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“Great views, nice restaurant” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Castle Hilo Hawaiian Hotel

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Castle Hilo Hawaiian Hotel
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   71 Banyan Drive, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 8 Hotels in Hilo
Chicago
Top Contributor
171 reviews 171 reviews
72 hotel reviews
Reviews in 101 cities Reviews in 101 cities
150 helpful votes 150 helpful votes
“Great views, nice restaurant”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2011

The best things going for this hotel are the location and the restaurant.... It's a 70's era hotel that appears to have been recently remodeled, albeit half-assed.... Our room (double queen) was large enough for our family of 4, but some of it was dated----the bathroom looked institutional and outdated, the fridge old an partially broken and the lighting fixtures looked original.... The 20 inch, old school TV had to go----flat screens are in these days, fellas!! However, the wall had newish paint, the carpet was fine and the beds were comfortable.... The halls had new carpet and wall coverings.....

It's worth getting a bay view room---the other side faces the airport, and it's pretty close.... Our room faced the bay, which gave us great views of snow-capped Mauna Kea and Loa, and airport noise was a non-issue.....

The other nice thing was the restaurant... We had 2 breakfasts and it was great, tho a bit pricey. It had both hot and cold food and the variety and quality was way above average. The space also is very nice----it faces the bay and is newly updated. IMO, the nicest space in the entire hotel...

Also, the indoor garage is a nice feature, especially in the rain. The elevator was close and convenient.

Overall, if you need a hotel in Hilo, this is probably one of the nicer places.... But don't raise your expectations-----this is NOT your typical Hawaii-calibre hotel/resort. To me, the place had a conference center feel to it.... The lobby is nice enough, but the lower level is sterile and downright dreary.... There was not much of a pool to speak of.... And getting back to the lobby----what i thought was unusual is that it was almost completely closed in (except where you drive your car). From my experience, most Hawaii hotel public areas are open to the breeze and have tiki torches all around.... Not here. In fact, i don't think i saw a single tiki torch in all of Hilo!

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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1,127 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
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Kapolei, Hawaii
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2011

This hotel is located near the beautiful bay in Hilo. Location wise this hotel is a short drive to hiking beautiful waterfalls, Volcano National Park, and scenic drives. There are plenty of places to eat around the area but beware most are not open on Sundays. The hotel itself is very old and outdated. But the rooms are clean, the staff was very friendly and helpful, and the beds were satisfactory. There are no extras in the rooms...no hair dryers, no iron boards, no safes. The pool is small. We ate at the main hotel restaurant twice, once for dinner and once for breakfast. The service was slow and the food was marginal. We found breakfast at Ken's House of Pancake to be much better and super service. The Ponds restaurant near the hotel also had excellent food and service. Special note: the sign in front of the building shows "Hilo Hawaiian" not Castle Hilo Hawaiian.

Room Tip: Call the hotel directly- we saved $15 per night.
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2011

If you are looking for a spacious room with a great view this is the hotel for you. The rooms are a little dated but clean and large. the upper floors overlook a lovely lagoon and park from a small lanai. The pool is small but again has a lovely outlook. The restaurant and bar area looked newly refurbished and the food was good. The restaurant staff were lovely. We were very satisfied. It is a 45 minute drive to Volcanoes national Park and very close to Hilo airport.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saugerties, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2011

Front desk staff are not up to par. I got misinformation from them all 3 times I went up, including check-in. The check-in clerk put buffet coupons into the book with the room key but never mentioned it. We found them our last day. Another told us to go to a farmer market for souvenirs & when we went it only sold fruits & flowers. They charge for internet, even downstairs on the "public" PC. & no less it is Wired, not wireless. The little cafe next door (Uncle Billys) offers wireless internet. They give you a coffee packet the first day only. After that you have to buy it for $2 a pack. The hotel is pretty ugly. There is a place out back called Coconut Island - looks good from a distance but up close it's ugly. The Japanese garden park is quite nice & that is next door. You have to drive to get anywhere else - town too far to walk to. Little shops near premises are expensive with poor selection. Meals in hotel restaurant are expensive. Airplanes fly right overhead (very loud as you are right near the airport). They change your linens every 3rd day. There is a nice balcony but you can't smoke on it if you are a smoker. There is an outdoor pool but the water is freezing. The weather is TERRIBLE in Hilo. It is cold & rainy. I can't wait to check out & get back over to Kona.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Concerned_HI_Manager, General Manager at Castle Hilo Hawaiian Hotel, responded to this review, August 26, 2011
Dear Valued Guest:

Aloha! I do apologize for your unfortunate experiences. Let me attempt to answer your concerns.

It was not our intention to provide you with erroneous information. We do provide discount coupons for our buffets for our guests and normally are explained upon check in. Our prices are not expensive for a sit down restaurant and very comparable to other restaurants in the area. If you consider the view and brand new restaurant we offer I think it is of great value. Our ala carte breakfast starts at $7.50 and our ala carte dinners start at $9.75. This is not out of the ordinary in Hawaii. In fact quite reasonable for a hotel. The farmers market is a very huge draw and they do provide flowers, food, clothing, and souvenirs. You must have only walked through half of the market as there is a small roadway that divides the market.

We do provide internet access in the guest rooms and in the lobby but you are correct that the company that provides this service charges a fee. We have since changed the lobby kiosk and now provide free WiFi in the lobby and lounge.

My apologies for the misunderstanding but the coffee service in your room provides one complimentary coffee packet per day of your stay. If you want a second packet for any given day there is a $2.00 fee.

I do not think our hotel or Coconut Island is ugly. In fact the island was recently renovated and many locals go there for a relaxing time fishing, picnicing, or swimming. Our hotel is a bit dated but nicer than any other hotel in Hilo, in my opinion.

We do change our sheets every third day on the norm but if you wish for it to be changed daily all you have to do is ask and they will provide you daily linen service. The world is going green and we are trying to be green where ever we can.

Smoking on the balcony is only allowed in the smoking rooms on the 1st, 2nd and 8th floors. By county laws, we are allowed to have only 20% of our rooms to be smoking, whether on the balcony or in the room. If you are a smoker you can request a smoking room for your use.

We are in the tropics with normal temperatures averaging about 78 degrees. I am sorry but I do not see the need of a heated pool. The water is clean and refreshing. Oh yes, it does rain in Hilo and especially during springtime. I guess it is the rain that keeps Hilo fresh and green all year round.

I do not have any control of the airport and the route planes utilize. It is not customary for the airplanes to fly over the hotels but some occasions they need to alter their routes due to wind conditions.

I do apologize for failing to meet and exceed your expectations and I do hope I was able to provide some light to your concerns. We will continue to strive to improve and provide all we can for our valued guests like you. Take care...

Respectfully,

General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
federal way
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2011

My boyfriend and I spent two nights at the end of our vacation in the Castle Hilo hotel. The hotel itself is ok. You get what you pay for. Service at the front desk was very good. There are two places to eat at the hotel. The queen's buffet, which will cost you a pretty penny, or a small "Cafe" off to the side with a bar area and frequent live music. We opted for the cafe and what a mistake. Hands down the worst meal I have ever had. The menu is very limited. We ordered california rolls, a side salad, and fettuccini alfredo. Sushi was gross, not fresh at all and 2 inches of rice with brown avocado. Don't even know what happened to the alfredo. Whatever sauce was on it came from a can, and had no hint of parmesean cheese or cream whatsoever. It was strange and un-edible to say the least. Way overpriced too. We were pissed. Gave in and forked out the cash for buffet the next night and it was much better. Can't believe it all came from the same kitchen.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Victoria, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2011

We had stayed in Hilo 18 years ago and returned to spend more time at the Volcano National Park before heading over to the Kona side of the Big Island. As before, we chose to stay at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel, for four nights including a Friday. It is in a great location for the sightseeing on this side of the island. We found checkin and out to be very efficient. The staff in the dining room were very efficient, friendly and helpful. Mostly focused on Buffet meals, ordering off the menu can be expensive. They are dealing with large tour groups, but don't neglect couples like us. We found lots of restaurants nearby to try as well.
It is an older hotel but our room on the 6th floor with ocean view was clean and comfortable. The small, portable fridge was pretty old, but it was good to have. The park beside the hotel has lots of paths for the walkers and joggers using it from both the hotel and the town itself.

Our only complaint is the cost of internet access, but this seems to be common in all the Islands. Hopefully this will change in future.

We would stay at the Hilo Hawaiian again.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2011

My new husband and I traveled to Hilo as part of our Hawaiian honeymoon. We knew we wanted to spend a couple of days in Hilo to see the volcano. We chose the Hilo Hawaiian because it was reasonably priced and had a great location. I agree with several of the reviews in that the hotel is extremely outdated! But, we had a lovely bay view and the hotel was very clean. The bed was surprisingly comfortable, at least if you like the mattress to be more firm.

Overall, we were very satisfied with our visit to this hotel.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
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Additional Information about Castle Hilo Hawaiian Hotel

Address: 71 Banyan Drive, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720
Location: United States > Hawaii > Island of Hawaii > Hilo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 8 Hotels in Hilo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Castle Hilo Hawaiian Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 286
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hilo Hawaiian Hotel, Hilo's best full-service hotel, offers outstanding views of the ocean or quaint Hilo Town framed by the backdrop of Mauna Kea. Located on Hilo Bay, and approximately two miles from Hilo Airport, Hilo Hawaiian Hotel is the perfect headquarters for exploring the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Enjoy incredible views of Mauna Kea, Hilo Town, and beautiful and historic Coconut Island. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hilo Hawaiian Hotel
Castle Hilo Hawaiian Hotel Hawaii

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