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“WHOA!”
Review of Volcano House

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Volcano House
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Texas
Level 6 Contributor
174 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 305 helpful votes
“WHOA!”
Reviewed May 14, 2014

Man!
Get an upgraded room so you can see the crater better!

So we walk into the entrance to this hotel and are personally greeted by the manager. After check-in, we look for an elevator, as we were on the second floor, but there is none. We had quite a few bags, but I had no problem with doing the stairs.
Well, the manager would have none of that and helped us with the bags to our room (which was up a couple of small flights of stairs and a long walkway.
After getting us situated in our room, he explained the features of it, and some particulars about the resort and surrounding area.
He vehemently declined our tip.
Wow.

First order of business was to make reservations at the restaurant and on the way back to the room to get cleaned up, I discovered the manager walking around with a plateful of hot, just baked cookies, giving them out in the lobby and viewing areas. Wow. Just wow!

The room;
Ok, this is a historic property and was remodeled, but the original charm is still there. Yeah, the shower was tiny, the bathroom was miniature, but there was a table just outside the bathroom that you can put your toiletries on. The coffeemaker is also located here. Oh yeah. The manager said the coffee was better in the lobby in the morning and we could take our coffee cups down there to get a better cup. No tv. Good. Yah don't need that here. Look out the window or get out of the room and DO something! This is "bucket list quality"! Free wifi and it's FAST. Free parking. Cellophaned cookies each day. They were awesome as well. Bed was very comfortable and the pillows were like clouds. No refrigerator. You get ice from the bar. They'll fill up small ice chests. They have a nice happy hour in the bar.
They have a nice rock fireplace in the lobby area that was heavily used. Bring a lightweight jacket, as it sometimes is cool. Your above 3000 feet.

Noise in the rooms? Noise? What noise? No noise.

There are three places to gaze at the volcano. The "viewing room" (a room with big chairs facing the volcano), the restaurant (The Rim), and the bar area.
There is an exit from the bar area outside where you can take pictures. There's a walkway. Lots of cool looking birds.

This is a "bucket list" quality experience! Extremely friendly and helpful service and a great location to visit the nearby attractions.
DO THIS!

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank alienpilot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David M, General Manager at Volcano House, responded to this review, May 27, 2014
Aloha alienpilot,

Thank you for the wonderful review of your recent stay here at Volcano House!

I'm glad you enjoyed our bell service and the plate of cookies that our manager on duty provided in the evening - this has become a guest favorite over the few months we've had it in place.

Thank you again for the feedback and I wish you safe travels!

Mahalo,

David MacIlwraith
General Manager
Hawaii Volcanoes Lodge Company
dmacilwraith@hawaiivolcanohouse.com
808.756.9625
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Richmond, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
63 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed May 14, 2014

Pleasant, helpful staff; clean, well-appointed room; incredible view; and, excellent food. Overall a great experience. Staff were welcoming, informative and helpful - from Chris who helped us with our bags, to the front desk and servers - Skyler in the lounge and Candy at breakfast. Skyler was especially great! Food was tasty and plentiful - and not overpriced. We knew this was not a luxury hotel and, having been built in 1846, expected some noise but the addition of sound machines in the rooms made for a peaceful sleep. And the view from our 2nd floor, crater view room was amazing! Expensive yes, but you are paying for an experience

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank helenrichmond
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David M, General Manager at Volcano House, responded to this review, May 27, 2014
Aloha helenrichmond,

Thank you for sharing your recent Volcano House experience on TripAdvisor. I'm happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay and that you particularly appreciated Skyler and Candy - I have shared this with them and thanked them for their outstanding level of service!

I'm also glad you enjoyed our newly installed sound machines and that you had a good night's rest.

Thank you again for the feedback and I wish safe travels!

Mahalo,

David MacIlwraith
General Manager
Hawaii Volcanoes Lodge Company
dmacilwraith@hawaiivolcanohouse.com
808.756.9625
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ocean View
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 13, 2014

Nice place, beautiful place. Had a little issue when ordering some appetizer from bar but staff went totally out of the way to make us happy. 99.9 % went out of there way to make you feel comfortable. A must stay if you visit the park.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank tjittu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David M, General Manager at Volcano House, responded to this review, May 27, 2014
Aloha tjttu,

Thank you for your posted feedback about Volcano House, located in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. I'm glad you found that our staff did a good job at making you feel happy!

I am sorry if there was some confusion with ordering an appetizer at the bar. Please feel free to reach out to me directly and let me know your specific concern so that we can prevent anything like this happening again.

Thank you again for the feedback and I hope you will be in touch.

Mahalo,

David MacIlwraith
General Manager
Hawaii Volcanoes Lodge Company
dmacilwraith@hawaiivolcanohouse.com
808.756.9625
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tahoe
Level 5 Contributor
94 reviews
88 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed May 4, 2014

Booked a view room and got an upper floor room with an unobstructed view of the volcano. Took the very short drive to the volcano overlook at sunset. Just can't beat the location if you want a night-time volcano experience, which I assume nearly every guest here will. The property itself is nothing special, as many others have noted. Food and food service (breakfast, lunch and dinner) were hit and miss. Our room had fleas, which I originally thought were bedbugs until I returned Stateside and identified the critter I brought home with me. Since I'm willing to pay a premium for first-class access to a unique natural attraction, I'd still have booked the property knowing everything I know now, but many others would not. When a property's only real virtue is it's location, and it charges a steep premium for that location, it's bound to get mixed reviews.

Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank MovnOut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David M, General Manager at Volcano House, responded to this review, May 6, 2014
Aloha MovnOut,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review of your recent stay with us here at Volcano House, located in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. I'm glad to hear that you appreciated our world class views.

I'm sorry to hear that you had a flea concern in your room. This is the first I've heard of this situation, no other guests have mentioned any concerns. In my three months here in the Park, I've only seen the occasional fly on property. Be located in a remote location in a National Park, we understand the potential for bugs, therefore, we utilize ecolab and the National Park Service's integrated pest management system to make certain our property is bug free. We have stringent reporting standards with the National park Service and are regularly evaluated on our performance.

I will have ecolab come out to verify that there are no additional concerns in the rooms and report back to you. Would you please reach out to me directly to let me know which room you stayed in? My contact info can be found below.

Thank you again for the feedback and I hope you will be in touch.

Mahalo,

David MacIlwraith
General Manager
Hawaii Volcanoes Lodge Company
dmacilwraith@hawaiivolcanohouse.com
808.756.9625
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NJ
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed April 29, 2014

We visited the Big Island only for 1 night on our 2 week trip to Oahu and Maui. The main purpose was to see the crater and visit the National Park.
We arrived at 9 am at the Hilo Airport and fortunately the lady at the Information Desk at the Airport was extremely helpful. She suggested we visit the black sand beach to see the turtles and since we have two boys 14 and 11 and they would like to see the turtles up close lazing on the beach and advised us to pick some food along the way since there isnt any food on the way.

On the way back from the black sand beach we reached our hotel at around 1 pm and the front desk lady gave us our room keys. The room was very basic for over $300 a night. But thats ok since we were paying for the location or so we thought!!

After putting our bags in the room we went back down to ask a few questions but she said we should inquire at the Visitor Center of the Park!!!! Never had such unfriendly front desk /concierge...
staff interaction before.

We were very disappointed that the front desk person didnt provide sufficient information about the Jagger Museum, the surrounding hot steam vents and the many things we could have done in the evening. It seems like they are not knowledgeable and unwilling to provide information. We landed up going back to the room and checking things online so we could see all teh sights the next morning.

After exploring around the park and following a few hiking trails... we came back to the hotel...since there is no other place to eat around there we decided to try the bar/cafe at the restaurant.

there was only 1 lady server with an assistant who was helping with the seating. the place was packed.. and we waited over an hour to get our food...which would be ok..if they served in the order they were supposed to!!!!!

I think they need to better manage their staff at busy times, since breakfast next morning there were 4 tables occupied and 6 staff on hand!!!

the breakfast was also overpriced and just about ok! but since there is no other place to eat around there you are pretty much stuck.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank rans_travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David M, General Manager at Volcano House, responded to this review, May 6, 2014
Aloha MovnOut,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review of your recent stay with us here at Volcano House, located in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. I'm glad to hear that you appreciated our world class views.

I'm sorry to hear that you had a poor experience with our front desk staff. Part of the delay in my response to this posting was that I was taking the time to discuss with each front desk employee the proper ways to provide Park information to guests.

We created a lending library that now contains trail guides and natural history guides about the Park. We've also provided the front desk with 2 different hand out maps to explain the highlights that the Park has to offer.

Also, we offer a complimentary, guide-led tour every evening that for hotel guests only. This leaves the lodge each evening at 5:30 and returns at 7:00. If you're here multiple nights, no worries because the tour rotates through several different guides and program materials.

While the National Park Service's visitor center is still an excellent choice, we will now supplement there material and offer suggestions for our in-house guests - thank you for calling this to my attention!

I'm assuming that you had dinner in Uncle George's lounge. When I first arrived here 3 months ago, this was guide a hectic paced place. We've made changes to the lounge including hiring a full-time manager and bringing on additional staff. This has helped things along significantly, but we still have room for improvement and will continue to strive to make things better.

We take reservations for the dining experience in the Rim Restaurant, this is often the choice made by our in house guests.

Thank you again for the feedback and I hope you will be in touch.

Mahalo,

David MacIlwraith
General Manager
Hawaii Volcanoes Lodge Company
dmacilwraith@hawaiivolcanohouse.com
808.756.9625
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed April 26, 2014

As a regular visitor, the Cabins are my get away from the hot Kona side of the Big Island. If you prefer large camp fires and outdoor cooking over the B&B experience, this is your ticket. The Hotel linens are also appreciated. The cabins, grounds and shared bathrooms are always well maintained. Thank you Jose, for not only being a diligent staff member, but also a great Hawaiian ambassador.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ken S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David M, General Manager at Volcano House, responded to this review, April 27, 2014
Aloha ChefKen2014!

Thank you for taking the time to share your excitement about the Nāmakanipaio Campground and the cabins there. We appreciate Jose's attention to detail and excellent guest service skills as much as you do! I will share your feedback with him - he will be thrilled to hear it.

Thank you again and please stop in and see me next time your visit the Park.

Mahalo,

David MacIlwraith
General Manager
Hawaii Volcanoes Lodge Comapny
dmacilwraith@hawaiivolcanohouse.com
808.756.9625
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dearborn Heights, Michigan
Level 6 Contributor
221 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 190 helpful votes
Reviewed April 21, 2014

We made our reservation on line and paid about $100.00 extra per night over the standard room rate for a "Room with a View". We were in room 28 in the Annex Building and the view was not good at all. There were bushes outside our room that completely blocked the view of the glowing caldera. You could see about half of the crater looking in the other direction but we had to go to the dining room or observatory to actually get a view of the smoking and glowing caldera. I believe that the other rooms had a better view than we did and a second floor room would definitely be better than on the first floor. Since we only stayed one night, it didn't make sense to try to change rooms but we did bring it to the attention of the Hotel on our review with them (haven't heard anything back from them so not sure if they even care). Since the Hotel is inside the National Park you do have to pay the admission to Volcano National Park, which is $10.00 but it is good for up to 10 days if you are in the hotel. Also if you are over 62 you can get a lifetime pass to all US National Parks for $20.00 ($10.00 for the pass & $10.00 processing fee) but only certain National Parks accept an application on site. It is easier to apply by mail and it takes about 2 months for processing (www.nps.gov/findapark/passes.htm).

Although the hotel was closed for sometime for renovations, the rooms haven't been updated much. Our room was the size of a typical hotel room although the bathroom was very small with very little counter space and a tiny shower stall. There was a small heater in the room but it was enough to keep the room comfortable (we were there in early April and it was cool at night). There is wi-fi in the room but no television (not that you will have time to watch TV). The hotel is across from the Visitor Center and about a mile from the Jagger Museum. There are a few hiking trail heads very close to the Hotel entrance if you are into hiking.

There is a very good restaurant in the hotel as well as a lounge. The views from the dining room were as good as those from the Jagger Museum and a lot less crowded, especially at night. The menu selection was varied to suit most tastes and the food was very good, both at lunch and dinner. You should make a reservation for dinner and request a table by the window (they can't guarantee window seating but will try to accommodate your request). During dinner they did announce and then turned off the dining room lights to give a better view of the glowing caldera. The dining room staff were very friendly and knowledgable. Service was efficient but not rushed. Prices were a little higher but you are a captive audience in a great location within the National Park. Overall this is a very nice place to stay if you will be in the National Park for more than a day. Just be careful if you pay more for a room with a view as you may not get what you think you paid for.

Room Tip: Do not accept Room 28 as a room with a view if you have to pay extra for it.
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Ronald Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Volcano House

Property: Volcano House
Address: Crater Rim Dr, PO Box 53, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Island of Hawaii, HI 96718
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Hawaii > Island of Hawaii > Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Volcano House 2.5*
Number of rooms: 43
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

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