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“Smells like feet!”

Big Island Backpacking Hostel
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Big Island Backpacking Hostel
Ranked #5 of 11 Specialty Lodging in Hilo
Reviewed January 22, 2014

The Hilo Backpacker's Hostel is one of my least favorite hostels I've stayed at. The reason why this is so is because this hostel is kind of a "no shoes allowed inside" kind of hostel. With that said, since it's a backpacker's hostel everyone has probably been backpacking all day. All that walking around and all the shoes being left near the door inside the hostel and that left the entire place STINKY. It was horrible. It smelled like feet and we never got used to the smell. You smelled it in the morning and you smelled it at night. It was hard to sleep because of the stinky feet smell. Combine that with being in a room with seven other people and it was BAD.

Besides that though, the hostel wasn't too bad. When you went to sleep at night, all you hear are the coqui frogs lulling you to sleep. There are maybe tens of thousands of them with shrill little voices.

The beds at this hostel were all twin bunk beds so we got a bunk bed to ourselves. With six other people in the room. Add that to everyone's different schedules of waking up and going to bed and... well you get the picture. If we're back in Hilo we'll probably book a private room for ourselves. We would have this last time but it was already reserved.

Also, there's only one bathroom for women and one bathroom for men. Each bathroom has only one shower and toilet in it. There is one unisex bathroom downstairs but even with the three bathrooms, I could see it being a problem if everyone was up at the same time. It was never a problem for us though because we were usually out early in the morning to explore the Island.

When you get here, try to arrive in the daytime because it's hard to find at night. IF you have a car don't worry, they have their own parking lot and it's pretty big. They provide us with sheets for the bed but no towel so bring your own!

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Berryfusion
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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19 - 25 of 55 reviews

Reviewed October 16, 2013

This Hostel is in a dirt parking lot in down town Hilo , Not the great a Hostel only two bathrooms for a mid size hostel ..,Had the feeling the place was an old school or the like . with one large room that was by no means a common area or even finished ....The owner was a bit odd and the front desk people seemed uneasy when he was AROUND .... WE STAYED FOR THE lava TOUR BUT THEY DID NOT HAVE ONE ...keep telling us tomorrow they would have a tour ...There are better Hostels in Hilo check them out

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Lee b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2013

Probably the best front desk staff I encountered on my trip offering valuable travel advice that saved us time.
I liked the free airport shuttle pickup, free breakfast (coffee, toast, fruit), free parking, and clean bathrooms, lounge area with comfy couches and big screen tv.
Met a lot of nice and friendly people there. if you have a problem with taking off your shoes before you enter inside, this place is not for you.
45 minutes to Mauna kea and Volcanoes National Park. A 1 mile walk away from Rainbow falls, and lots of restaurants to choose from.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Agent226
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 27, 2013

I had a great time here. Picked up from the airport without any problems and the driver was very helpful and informative. After checking in and finding out about the place and the lava tour going the next day, Jared the manager here, showed me to the bar not far away where Charles, the owner, was buying some drinks for those who had come out. It was a great welcome to the place. Charles is a nice guy who watches out for the safety and concerns of backpackers to try and provide a great experience, as he knows firsthand what backpackers want. I was very pleasantly surprised to find the quality of this place, which I did not get in Waikiki hostels. The facilities are excellent as was the free breakfast the next morning. Big, spacious lounge area and big TV. Good information for your Big Island adventure. All good!

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank FrenchyUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 27, 2013

My girlfriend and I stayed in the private bedroom with shared bathroom for 2 nights.
The room was spacious and very clean, as was the rest of the hostel. The location is central with some very good restaurants, markets and the beach all within walking distance. My only comment is that we thought the hostel was expensive compared to other places we have stayed in and even by Hawaiian standards. Apart from that we would recommend.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Brett12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 24, 2013

Another late arrival, another hostel I was never so happy to see.

The Rooms
Two bunk beds to a room and two twin beds as well, plus a few private rooms I noticed. This hostel has one toilet and shower for men and one for women as well as a unisex bathroom on the first floor. Be sure to be up early if you want to get in. Hilo seems at first to be a quiet town, but you will soon find that the hostel is downtown with all the noise that comes with that. In addition, you may have read about the frogs...those you will fall asleep to as well.

The Atmosphere
A very spacious hostel with very friendly travellers. Breakfast time is a great time to meet those who came in the night before and plan your day with them. There is a large TV lounge with DirecTV and even some weights/exercise equipment.

The Staff
Jared is always available and more than happy to make his recommendations on the area. Staff seems to be live-in, so they can either be found at the desk or in the TV room.

Extra Perks
Free Breakfast
Free, fast Wifi
Airport pickup if you book three or more nights. I rented a car and drove in, but found out they pick you up in their limo! What other hostel does that?

Rules to Be Aware Of
Strictly enforced quiet hours
NO drinks or food in rooms
Cash only, plus $10 deposit for room and front door key
Shoes must be taken off upon entering the foyer
Strict rationing at breakfast: up to 3 slices of toast, one piece of fruit, one cup of coffee/tea, refills 50 cents
Towels cost extra

Location is very good, close to excellent dining options and secure private parking lot. A little tucked away, but If you follow the directions carefully, you will find it.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank Voiceunderground
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 14, 2013

The hostel was pretty empty when I stayed there (maybe 50% capacity), which was good because it only has 3 showers and 3 toilets. Not an issue for my stay but would become one with more people. Cheap and centrally located - and only 45min drive to the volcanoes national park. I only spent two nights there but would have stayed longer if i could. the owner and the staff were cool.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled solo
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Thank David_Brotherson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Big Island Backpacking Hostel

Address: 69 Waianuenue Ave, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720-2433 (Formerly Hilo Backpackers Hostel)
Location: United States > Hawaii > Island of Hawaii > Hilo
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 11 Specialty Lodging in Hilo
Price Range: $30 - $100 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Big Island Backpacking Hostel is a large two story structure with rooms upstairs and a large common area downstairs. We offer free Wifi, breakfast and operate a locally grown, fresh farmers market in our parking every Thursday and Saturday. We have kayak rentals available for cruising Hilo Bay (which can be viewed from our private rooms) and moped and bicycle rentals for getting around town. Mauna Kea, Volcanos National Park, and beach tours available. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Big Island Backpacking Hostel Hilo, Hawaii

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