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“Nice try- no cigar” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Molokai

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Hotel Molokai
3.0 of 5 Small Hotel   |   1300 Kamehameha V Highway, P.O. Box 1020, Kaunakakai, Molokai, HI 96748   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 5 Kaunakakai B&B and Inns
bc canada
Top Contributor
204 reviews 204 reviews
44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 73 cities Reviews in 73 cities
258 helpful votes 258 helpful votes
“Nice try- no cigar”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2013

We only came for dinner, but I got a chance to checkout the rooms and have general look-around.

Aqua took over this property and are obviously trying to upgrade it. In fact, the restaurant was entirely closed off for renovations- that they expected would take many months.

The architecture is 'unique', to say the least- somewhat more reminiscent of Borneo than Polynesia, but then I may well be wrong. The rooms and bedding were pretty crisp- nicely done up, considering the age of the property and design limitations. Other commenters have correctly pointed out lack of adequate ventilation or a/c.

There is a small but adequate pool, a bar area that genuinely was home-style rumpus room fun in ambience. We were not there for the Friday night, so missed the weekly music touted all over the island.

The foreshore has no beach to speak of- really, you have to go down to Murphy's Beach at Mile 20, or better, to the far west end of island to Dixie Maru for a stellar beach.

Obviously, in keeping their doors open during a protracted renovation, they needed to provide some kind of limited food menu. They did so by either setting up a barbecue or hotplate somewhere, and served us some dried out mahi mahi on a paper plate with coleslaw and rice for $16.95. Frankly, it was barely passable fare, but the staff were so nice, and we were so hungry, and there are so few choices that actually we were just grateful to eat.

I root for these guys. With the Sheraton closing, they are the only game on island except for cottages, B&B's, some rental condos- some of which are pretty iffy. They have to satisfy a range of traveler needs and desires, and work hard, but not always successfully, to do so.

The real problem is the island culture. This is a very different Hawaii than Maui, easily visible to the East just a few miles away. There are lots of rusty corrugated tin roof houses, pick up trucks of certain vintage, sporting gun racks in case one spots an Axis deer or feral pig on the mountainside.

The economy is a shambles, with high unemployment, the ranch, golf course and resort hotel closed down, and few prospects outside of Monsanto agriculture taking over what used to be sugar and pineapple fields. They grow a bit of coffee too, but most people fish, hunt, and do whatever to make ends meet. Even the main grocery store did not have chicken or fish, or much of anything, for that matter, when we went in for provisioning.

So there is a kind of forlorn feel to Molokai, and really, nothing that Hotel Molokai can do about it.

The takeaway message is to adjust your expectations, and enjoy what hospitality they can offer. There is much to enjoy, but it requires a gestalt shift to do so.

Room Tip: go for ocean front
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 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.
GMHotelMolokai, General Manager at Hotel Molokai, responded to this review, December 13, 2013
Aloha,

Thank you so very much for taking the time to post a review about your recent visit to our property and the island of Molokai.
Please know that your feedback is extremely important to us and we will utilize your feedback by continuing to focus on making each customer experience the best it can be.

Again, thank you and we hope to be of service to you in the future.

Be well.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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359 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (125)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
TN
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2013

We stayed here for 6 days in a huge king room, mini kitchen and fabulous balcony big enough for a porch swing and patio table to seat 6! Complimentary fesh papaya, bread, coffee, water, tea every day. Delicious! All staff interactions were awsome! General Manager reception was great, cocktails fab, GM very personable and should be proud of his property....this coming from a former Doubletree Hotel employee :)
We look forward to returning for another week next year and hopefully their restaurant will be rebuilt....a shame we missed that,but we understand that things happen and they are scheduling to rebuild...so we can't wait!

Room Tip: Upstairs...king room with balcony was spacious, private and fabulous bed!
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  • Stayed November 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.
GMHotelMolokai, General Manager at Hotel Molokai, responded to this review, December 2, 2013
Aloha!!

Thank you so much for taking the time out to post a review. We are delighted that you truly enjoyed your stay with us. We are looking forward to you return in the future.

Best Wishes for the Holidays!!
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1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2013

I had the best trip of life at the Hotel molokai. Everyone was so genuine and friendly. They truly cared about our experience. It was the best vacation ever. The Hotel Molokai is like an ohana, one you like. Michael, Tylor and Pua made it an excellent experience. I will be back.

Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMHotelMolokai, General Manager at Hotel Molokai, responded to this review, November 13, 2013
Aloha Katie,

Thank you so much for taking the time to post a review. We are truly happy that you enjoyed your visit and had fun on your birthday. We look forward to welcome you back in the very near future.

Be well
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chicago, il
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2013

This is a difficult review to write for several reasons. This is the ONLY hotel on Moloka'i, so there is nothing to compare it to. The property was lovely and we were able to make lei's upon arrival. The rooms are quaint, but no A/C. Not luxurious, but acceptable. The pool is rather small, but the pool/bar area has some great views. I was only there one night so I did not get to explore much, but I did not see any beach? Also, it appears that there is no restaurant on site, and I would not recommend walking into town at night (no street lights). I understand that the bar has a limited menu with sandwiches, etc. for lunch. We were there on a Friday night, so the "aunties and uncles" were performing, which I understand is a popular venue for locals, and that was very entertaining. While I was relatively content with my stay, I met a couple on their honeymoon from Ireland and they were not happy. They gave them a room with two twin beds and the first room was close to the road and the man said the walls would shake when a car went by (I guess thats why there were complimentary ear plugs in the room?!), so they asked to be moved. The hotel told them they were fully booked and could only give them another room with two twin beds. Also, they had no car, so they were hot, cranky, bored, and hungry!

Room Tip: Try to avoid a room close to the road
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMHotelMolokai, General Manager at Hotel Molokai, responded to this review, October 22, 2013
Thank you so much for taking the time to post a review regarding your recent stay with us. Please know that your feedback is very valuable to us and we will utilize your feedback by continuing to focus on making each and every guest experience the best it can be. We hope to be of service to you in the near future.

Thanks again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2013

My family and I stayed for four nights at hotel Molokai and it was just great. Michael, the General Manager, is a great asset to the hotel and his genuine attention to guests was exceptional. I attended the weekly Managers welcome party for the guests and I was very glad I did... It was nice to get a free beer but what made it nice was getting to know Michael and really getting a warm and genuine welcome. We had a few things we asked the hotel staff to help us with and EVERYBODY went the extra mile. We live here in Hawaii and were just wanted to visit Molokai to be tourists. We definitely got away from Oahu and went back into time to a place with warmth and no big chain stores--just Mom and Pop owned businesses. I hope Molokai keeps it that way! Bravo to Michael and the staff at the hotel!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
GMHotelMolokai, General Manager at Hotel Molokai, responded to this review, October 22, 2013
Aloha Bob,

Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to post a review.
We are delighted to hear that you and your family truly enjoyed your visit. It was great meeting you and your family. I know we will see each other again very soon. Until then be well.
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Kapolei, Hawaii
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2013

Although I live in Hawaii (Oahu) I must say that going to Moloka'i was a real Hawaiian vacation. The hotel was centrally located so you are close to the main town of Kaunakakai. One day we drove to the East end and the next day to the West end of the island. The third day we drove to the North and rode the mules to Kalaupapa.

Let me recommend the Hotel Moloka'i for numerous reasons. First the manager Michael Drew and every one of his staff are so friendly and accommodating. The rooms are clean and the grounds are pretty with a pool and hammocks to relax on. One of only 2 bars on the island is at the hotel. Bartender Tylor is fun and it's great talking to guests from all over the world.

There's free Continental breakfast in the mornings & unlike Oahu, free parking. Will definitely go back & will always stay at the Hotel Moloka'i. The people are awesome!!!

Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMHotelMolokai, General Manager at Hotel Molokai, responded to this review, October 22, 2013
Aloha Karen,

Thank you so much for taking time to post a review. I know you and Kate really enjoyed your visit. We were delighted to share the aloha spirit with you two. We hope to see you again in the near future.

Regards
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Reno
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2013

Hotel Molokai was amazing, especially for the price. We wanted a quiet HI vacation and that's what we got. They have no nightlife, no fancy shopping, no fancy places to eat, no spa. BUT they have deserted beaches, quiet hammocks by the usually vacant pool (which is right on the ocean), and a place to get away from the craziness of life. They have clean pillow top beds and a kitchenette, a private balcony, and good service. Internet is minimal fee ($15 for the week), and they have a computer in the lounge. You can borrow snorkel gear, chairs, coolers, beach towels, movies, etc for free. The staff is helpful. Michael the manager is super friendly and fun to be with. He remembered our names and brought us free Champaign (our friends' honeymoon). They have free drinks on Mondays and music on Fridays at the pool/ocean side bar. The breakfast is minimal, but it's a free coffee and donut so one can't complain much. The locals are very nice. Go to the bakery for Hot Bread. Yum! You should rent a vehicle b/c there is no public transportation. If you want a quiet, relaxing Hawaii, where you don't have to worry about being crowded with other people, this is it!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
GMHotelMolokai, General Manager at Hotel Molokai, responded to this review, October 22, 2013
Aloha Monica,

Thank you so much for taking time to post a review about your recent stay. We are happy to hear that you truly enjoyed your visit. We look forward to welcome you back in the future. Be well.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Molokai

Address: 1300 Kamehameha V Highway, P.O. Box 1020, Kaunakakai, Molokai, HI 96748
Location: United States > Hawaii > Molokai > Kaunakakai
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 B&Bs / Inns in Kaunakakai
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Molokai 3*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Enjoy an authentic Hawaiian experience at our resort, located on Kamiloloa Beach adjacent to Hawaii's only barrier reef. Our Ocean front resort offers the ideal setting for your authentic Hawaiian experience. Join us every Friday for our "Aloha Friday" sunset celebration from 4pm-6pm Oceanside. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Molokai Hawaii

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