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“Can't wait to return!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hilo Honu Inn

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Hilo Honu Inn
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465 Haili Street, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 18 Hilo B&B and Inns
Melbourne, Australia
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Can't wait to return!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2012

My husband and I had one night in Hilo (the first night of our honeymoon!) before we headed north to explore the Big Island. We randomly picked the Hilo Honu Inn and it was such a blessing. We got there in the late afternoon and Gay met us in the drive with a hug. Immediately upon meeting her, I felt at home. We were the only guests that night, so she upgraded us to a larger room, which was fantastic since I'd really overpacked! The room was gorgeous, comfortable and tastefully done. I'd really suggest staying in the front room, which has a sitting room as well as a bedroom, as it helps you pretend the place is yours!

The Inn is a beautiful building and Gay gave us a short tour and told us about its history. Although not from HI originally, Gay and her husband Bill are deeply invested in their community and have so much knowledge to share. Over breakfast they both gave us tips about how to spend our week, and my husband and I found ourselves repeatedly referring back to their advice.

In particular, they suggested buying "the blue book", which is a guide book written by locals. We read it and found it really helpful and entertaining. They've available for all of the islands and I'd recommend them too. They also suggested that when visiting VNP, if you do the Kilauea Iki walk, do it counter clockwise (against the recommended flow) and I'd suggest the same. It means a steeper ascent at the end, but the views are worth it going that way.

We were only at the Inn one night, but we fell in love with it and with Hilo. It's a lovely, quiet town where you can see what Hawaiian life is really like. We can't wait to come back to visit and to try Bill's french toast again (amazing, especially with the coconut syrup!) and hopefully the apple bananas too. And the homemade POG! I'd seen POG on menus, but didn't realise that it stood for "passionfruit, orange and guava" - a real favourite with the local kids, and me too.

All in all, the Hilo Honu Inn is a lovely and welcoming place to use as a base when exploring the hidden charms of Hilo, VNP, Akaka Falls, and the rest of the north/east side of the Big Island.

Room Tip: the bali hai suite is gorgeous, but you can't go wrong in one of these. Hilo has coqui frogs, so...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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155 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    148
    5
    1
    1
    0
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32
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Rosemount, Minnesota
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2012

We loved the nice, clean, and beautiful B&B, the fabulous and generous breakfast, and our very lovely hosts, Billie & Gay! We look forward to coming back!

Room Tip: You cannot go wrong: the regular rooms are great, and the Japanese room is the stuff of legends...
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  • Stayed January 2012, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento, California, United States
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2012

This was my first stay in the big island and my first ever in a bed and breakfast.We stayed in the Bali-hai suite. It was clean, beautiful, and perfectly decorated with a gorgeous four post bed and air conditioning. Everything that I have read in these reviews is true; Gay and Billy are more than accomodating. They are the quintessential perfect hosts. Charismatic and knowledgeable, friendly and patient, with all the advice you could ever need and an "Aloha" spirit that radiates from within. I loved Hilo, it was a charming town with beautiful waterfalls, located close to Puna, and the Volcano park. My spouse and I found ourselves leaving early in the morning and coming back late in the evening. We traveled to waterfalls, black sand beaches and farmer's markets that gave you a real taste of Hilo, filled with interesting food, souveniers, and a cast of characters that only a town like Hilo could provide. All the reviews are true, Gay and Billy made an amazing breakfast with freshfruit, pancakes and french toast with homemade lilikoi syrup and delicious coffee and smoothies. Gay did give us a Hula dance which held a full captivated audience and she had a wealth of useful knowledge about everything Hawaiian. What I loved the most was their Aloha spirit. Gay and Billy were both easy to talk to and felt like old friends within a couple days.They were the added part of our trip that was so unexpected, but helped to make it a truly magical time while we were there.Their kindness and spirit were authentic and charming. The Big Island ended up being my favorite Island for many reasons and Gay and Billy were a big part of what made my trip unique and special. I am not ashamed to say that as we drove away on the final day my eyes began to fill with tears because I knew that this was an experience I would never forget. Thank you Gay and Billy, we will be back!

  • Stayed January 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.
Houston, Texas
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2012

My husband and I stayed here for 3 nights in December. Gay and Bill were excellent hosts and breakfast was excellent. We even got a hula performance from Gay one morning. The room was very nice and clean. It was the most comfortable bed we stayed in during our trip to Hawaii. The entire Inn was furnished and decorated very tasteful and interesting. The samurai suite, though we didn't stay there, but received a tour was beautiful! The Inn is also conveniently located to restaurants, shopping, grocery, etc. Gay gave us recommendations for restaurants and sightseeing and even provided travel books and brochures to us. They had umbrellas and other beach equipment available for guests to use during their stay. On the morning we flew out, we had to leave very early so Gay packed some yogurt, granola bars, fruit and juice in our refrigerator the night before. My only complaint is that our room was a bit noisy due to being so close to the street, so we were awaken a few mornings by loud trucks. I highly recommend this Inn to anyone staying in and around Hilo.

  • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Annapolis, Maryland
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2011

Our family of four had more than enough room in their Samurai Suite. The master bedroom is a unique and very beautiful Japanese tearoom built within the room (my teenage daughter called this the Inception room). The room, built without nails, was imported from Japan (along with the builder) by the Japanese family that originally owned the home. Expansive views of Hilo and the sound of rain showers at night. Breakfasts from Bill's kitchen were a real treat with fresh fruit, smoothies and our favorite— baked eggs and spinach (all the breakfasts were wonderful). We were treated to Hula dances by Gay on two mornings (she performs with a group, or Halau). She talked about the different meanings of the moves in the dance (much better than the Kau'ai Hyatt Luau) and also shared quite a bit about Hawaiian culture. So much more than just a hotel.

  • Stayed November 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2011

We spent three nights at the Hilo Honu Inn and had a wonderful experience! Our hosts were kind, outgoing, and thoughtful, not to mention amazing cooks and splendid storytellers. The house and rooms have the look and feel that comes with care and attention to detail. We stayed in the Honu's nest; the bed was soft and comfortable, the bathroom clean and beautifully tiled. Every morning the homemade breakfast was a new and delicious treat. The conversation was lively and our hosts had many stories and recommendations for sights around Hilo and Hawai'i. Our experience was truly unforgettable and it would be a shame to not to visit this B&B.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SF Bay Area
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2011

We only had one night in Hilo, but what a night! I had one of the best sleeps of my life. The bed was so comfortable, furnishings were homey and beautiful, and the bathroom was amazing (with a rain shower). Speaking of rain showers, we had a heck of a good one at 1 AM. We got up and sat down on the comfy window seat to take it all in. Wait there's more! When we got up, Gay and Bill had prepared exquisite fresh island fruits and sweet bread french toast with homemade lilikoi syrup. When they discovered how much we love Hawaiian music, Gay cleared the floor and did several hula dances for us. What a special place! Thanks Gay and Bill for making our trip to Hilo so memorable. Hana Ho!

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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 Hilo Honu Inn

Address: 465 Haili Street, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720
Location: United States > Hawaii > Island of Hawaii > Hilo
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 18 B&Bs / Inns in Hilo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Hilo Honu Inn is a recently renovated, craftsman style bed & breakfast located just blocks from downtown Hilo. Spectacular ocean view from Samurai Suite. 10 minutes from the airport and convenient to many area attractions. Great home base for Volcanoes National Park and the east side of the Big Island. See waterfalls and tropical gardens. Visit Mauna Kea observatory and Imiloa Planetarium. Watch sea turtles (honu) swim at local black sand beaches. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Hilo Honu Inn Hawaii

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