We stayed at Arnott's in March, 2012. I booked our reservation without consulting Trip Advisor or any similar site. We were only staying in Hilo for four days, and wanted to take the Mauna Kea guided tour and the Volcanoes tour, so it made sense to stay in or near Hilo. As we were departing Maui for the Big Island, my wife checked the place out online, and found some scary, negative reviews (along with some good reviews), so we checked in with some trepidation. We were pleasantly surprised. We stayed in one of the 'deluxe' rooms that share a common kitchen with four other rooms. It's not the most private accomodation - if people are using the common room, you can hear them plainly. But everyone was very friendly and considerate, and it worked very well. We met some good people. The room itself has a small refrigerator and small, but adequate bathroom with shower. The location is a bit out of the way, but the neighborhood is nice and it's a short distance from town and from an excellent local park along the shore that only the locals (who are unfailingly friendly) seem to know about.
The tours were very good, and we were impressed with the way the staff handled them. I had screwed up the date for the Mauna Kea tour when I booked it. They held the bus for us as long as they could, but we didn't show, thinking it was another day. They rescheduled us when we got back to the hotel, and didn't charge us for the error, which they certainly could have. The Mauna Kea tour was excellent. The guide was Eldridge, who is extraordinarily knowledgable. The stargazing portion of the tour was great. Their tour is far cheaper than any other operator. The only difference that I could see is that the van is a bit older and has smaller windows than the others, but was still very comfortable; and that, instead of a box lunch being provided, we stopped at a 7/11 along the way, and bought our own food. I actually prefer that to some sandwich made hours before.
The Volcanoes tour was also impressive. It turns out that I was the only person who signed up for that day. They didn't cancel the tour. In fact, they contacted me and told me that, since I was the only one going, that we'd leave whenever I wanted to, and go where I wanted to go. The tour guide was Yoko. She was so happy that the tour wasn't cancelled, that she bought me breakfast - it was only the drive-through at Jack-in-the-Box, but it included one of the best cups of coffee I've ever had.
All in all, Arnott's is a very good bargain, especially if you want to take any of the tours. Mauna Kea, Volcanoes Park and the waterfalls and rain forests are much closer to Hilo than to Kona. Hilo is not the deluxe side of the Island, and it can be rainy. But you get a great vibe from being in a part of the Island that's not dominated by tourists and resorts.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Arnott's Lodge and Hiking Adventures is located in a delightful, tropical area minutes from the coastline. We offer a range of affordable accommodations from backpackers in one building, to deluxe rooms with private bathroom in another. In between these accommodation extremes we have semi-private/suites that include a shared bathroom and a kitchenette which makes family vacations affordable. We also incorporate a beautiful camp ground for campers. Inexpensive bike rentals are available. Arnott's also has its own tour division where lodge guests get substantial discounts on incredible adventures such as the summit of Mauna Kea, Volcanoes National Park and Valleys and Waterfalls Tours. Come experience a relaxed Hawaii environment within walking distance to green sea turtles and swimming beaches. We hope to see you soon. Aloha ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Arnott`s Hotel Hilo
- Arnotts Hotel Hilo
- Arnott's Lodge Hilo, Hawaii