This is an experience that may not be for everyone. If you are excited by the beauty of a waterfall, are thrilled by rainforest and enjoy a walk along a path planted with majestic bamboo, you will not want to miss this inn. If you are mostly looking for deluxe accommodations, convenience and great service, you may want to pass.
Everything about the inn is tastefully done, colorful and a treat for the eyes. Combine that with a few birds, sound of a waterfall, the sway of palm trees and it makes for a luscious setting. The grounds and the setting are nothing short of spectacular. If you are not interested in a walk to the bottom of the falls and do not see the magnificent bamboo, you will miss the main attraction.
The inn is located way off the beaten path and it takes some doing to find it. Breakfast is included with your room, but you are on your own for all other meals. It is a good 15 minutes to town over some narrow winding roads. You won't want to drink with dinner if you plan to navigate back to the inn after dark. The rooms are pretty to look at but are small and don't have enough space for unpacking. There is a single glass shelf in the bathroom that allows for a toothbrush, deodorant and a few other items but no place for your sunscreen. You do not have a safe, refrigerator, or coffee maker in the room. You can leave things in the refrigerator in the kitchen and there is coffee with breakfast but your room is mostly just for sleeping. If I were doing over, I would pack on overnight bag for the inn and leave everything else in the car.
Breakfast is a wonderful assortment of fruit, eggs, toast and macadamia nut waffles. It was served by a number of capable, friendly and knowledgeable young women. The living and dining area is tastefully decorated and the staff took pride in the fact that the coffee was Hilo coffee and the eggs were locally produced. Although the food was wonderful and served with a smile, you should not expect that coffee will be ready at 7:00. It is usually not good to go until some time between 7:15 and 7:20. One day our bed was made up when we got back in the evening and another day it was not. There is nobody to greet you when you arrive. You will find your name on a board instructing you on the name of your room and where to find the key. Service is not their long suit.
We had mixed feelings about our experience. It was a memorable stay and head and shoulders above the humdrum hotels in Hilo. On the other hand, it is a drag driving back and forth for dinner and the accommodations leave a bit to be desired. It would be nice if there was an option for an evening meal. Given the rooms and the driving, I would not plan on a long stay. On the other hand, if you are looking for adventure and love nature, a day or two at this inn could add a lovely chapter to your Hawaiian vacation.
- 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