Before I get into the detailed description, note to all considering booking here that "crater view" may be loosely defined. Technically, the hotel sits on the edge of the main crater, so any room that faces that way would have a "crater view". However, most people are probably hoping for that view that includes the Halemaumumu vent so that they can see it glowing at night or seem the steam rising during the day. Not all of the rooms have a very good view of the vent itself.
We were able to get reservations to stay during the first week they reopened. It appeared that 8 rooms were open (4 on bottom floor, 4 on top floor of 1960's annex building). We were a group of 5 with 3 small children. Some of the rooms have a king bed with a double pull-out sofa. Because of their "regulations" we were not allowed to specifically book that room, nor have 2 adults and 3 small children in that room and were required to book 2 rooms. We were given 2 adjacent top floor rooms with crater views. Ironically, we did receive room with a King bed and a double pull out sofa that would have slept my family just fine despite their "regulations".
One of our rooms faced toward the crater, but due to tree/vegetation growth there was not actually a view of the Halemaumamu vent unless you stood in one corner of the window and angled yourself (bent down) to see under the trees. The other room had the spectacular glowing vent view that you want when booking this property.
The rooms appeared to be cosmetically renovated only. One of our rooms had a non-working toilet. When I complained about this, they said that they could move us. However, the room that had the non-working toilet was our one room that had a spectacular view of the vent and was immediately next door to the other room -- so we chose the inconvenience of staying since we could use the toilet in the other room and we were only there one night. Staff also mentioned that another room that had a non-working shower drain. Since we had two rooms, we still had inconvenient access to a toilet. However, due to the lack of soundproofing in the building, I'm sure that we disturbed those on the floors beneath us when we would have to go back and forth between rooms (the room with the actual crater view was the one with the non-working toilet). Hotel management graciously credited us with half of the cost of the one room for the night.
Note that the bathrooms have openable window "slats" that open into the hallway that seem less than secure and remove any sense of privacy when using the restroom and shower. I didn't try to open them from the hallway side, but it seems as though it would be possible to pry them at least partially open, affording a view of the shower area. You could definitely hear any noise generated in the bathroom when standing in the hallway outside of it.
You are paying for the view/location when staying here, and depending on the room it is worth the price. I would have been disappointed if we only had one room and didn't have an actual view of the vent which is the reason I chose to stay here. When the other non-crater view rooms open up, I don't think that I would choose to stay in one of those as the town of Volcano is extremly close by and it seems that better and less expensive accomodations could be had there.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Volcano House is the only hotel located within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and is perched on the rim of Kilauea's Halemaumau crater. The historic Volcano House Hotel has long captured the imagination of visitors from all over the world with its iconic location, rich cultural legacy, and warm Hawaiian hospitality. Drawing upon a storied history dating back to 1846, Volcano House Hotel is now re-imagined for a new era with updated rooms, a restaurant and lounge serving Pacific Rim fare, and retail shops. Come experience the best Hawaii Island has to offer. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Volcano House Hotel Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
- Volcano Hotel
- Volcano House Hawaii/Hawaii Volcanoes National Park