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“Tropical Splendor”

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At the Beach with Friends Bed & Breakfast
Ranked #11 of 18 Hilo B&B and Inns
Minneapolis, MN
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Tropical Splendor”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 9, 2007

This was our first B & B experience. Being our first experience we didn't know what to expect. We have stayed all across the board at simple hotels to 5 star resorts; have had great accomodations to the OMGosh I can't stay here and now our first B & B with Claudia & Scott at their At the Beach with Friends B & B in Hilo, HI.

Accomodations "Bed":
We stayed for 8 nights, from Oct 30 thru Nov 6, 2007 which I think may not be the usual but my husband and I don't like to move around. We like to settle in and stay put. We arrived in the evening, Claudia was there to greet us at the door, show us to our room and give us the lay of the land. Our room was lovely, a nice size with a king size bed, TV, private phone, private bath with full size tub. Actually the bathroom was a nice size, compared to some hotels we've stayed at. Clean towels every day, shampoo, soap, mouth wash cups, night light. Very nice. In the main room there is a lovely view from large windows out onto a tropical garden and Koi pond. There wasn't a chest of "drawers" though; there was the cabinet the TV sat on that you can put your folded clothes in but a set of drawers would have been nice. In our room there was an extra twin bed for a third person, we would have perferred a comfortable chair to sit in. The other rooms may have that to offer. The closet was full size, with plenty of hangers and a small refrigerator which was great to keep soda, snacks etc.

All in all the room was wonderful, clean, nicely decorated and a welcome site after a long day exploring the BIg Island.

Food "Breakfast":
Now, being our first B & B we have no comparisions from which to draw. We're use to the order from the menu routine. So with that said, the food was good. Warm muffins, homemade granola (delicious), fresh fruit, yogurt, hard boiled eggs or some hot food offering each morning, a great tea selection and very good coffee each morning at 8:15. Claudia was very accomodating if scheldules dictated an earlier or later need for breakfast. Claudia likes to make you feel at home. If she finds out you have a particular favorite she does her best to surprise you with a treat. If you have certain needs Claudia is gracious and will do what she can to meet them.

So, in summary, the food is healthy, well prepared and tastey. If you want to eat there you are somewhat tied to the Inn Keeps schedule so be prepared but don't hesitate to ask if you need alternate arrangements. A coffee pot that could be set up to turn on for the early risers would be nice, there is a French Press coffee pot available for the guests, but an ordinary push the button one would be a great convinence.

Extras:
Claudia & Scott have done a wonderful job of making your stay with them enjoyable. There is WIFI for your computer, beach equipment, sun screens, umbrellas and towels. There are plenty of books on places to go, what to do, Island history and more. Claudia and Scott will visit with you, share their stories and make you feel at home and a welcome guest. The common room is comfortable and there are snacks (on the house) and tea available 24/7.

So, in closing, our stay at At the Beach with Friends B & B was wonderful and worth the price of admission. If you like the B & B style of traveling I can't imagine you'd be disappointed with At the Beach with Friends (Claudia & Scott)!

  • Liked — The personal attention
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
7 Thank cablemn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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79 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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See reviews for
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 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 (11)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
pisgah forest,nc
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 26, 2007

Having paid in full for two nights, we checked out hurridly on our second day.This was the worst experience.No coffee or cups. Breakfast was to be at 8:00 am..still not there at 8:30.Other guests concurred with our displeasure.The insult was a little baskets of 25 cent cheese crackers/ granola bars.If there was any fresh fruit..we never saw it.The most painful part of the experience,however,occured on our second day.As my husband and I walked back to the B&B(loosely described) some local boys joked with us and we responded, in kind.After all, this is their island and we, their guests.All of a sudden, we were called over to speak with a policeman who wasat their gate. Claudia demanded that we tell the officer that the boys had bothered us.We said this was not the case at all and she angrily commanded,"Don't tell him that!" I repeated to the officer that there was no problem and gave a thumbs up to the young men to signify that we had no problem.They smiled in response.Claudia, again,insisted that we "change our story" to suit her position.Her husband said they had been video-tapping these young men and their complaint was that they were making too much noise and drinking beer.Neither my husband nor I drink, but we remember what it is to be young and to have a day at the beach.Not only do I agree that Claudia has no passion for the B&B,but also found her to be disinterested in her guests.It did not matter that she had many Hawaiian pictures adorning the walls...there was no semblance of Aloha in the environment.My husband lived in Hilo for 12 years and stated that it is her type which gives "howlies" a bad name.Perhaps it could be re-named,"Enemies at the Beach."I expect,as with other unfavorable review,"Memorble for the wrong reason",that Claudia's response would be volumous,however, I have only conveyed the bare minimum of the negativity in the experiece.We have not asked for a refund.We were simply delighted to "escape".

  • Liked — The house was nice.
  • Disliked — the owner/manager;lack of service;negative atmosphere
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
8 Thank PiperPisgahForest_nc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
An_Innkeeper_in_Hilo, owner at At the Beach with Friends Bed & Breakfast, responded to this review, November 2, 2007
I don't recall these guests and events as described here. Hopefully this review will be taken with a grain of salt.

owner, At the Beach with Friends B&B
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Napa Valley
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 26, 2007

This state of the art B&B felt like old Hawaii with all its charm and grace. Our hostess, Claudia, made elegant breakfasts every morning, taking special consideration for my unfortunately extensive dietary limitations. Our room was grand, with the hugest most comfy bed I've ever slept in. At The Beach With Friends provided everything we intrepid beach bumscould need to enjoy the gorgeous beach at Richardson's Point, almost exactly across the street. I could rise with the sun, collect snorkling gear from the hall closet, walk to the Point in less than 5 minutes, snorkle, walk back, shower, and then sit with my daughter and Claudia and new friends in front of enormous windows watching the clouds slide across Mauna Kea while eating gourmet 'grinds'... that's Hawaiian pidgeon for 'good eats'!
Don't miss this place. We go twice a year to visit family: I'll stay with Claudia rather than burden my new daughter-in-law... It is a nourishing, friendly, tolerant B&B, and as beautiful as they come. Did I mention the ponds and flowers and birds? Just go.

Stayed August 2007
Helpful?
5 Thank TutuSkye
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kailua Kona Hawaii
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 18, 2007

Our stay was wonderful. The hosts, Scott and Claudia, were gracious and friendly. Our king room was so comfortable and inviting . The tropical setting was beautiful and even the croaking of the night frogs lulled us to a great restful sleep after we got used to the sound. The whole experience was one of a magical hideaway although it is only a few miles from Hilo. Claudia’s yummy granola was a big treat in the morning and it was served with a multitude of other good healthy breakfast foods. We were surrounded by beautiful Hawaiiana collections and art. It was obvious to us as we watched the interaction with other guests and the attention put on us, that the hosts truly loved doing what they do. We will return for another visit and we highly recommend this business.

Don and Carly Gilchrist
Kailua Kona Hawaii

  • Liked — The setting, the hosts, Hawaiiana Collections
  • Disliked — I really can't complain about a thing
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank KonaCouple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 1, 2007

All I can say is WOW. We had booked a last minute trip and scrambled to find a place to say. Claudia had someone cancel and we were lucky enough to find her. The B&B is appropriately named At the Beach With Friends because that is how you are treated from the moment you make contact with Claudia- like an old friend. The location was terrific, rooms were spacious, and it was spic and span clean. In the middle of July, we slept with our windows open enjoying the cool night air. The entire house is surrounded my huge trees, a pond, and beautiful flowers. The frogs at night was a welcome change for our vacation. Though they could be loud at times they would sing you to sleep. I found myself missing them when we left. I highly recommend At the Beach with Friends B&B. You will not be disappointed.

  • Liked — Everything-Rooms, price, location,owners, other guests
  • Disliked — couldn't stay longer
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank LCnATL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boise, Idaho
Level Contributor
39 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 15, 2007

I recently stayed at this Bed and Breakfast for two nights in May 2007. The building is very tasteful and high end, with lots of woodwork and gorgeous art. The rooms are fairly high end for a B & B, but do not have air conditioning. If you stay in Waimea or above Kona at 1000 feet elevation or more, this is no problem. But in Hilo, it can get hot during the day and I noticed that the room didn't cool off until about 10 pm. The rooms look out at the vegetation and pond on the property, but you can't see the ocean.

The breakfast was very nice, and the hostess was willing to cater to the special needs of guests. There was more than enough food and fruit, and my wife really enjoyed the coffee.

One important point I would like to share with travelers considering this property is that it is overrun by non-native frogs (probably hundreds) on the property and THEY ARE DEAFING AT NIGHT! These frogs sometimes exceeded 80 decibels in their cries, and the cacophony at night (from 7:00 pm untill 4:00 am) can be unbearable if you are a light sleeper. I could hear the frogs with the windows closed and had to use earplugs to sleep. The hostess did not inform me about this in advance when I called to make reservations and explained I was a light sleeper.

On the positive, the grounds are beautifully landscaped, and the property is across the street from the Hilo bay and beaches. There are lots of picnic areas at Richardson Park. I snorkeled, but the Kona side of the island has better spots since the ocean is more turbulent around Hilo.

Overall, this is a decent place to stay, but I felt it is overpriced compared to other B & B's and also with the frog noise. I would stay in Hilo again, but look for a property near the ocean that has less frogs.


  • Liked — Clean, nice breakfast
  • Disliked — Frog noise at night; hostess had lots of rules for guests, felt too structured
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank ElPelar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
An_Innkeeper_in_Hilo, Owner/Manager at At the Beach with Friends Bed & Breakfast, responded to this review, June 17, 2007
"Love us, love our frogs." (Motto-At the Beach with Friends B&B).

"Most people are lulled to sleep by the natural sounds of a tropical rainforest, but if you are a light sleeper please bring earplugs." (Official written recommendation by management).

Coqui frogs have spread to Oahu, Maui, the Big Island, and Kauai. Is there even a B&B or hotel in Hilo without them? Personally we love the frogs and are not afraid to admit it. They drown out city noises and eat/reduce termites and mosquitoes. I'm trying to understand how different people cope with noise. Obviously "light sleepers" still want to go on vacation. We welcome all people although we may regret the reviews of a few along the way.

This guest provided written confirmation of written disclosures about the frog noise and the recommendation that light sleepers should bring earplugs before he decided to make his reservation. We also talked about it on the phone... and yet he still decided to reserve a room here. Does he still have a right to complain? What exactly does he mean by the term- "light sleeper" and how bad is it?

Short of lumping "light sleepers" with "smokers" and formally banning them from the B&B all I can ask is that travelers "Know Thyself" (Albert Einstein's motto) and use foresight.

NOAA weather archives state that the temperature was a high of 81 degrees daytime and a low of 67 degrees at night, both days these Idaho guests were here. I call that perfect. There are large trees shading the house in the afternoon, a ceiling fan, a ceiling vent fan, the ceiling and walls are insulated, and there are three sets of windows in the suite. These guests did not ask for the portable air conditioner that was available for a surcharge. We built this house in 2000 and installed a special vent through the stucco wall for easy hook-up in each room.

As for the price, this guest and his wife stayed in the Lagoon Room for $150/night and that included breakfast for two people. I guess B&Bs in Idaho can afford to charge less. Idaho has low prices in general. In Idaho, electricity costs 15 cents per kilowatt as opposed to 33 cents per kilowatt on Hawaii Island. Milk is $1.25 for a half gallon in Idaho opposed to $4.00 on sale in Hilo. Luckily the sun, ocean, oxygen, rain, and waterfalls are free in Hilo.

Owners/managers- At the Beach with Friends B&B
369 Nene St.
Hilo, HI 96720
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yountville, CA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 24, 2007

My fiance (now wife) and I had planned a trip to Hilo for a little R&R and thought we might as well tie the knot while we were there. We stumbled upon At the Beach with Friends on the Internet and thought it looked interesting, so we booked three nights. When told of our plans to get married, Claudia (the proprietor) gave us the names of several ministers in the Hilo area and we were able to make our wedding arrangements ahead of time. We arrived in Hilo on a very late flight and Claudia was waiting up for us to take us to our room. Not quite knowing what to expect, we were thrilled with our accomodations... a large, well-furnished room and bath in a separate wing of the house purpose-built for guests. Spotlessly clean, fresh flowers by the bed, view of the "jungle" and pond, the whole works. After spending the following day sightseeing and exploring the beaches right across the street (we saw turtles, dolphins and whales!), we got down to the business of finalizing our wedding plans and Claudia drove us around Hilo to scout for a location. She showed us several out-of-the way beaches (her husband Scott volunteers his time to clearing beach trails in the area) and we found a very private and beautiful spot for the ceremony. After doing the deed and celebrating over dinner at a restaurant (again recommended by Claudia) the next evening, we returned to find Claudia, Scott, and the other guests had a wedding cake and champagne waiting! Needless to say, we were very sad to leave and wished we had planned on spending more time there.

We will definately return to At the Beach with Friends! Claudia and Scott are wonderful hosts. And the frogs? They were great too. Sounded like birds singing.

  • Liked — Great hosts and rooms
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank mtcarey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about At the Beach with Friends Bed & Breakfast

Property: At the Beach with Friends Bed & Breakfast
Address: 369 Nene St, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720-4942
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Hawaii > Island of Hawaii > Hilo
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 18 B&Bs / Inns in Hilo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Private guest wing on a salt water lagoon across from Hilo's favorite swimming beaches. Luxury ocean view accommodations for $160-$180 king beds, ensuite baths, free WiFi, flat screen TVs, common sitting room/lounge area, games, books, & hot buffet breakfast. Small refrigerators in room and tea service available in common room. Triple room available. Beach towels, folding chairs,coolers flashlights and umbrellas on hand. $10/night discount off base price for five nights or more. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
At The Beach With Friends Bed And Breakfast
At The Beach With Friends Hotel Hilo
At The Beach With Friends Bed & Breakfast Hilo, Hawaii

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