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“Bamboo & Breakfast” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Inn at Kulaniapia Falls

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The Inn at Kulaniapia Falls
Ranked #1 of 18 Hilo B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Tropea, Italy
Level Contributor
38 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Bamboo & Breakfast”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 3, 2013

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.

Room Tip: Maile is the best for a view of the falls.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank keefe506
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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732 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (200)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
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English first
Naperville, Illinois
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 1, 2013

The drive in is an adventure and you would only want to accomplish it once a day. Upon arrival, you are on your own with the key in the door for you. Rather strange not to be greeted and given some basic info on the property. The room was nice enough and the breakfast was at least hot. They ask that you remove your shoes inside the property which I know is a Hawaiian custom but feels a bit odd around strangers. The waterfall is amazing though!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jamie110505
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 25, 2013

What a great place. A little adventerous to find and get to, but well worth the effort. Don't recommend the initial trip in after dark, make sure it's still daylight. Very simple once you know the route, but can be intimidating the first time in if you happen to notice the private property signs. Once you're there, what a gem. The room was great, the view of the falls was awesome (we booked the King Kamehameha room) and the breakfast was simply outstanding. There's a path to the falls on the property that's an easy 5 minute walk that I highly recommend, the falls are incredible. Only had 1 night as we were circling the island in 3 days before we headed to Maui, but wished we had longer. Would definitely go back back if the opportunity ever presented itself.

Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Tom W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Germany
Level Contributor
54 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 24, 2013 via mobile

The Inn is located just 10min outside of Hilo in a remote rain forest garden right next to the Kulaniapia Falls which are spectacular. If the water level is low you can swim in the natural pool. Beautiful asian style rooms, good breakfast, easy check in and out. Amazing two night stay.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Holger C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pearl City, Hawaii, United States
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 22, 2013

It's a good drive into the hills behind Hilo. Narrow, windy road thru macadamia nut farms until you hear the roar of the falls. Very peaceful and tranquil stay. We are from Oahu and the get away was nice. Only the sound of the coqui frogs was a little annoying. But it was tolerable.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Raymond S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Athol
Level Contributor
55 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 20, 2013

The Kulaniapia falls Inn was just great all around. The road or drive to the Inn took you thru the old plantation. The room was very nice, clean, and the waterfalls just behind the room was beautiful.
We definitely stay her again.

Room Tip: All the rooms are very nice
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jaja392
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton
Level Contributor
33 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 16, 2013

I found this place online with trip advisor. The only rooms available were at the end of our vacation. And having a flight out at 10 in the evening I decided to try it out.
Easy to book online. Not as easy to get to, but worth the drive up from Hilo, which takes you through groves of macadamia trees. Very pretty, but read the signs (as my wife noted) ignore google maps(which I did not!) otherwise you will be taken on a bit more of a country scenic drive.
You will eventually get there.
Very nice room: princess kaiulani, comfortable with a shower, and a small porch looking out to the orchard.
Excellent breakfast...macadamia nut waffles with eggs and fruit and great coffee. Chatter with other guests was entertaining.
Great story about how the site was built to view the waterfall, and if you are bold you can jump into the pond. Being off the grid was novel. The bamboo walk was good, bring your hiking shoes.
Excellent end to a great holiday. A bit of decompression after the princeville and Keahou nights.
We were close enough to get back and forth to Hilo and go up to visit the botanical gardens and the akaka falls.

Room Tip: We stayed in the residence, check out the other houses to see if they work for you. And no it does...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Rick L
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

Property: The Inn at Kulaniapia Falls
Address: 100 Kulaniapia Dr, P.O. Box 646, 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 18 B&Bs / Inns in Hilo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Inn at Kulaniapia Falls 3.5*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A charming Inn offering 10 rooms or a private guest house. Three waterfalls and a botanical garden. ... 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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