The B&B is located in a grid-pattern residential area, about 1.5 miles across the Mamalahoa Highway from the village center where the restaurants and store are located – so it is too far to walk for dinner. Each lot is densely covered with tropical ferns and trees, so residences aren’t always visible from the road. There are a number of B&Bs tucked away there. It is truly the rainforest!
The Retreat is set on a ½ acre lot and consists of a number of buildings/guest houses which are discretely located away from each other, separated by thick ferns and plants, so you rarely see the other guests (unless you bump into them walking to the hot tub) as there is no reason to go wandering around.
This is certainly not the sort of place where you interact with the hosts each evening at happy hour and chit-chat with other guests over breakfast. It is very private and you are left to your own devices.
We stayed in the guest cottage. If you want information on the other accommodations, then delve through Tripadvisor reviews.
Peter greeted us and showed us around the cottage. He answered our questions and told us that if we needed help or further info to go to the office, otherwise we were welcome to enjoy the peace and solitude and just lock the door after us when we left.
Breakfast is provided in your accommodation the night before (a basket containing pastries, muffins and fruit). There are also eggs and milk in the fridge, superb macadamia nut granola and coffee/tea.
The cottage, which had a kitchen and decent sized bathroom, with almost instant hot water, was fully furnished and had books, music (a variety of CDs) and a tv (only for watching dvd’s – no tv signal). The WIFI worked well. Small touches, such as umbrellas and headlamps, torches/flashlights were very useful. The thick robe was great for walking to the hot tub. The gas ‘wood-burning’ stove soon warmed the place up on a chilly night.
The sleeping arrangement was in the ‘loft’, which initially sounded wonderful but turned out to be less-so. You need to be agile enough to climb a steep ladder using both hands to hold on tight (so you can’t carry a glass of water at bedtime or a big book). If you need to go the bathroom in the middle of the night, you end up switching on the lights and waking everyone as you need your hands to hold on tight on the way down. I only slept up there for part of the first evening and then slept on a pull-out futon in the living room for the remainder of the time.
In addition, the roof slopes sharply on both sides of the bed in the ‘loft’, so whilst the clearance directly above the center of the bed maybe 6’, at the sides it is much less. If you are tall, you will bump your head a lot!
Familiarize yourself with the ‘Information and Policies’ BEFORE you book. If you are taken ill beforehand and don’t have travel insurance or if you have insurance but just change your mind (which wouldn’t be covered), be aware that their cancellation policy is 30 days.
Do NOT follow the instructions you are sent in the mail which instruct you to park under the car port beside the guest cottage. The car port is small and there is a very low wooden beam at exactly the spot where you alight your driver’s side, just ready for you to whack your head on it. There is a warning sign on the wall, but it is too late once you realize just HOW low it is!
The website informs you that check in is between 3pm and 5pm but the confirmation letter states ”Please call us at least 24 hours in advance to notify us if you plan to arrive closer to 3pm or 5pm so we can be here to greet you”. “Thank you for your consideration to our requests”. We found ourselves watching the clock more than we would have liked and ended up rushing along the Mamalahoa Highway to be there by our agreed time.
If you have pet allergies, be aware that the owners’ cats roam the grounds and tried unsuccessfully to enter the cottage. Peter advised us to keep the door closed.
Shoes are not permitted indoors and slippers are provided. Signs also request that you do not use certain body lotions (as it damages the bed linens) and are mindful of water usage. My husband found it frustrating but if you are staying in someone else's house then you abide by their rules.
A neighbor’s dog barked for hours on end until late into the night. I’m not sure if this was a frequent occurrence but it certainly ruined the relaxing atmosphere. If I wanted to hear barking dogs, then I could have stayed at home in my own neighborhood!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Volcano Rainforest Retreat lodging experience on the Big Island of Hawaii offers visitors a collection of distinct guest cottages, created with elegant simplicity in harmony and balance with the Hawaiian rain forest. Its sense of place imparts a seamless feeling of connection between inside and outside, the accommodations and nature. The rain forest lodgings are interconnected by intimate paths, which wind their way through the misty, mossy landscape. This Hawaii Volcano retreat offers a unique setting for romantics, artists, nature lovers and world travellers seeking refuge and intimate contact with the living volcanic earth. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Volcano Rainforest Retreat Hotel Volcano
- Volcano Rainforest Retreat Hawaii