My wife and I had a lovely stay in the Lava Tree Inn. Situated on the East side of the island away from the large tourist areas and in huge grounds of the national park adjacent to where you can see formations of lava that many years ago bound around the trees leaving huge statues of lava. We found the setting could not have been better and we felt miles away from the tourist crush in a lovely old colonial style house with a large veranda, that was well furnished and homely. The inn offers very affordable bed and breakfast rooms and a professional but exceptionally warm welcome from the host and owner, Irene. The house presented an ideal retreat from the day to day rush of the real world and we felt relaxed, welcomed and safe.
The rooms are well furnished and are more than you would expect for a more price conscious b&b. Everything was very clean and we saw the staff coming in each morning making great detail of cleanliness and good order. We would point out that the Lava Tree inn offers rooms from around $100 a night so we had no expectation of the trappings of the other hotels we had stayed in on our trip that ranged from $400 to $1250 per night. This was very much for us about experiencing the non tourist side of Hawaii and getting away from it all in the feel of someones Hawaiian home.
We would recommend this place to travelers wanting to find a beautiful peaceful and homely retreat on the Big Island. For us it was the warmth and hospitality of Irene and the others there who really made our stay special. Irene listed out points of interest for us to visit, lent us snorkels and flippers and made sure that any need we had was attended to.
Breakfast was served from around 7.30 to about 9.00am and consisted of a lovely range of home made rolls, jams, muesli and fruit. Often with produce picked from the garden. We liked the informality of having our morning meal with other guests and being able to chat about their experiences of both the island and their lives, as guest visited from around the world. As the inn is quite small and attracts people looking for the real Hawaii, then the people staying seemed more willing to be sociable and helpful.
The area surrounding the Inn was beautiful. Hawaii has 10 micro climates that can range from desert to rain forest and even snow in as little as 50 miles. The Lava tree in is situated in a rain Forrest type micro climate. Sunny (for us) during the day - in fact beautifully warm and just as we had hoped for - and pouring with rain at times in the night. The garden was alive with noises from the local birds and Coqui (pronounced cookie) frogs that abound. The noise was really quite magical and we even sent a recording back to our friends in the UK via facebook.
Again, the East side of the island we found totally different from the West. This area is much more for local people and settlers looking for their dream of Hawaii. I've got to admit they have made a pretty good job of realising it. The local town was more a strip of wooden built buildings, all individual and interesting. The two restaurants we tried served some of the best food we have had. fresh, well prepared, great ingredients and with some genuine skill. The atmosphere welcoming and happy. On Friday night the town became alive with music. Jazz, Blues and many other sorts. Each of the bars offering something for their clientele who for what we could see were predominately local, so the feeling was much more genuine and for the community.
There are very few places long haul that I would say we would visit again, as there are so many places we want to visit. But Irene's Inn is one on our list that we would definitely return to if we get a chance to see Hawaii again.
The Lava Tree Inn with Irene's hospitality gave us a wonderful and memorable retreat in what we think is one of the nicest areas of Hawaii's Big Island. We'd want travelers to know that it is what it says - a bed and breakfast and one very reasonably priced (well I'd say Irene charges too little). You will maybe notice that the crockery does not all match or that the towels are different colours or that the bedrooms have no TV or coffee making. For us, after two weeks of 5 star staying in Mexico (our immediately prior stop on route) was a very welcome return to a little normality. If you want white Irish linen, room service, a mini bar and the trappings of luxury then do as we did and book a luxury hotel as well. But if you want to experience a tranquil Hawaiian home where the attitude is calm, peace and goodwill then try The Lava Tree Inn.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The newly renovated Lava Tree Tropic Inn in has a wrap-around lanai (verandah) with three separate sitting areas where you can enjoy your morning coffee, relax with a good book, or just sit and take pleasure in the view. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Lava Tree Tropic Inn Hawaii/Pahoa