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“Nice, but overpriced.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of The Palms Cliff House Inn

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The Palms Cliff House Inn
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   28-3514 Mamalahoa Hwy, Honomu, Island of Hawaii, HI 96728   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Honomu
Wyoming
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“Nice, but overpriced.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2012

We selected the Palms Cliff House knowing what the price was. We picked out our room from the Internet photos, which were quite accurate.
Cheers: The setting & the view were terrific. Our patio was very private & roomy. Our flight arrived after dark. We did not stop for dinner, so we were DELIGHTED to find a room where we could purchase cheese, salami, crackers, soda, etc. for reasonable prices!
Average stuff: The directions provided told us to take 19 and head towards Kona -- there was not one sign between Hilo and the Inn that said "Kona". We took 19 & hoped we were going the right direction & were relieved when we saw our first mile marker, which indicated to us we had probably guessed correctly. Breakfast was hot, filling but lacked any WOW factor. We had to get our own water, juice & coffee. The muffins on day 1 were wonderful. Quiche on day 2 was supposedly bacon and broccoli, but we both found lots of vegetables and NO bacon. Good fruit each day.
Jeers: the TV did not work -- just wanted to see the news since there were no newspapers at breakfast. Day 2 we called & the owner came and got it going. Day 3 it didn't work again & we did not call for help. -- Pillows were not up to Marriott or Westin standards; they were lumpy Holiday Express-type pillows. -- I asked about Wi-Fi; found out it was 10 bucks! Didn't bother to find out if that was for the stay or per day. For $350/night one would think they could share their Wi-Fi, since it wasn't costing them to share it. --- One of the nice things about staying in a B&B or small inn is chatting with the owner and learning cool details of the area... Not here.. --- Not enough hot water or enough water pressure for a satisfying shower but ironically there was hot water for the jetted tub in the bedroom.

Would we stay there again? Probably not.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
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127 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, California
1 review
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2012

Stayed for 4 nights in Oct 2012:

Pros:
- Nice location on a cliff overlooking the ocean, but location nothing special for an ocean front property
- Property well maintained, you can see that the owner couple are in it with their whole heart.
- Nice rooms
- Internet during stay (regardless of nights) only 20$
- Very cheerful female owner
- 10% discount if you pay cash

Cons:
- Overpriced for what it offers (400$ a night)
- They wanted to charge 50$ per night for us having our 2 1/2 year old daughter in the room (talked them down to 30$ a night)
- No crib (at 400$ a night, I would expected one)
- No highchair (at 400$ a night, I would expected one)
- The internet charge is per device
- Grumpy attitude of the male owner when he was aware/ had to interact with our daughter, or we had extra requests during breakfast.
- depending on how you react to humidity, you need to check the room type, from what I learnt only some rooms have air conditioning.
- our room had air conditioning, but the unit was so loud that it was hard to sleep at night, worse was just the alternative to sleep in humidity.
- our rooms faucet was build so far to the side of the sink and so low that you could hardly squeeze a hand under it (isnt it supposed to be: form follows function?!), actually REALLY annoying, especially since its so easy to fix.
- Owners live in the main house (rooms are in an addition to the right) and I always felt like I disturb them and that I am just there so they can pay off their mortgage
- No pool (I understand its the rainy side)

Summary: I spent 15 years in the hotel industry, and they don't call it the hospitality industry for nothing. The host, should be hospital, should make his guests feel at home and let them wash away the burden of travel. Didn't feel this here at all. I guess if you are a romantic couple, or just friends travelling together, you can better enjoy this Inn, but they took my (family) money, so they should make us feel welcome and have the minimum amenities available for a family.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tualatin, Oregon
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2012

We arrived to Palms Cliff House for the second half of our honeymoon, after four nights of luxury on the west side of the island. We couldn't have been happier upon our cross over to the rainforest paradise that is the east side of Hawaii. Palms Cliff House was pricey for sure (we paid $1,000 for three nights, and we're normally people who camp when we vacation, with the exception of a few nights), but well worth it for us. The location was excellent for us (off the beaten path, but close to Akaka Falls, our zipline experience at Umama Falls, and the Wai'pio Valley). The grounds were beautiful, situated on a cliff above the ocean, palm trees and geckos everywhere. Awesome! There were lawn chairs and tables on the grassy lawn, which I definitely took advantage of for afternoon reading.

The porch where breakfast was served was amazing. The wind blew through and we loved the view! Breakfast was great. The first morning, we were treated to a yummy butter rum muffin (which I am still thinking about), chicken sausage, fresh fruit, and delicious quiche. The second morning, we had banana pancakes (along with a muffin, fruit, and sausage again), and the final morning, we had french toast and all the other accompaniments. We found the food to be flavorful, as well as being fresh - the muffin was even warm - not sure how they did that, but it was great!

The room was nice. While there was no air conditioning, which made it hot during the day (we weren't there anyway), the bed was comfy, the balcony was great, and the extras in the room made it great (the yoga mat and cooler especially; we also enjoyed use of the small backpack that we got from the front desk). I enjoyed sunrise yoga from the balcony each morning, as well as listening to the waves from our bed. We also really liked the free movies we could check out, especially in the evenings after dinner, or in the early mornings after sunrise and before breakfast. While there was only one TV channel, there were plenty of movie choices to enjoy, if you wanted to have a lazy evening in bed. You don't really come to Hawaii to watch TV anyway :)

While reading other reviews (mainly the negative ones), I noticed people complaining about the unfriendliness of the owners and not feeling welcome. We didn't meet the owners, so we can't comment on their personalities, but all of the other staff was super friendly and made us feel right at home. Ashley was great when she checked us in and showed us around the property. She did mention that the main house would be locked at 5, but gave us a key to access the snack bar and small kitchenette after hours. Jeanette, the wonderful local who served us breakfast, was so fun! She made us feel at home and was very sweet and helpful. While she hadn't been to many places on the island, she still engaged in conversation with us and asked us where we were headed every day. Super sweet! We thought that this property definitely showed us the true spirit of Hawaii.

The only complaint would be that the housekeeping staff closed our screen door and turned off our fans each day. When we returned from our day, we hoped that leaving the lanai door open, with the screen closed, of course, and the fans on, we would help keep the room cool. However, we figured that this was likely due to energy costs, and since we found the Hilo side and the Inn were concerned with the environment (due to signage, requests for towel reuse, etc.), we didn't mind. We liked how environmentally conscious the property was, and if the screen door, etc., was because of this reason, we applaud them!

I also noticed in other reviews the complaint of what you got for the price, as well as the rules of the property. Maybe it's because I worked at a national historic landmark lodge built in 1937 for three years, but I have a really hard time with these complaints. When you stayed at the lodge I worked for, you weren't paying $300 a night for luxury, you were paying for location, a historic lodge built on the flanks of Mount Hood. You are not paying for a luxury resort at the Palms Cliff House. You are paying for a unique bed and breakfast in a historic Victorian building. You are paying for a place to stay that is off the beaten path and "over 15 miles from restaurants." Cry me a river. If you want to stay in a luxury resort in the middle of town, go to the Kona side and stay at one of the properties that sells themselves as such. The Palms Cliff House advertises themselves as a unique B&B that offers a taste of classic Hawaii. Maybe you don't know what that is? I'm not from Hawaii, so maybe I don't either. While the rooms were pricey, two breakfasts at our Kona resort cost us $70 (with tip), so if you take that off the $333 room tab, you're paying a little over $250 per night. If you don't want to pay that much, stay somewhere else. As for the rules, maybe we misinterpreted. We found a cute notebook in our room that had a welcome note from the owners explaining the property, not just the rules. The rules all seemed common sense, however. If you want to use the towels in the room to clean off sand from something, ask for cleaning towels and don't use the white ones in the room - sounds pretty reasonable to me. Don't leave the door wide open without the screen or there will be bugs in your room. You're in the rainforest, so that makes sense. Just follow the rules and quit whining.

If you're looking for a non-pretentious property with lots of charm, great service, a stunning location, and yummy breakfasts, this is the place for you!

Room Tip: Stay in rooms facing the ocean. The Garden Suite was excellent!
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenville SC
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2012

We thoroughly enjoyed our 6 nights at Palms Cliff House in June of 2012. We stayed in the Hawaiian Views Suite #5. After arriving very late during check in, we were pleasantly surprised at our wonderful view when we woke the following day. The sound of the crashing waves was a great way to start each day. The breakfast on the main lanai was always tasteful and something we looked forward to. The Inn is beautifully decorated with Hawaiian collections and the grounds are immaculately landscaped. The Inn has a very relaxing atmosphere. We enjoyed walking around the property after breakfast each morning before we started our busy days of planned activities. The only complaint that I have is that we didn’t have more time to spend relaxing on the property.

  • Stayed June 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2012

We visited the Cliff house last fall and really enjoyed the experience. Our room was great, breakfast was the best of our visit to the Big Island and the location is perfect. We would not hesitate to visit this B&B again!

Stayed November 2011, 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.
Laguna Niguel
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2012

We stayed there for two nights in April 2012, and had an absolutely great experience. The room was nicely decorated, with a gorgeous ocean view. Very clean too. We arrived after 5pm and easily found our envelope with the keys. The whole setting was breathtaking and we found ourselves taking a number of pictures in the beautiful gardens.

The owners were nice too, and I found the few negative comments very much uncalled for. While the man who owns the place isn't particularly chatty, some people have misinterpreted this personality trait as unfriendliness. He is actually quite nice and friendly, and was very kind and polite to us.

The price was certainly not cheap, but it didn't seem unreasonable either given the beautiful setting. The breakfasts were delicious too.

Tip: bring some quarters, as the room safe requires a quarter every time you lock it.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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.
Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2012

Clean large room with private bath wonderful sunrise view.the seperation of guest and host was nontypical of BB's but easy access to them with the touch of button, bed was very comfortable the breakfast was top notch and cooked by the owner. we looked at alot of places to stay and this was truely worth the money. They do charge for Internet access which seems a little silly if your going to have it anyway in the home. You can hear other guest on floor above so I would recommend 2nd floor unit with wall AC unit no ac first floor our stay in april nights were 60's so it was not needed. Very nice people would stay again in a min. Akaka falls is just up the road 5 mins and worth seeing

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 The Palms Cliff House Inn

Address: 28-3514 Mamalahoa Hwy, Honomu, Island of Hawaii, HI 96728
Location: United States > Hawaii > Island of Hawaii > Honomu
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Spa
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Honomu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Palms Cliff House Inn 3.5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This 3.5 acre private estate offers sweeping ocean views perched ocean side atop a 100 foot cliff. Delicious full breakfasts are included in the regular room rates. Honored in Song and depicted in hula, this inn specializes in catering to couples seeking a quiet and romantic get away that embodies the feeling of the Old Hawaii we all dream about. Book your stay today. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Palms Cliff House Hotel Honomu
The Palms Cliff Hotel
Palms Cliff Hotel
The Palms Cliff House Inn Hawaii/Honomu

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