I was a bit disappointed on arrival in Hilo after having just been in the beautiful Kailua, but I grew to like it after a while and this hotel is a really nice place to stay. The clientele was very old, it's definitely not a place for young people but it was a totally trouble-free stay with a nice room and the guy on the Activities desk was really really helpful. Banyan Drive is very pleasant, especially if you don't mind the noise from all the birds! You do have to drive into downtown if you want to go to a restaurant or bar or anything but as long as you have a car it's very well situated - there are malls nearby and Volcanoes National Park is less than 45 minutes away.
Also, if you're staying in Hilo you absolutely MUST drive up Mauna Kea at night to do the stargazing tour, it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. You have to rent a 4x4 and make sure your rental company allows you to drive up there (use Dollar, they let you) but it's SO worth it. Made Hilo very worthwhile as a base.More
- Free Wifi
- Free Parking