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“Hostel very well situated, not expensive, with well equipped kitchen” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hilo Bay Hostel

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Hilo Bay Hostel
101 Waianuenue, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 9 Specialty Lodging in Hilo
Montreal, Canada
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“Hostel very well situated, not expensive, with well equipped kitchen”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2012 via mobile

I stayed 3 nights in a private room with shared baths. It's ok if you want to save money(67$/night), but you also cut on privacy. It is very clean and my room had a mini-refrigerator. It has the same problem many other hotels in Hawaii seem to have: tiny little ants! I also saw a cockroach... It's a hostel (you have to share everything and all rooms open to the lobby, which is always frequented, not so fun when you come back feom shower) but quite clean and very acceptable in Hilo. I would recommend it to young travelers.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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136 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    78
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    4
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
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English first
Lexington, Kentucky
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2012

This Hostel is located in a fantastic part of Hill, close to food and shopping. It's in what used to be a hotel in the twenties or thirties and it has the charm and elegance to show for it. The floors are beautiful hardwood, the ceilings are towering, and the details such as bannisters and mouldings give it an Old Hawaii feel. The beds in my private room were doubles and the room itself was huge. The common area is a gathering place for travellers, and unlike many hostels it wasn't obnoxiously noisy or rambunctious. The staff is exceedingly friendly and helpful.

The bathrooms are neat and I never once had to wait to use a shower.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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Berthier-sur-Mer, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2012

When we arrived at the hostel in July, there was a problem with the room we had booked but the staff was already working on solutions to suit our needs and did a great job. It's such a nice place to stay, staff is great (special hello to Ernest ;). Everything about it is just so perfect, mostly because staf really cares about travalers! :)

  • Stayed July 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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Sydney, Australia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2012

We stayed at the Hilo Bay Hostel for 3 nights in June 2012 and could not have asked for a friendlier, more welcoming, comfortable and really lovely authentic Hawaiian place to stay.

I would recommend the hostel for the conscientious traveller, one who is interested in their journey and other travellers, not there to party. Being a 30yrs + couple, wanting to travel inexpensively with some comfort and privacy, this is the perfect destination in Hilo. If you prefer the nondescript, sterile hotels, then go for it - you are missing out on life. Hilo Bay Hostel makes you really feel like you've been on holiday in the friendliest place on earth.

After driving over from Kona, we were going to arrive rather late and, as the courteous thing to do, we called and let the hostel know of our late arrival. They were very appreciative of our call and told us not to worry at all. Pouring with rain when we arrived, the host was super friendly and showed us to our room, plonked down some cold beers for us and offered an umbrella and a hand for our bags. We were off to a good start.

The Hostel itself is in a restored building which breathes history and life from its original floorboards to it's wooden fans and Hawaiian memorabilia displayed about the place (little challenge for you - try to count the pineapples!). Our room was spacious and decorated simply yet elegantly in Hawaiian style, we were given the family room for two of us as we had booked a private room. We were soon offered an en suite room, if we cared to move rooms, when it came free the next day. We were also given a small fridge for our room, which was perfect to keep drinks and snacks and food for our meals, as we were out and about every day and like to save a couple of $$ by not eating out at a restaurant every meal. There is a communal fridge in the kitchen, but it was nice to have an added bit of space.The cleanliness of the hostel was outstanding, along with the kitchen facilities and advice and helpfulness of the staff on local activities.

I really respect the fact that the 10pm "Quiet Time" rule, as we were there to explore Hawaii, not party every night, and so was good to be able to go to our room and relax and prepare for the next day. In saying that, it was also a very social hostel and each evening we would share the communal dining table with our meal or drink with other travellers and share stories.

We were also able to experience a truly amazing Helicopter flight over the Volcanos, thanks to the Hostel, who were able to get us on a trip last minute. We wouldn't have been able to do this without their help! There is even a bunch of free to use snorkelling gear too.

After staying at a "Hotel" in Kona that was much more expensive, yet should have been condemned due to it's worn out facilities, and quite possibly a health hazard from the unkempt (read: dirty) state of it's cleanliness, I'd rather stay at a stunning "Hostel" like this any day.

Hilo was really special - Farmers Market, Volcanoes, Manua Kea, Tidepool snorkelling - as it felt like the "real Hawaii", not the American-shopping-mall-extravaganza that is somewhere like Waikiki, and Terry and Scott at Hilo Bay were a huge part of this whole experience.

Only one slight issue to be aware of - which had nothing to do with the Hostel - downtown Hilo can be a bit noisy at night, so bring you earplugs.

We will definitely go back to Hawaii and we will definitely stay at Hilo Bay Hostel again - look forward to catching up with you Terry and Scott!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
saskatoon, saskatchewan, canada
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2012

Our family of six (2 adults, two young adults and two teenagers) made an overnight trip to Hilo (staying in Kailua for 3 weeks)....we checked online for accomm. and came across the Hilo Bay Hostel. There was one room left, big enough for all of us. When we arrived in Hilo, after a beautiful drive through the north (to Hawi, down Highway 250, which was amazing - through Waimea and onto Hilo), Terry, the manager greeted us and had our room waiting. He also put a small refrigerator in our room, with the added treat of some Corono Beer. He was incredibly hospitable. The hostel was amazing...in a former hotel - original hardwood staircase - free WIFI - pay a minimal charge for internet use...great kitchen where we cooked a breakfast on Saturday morning with fresh ingredients from the Hilo Farmers' Market (excellent!)....our kids played chess with some of the other guests and had a gret time. When we come back to this island, we will definitely stay at the hostel for a longer period of time and see all the sights on the east side. Wonderful accommodation, great location, hospitable service. Oh, and there is a great dance studio right across the street - our daughter, who is a dancer, went to a Saturday morning drop-in Intermediate Ballet class for a one and a half hour class, which was excellent. What a fun time this was in Hilo....oh and if interested in the Observatory, make sure you book a trip there with a tour company (7 1/2 hrs)....up to Mauna Kea Observatory - we didn't have time for this, but next time (we didn't even know about the Observatory until we were researching Hilo when we got there).

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
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Toronto, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2012

I have stayed in many hostels around the world, and Hilo Bay Hostel takes the cake!!
Glenda at reception is amazing, kind, sweet, and super hospitable. My bf and I stayed at HBH 2x during our 2week trip. Had we known what an incredible place we had lucked upon, we may not have gone elsewhere.
The place is a gem, and laundry for $2 a load, is insane! I have never stayed in such a friendly, no bs hostel with travellers, and job seekers of all ages living and and chilling out together.
Love, love loved it!!!!

  • Stayed December 2011, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Dallas, Texas
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2012

Where to start? The facilities themselves are FABULOUS! As my 14 yr old daughter plopped down on her bunk, she said, "MOM, you find the absolutely best and neatest places to stay!"

We had to cancel a campground plan because my daughter had to seek medical help in Hilo, so I called the Hilo Bay Hostel and found a room after a tiring, unplanned day. VERY reasonable rate for a family on 10 minute notice. We were so lucky to find vacancy at all.

Much of this old building, or at least the hostel part of it, has been lovingly restored, and what's not to LOVE about beautiful, old and worn wood? Floor, walls, HIGH ceilings, even stairwell up to the 2nd floor hostel. Kitchen was very clean and neat, and guests we shared with were all polite. LOVED the "bananas of the Big Island" poster on the wall; I had no idea of the variety.

Great ambiance overall.

Shower time is somewhat limited, but, hey, I don't mind for modern, clean showers. Wish there were more, but that's hardly a complaint for such an old building. When it was our turn, it was wonderful. We did sleep in an exterior room and LOVED the rain sound we got all night. This may have bothered some people, but we liked it and slept with windows open on a street. There was some street noise with the window open, but we weren't bothered at all.

The location was great: central, easy to find, easy access (there's no lift I saw, though, so consider that there are steps to the second floor). Just a minute's walk to the bay.

Host was very nice and interesting; it's not his first hostel, and it shows. He really likes to make people comfortable while they "live" in his hostel, no matter how short the time. My only regret is that we couldn't stay longer. The rest of my family felt the same.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 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
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 Hilo Bay Hostel

Address: 101 Waianuenue, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720
Location: United States > Hawaii > Island of Hawaii > Hilo
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 9 Specialty Lodging in Hilo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Hilo Bay Hotel Hilo
Hilo Bay Hostel Hawaii

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