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Hilo lodging - B&B's

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Tacoma, WA
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Hilo lodging - B&B's

We'll in in Hilo three nights (Arriving Sept 27) before heading over to rent a condo in Kohala/Waikoloa.

I have found a the following B&B's and was hoping for your opinions on which is the best:

The Inn at Kulaniapia Falls, The Bay House, Orchid B&B and Shipman. We were hoping to keep the cost at under $200.

I'd love somewhere that offers breakfast early since I know we'll be up early each morning and ready to head out and explore. We'd love an ocean view if possible since we won't have one in Waikoloa during our stay.

We'll be using the B&B as our base as we explore VNP, Hilo the east side (several waterfalls, Botanical Garden, possibly Waipio Valley) etc. I'd love your opinions of which of these fits those the best.

On a side note - is it better to visit the Waipio Valley while staying in Hilo or Kohala? :)

Mahalo!

Amy

Big Island, Hawaii
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1. Re: Hilo lodging - B&B's

I think with three nights you'll have time to visit Waipio from Hilo, especially if you plan to hike in or horseback ride. If you're just going to the overlook, I'd do it on the transit day to Kohala.

Shipman House is the nicest of the ones you mention IMO although I am not familiar with The Inn at Kulaniapia Falls.

Edited: 6:00 pm, July 24, 2013
Lake Forest...
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2. Re: Hilo lodging - B&B's

I stayed at Kulaniapia Falls about a year ago, and IMO it was a real dump for the price paid. We stayed in their largest unit, a freestanding pagoda. Honestly, it was a totally gross place in a paradise location. The whole place was severely moldy, to the point that it made me sick. Even the shower curtain had moldy spots on it, and tons of mold in the bathroom and refrigerator. Also not a real breakfast, just some toast and fruit.

A fantastic property is Hale Moana in Pahoa, though that might be too far for you. We found it squeaky clean and a delicious breakfast. We actually liked the attractions in that area, and felt it was a very underrated part of the island. Its about a half hour each to VNP and Hilo.

Edited: 8:02 pm, July 24, 2013
Big Island, Hawaii
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3. Re: Hilo lodging - B&B's

Thanks for that insight re the inn!

I personally would stick with a Hilo or Volcano lodging. Pahoa and much of lower Puna are pretty sketchy and crime ridden these days and I also don't think it's a very good base for Volcano and the Hamakua Coast.

California
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4. Re: Hilo lodging - B&B's

We've stayed at Hale Kai Hawaii B&B quite a few times and really love the accommodation, great breakfasts, and location, which is on a cliff overlooking Hilo Bay. The hosts, Maria and Ricardo, are very warm and friendly. Their highest priced room is $179.

bedandbreakfast.com/hawaii-hilo-halekaihawai…

Lake Forest...
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5. Re: Hilo lodging - B&B's

You really think Pahoa/Puna is sketchy? I agree that it might be far off the beaten track, but quite frankly in our 20 days in the past 15 months on the Big Island, those days were some of the most enjoyable and I didn't feel uncomfortable once. And we are kind of a typical conservative OC family with young kids. I didn't find anyone during our 4 days in that area to be sketchy at all, except possibly the park with the warm swimming area (the name escapes me right now). The B&B is in Leilani estates, which was a beautiful neighborhood outside Pahoa. We went into town several times, and everyone was always friendly and courteous, though a few people were "colorful". Lava Tree Park was amazing. The lava flowing areas were amazing.

Big Island, Hawaii
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6. Re: Hilo lodging - B&B's

Yes, it's sketchy. A few months ago they were looking for the body of a guy whose security cameras had filmed his death. They found two bodies...neither one were him. A young woman was recently murdered and thrown into the ocean. They still haven't found her boyfriend or the murderer (who might be the same person). Pahoa itself and environs has a major meth and marijuana problem, and there are large marijuana fields patrolled by dogs and people with guns who don't like tourists. There are frequent reports of gang activity.

My partner and I have a criminal law practice so maybe I know more about this than most, but among even just residents everyone knows to basically avoid the area. From petty crime to major crime, it's pretty much the center.

Island of Hawaii...
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7. Re: Hilo lodging - B&B's

While Puna can be really enjoyable, weird stuff happens there fairly often that just never happens in the Kohala Resort area.

I donʻt really know the owner of Hale Moana well, but she is friend of a friend, and I know she takes her B&B very seriously and she has many positive reviews. It is definitely one of the top choices on the menu if you plan to do B&B in the Pahoa area.

Leilani Estates went down in my estimation recently when some guy attacked another guy with a speargun standing on the main road, inflicting serious or even critical injuries, while a woman was getting bashed with a large rock, in the daytime too. People are complaining about Pahoa Villageʻs derelicts, drug dealing, indecent exposure, crazies, and so forth being a common sight in the Village these days.

There are only 7 police officers on duty at any one time in all of Puna, an area larger than Oahu and which includes all the area above the highway such as most of Volcano.

So, IMHO, the B&B itself is going to be safe and enjoyable. The Village is not necessarily so, although it has some decent places to eat. The desirability as a base depends on where you plan to tour. Lower Puna is a bottleneck, so itʻs far from ideal to drive in and out of every day. Much better to stay there if the plan is to chill out in Puna.

Island of Hawaii...
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8. Re: Hilo lodging - B&B's

Bay House, Orchid Tree, and Hale Kai all have good reps and have ocean or bay views. Bay House is walk across the bridge into old downtown, and the latter two are in Paukaʻa, which is at Honoliʻi, two miles north of the singing bridge.

Shipman is the grande dame of Hilo with the beautiful vintage house full of history. Check the website for view. It is not on the coast. It is on Reedʻs Island, an island formed by a forking of the Wailuku river.

For breakfast details, check the traveler photos on the TA reviews for shots of the breeakfasts.

The Inn at Kulanapia has had many reviews calling it a dump and some reviews loving it. The road is not the best, from what I have read.

Hilo Honu is a historic house on Haili Street that is high end.

Hilo Bay Hale is also right in town, nicely decorated, possibly gets street noise as it is right on Pohohawai.

Edited: 12:17 am, July 26, 2013
utah
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9. Re: Hilo lodging - B&B's

We recently stayed at The Inn at Kulanapia in the King Kamehameha room. I wondered if it would be a complete let down because of some reviews I read, but it turned out to be great and just right for us. The girls serve breakfast every morning and it isn't just bread and fruit like another person mentioned. They will cook you eggs any way you would like, and they have delicious Cinnamon macadamia nut waffles that are delicious! You can eat your breakfast on the balcony overlooking the waterfall. You can hike down to the waterfall, which is fun and there are a lot of neat plants to see along the way. We swam by the waterfall. It was very cold but we loved it! We did not have mold in our room. Our room was clean, and so was our bedding and towels. The drive up to the B&B is kind of long, but it is a great drive and very beautiful. We never got tired of driving it. The road does go down to one lane at some parts. Overall, it was great and I do recommend it!

Lake Forest...
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10. Re: Hilo lodging - B&B's

I did look at some of the TA reviews out of curiosity. It appears that the rooms in the actual house are pretty nice and receive a real breakfast. The cottages, on the other hand, have most of the terrible reviews. Too bad we paid almost $300 a night to stay in their dumpy Pagoda. As for the location it is wonderful and the road getting there is beautiful too.