We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

staying at 1 vs 2 locations

NYC
Level Contributor
56 posts
2 reviews
Save Topic
staying at 1 vs 2 locations

Aloha!

My brother and I want to take our parents to the BI for 8-10 nights during the first 2 weeks of Dec. I still have not made any reservations yet because of extenuating circumstances and indecisiveness of my family, but I have been reading this forum to gather ideas for our trip. With just over 2 months left, I finally see a resolution to our circumstances, and I've just decided to plan this whole thing myself in earnest.

After reading some of the pros and cons of staying exclusively on one side of island vs dividing time between the two sides, I had originally wanted to stay the whole time in a condo at the colony villas to avoid packing/unpacking. But the prospect of dauntingly long drives has put me back on the fence. Aside from an extra round of packing/unpacking, I do have some other concerns about staying a couple of nights at, say, the Volcano, and I was hoping you could allay them. Here they are:

1. Booking a couple of nights at the Volcano will commit us to visiting the area on specific days. If it were to rain during that time, how long does it usually last in that area? The entire day or just a short spell? And how foggy does it get there? It would be a shame to not see the VNP at all because of inclement weather. But if we were based in Waikoloa beach resort, we could leave our schedule open and check the weather forecast before heading out.

2. Since we will be sight-seeing with a trunk full of luggage, I have some security concerns. What are the places with higher incidences of car break-ins? I would plan to drive the southern route from KOA, with a stop at Costco, another stop somewhere for a late lunch, and a short stop to see the black sand beach. Then on the day we check out, I would drive the northern route, seeing Hilo, the water falls, and one of the botanic gardens en route to Waikoloa.

3. Would we be able to avoid traffic if our flight arrives shortly after noon?

Thank you for your help!

ann

Palm Springs...
Level Contributor
11,440 posts
105 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: staying at 1 vs 2 locations

Ann

Well to be frank, nothing is going to even come close to the colony Villas on the Hilo side nor in Volcano. I suggest that you stay put and drive the treips as the time saved compares to moving and lugging all your stuff, not to mention moving groceries, will not be worth the the hassel. Hilo/Volcano places are a very mixed bag with no guarantee of quality or conforminity to a common standard for anything. There are no condos that are not dumps over there.

B&B's are a very mixed bag. Kiluea Lodge and Volcano House are the only real places to rely on.

Weather.?????. the park gets about 180 inches of rain a year and that can be in all day, half day ;20 min, 3 hour segments, normaly in afternoon and evening, its constantly raining somewhere on the Hilo side every day but not in every place. No matter when you visit you will experience some rain. Fog? the only place its gets cold enough for fog to form is above 6000 ft elevation in the mountains........ Not in the rain forests. Expect cool temps in the 50"S in Volcano at night.

Driving the southern route ,it is pretty devoid of all forms of comfort and service......maybe 3 gas stations in the 100 miles, one or 2 places to eat, ( places that have some form of eatable food good if you havent eaten in 2 or 3 days) It will take about 3 hours from the Colonys to the Park, allow about 15 min to se the Black sand beach you can drive to it.......

In summary, you will save little if any time by moving and how will you move groceries ? Plus you are going to be rather dissapointed in the offerings in lodging when compared to where you are staying.

If you head north when you arrive you will be fine, but not south or going to costco Costco here is not the deal you have come to trust in the states.... here they have the highest meat and liquor prices.. KTA, Safeway etc all beat them.

I would go to Waikoloa Village Market 8 miles away.... has the best meat parker ranch, vegies . Waimea or Kona will all require almost 2 hour RT driving time and you did not come here to spend your time driving to the store.

I used to Live in Waikoloa Beach and SELDOM IF EVER WENT TO cOSTCO, maybe 3 TIMES A YEAR.

NYC
Level Contributor
56 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: staying at 1 vs 2 locations

Thanks so much for your suggestions, Hawaiidan! I was rethinking my original plan to base ourselves solely at the Colony Villas because I would need to drive over to the other side of the island twice: one day to see Hilo, waterfalls, and Hawaii Botanical Gardens; and another day to see the VNP. Staying at the Volcano would save me one round trip but relocating would indeed add stress. However, I actually became somewhat more interested in the latter option after reading the favorable reviews for the Kilauea Lodge (as well as for Kate’s Cottage), and I am thinking that it would be nice to stay in a place with contrasting ambiance to Waikoloa beach resort, as the BI is the only island we will be visiting on this trip. As for moving groceries, I would then not plan on buying a whole lot at Costco coming from the airport, just water, snacks, and fruit (and gas, of course), and do the serious grocery shopping on the way to the Colony Villas. But I still have a nagging concern about parking my car full with luggage in places like Hilo, the waterfalls, and the botanical gardens. Will there be much risk if everything is out of sight in the trunk?

ann

Oregon
Level Contributor
8,735 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: staying at 1 vs 2 locations

Really depends on how much you want to drive.

Next time I hope we can take night natuaralist tour to volcano, and I do not want to drive close to 2 hours at night to get back to condo. so we plan to move.

Alabama
Level Contributor
58 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: staying at 1 vs 2 locations

You might consider just moving for the last couple nights of your trip, especially since you'll be there for over a week. It will make touring Hilo and the park much easier and less stressful... you don't have to cut your time short in order to avoid driving back too late. And if you're in Volcano for a couple nights you can choose which day to go to the park, so if the weather is bad one day, you can go the next.

Also the weather forcast for Volcano I would say is only accurate maybe half the time... go and take a rain jacket and have a good time. Unless you plan on doing lots of hiking the rain shouldn't bother you too much and just because its raining in one part of the park doesn't mean its raining a couple miles down the road.

Island of Hawaii...
Destination Expert
for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
Level Contributor
39,075 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: staying at 1 vs 2 locations

this island is not known for a lot of tourist car break-ins like Maui and Oahu. I've never had a problem with stuff in my trunk, certainly not at Costco or the Botanical Gardens.

From all the warning signs in waterfall parking lots, I have to conclude that whatever "staking out" is done these are the hot spots. Just don't put stuff in your trunk when you park. Have your stuff in the trunk, arrive, park, get out of your car without getting into trunk and leave car locked. I would not worry about it.

The only thing I truly worry about is my good camera but since you're at a waterfall you're taking your camera with, right?

Re moving -- I cannot say strongly enough how long a day it is to visit VNP and Hilo from Waikoloa Beach. It's one thing to just do the drive, but to combine the drive with any serious hiking or touring, I wouldn't say it's ideal. There's nothing wrong with the B&B's although I'd pick one that has good reviews. Dan is right there is not a lot of licensing. That means reputation is everything. Lack of licensing doesn't mean they aren't run meticulously.

I would move and I'd do it at the end of the trip by which time you'll have had all your relaxation on the beach and be getting restless.

Just don't overpack. Hah, the irony of ME giving that advice. I always overpack. And I always resolve not to do it next time!

NYC
Level Contributor
56 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: staying at 1 vs 2 locations

Thank you for all your replies! I was especially concerned about car break-ins because I had wanted to bring my laptop with me so I can photoshop my pics during the trip (and perhaps work on my thesis, hah!) But I think I'll just leave it at home.

As for staying at the Volcano, I am unfortunately out of luck with the Kilauea Lodge, as the best they can offer is a different cottage for each of the two nights. However, the Kahi Malu is available, and I might go with that. But just to confuse myself with more choices, I had reserved 2 rooms at the Sheraton for 4 nights also. Now I await a vote from my family for 2 nights at the Volcano and 8 at Colony Villas; or 5 nights at Colony villas and 4 at the Sheraton.

ann

Kauai & Mainland
Level Contributor
954 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: staying at 1 vs 2 locations

For what it's worth, I was in a similar situation of sorts earlier this year.

We found moving to the Hilo side made is MUCH eaiser to tour that side versus driving each day. Granted we did drive over two days anyway, but touring Hilo was much much more relaxing without the long drive too and from.

Second, security. The ONLY place I felt uneasy was Lava Tree State Park in Puna. All the other places I was warned about I didn't feel worried at all. Many places in Hilo are a lot more open than I expected, especially at the parks. I'm not saying it doesn't happen... I'm saying I didn't feel threatened by anyone while there. The day we DID move to Hilo we toured inside HVNP with a full car (and I do mean full) of stuff. We had no problems bc the park is very safe.

Just thought I'd throw that in the mix.

8. Re: staying at 1 vs 2 locations

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 8:19 pm, August 24, 2009
Get answers to your questions about Kailua-Kona