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“Spectacular Waterfall, Unspectacular Inn”

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The Inn at Kulaniapia Falls
Ranked #1 of 19 Hilo B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed February 26, 2008

Firstly, the waterfall is worth it. This is your Hawaiian fantasy come true in waterfalls. Location is not that far from town, good road, gorgeous spot. The rooms, however, are just okay. The web site makes everything look spectacular, of course. Mirror in the bathroom dirty, not cleaned for a couple of days. Hair on the wall (not mine) also remained a couple of days. Holes in the curtains, rusty lampshades. Soap scum. We had to throw out some food in the trash can in the bathroom, which remained for a couple of days. Stayed a few days, then went to Kona, returned for one night prior to catching the plane early the next morning. Check in supposedly at 2:00 p.m. Arrived at around 2:00 p.m. but no one there. Six other guests were wandering around, wondering what to do and very confused. Our room was open but not cleaned. Returned at about 7:30 p.m. after filling time and having dinner. Room still not cleaned. Owner cleaned, but dining table still covered with crumbs, dirty bathtub. We expected to be able to sit in our room, relax and watch the waterfall that afternoon, but as it was we only were able to go to sleep. This inn is in the upper range (if not the top) in cost for a B&B here, so I really felt cheated. The food provided for breakfast is okay, but the same thing every day. The owners are extremely nice and have the Aloha spirit.

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2  Thank 24karat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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773 - 779 of 837 reviews

Reviewed February 22, 2008

Don't believe their website on this property as the glowing description is far from what you will experience. The owners seem bored to have you around and were even unfriendly when we called for directions. We stayed at the Pagoda House for three nights and wished that we could leave after one. Everything is in need of repair and cleaning. Everything is old with outside trim pulling off, stains on all the furniture, the kitchen and refrigerator dirty and the list could go on and on. Although the falls is beautiful we didn't even have a chair outside to sit on. Don't waste your time or money on this property.

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank FL2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 12, 2008

We stayed at the Inn for the second half of our honeymoon.

We had booked the Pagoda house. When we arrived, we could not find anyone to help us. We let ourselves in but we could not figure out how to turn the power on!

The place was generally not very clean, the kitchen had flies everywhere, the floors were dirty and the upstairs carpet was stained. When we got back from one of our hikes, I was quite disturbed by the mess that was thrown up by the garberator.

It should have been nicer than it was, huge waterfall, hardwood floors, granite countertops, flat screen tv... but it was unfinished and unkept.

Our stay was supposed to include a fridge with things for breakfast, but we did not trust the 2 month old milk and the moldy eggs. The inn obliged us for one day with breakfast in the main house, but we were made to feel like intruders and had to sit in the kitchen.

It seemed as though the owners depended on the waterfall to make it all worth while. It was very nice, but really loud, to be honest. We toured all over the island and saw lots of waterfalls. Sometimes at the end of a long day, you just want a clean bed to come back to, which is not what we found at the inn.

  • Stayed: October 2007, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank VandTEdmonton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2008

We are staying on the Kona side of the Island, but wanted to view the entire Island, so started looking at the bed & breakfast on the Hilo side. Found this place which seemed like I could have a romantic setting, with the waterfall and quiet, not to mention some additional brownie points with the wife. Booked back in December for middle of Febuary for one night, which at that time, they were pretty much wide open. Noticed that they charged my credit card for the deposit, no big deal as it was a deposit. Started to follow up and confirm things that we are doing as we leave in 2 weeks. Sent an email to them confirming the reservation 2 days ago. Received a phone call from them today stating that they overbooked and have to cancel our reservation. I asked how it could be overbooked when back in December they had lots of room. Well, if you are planning on staying here for only one or two nights. Think again. Apparently they will book you until something better comes up. We got bumped because they could fill the room with someone who was staying longer then us. And that is what they said. As per the other reviews that I read after I booked, the service does seem to be pretty lousy. In a way, I am glad that we are not staying there as we did find another place, cheaper and by the ocean with better reviews. At least they said they would credit my credit card, I should hope so. I just hope the exchange rate is better for the credit then what I paid. I wonder if I didn't send that email confirming, would they have even bothered to contact me?

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled as a couple
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12  Thank Big_Wave55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2008

We stayed at the Inn for a few days on our honeymoon. We enjoyed the beautiful waterfall and scenic dirt road (during the day). The tropical setting is different from other places on the islands. Everything else about this B&B was below average.

Do not try to get to the Inn at night! The road is narrow and the signs are not very visible. Our room needed a lot of work- large gap under door to lanai (allowed many bugs and lizards into the room!), gaps in bathroom title, bathroom door was warped and would not close, shower too small, bathroom mats and towels dingy and moist (smelled awful!), 5 dead bees on the floor when we arrived, large can of Raid sitting out in plain sight, pillows and sheets dingy (yellow) and moist, no tvs in the room, lots fo mosquitos and bees, common area not very welcoming. Don't ask to do a single load of laundry ~ the owner acted like I was crazy for asking! Nobody greeted us when we arrived at the Inn. The breakfast was okay. Our biggest issue was the lack of respect that the owner has for his guests! As another person commented...beware when booking this B&B with a credit card! The owner attempted to stronghold us out of money by using intimidation and literally yelling at us in front of his staff. Needless to say, we did not need that on our honeymoon! We wanted to pay our final bill with Traveler's checks (with the website and an innkeeper said was ok), but he refused this payment and said he would charge the credit card and we could take it up with the credit card company. We did not want to argue, so we simply left and the overcharge showed up on our card immediately. Mr. Sutton does not abide by the policies he outlines on his website and tried to overcharge us for our stay (despite the fact that I had the agreement in writing). He was very disrespectful of us and certainly has a temper that he lets get the best of him. Please don't subject yourself to this treatment; it is an easy way to ruin your vacation. We stayed at 5 other places in Hawaii that were very nice!

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank jschnatho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 24, 2007

The consensus from other guests at the breakfast table was "it looked a lot better on the website". We stayed here in early December 2007. The owner (who lives on Oahu and only appeared on the weekend) is spending a lot of effort developing three other buildings on the site. The "Inn" building is in need of updating and repair. Our room had a hole in the bathroom wall (TP holder had been pulled off), missing baseboards, unclean curtains and bedspread. It looked like the website picture plus 15 years of guests. We had to ask for soap and shampoo for the shower. The rest of the building is in similar condition. The general cleanliness did not make me want to abide by the Hawaiian custom of removing one's sandals and walking barefoot.

The two young women who were the only staff seen until the weekend were not interested in providing a quality stay for guests. My wife entered the kitchen at 8:00 AM am (by her accurate watch) and was told in a surly tone that breakfast didn't start until 8:00 AM. The girls weren't busy preparing food. It was all laid out and they were just having a chat. Breakfast was underwhelming and unchanging throughout our stay (pineapple, banana, papaya, cottage cheese, bread and a toaster, strawberry jam, a plane egg and cheese omelette, juice, coffee).

The waterfall on the property is nice to look at for a few minutes but you can see a lot of waterfalls on this side of the island. It doesn't make up for the generally poor service and product.

Everything the opposite at Areca Palms Estate Bed and Breakfast ([---]) if you're looking for a place on the other side of the island (the male innkeeper seemed to be perpetually in a bit of a bad mood, but that was the only negative).

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled with family
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15  Thank Traveller52452
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 27, 2007

Beautiful location. Loved the waterfall. The room was so-so. No soap or shampoo provided. The breakfast was underwhelming-- very limited fruit, no pastry or waffles, Nothing in omelet except cheese.

  • Stayed: October 2007, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank waikikikid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Inn at Kulaniapia Falls

Address: 100 Kulaniapia Dr, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720-2361
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Hawaii > Island of Hawaii > Hilo
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 19 B&Bs / Inns in Hilo
Price Range: $180 - $363 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Inn at Kulaniapia Falls 3.5*
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Inn at Kulaniapia Falls sits among 22 lush, natural acres, surrounding Hawaii’s largest privately accessible waterfall. The Kulaniapia experience is like no other, just 15 minutes from town, but completely away. Whether you come for relaxation, adventure or both, nothing quite prepares you for how much you find of each. Those seeking adventure are invited to sign up with the Kulaniapia Adventures team for a guided, 120 foot rappel down our namesake waterfall. Accommodations are provided in several asian inspired buildings providing accommodations ranging from standard/waterfall view rooms and family suites, to fully detached cottages and a Pagoda Guest House with a full kitchen. Enjoy a wholesome, locally sourced breakfast and the big island’s best coffee, all while enjoying the view of our namesake falls each morning. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Inn At Kulaniapia Falls Hotel Hilo
The Inn At Kulaniapia Falls Hilo, Hawaii

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