How many people?
I don't know the first property but the location is fine. I personally don't find it very appealing, IMO there are many more charming options in the price range. I am familiar with the second one and it's fine, probably not my first choice in the price range, but cute and again, the location is good.
TA reviews can be generally helpful but I'd take them with a grain of salt, especially if the reviewers don't have much or any other TA history.
If you haven't already you might want to read through the Top Questions on the right hand side on east side lodging so that you can just get some firsthand input of specific places in Volcano others have stayed at and liked.
Back in November, we stayed at another of the accommodations offered by the third in your list (the "Maid's Quarters"), and were very impressed with the accommodation and the host. The accommodation was very clean, nicely appointed (and lots of nice little "touches"). The host was professional through the booking process, prompt to respond to emails, and personable and friendly when we met in person. (And one of these days, I'm actually going to get a proper review written...)
If you are planning to self-cater, buy your groceries before you get to Volcano - there are two stores there, but they are very, very expensive, and have very little selection. We wound up getting take-out from the Tuk Tuk Thai food truck our second night, which was good - and way cheaper than trying to buy groceries in Volcano.
Thanks. I was wondering about groceries in Volcano. We're driving in from Kona airport, so might be best to stop somewhere on the way to get some groceries.
Hilo or Kea'au are the only stops close enough to Volcano where your perishables won't be toast. What time of day will this be? I hope you are arriving early, if your plan is to stay in Volcano. Was there not any way to fly into ITO?
Oh sorry, I didn't actually click on your first link as I thought it was just a TA review link of one of the other two, so you'll have to reread my original comments in that context as I was referring to your links two and three, not one and two. I've now looked at the first link though and my comments are the same as to your second one.
Agree that you should fly into ITO unless you're getting into KOA before about 2pm. Figure an hour to get bags and car, 2 1/2 - 3 hour drive (probably on the longer end since you may well be hitting afternoon and school traffic), plus a half hour to get groceries. One problem is you really don't want to get groceries in Kailua Kona because of the distance to drive, they'll cook in the heat. And there's really nowhere else to stop between there and Volcano. You'll have to drive past Volcano about 10-15 minutes to Keaau, so that's another half hour. You'll definitely want to find your rental in the daytime.
One option if you have to fly into KOA would be to stop at a grocery in Kailua Kona and buy a cheap styrofoam cooler and ice and put your perishables in it. You presumably won't be buying much for a couple of days.
Yeah, I was thinking to drive over on Saddle Road, which would allow you to pass by the Hilo and Kea'au options.
Even a cooler will be hard pressed to save true perishables like dairy, raw meat, or frozens, if you have it in a trunk. If it is in the part of the vehicle that is air conditioned, maybe, but don't know if you have room for that.
I have a hard plastic insulated Kenmore cooler rated as a "7 day" cooler, and I keep it in the cargo area of an SUV, and I still can't give ice cream or frozens more than half an hour. I would not even try it from Kailua Kona.
Without any kind of ice chest, it is a complete no go to buy groceries on the west side and transport to Volcano. I would advise anyone coming to this island to make provision for some kind of ice chest, so that on day trips you can take along picnic lunch and cold drinks. It probably takes about 15 minutes in the sun to raise a car interior to 90 degrees, and there is little shaded parking.
We're arriving at Kona airport at 10 a.m. Buying a cheap ice chest sounds like a good idea. So, in Volcano Village itself, is there any place at all to get at least a loaf of bread, milk, maybe some bacon, eggs?
There is a really small general store in Volcano. It's overpriced and poorly stocked. You can probably find bread and milk. Maybe eggs and bacon but my recollection is no.....
Shopping for groceries in Volcano is not recommended. If you want a bag of overpriced chips, a candy bar, a soda ... it's OK. It's like a 7-11, although it's not a 7-11. Convenience mart type food. Honestly, I've seen gas station marts that had better.