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“Hype, not quality” 2 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
bc
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
“Hype, not quality”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2013

The harmony house is really a glorified rooming house with a nice common area in which there is a kitchen, dining table and sofas, but not enough seating if all the guests are present.. Our room, the Hibiscus room is BASIC, measures 11 by perhaps 12 feet, has a Queen bed and an adjoining outside, enclosed screened area that when you are standing up on tip toes, you can see part of the falls. The bathroom door will not shut - it is a thin "skin-type" door as is the main bedroom door which adjoins the kitchen; there is only a shower and looks as if it has been an afterthought. It is easy to hear all the other guests in their rooms. Yes there are nice aspects to the property such as green life style but do not translate a bamboo garden or on-property hydro-electric with a pleasant room. You will spend 8 -10 hours at night in a fairly confined space. This might be Hawaii with understandably higher prices, but essentially, this is NOT value when compared to other accommodation we have stayed at with far more services, room and comforts. IMHO a better room can be had elsewhere. Don't be taken by all the good reviews, because the Hibiscus room is VERY basic and disappointing.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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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498 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 (123)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
CA
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

This inn was a last-minute find for us during a 2-night stay in Hilo. The location, lodging, and grounds were absolutely wonderful! It's a bit of a drive, but it's pretty and we didn't mind it. Plan to bring your own picnic lunch and dinner food to avoid an unnecessary long schlep back into town.

The first night we stayed in the Prince Kalaukaua Room in The Residence, which was probably the least interesting of the rooms in that building in terms of view and ambiance (I recommend the rooms that face the river and falls). Even so, the room was quite comfortable and had a small balcony from which we could view the sunset, a peek of the ocean, and the lights from Hilo. This room does gets a bit of noise from the entrance road, parking lot, and Hilo airport, tho not to an annoying level.

The second night we moved to the Hibiscus Garden Suite on the ground floor of the Harmony House. We were initially hesitant about the room because it is located just off the kitchen and common area. However, the private screened porch opens up directly to the waterfall, which masks any noise from elsewhere in the building. The porch was a delightful place for eating and relaxing, and gave us a private exterior entrance into our room.

The overall atmosphere of the 2 buildings was quite different -- I don't know if this was due to the specific mix of occupants during our stay, or the fact that the Harmony House has quite a few more rooms and hence a livelier atmosphere. The clientele were primarily adults, which we appreciated.

The breakfasts were fabulous, and we enjoyed both of the short hiking trails. I liked that the inn also provided such incidentals as sunscreen, insect repellant, and umbrellas. Our only real "complaint" was that the place could really use an outdoor hot tub, which would be lovely in such a location. There is a spa building on the grounds (primarily for massage), but it was being remodeled during our stay.

Room Tip: Rooms facing the river and falls are best if you enjoy the sound of running water.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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New York City, New York
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2013

Breathtaking Kulaniapia Falls and the bamboo garden, friendly inn keepers and working staff, nice rooms, and fresh breakfast! This is an amazing place ~ A Paradise! Their macadamia waffle was the best waffle I’d ever had. They also have free yoga classes at 10am-11am on Tuesday & Friday. I'd like to stay more days there next time.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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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Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

I spent a night here before flying back to Honolulu. I had originally found the place on line early last year, but waited too long to make a decision and it sold out. I was intrigued by the idea that they generate their own power with a hydroelectric generator.
It is a bit of a drive up into the agricultural land outside of Hilo, but it's not too far. The walk on the path and relaxing to the sound of the waterfall, it's a very laid back place to just enjoy.
The room was clean, but there are small signs of wear present. Most people probably would not notice. I had to catch an early flight so I missed out on the breakfast.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 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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Rayleigh, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

We stayed at this Inn in Dec 12/ jan 13 , on the whole its a nice place and the girls who did the breakfast cooking were really nice. We never saw the owner in the two weeks we were there . The down side to this place is the drive up to it , the road is not very good in places and its quite a long drive, which means you need to take out with you whatever you need for the day because its a long way to keep coming back and forth. We did suffer an earthquake while we were there but thats not their fault. The room we had was the Jamine room which was very nice and adequate but I dont think the daily cleaning of it was of a very good standard, I dont think the shower and sink were cleaned at all in two weeks , only the towels were changed and I had to look for a mop to do the wooden floors myself because they were getting so dusty. On the whole all I can say is that it was OK but I would not stay gain.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Waikoloa, Hawaii
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

I booked a room with "Len", "Lenny" earlier this month. Planned an overnight getaway from the other side of the Island, where I live. Wanted a quiet, peaceful getaway, away from the hustle and bustle of the holiday hotel guests I've been serving at my job the past few weeks.

The Harmony room turned out to be a sleep room with a thin wooden door that adjoined a communal ktichen, dining room, sitting area. I knew from the minute we viewed the room it wouldn't be private and quiet enough for my liking. I immediately called Len to voice my dissatisfaction. He was offended, said "What were you expecting, a house?" He encouraged me to walk the property for 10 min and reconsider, which I did. I called him back, told him it wasn't what I'd expected. He said, "Go. Leave. I don't want you staying here anyway." So much for customer service.

We never even unloaded our bags. All we did is view the room and talk to the housekeeper who was inside cleaning. Len didn't offer to show us another room, nor did he take the time to talk walk outside to talk to us in person. He did, however, charge my credit card in full. I have disputed the charge and fully expect it to be credited. Buyer beware!

Room Tip: The sleep rooms are in houses on the property that have been divided up into small bed and breakfast...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Ontario
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

My wife and I recently stayed at the Inn at Kulaniapia Falls in the Prince Kalakaua room. The Inn itself is in wonderful condition and the area is beautiful and serene. The room was spacious and clean and in our opinion was better than the room we stayed in at the 4-star resort in Kona a few nights earlier. We also opted to have a RMT come by our room to give us massages; which I must say was money well spent.

The breakfast was also very good, with lots of fresh fruit, eggs and macadamian nut waffles. I'm not a coffee drinker but my wife simply adored the coffee; mind you, coffee in most places in Hawaii is very good. The young lady who prepared our breakfast very nice and hospitable; as were Len and Jane.

In terms of negatives, there are a couple, but nothing serious. Firstly, part of the trip to the inn, the road is either very narrow or unfinished, so expect a slow, bumpy ride. The directions on the website are good and there is some signage along the way, which are helpful. Lastly, there is no air conditioning or a tv in the room. While there is a tv in the lounge downstairs, you do run the risk of getting bit my mosquitos.

Overall, our stay at the inn was very nice experience and we would definitely stay there again the next time we are in Hilo.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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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