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“Good lodging and great tour”
Review of Arnott's Lodge

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Arnott's Lodge
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Hilo
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 25, 2012

Just what a dollar-conscious traveler wants: basic, safe accommodation reasonably priced at a convenient location with courteous and helpful staff. There is a frequent $1 public bus service for those without a vehicle of any kind to take you into Hilo. There are also convenient state and city parks within walking distance.

You have your choice of tenting, bedding in a room with others or any number of upgrades including a private room, which I took. There's an outdoor, roofed lounge area for those who would like to socialize.

I lucked out taking the Mauna Kea Observatory Tour with Sonny (his legal name), who has a degree in astronomy from the Hawaii university. There are well-versed tour guides and then there are the Sonny's, who have the education and experience to provide great information and are able to answer all questions.

Caution to those who think they can bike or hike to the summit on their own. You need to be super fit and you'll miss out on valuable information. Those with rental cars: Ditto with the previous sentence AND you cannot go beyond the visitor's center, which is not at the summit, and not severely damage the vehicle because of road conditions. Your rental agreement will be voided on normal wear and tear if you try.

Room Tip: I went in the off season (late October/early November) and did not have to share a bathroom with oth...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank BP-TwinCities
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AlohaArnotts, Manager at Arnott's Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded November 26, 2012

Aloha and Mahalo for your review of our lodge and our adventure tours. We are glad that you enjoyed yourself in Hilo and that you took advantage of our discounted tour!! Our deluxe units are our most popular rooms that guests request. And we have a new category, "deluxe suite" that we'll be adding this week which will include its own kitchenette. We also have our 1BR suite if you are wanting to have the unit to yourself for $99 a night!

We are fortunate to have our tour guides that come with a wealth of knowledge such as Sunny share his passion for astronomy. And thank you for your words of caution when attempting to drive to the top of Mauna Kea. Four wheel drive is needed as roads can be dangerous. We hope to see you again soon. Aloha

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408 - 414 of 575 reviews

Reviewed November 13, 2012

** Note that Arnott's Lodge is not just a hotel, but also provides numerous tours on the Hilo side of the Big Island. I'm reviewing the tour company portion, not the hotel or those facilities **

I was on the fence about going on the Mauna Kea Summit tour due to the price, and then all the things people had written about the experience (all the bad stuff mostly).

The day before I left, I decided I had to chance it and go to the top of the mountain. Since I was in Hilo, I went with Arnott's Adventure Tours on the trip.

I am so glad I did, as it was one of the best experiences I had while in Hilo. My scheduled pick up time was 3:30 PM, but it was closer to 4:00 PM by the time I was picked up at the Hilo Hawaiian hotel. Something to note, Arnott's is the only officially licensed tour company on the Hilo side. If you choose to go with a different company, they will be coming out of the Kona side, and you will have to drive and meet them at the midway point at the base of Mauna Kea on Saddle Road. At that point, you're only a few miles from the 9000 ft Visitor's center, which is where you must stop and acclimate your body to the altitude.

The other tour companies tout hot meals and comfortable vans etc. For me, that didn't matter. I simply wanted to get to the top to take some pictures, for as little as possible. (It was $185 or so) I ate a late lunch before leaving, so I never got hungry on the trip. I did bring a bag (As suggested when I signed up) with snacks and a big bottle of water. Drinking water helps with preventing high altitude sickness.

Our tour guide, David I believe was his name, did a fantastic job keeping us entertained on the drive up by telling us unique facts about the island and such. The saddle road out of Hilo has been modernized and widened making it super easy to travel to the base of Mauna Kea. The ride went by really quickly. I was surprised actually.

When we got to the visitor's center I could kind of tell the air was thinner. The visitor center has hot drinks and soup you can purchase to cook in the outdoor microwaves if you're cold. Fortunately for us, there was a strange weather snap going on and it was in the 60's at the visitor center with no wind. Everyone said that was highly unusual.

After about 45 minutes there we began the trek on up the mountain side. It was rough most of the way up from the visitor center, but a few miles before the end, it gets paved again so all is smooth.

Once we got to the top, the view of Hilo was obstructed by thick clouds, but still it was an amazing thing to be above the clouds. I hiked to the alter at the top of the mountain, which is the true highest point. I got a little winded a couple times as you have to hike up a decent grade to get to it. Just remember to move slow!

After the sun set, we headed back down the mountain and did some star gazing. The stars you can see if pretty awesome. David did a great job telling us all kinds of stuff for about 30-45 minutes. We headed back to the hotel and I got in around 9:30 PM.

In the end, I was very impressed with the tour and the value and experience I got for my money. I would highly recommend Arnott's Adventure Tours to anyone!

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled solo
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5  Thank KRProductions
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AlohaArnotts, Manager at Arnott's Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded November 21, 2012

Aloha and mahalo for taking the time to review one of our tours. Thanks for choosing Arnott's Hiking adventure for your Mauna Kea tour. Yes, we are the only tour operator in Hilo and the east side of the Big Island with the only permit for Mauna Kea. And yes, our goal is to get you to the summit of Mauna Kea and experience a sight that you'll never forget!!! You may purchase food at the visitor center or bring your own food.

I'm glad you trekked up to the top of the mountain. It can be challenging due to the altitude. Silverswords, snow, sunset and stars are some of the things you're able to see on Mauna Kea.

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Reviewed November 10, 2012

My 2nd stay at Arnott's was as enjoyable as the 1st. We chose semi-private accomodations (across street from main lodge/office). All accomodations at the lodge are clean & in good repair. Housekeeping is very good & consistent. Management has always been helpful & a pleasure to work with. I love the accomodations so much that if I could live there I would! I believe Arnott's to be exceptional because its owner, Doug Arnott, takes a personal interest in his Lodge...he takes care of it as if it were his own personal property....because it is! During this same visit to HI, we stayed at a hostel in Waikiki...they in no way came even close to the quality of Arnott's. It was noisy, in need of repairs & overpriced. It was difficult to leave Arnott's & return to O'ahu to stay in Waikiki. I will return to Arnott's, no doubt!

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Kim M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AlohaArnotts, Manager at Arnott's Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded November 20, 2012

Aloha and Mahalo for your wonderful review!! Thanks for coming back the second time!! And we hope to see you again in the future. Mr. Arnott takes pride in his lodge and the business and wants our guest to enjoy their stay on the Big Island. We offer a unique place like no other and we continue to make upgrades and renovations. Majority of our suites kitchen and bathroom are renovated. We are also working on one of our deluxe units that will have its own kitchenette at $99 a night.

We value quality and continue to provide a quality place with quality service. See you again on your third visit. Hana Hou!!!

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Reviewed November 4, 2012

Nothing fancy, but a clean, convenient, kinda quirky hostel/motel blend with plenty aloha thrown in from the friendly staff snd owner Doug Arnott. Options range from camping to multi room suites, with every possible permutation in between. If you want to do your laundry, cook a meal, surf the web, vegg out in front of the telly, or just crash and dash it can't be beat. We're Kona residents and Arnotts will be our Hilo side base from now on.

Room Tip: Pick the accommodations that fit your budget and use Arnott's as your east Hawaii base.
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Kapaliliomakana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AlohaArnotts, Manager at Arnott's Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded November 15, 2012

Aloha and Mahalo for your review. Arnott's Lodge is a unique place for travelers from different countries but also locals from the west side of the island and neighbor islands. It's an environment to have a real taste of true Hawaii or a place to call home and relax. Mahalo for making Arnott's Lodge your choice to stay in Hilo.

We make every effort to make our guests feel comfortable during their stay, wether it's taking advantage of our wifi to catch up with friends or family, mingling with other traveling guests and talking about the latest adventures and hot spots, chilling and reading a book, walking to the beach, going for a cruise on one of our bikes, catching up on sleep or capturing our green geckos on camera!! You can never have a dull moment at Arnott's Lodge!! I'll pass your comments to Mr. Arnott. He appreciates every review and comments and likes it when guests enjoy their stay with us. See you again soon. Aloha

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Reviewed November 1, 2012

We stayed in the semi-private room and had the hole suite 3 nights to ourself. :) There was enough room for everything and a well appointed kitchen. The way to downtown might be too far to walk but there is a bus once an hour to go there. And the beach is really near and you can walk there in about 5 minutes. Our two tours to mauna kea and the volcano nationalpark were amazing and we got a lot of extra infos about hawaii, the history of the islands and so on. Our guides were also awesome, very friendly and knowledgeable (astronom for stargazing!!!).

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank moniamie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AlohaArnotts, Manager at Arnott's Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded November 15, 2012

Aloha to our guests from Germany!! Mahalo for taking the time to write a review of Arnott's Lodge and Hiking Adventures!! I'm glad you enjoyed our facilities. We have 2 and 3 BR suites that also become semi-private units at $65 a night but if you wanted a suite to yourself (your own kitchen and bathroom) we sell it for $99 a night. We make sure that our kitchenette are well equipped with things you need to prepare and enjoy your daily meals.

A walk to downtown can be about 30-45 minutes depending on your pace. Remember we have bikes for rent for only $7-$14 a day. Our lodge is accessible to 4 beach access within 3-7 minutes walk!! And more along Kalanianaole Highway.

We strive to give the best experiences to our guests, whether lodging or by goin on our Mauna Kea Sunset/Stargazing, Volcano National Park or Valleys and Waterfall Tours at a reasonable price. Our guides are rich with knowledge and stories to share with others. We hope to see you again soon in the future. Aloha and Mahalo!!

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Reviewed October 12, 2012

This is a very no-frills lodge in Hilo Hawaii. The community kitchen area is a great place for meeting other travelers. It was a good place to compare notes and determine our sight-seeing for the next day. We met travelers from all over the world, very nice and friendly. Everyone respected quite time and cleaned up after themselves which made a very enjoyable experience for us. We took advantage of fruits and veges at the Hilo Farmer's Market in town and did lots of low key meals when we wanted to. The room was very clean, kind of small and bed was not as comfortable as my bed at home, but good accomodations for the reasonable price. We took advantage of the Volcano National tour and the Mauna Kea tour - both excellent and great tour guides. All in all would recommend this to any one traveling on a budget.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank morris7180
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AlohaArnotts, Manager at Arnott's Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded October 26, 2012

Aloha and Mahalo for taking the time to review Arnott's Lodge. We have guests from all over the world who enjoy and appreciate what we have to offer. It's always nice to see travelers staying at the lodge sharing their stories of where they've been and what to see on the Big Island. Our beds in our units consists of twin, double or queen size bed. We regret that our bed was not as comfortable as your own however as you would understand we buy for the average guests and in general they seem to prefer the firmer mattresses these days. We are glad that you enjoyed our Volcano National Park and Mauna Kea tour as guests that stay with us for 2 nights receive our discounted tour rate. We hope to see you again soon and are glad you enjoyed the general ambiance of our lodge and Hilo. Aloha

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Reviewed October 3, 2012

I stayed here for 3 nights so that I could do two of the tours offered by Arnott's, which I discovered on their very informative website.
This was a great hostel, and for 2 of my nights, I had the semi-private suite to myself. It was a bonus to find the beds made and towels laid out, and the facilities were very clean.

I did the Mauna Kea Sunset & Starshow tour with David and trainee Sonny; and the Lava National Park hike with Michael and Sonny. Please pass on my thanks, as all three guides were knowledgeable, interesting and really enthusiastic, and happy to be there. I appreciated their attention to detail, and the care they took to ensure participants were well looked after.

On my rest day I hired one of the hostel's bikes and toured the beautiful coastline on my own. I liked that there were charts in the common room giving directions and distances to local attractions and eateries. I also took the $1.00 local bus into and out of Hilo, and from Hilo to Kona.

As a fellow Australian, I got talking to Doug Arnott the owner, and on my last day when I was catching the local bus from Hilo to Kona, he gave me a lift to to the bus terminal and bought me a coffee.

As an independent traveller, I discovered you can get around without hiring a car, if you're willing to do your research and find out what local transport options are available.

So thanks Doug, Glory & Christy, I had a great stay, and will recommend you to my fellow travellers.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank MaryCT_25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AlohaArnotts, Manager at Arnott's Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded October 5, 2012

Aloha and Mahalo for your kind compliments. We aim to help our guests have a memorable experience when visiting the Big Island. I will pass on your comments to our tour drivers and Doug who enjoyed having coffee with a fellow Aussie. Continue to tell your friends and family about Arnott's Lodge and Hiking Adventures. We welcome you soon in the near future. Aloha

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Additional Information about Arnott's Lodge

Address: 98 Apapane Rd, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720-4907
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Hawaii > Island of Hawaii > Hilo
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Hilo
Price Range: $72 - $105 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Arnott's Lodge 2*
Number of rooms: 30
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 
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Also Known As:
Arnott`s Hotel Hilo
Arnotts Hotel Hilo
Arnott's Lodge Hilo, Hawaii

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