We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Kind staff, below average facilities” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Dolphin Bay

Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 1 more site!
Save
You added Dolphin Bay to your Saves list
Dolphin Bay
2.5 of 5 Hotel   |   333 Iliahi St., Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720   |  
Hotel website
  |  
  |  
  |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 8 Hotels in Hilo
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Kind staff, below average facilities”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2014

Many praise the kind and accommodating staff, and while I will not disagree, I will point out that the building, rooms, and other facilities are quite below average. Hilo has few options for travelers as it is, but it is worth mentioning that accommodations at the Dolphin Bay are akin to an old college dorm room. Uncovered cinderblock walls, hard as rock beds, and questionably unclean carpets. Pros include delicious homemade banana bread and fresh coffee and fruit in the mornings, and again, very kind and helpful staff.

Room Tip: Upstairs will minimize parking lot and morning activity noise.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

536 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    267
    210
    41
    14
    4
See reviews for
133
260
22
13
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
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Charlotte, NC
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2014

The Dolphin Bay Hotel is a 50s-era motel in a modest neighborhood in scruffy Hilo. Over the years, I have stayed in many nicer but nowhere near as memorable hotels. Dolphin Bay is basic, but what it lacks in amenities it makes up for in generosity of spirit. Read the other reviews, even the negative ones; they will provide all the details you need. But Dolphin Bay transcends details. I hope to return to the Big Island next year; if I do, I will definitely stay here and love it—frogs, warts and all.

Room Tip: We stayed in the annex, a small apartment complex across the street. We didn't have a lanai or p...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Phoenix, Arizona
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2014

And that's meant in a good way (as in family you get along with). We were skeptical of a "local" place but short on options in Hilo, and absolutely loved this place. The staff seemed warm, attentive and genuine. We loved the night sounds in and around Hilo and yes, you can use ear plugs (provided) if the coqui frogs become too annoying. But try to savor them along with the local charm of this hotel. Enjoy the fresh coffee, banana bread and papayas in the morning for breakfast. Would love to have stayed longer.

Room Tip: Rooms are unique so mention any concerns you have up front and I'm sure the staff will do their...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2014 via mobile

The room was so quaint ! So our style - super clean and very 50's stylish.
The cool breeze that meandered through the living room and kitchen was lovely. The grounds are gorgeous . Really? a waterfall, flowers and forest to wander through in the backyard? From our phone conversation with Harrison who booked our room, to John who greeted us and advised us of the fresh coffee, pastries and fresh fruit for breakfast, we felt so welcomed. A walk across the bridge to downtown Hilo to Cafe Pesto for supper topped off a wonderful day/night in Hilo. Highly recommend Dolphin Bay if you are looking for clean, affordable, laid back and super quaint.

Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2013

We had the studio and I loved that it had a little kitchen area and table separate from the bedroom - my husband sleeps late so I was able to be up and about without disturbing his sleep. The location is great, easy walk to town. They have coffee ready at 5am - perfect again for the early riser, I was very appreciative. Free wifi a definite bonus. The best thing though was the large number of nice big umbrellas available for guests!

  • Stayed December 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Top Contributor
202 reviews 202 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 66 cities Reviews in 66 cities
188 helpful votes 188 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 25, 2013

Excellent staff and owner. Staff greet you every time they see you. Very keen to help when you look for them. Very proud of their hotel.
Excellent facilities. They do act on the feedback of guests. I didn't get any mosquito bite, and were not affected by the frogs. The nettings and slide doors reduce these possibilities to a minimum. There were 2 additional table fans in the room beside the two ceiling fans. I guessed this is their response to comments here about hot summer nights without air-con. They have expanded their property to across the road, and it seems that there are washer and dryer installed in the new wing of the hotel. Sadly, we didn't have a chance to try them. The kitchen in our 1 bedroom apartment was well-stocked and in good condition.
Excellent breakfast. Yes, they don't have a breakfast room, but the service and quality of food and drinks provided shows that the breakfast provided is not just in name. Large, sturdy trays were provided for guests to bring your breakfast back to your room. The hot chocolate and banana bread were excellent. My family loved them.
Of our Hawaii vacation, we loved Hilo more than Honolulu. One of the reason we loved Hilo is definitely Dolphin Bay.

  • Stayed December 2013, 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.
Wellington, New Zealand
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2013

The rooms are very dated, but decent value for money. The staff member on duty was very friendly and helpful when we checked in. Free wifi and bananas was a bonus. You can do your washing across the road.

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Been to Dolphin Bay? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Travelocity and Expedia so you can book your Dolphin Bay reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Dolphin Bay Hilo, Hawaii
Dolphin Bay Hotel Hilo

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Dolphin Bay, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.