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All reviewscoconut grillattached restaurantice pondclose to the airportkoi pondsmall museumthe big islandhawaiian familybanyan drivebudget hotelfree breakfastolder hotelon site restaurantold hawaiibeds were comfortableceiling fanconvenient location
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Reviewed June 9, 2013

When I first arrived in Hilo in January, 2011, I stayed at the Seaside for a couple weeks. It's not fancy (actually, NO hotel/motel facilities in Hilo are what anyone would consider, "fancy!"), but it's clean and well-maintained. I decided to leave Hilo after a bit over two years and felt another stay in Seaside would be a fine way to end my residence. Nothing's changed. Still well-maintained and comfortable, pleasant staff, and decent food in the attached restaurant. I would advise, though, that local favorite Ken's House of Pancakes is about a block away and well worth a visit. HUGE menu there and they're open 24x7, which is rare for anything but certain convenience stores in Hilo. I continue to recommend Hilo Seaside, but always with the same caveat: if you can't schlep your bags yourself, stay somewhere else. You'll find the lack of elevators and narrow stairways daunting and there's (still) no bell staff to assist you with the task!

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank mrc050
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 5, 2013

I wasn't expecting much when I saw this place but the rooms were clean, the staff was friendly, and the air conditioning worked. Hilo in general has very bad quality hotels, based on that scale this place is probably above average.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Kaeleku
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 5, 2013

Was a bit apprehensive about the Hilo Seaside after reading a few reviews. However, having just stayed there for 2 nights, we would not hesitate to return.

It is very well located and quite reasonable in price. It has a decent on-site restaurant, free wifi in the lobby and friendly staff. It is family owned and operated which is charming. The koi pool was very nice and the location on Banyan Drive was beautiful, with amazing banyan trees lining the street.

True that this is not a deluxe / resort-type venue. Rooms are modest in size and amenities. Virtually impossible to avoid stairs, which makes large luggage a challenge.

All in all, we really enjoyed the Seaside despite its imperfections. It had uniqueness and character on its side, and the price was quite nice.

Room Tip: No elevators, so avoid higher floors if you have sizable luggage
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank RexT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 29, 2013

Ideally I would have stayed at the hilo hawaiian hotel but unfortunately it was all booked up. The hilo seaside hotel is the next best option, all of the other hotels in the area are even more run down and reviews suggest they contain insects and bed bugs. The hilo seaside hotel was bed bug and insect free. The rooms are very run down and are in desperate need of a revamp. When I walked in I was expecting insects and horrible things to be in the room, but I found none. The room was very clean and the bed was comfortable. The staff were friendly and there was a tv and ironing board in the room, as well as a fan and air conditioning unit. If you want a full hotel experience you are better off staying at the hilo hawaiian but if you want something cheap the hilo seaside hotel is alright.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled on business
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Thank HClon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 29, 2013

We stayed 4 nights here in May 2013. As mentioned in other reviews, the location is very close to the Hilo airport jet way. This is not really a big deal as it appears as the airport does not have all that much jet traffic. We occasionally heard a jet at odd hours, but otherwise, given the proximity to the small Hilo airport, the noise was not that bothersome.

The front desk staff was pretty nice in comparison to the Maui Seaside. I know the owner is the same for both locations, but we could tell a definite difference in the attitude of the service staff. If you are wondering why people are loitering around in the lobby sitting area it is because there is free Wi-Fi; otherwise, they charge $8.95 a day, $24.95 a week, or $32.95 a month for the service in your room. We had our own hotspot so be prepared if you need internet access in your room while staying here. Business travelers beware!

The rooms in general are old, but did give a better feeling that the Maui Seaside. I took a picture of the front door, and you can almost see day light around the entire door frame. So there obviously needs to be some maintenance performed. You could easily hear noise from the hall way and adjoining rooms too.

The rooms were generally clean. Like the Maui Seaside, they hide the tissue paper in a drawer under the TV. Why it is not out on the desk like a regular room is beyond me. The room was ok in size but required some grunt work to access if you have much luggage. Yes, I counted 34 stairs from the lobby to our room on the 3rd floor. This could be a huge inconvenience to many travelers. We had two large bags (one 40 lbs and another at 48 lbs) with clothes and gear that had to be lugged up all of those steps. This is just something that is not advertised and you should be prepared for if staying here. We did not see an elevator, just stair cases. The beds like the Maui Seaside were uncomfortable.

You can obviously tell that AC was an afterthought in these rooms. Coming from a hot weather state, I am used to AC especially to sleep, but can see why some places in Hawaii choose not to offer that amenity. If being comfortable when you sleep is a high priority, you will be disappointed. The unit that “cools” the room is a small evaporative cooler that is extremely loud when blowing. This is just something to consider when booking here. But hey you are on your vacation so you should be comfortable. Some people can leave the windows open and sleep, and I am not one of those people.

The bathroom was just adequate. The toilet was very weak to flush and burbled quite a bit when not being used. The shower is inside the bath tub and the only way to get fresh air in the bath room is through some glass vents to the exterior hall way. Otherwise, the bath room met our needs for the most part.

We arrived at night and were of course hungry. From the room, we called the on premises restaurant (Coconut Grill) and asked what time they closed and were told 9p. I looked at my watch and it was 8.30p so we immediately went down to the restaurant. It could not have been later than 8.35p but we were told that the kitchen had already closed. It would have been nice if they told us that on the phone. There was a place right across the street called Ponds Hilo that was visibly open that we ate dinner at instead which was actually very good and even had some live music.

We tried the onsite restaurant (again, the Coconut Grill) for breakfast the following morning and the food was good, but the service was odd. One morning I ordered banana bread as a side and the waitress brought out some and said she forgot to bring it as it was complementary with every breakfast. The next morning, a different waitress did not bring out the complementary banana bread. On the third morning, we had the same waitress as the first morning and I again ordered banana bread just to see what she would say. She did the same thing as the first morning; she brought out some and said it was complementary with every breakfast. So we were like what is going on here, either give it out complementary or charge for it, but at least be consistent. We tried dinner here one night and the food was pretty good too. Overall, the service was just ok and the food was good.

Also, the restaurant accommodates a breakfast for a Roy’s Tour group if I remember the name correctly. So depending on your timing, the area might be at or near capacity with an external tour group. They generally showed up later in the morning when we were heading out to go and see something. Apparently they partner and offer a buffet to some Japanese tour groups.
Parking was difficult if you arrived late at night. Two nights we arrived after 10p and could not find a place to park. We would sit on the street and wait for someone to leave and then park in the vacated spot. The parking is tight and the spaces are small. There is a park nearby and several of the locals take the parking on the street so good luck.

Overall, I would probably not stay here again. Hilo was central to most of the sights we wanted to see on the Big Island. If I had it to do over again, I would have stayed somewhere else.

Positives
Close proximity to the airport
Close to several places to eat
The Coconut Grill onsite has good food
Close to retail shopping if required
Nice coy pond
Small view of the ocean

Negatives
Older rooms that need some maintenance
Weak and loud AC that does not cool well
No free Wi-Fi accept in lobby area
Tight parking

Hope this review helps anyone looking to stay at the Hilo Seaside.

Room Tip: Rooms in the wing with 3 floors REQUIRES you to tote your luggage up 34 stairs. There is no elevator.
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank trancemission
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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