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“Peaceful, Friendly Small Hotel” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Dolphin Bay

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Dolphin Bay
2.5 of 5 Hotel   |   333 Iliahi St., Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720   |  
Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 8 Hotels in Hilo
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Bemidji, Minnesota, United States
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Peaceful, Friendly Small Hotel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

Dolphin Bay is a great hotel in Hilo for folks like us who like to rent a car, plan our own itineraries, & eschew large foreign-owned resorts for small family operated hotels and B&Bs. Nestled along a creek in a peaceful neighborhood, this modest, long-established facility gives you the feeling you're in a tropical glade instead of just 2 or 3 blocks from city restaurants, museums & markets. Kitchenettes allowed us to buy local produce & seafood and have lovely meals in our room. The gardens behind the hotel are maintained wonderfully & provide a great place to relax on a bench with a mug of coffee or glass of wine. Rooms are very clean & provide all the basics for travelers. The staff is very friendly & a great source for local information. If you're into bright lights & dancing & partying at night, you'll do better elsewhere. If you're looking for a safe, clean, friendly, value-oriented base of operations for exploring the Hilo area, you may find Dolphin Bay as good a match for you needs as we did. Our second stay this year was as nice as our first last year, and we'll be returning again.

Room Tip: Be sure to keep your windows open at night -- the sounds of frogs & other night critters in the...
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  • Stayed March 2013, 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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537 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 (96)
Date | Rating
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English first
Las Vegas, Nevada
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
68 hotel reviews
Reviews in 74 cities Reviews in 74 cities
87 helpful votes 87 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2013

We stayed here for four days. It was a little dated but clean with a good sized kitchen for a hotel room. The staff was very friendly and helpful with things to do in the area. We used their recommendation for a lava tour with David Ewing. His tour was very good. It is an easy walk to downtown Hilo from there. If we return to Hilo, we will stay here.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenviile
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2013 via mobile

Spent a few nights at the Dolphin Bay. Great price and easy walking to downtown.
To my surprise there was a small kitchenette with dishes and all. I didn't remember seeing that on the website. The gardens around the hotel are something you would see at Four Seasons. Fresh Bananas picked from the trees out back.
So....all open windows w/ screens and a couple of fans. Great air circulation, room was cool.
Got back from Hilo Burger Joint with great intentions of catching some zzzs. Frogs wanted to sing me to sleep...hotel did have earplugs which I tried. Worked pretty good. By the second night the frogs sang me to sleep. I think the 8 mile hike also helped.
Great coffee at 530 and cake for those who are out on a early hike.
For the price..great deal.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Walla Walla, Washington
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

The people were nice here. Good bananna bread and free fresh fruit. The bed was HARD as a rock. But being a traveling single mother I did not feel secure at all here. The door was a flimsy screen door that was it I didn't feel comfortable with that at all. We also walked the neighbor hood got a few blocks away and felt uncomfortable with the neighborhood and returned to get the car. The grounds were beautiful! There were no phones in the room either.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Melbourne
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2013

We stayed here one night as a base for exploring the volcanoes and were not disappointed. Don't expect a modern 5 star resort, but our room was well-maintained, large, comfortable and had a great shower which we appreciated. The freshly made banana bread was yum. Parking was free, which was a refreshing change from everywhere else we stayed in Hawaii. There is also a laundry on the other side of road which came in very handy!!

John, the owner/manager was really friendly and helpful and gave us advice on the best way to see lava flows - we went on a hike which was fantastic. He also gave us a little history about Hilo which was really interesting.

If you're interested in seeing the volcanoes, then this hotel is a great base for exploring the area.

  • Stayed February 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surrey
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

As long as your not expecting a 5 star resort, you will be very happy at the Dolphin Bay.
The rooms are clean and the small kitchen is great. The grounds are nice, take a walk through the paths. The service is excellent and don't miss out on the banana bread.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Vancouver, Canada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

We stayed here with family. This was the second time for us and again did not disappoint. The front desk is always friendly and very helpful with hints about where best to go for hiking, volcano, and around Hilo. We loved the tropical fruit and baked goods with coffee in the morning! If we make it back to the Big Island we will stay here again.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 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.
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Additional Information about Dolphin Bay

Address: 333 Iliahi St., Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Hawaii > Island of Hawaii > Hilo
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 8 Hotels in Hilo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Dolphin Bay 2.5*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Seasoned guidance for a wide range of Big Island adventures. Walking distance to downtown Hilo. Clean quiet & reasonable. All rooms with kitchens. Free WiFi Internet available. Rated nicest small hotel in Hilo. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Dolphin Bay Hilo, Hawaii
Dolphin Bay Hotel Hilo

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