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“Beautiful property off the beaten path”

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The Inn at Kulaniapia Falls
Ranked #1 of 18 Hilo B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Beautiful property off the beaten path”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 11, 2014

My fiance and I stayed one night at the Inn at Kulaniapia Falls in early February and we couldn't have been more pleased with our experience. We arrived late (for Hawaii - 8:30ish) in the evening but no matter-- they leave your name on a board outside with the keys in the door of your room. We had a pleasant night's sleep in the Queen Liluokulani room and woke up to a lovely morning over Hilo. The waterfall was just as pleasant as promised-- we even went swimming in the pool below it! The grounds are lovely, with a well-tended bamboo garden adding to the peacefulness. And the staff couldn't be nicer; they were on hand when we got up to make us fresh waffles and eggs. We only wished that we'd been able to stay an extra night!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Jaime L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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783 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 (213)
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Austin
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 10, 2014

We are staying in the Pagoda House, a self-contained apartment. While the property location is first rate, you should be aware if you stay in the Pagoda that you are pretty much on your own. The owner of this property has established what she thinks of as a business that doesn't require her presence! I will have been here three days, and I've yet to meet the owner or manager of the property. We've had a number of problems, like the water being off for a couple of hours, and on-site personnel are nowhere to be found. Every day the 'housekeeper" comes in to change the flowers in one vase and put food in the fridge, but she has never cleaned our rooms in any way, unless we catch here her and ask her to do so. There is a leak in the kitchen sink apparently for some time, and they put a bowl under the sink to catch the way. As the water sits in the bowl day after day, the odor is unpleasant. Enough said--"hidden" management is a drawback to this Inn.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Rick G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lennysutton, Owner at The Inn at Kulaniapia Falls, responded to this review, March 1, 2014
Contrary to the experience of this traveler, the owner or management is essential to our business plan. In the morning we have two kitchens operating and two innkeepers caring after the needs of our guests in the Residence, and Harmony. Every morning my resident manager in charge of guest relations, Lara Harton, and I go to each building to make sure that everyone and everything is as it should be, The Pagoda Guest House is very much its own unit, and we endeavor to allow our guests to have the privacy they might require. If the doors of the Pagoda are closed in the morning, we do not knock on the door or intrude....however there is staff and management on every corner of the property every morning....in addition, we serve an optional lunch between 11;30 and 3;00 and the Residence is 75 ft away. certainly close enough for our guests to pop over and say Hi.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 6, 2014

We stayed in the Patagonia House. Lovely location overlooking the awe-inspiring waterfall and jungle setting. Everything was supplied for a delicious and healthy breakfast including a bowl of fresh Hawaiian fruit; pineapple, papaya, mango, etc.This B and B runs at an extremely high rate of occupancy which is very easy to see why. This is it.

Also, all the buildings on the entire property are supplied by electricity generated by the Inn's own hydro scheme. Without creating a dam, the owner and a brilliant engineer built a system that captures and diverts enough water to feed five electricity-generating alternators that in turn supply more electricity than the facility needs. Ingenious and completely off the grid. KUDOS!!!!!

Room Tip: The upstairs master over looks the waterfall with a full view.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TopangaMalibu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level Contributor
60 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 2, 2014

This B&B (really feels more like an inn than a traditional B&B since there are multiple houses and you don't see the innkeepers at check-in) is a relaxing hidden gem about 15 minutes from downtown Hilo. You drive through many narrow, rural roads to get there. This is the trade off for staying in a quiet inn with a private waterfall (prettier than Akaka Falls in my opinion!), but once you get there you pretty much want to stay put for the night. It's best if you drive there for the first time during the daytime, but we did it at night and survived :-P Thankfully there are a lot of signs for the Inn that periodically point you in the right direction (don't follow Google maps through til the end or you'll end up on some rough roads, as we were told by some fellow travelers at breakfast). When we got there, we were a little confused which house we were supposed to go in (probably compounded by the darkness), but we eventually figured it out. The bamboo garden walk was nice, but lots of mosquitoes when we went just before dusk (we should have used the bug spray provided at the door!). Our room was small, but well decorated and clean. The room was a bit on the hot side during the day, but cooled off at night (there's a ceiling fan, but no AC). As others have mentioned, the breakfast was huge and delicious (mac nut waffles, taro sweet bread, and passionfruit honey were just some of the treats)! One of the innkeepers visited during breakfast, helped us plan the day, and told us that there was snorkel equipment we could borrow in the main house.

Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank PiperNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 28, 2014

We could not have been more pleased! Definitely one of the most unique places I've ever stayed. Great hosts, lovely property and well decorated/comfortable rooms. Good breakfast, too. My only regret is that we only booked one night.
(BTW - Anyone who is complaining about the somewhat remote location is missing the point!)

Room Tip: We were in the Pikake Room in Harmony House. It's a bit closer to the falls, and this room is o...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MABUCH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 22, 2014

We found a deal for this Inn on a "last minute" website, and took a room in the main house. After consulting the "Big Island Revealed" guidebook, we took the book's advice and arrived in the daylight - and we're glad we did. The Inn is off the grid, and there are no lights on the road to the Inn. (After checking in, we went down to Hilo for dinner and had no trouble finding our way back in the dark, but it might have been disconcerting if we arrived for the first time at night, as the private roads to the Inn are long and although clearly marked, we might have missed some of the signs in the dark if we didn't already know the way.)
Our experience at the Inn was terrific. The room was as described, big, clean, and quiet, with a small balcony from which you can see the Hilo harbor and the local falls. Our name was on the door with the key in the lock, so we didn't have any interaction with the hosts when we arrived - we just let ourselves in and then went out to dinner. Later that night, we made our way to the TV room / lounge and enjoyed a bottle of wine that we brought with us - the other guests didn't come down and we had the place to ourselves.
The next morning, the breakfast and coffee were terrific - I was up early and went to the dining area for a fresh-brewed cup of coffee, and drank it on our balcony waiting for my wife to get up. Our breakfast was fantastic, and we didn't eat again until dinner.
If you stay here, we recommend that you take the self-guided "bamboo tour." It's very low-key, but we found it interesting and relaxing to stroll through the well-maintained garden path for an hour or so, and read about the various types of bamboo planted on the grounds of the Inn. We also took a swim in the pool at the bottom of the waterfall. After snorkeling along the coast for a week, this freshwater pool was cold, but refreshing (and you get used to the temperature after a minute of splashing around). If you want to swim, bring watershoes to negotiate the rocks leading down to the pool, or just keep your shoes on until you're at the water's edge. It's a little tricky, and I wouldn't recommend it if you're unsteady on your feet, but we had no problem (I'm 52).
Finally, we had an interesting conversation with the owner, and I was especially intrigued by the micro-hydro power generation that he has rigged up. (We saw the "powerplant" - a series of small turbines housed in a small garden shed - on our walk.) The three buildings of the Inn (as well as the owner's Chevy Volt) are powered entirely by the electricity generated by the four turbines turned by the water pressure of two six-inch pipes of water that come down from above the falls. It's a very clever setup, and of interest to anyone fascinated by energy, engineering, or environmental sustainability.

Room Tip: All of the rooms looked nice on-line - we were happy with ours (top floor of the main house, closest...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Dan G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 15, 2014

I just moved to Kona about 5 months ago. This was my first visit to Hilo with a new lady friend that I wanted to impress. The place didn't disappoint. Really close to downtown Hilo, beaches and other famous sights. The grounds were great. Breakfast cooked for you fresh each morning was fantastic - the mac nut waffles are sublime. Views and constant waterfall sound was soothing. Room was comfy. Overall it was great and I plan on coming back.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank EscapeHatchRentals
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, 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: 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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