. Although I am certain they are head and heels above other accomodations in the town of Hilo, as I did look at a few. Most have seen a better day.
Overall-all rooms were clean and thoughtfully presented.The Inn, I rate at 3 * for various reasons-which was fine for what i needed, wanted and expected- even though the location was a 5*-Here are just a few reasons why-
They could have a bit thicker towels (although they had fresh clean towels as often as you needed them-just let the cooks know in the morning as they also tidy your room) upgraded faucets, shower heads especially need to be upgraded , the soap dispenser in the showers is a good idea -maybe--but is cheap-and not always reliable. I know it is more $$ to have beautiful soaps with the Inns name-yet those are the finished touches that bring a place to a higher level of credibility and finally more solid bedroom doors to block sound with less dated door knobs to compliment the feel they are hoping to create. Perhaps much of that may be a reflection of what is available on the island.
The rooms are not all the same size-I stayed in the Orchid and the Pakake both in the gorgeous Harmony house. The second floor Pakake had a great little balcony which over looked the waterfall. The Orchid on the first floor was larger yet no balcony and the TV was out until 5 days after I left according to the note on it-(that was the kind of detail I would not expect from a higher rated B & B-to me the details are what make a difference )
I was fortunate enough to actually meet the owners (apparently a rare occurance according to other posts-yet i saw them often mowing etc. as well) who were very helpful on one occasion; accommodating and extremely welcoming. Len and Jane Sutton have a dream place and fortunate for the rest of us, are willing to share it as a B&B. The town Hilo is only 15 minutes away-relatively close for the island country -as my friends on the island were 30 minutes from town. There are great restaurants in town-my favorites-for lunches and dinners-Cafe Pesto and for pastries Moonstruck Cafe. Would I stay there again or recommend you stay there? Absolutely!

Room Tip: Again-second floor rooms best views-the sound of the waterfall is divine!!!! The grounds 5+++ stars...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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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 (117)
Date | Rating
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English first
Vienna, Austria
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013

My wife and I have been there for one week during christmas. We had a nice room with all we need and a nice sight. Breakfast with fresh fruits and waffers made of the family let´s feel like at home.
Everything runs easy, from the arrival until the leaving. The area arround the houses are wonderfull, so you can walk through the bamboo trail to the pond with the waterfall. Everything is like it seems to be on the homepage. The owners are realy nice and help if you need it. So leaving their house was hard for us and even we live on the other side of the world we think to come back to this wonderfull place.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012 via mobile

The staff are very friendly am accommodating the views and property are amazing, it's close to Hilo Nd very private. I would choose this over a regular hotel any day and would tell my friends to stay there as well. Great choice after visiting the volcano.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Houston, Texas
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2012

My wife and I stay just one evening at the Inn but the place definitely exceeded expectations. We were the Prince Kalaukaua Room and I must say that is one of the most comfortable and relaxing evenings we have had a inn in a long time. Couple the gentle rain with a very comfortable bed and even though we stayed just one evening it was like stay three! Relaxing! In the morning the breakfast and coffee were outstanding and we able to take a walk down by the falls. We were the only ones there and it felt like we were on our own island!

Staff were great! Highly recommend

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2012

Chose the Pikake Room @ the Harmony House. Checking in was fairly casual. key hanging on the door of your room; just go in and settle in that's all (Lil bit too impersonal if you ask me). The Inn is on a big estate with nice waterfall @ the back. You have to drive outside Hilo, past a gorgeous orchid farm, some sharp turn and you'll see the beauty of this B & B. It's located on a outside part of Hilo and its extremely peaceful and calm. My wife thought we are going for a retreat...=) Hearing the sounds of the fall as you doze off at night is sooooooo calming.

Room size: it's not really big of a room. it comes with one side table (with a night lamp), a wicker double chair and 1 coffee table which they put the cable box.

Bathroom: Fair small bathroom with standard needs. Shower head needs to be replaced, it's not adjustable to different kind of water flow.

Bed: Not bad at all. Comfy queen size bed.

Common area: very spacious, gorgeous dining room, kitchen and living area. There's a computer station in the living area that everybody can use. Wireless internet is also available and the signal are not bad.

Food: Leah & Jasmine are super nice girls who are in charge of keeping the inn clean and making yummy breakfast. The macadamia waffles is a must for breakfast and they both make gooood eggs! Lots of fruits to eat, breads are also provided. Different kind of tea are also available. Good way to mingle with other guests for some activities idea during breakfast. There's also a solarium that guest can use to eat breakfast.

Room for improvement: Hair Dryer and ironing board should be provided since those r always useful. And also, the owner might want to install senor-solar lights in the parking area since it's a dark walk from the parking lot to the house. Any guest can trip easily especially during rainy season. A bottom faucet will be nice in the shower area especially if guests walked the bamboo trail and they requires washing their feet. Last but not least, a phone in the common area would be nice because not everybody have cell phone plans that allows them to make call for free within Hawaii. Jamine was also kind enough to let me borrow her phone to make a few local calls, and still the cell phone reception wasn't strong in the house; had to stepped outside the harmony house to make a few calls. So, a phone in the common area would be helpful for guests to book tour activities at least.
I thought staying at a B & B is more personal since I would get to meet the owner and get some tips/ideas from them regarding about hiking/snorkelling/etc. But the owner never introduced themselves instead I had to get ideas from other guests during breakfast. I went to the main guest house to look for owner and nobody was in the office during daytime. The pikake room that I got does not have area for me to hang clothes, I tried to dry my swim shorts in the balcony and because it was a rainy season thus it was still wet in the morning.

Overall, not a bad b &b, very relaxing and quiet to relax and unwind.

Tips: if you arrived in Hilo in the morning or daytime, check into the place first just so you have an idea of the 15 mins drive from the city to the Inn. There are signs posted as you get closer to the Inn which is actually very useful. Driving to the Inn the first time @ night can be confusing and creepy since it's pitch black on the way and any first timer will think they are lost.

Room Tip: Pikake room have good view of the falls
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  • Stayed December 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2012

Len and our caretaker/chef Leah were absolutely fantastic people to have as hosts. In a trip with manta rays, octopus and dolphin sightings, hikes, kayaking, sunset above the clouds etc. I can still easily say that our two days here were the best part of the whole trip.

Also, It is not as difficult as one might think to stay here vs. a resort. Len's signs and directions made it easy to get to. You can either stay at a resort that doesn't seem any different from Mexico or (insert island here) or you can truly visit Hawaii and stay at the Inn at Kulaniapia Falls.

Highlights: waterfall (obviously) bamboo garden walk, go in the morning for great sunlight on the waterfall and you might see a rainbow, macadamia nut waffles, and the positive attitude of the staff to start your day.

Room Tip: Stay in the Maile room to have the closest balcony to the waterfall.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2012

We stayed at the Inn for 4 nights at the end of our honeymoon and frankly we were disappointed. On a positive note, the setting is beautiful, the waterfall is stunning and Leah our breakfast hostess was friendly. However, we were surprised by the lack of welcome, you're left to find your own way via white board directions. Our room only had one bed side table and nowhere to hang our clothes or unpack some items. Very basic accommodation and the bed was small. The owners failed to email directions after we phoned them and then when we saw them during our stay they were totally disinterested and avoided eye contact. It was the only place we stayed that we wouldn't recommend to friends.

Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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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*
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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