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“Great Stay at Dolphin Bay” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Dolphin Bay

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Dolphin Bay
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Hilo
Certificate of Excellence
San Francisco
Level Contributor
61 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Great Stay at Dolphin Bay”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 24, 2008

Wonderful garden. Great room from well-updated motel. Very helpful staff. Highly recommended.

Hilo is only a moderately interesting/welcoming city. But very close/convenient to the Volcano. If you're not going to the Volcano, then you're probably not interested in staying in Hilo.

  • Liked — Very helpful staff. Clean rooms. Incredible gardens!
  • Disliked — Hilo as a city
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank vagabiztravlr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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654 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    334
    250
    49
    16
    5
See reviews for
166
326
28
18
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (124)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Bruges, Belgium
Level Contributor
26 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 17, 2008

Great location, great hosts, great rooms.
Good advice on excursions.
We would stay here again.

Stayed January 2008
Helpful?
1 Thank Fevery
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, ON
Level Contributor
49 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 3, 2008

We stayed at the Dolphin Bay way back in 1991, so we were curious to see how much it has changed. It hasn't! Okay, there's the coqui frogs now, and Wi-Fi (though not in our room), but otherwise, it was pretty much the way we remembered it. And that's a good thing.

For our money, this is a great choice as a base camp for seeing the windward side of the Big Island, and a world away from the tackiness and traffic of Kailua-Kona. Our room (a "superior studio") had everything we needed during our five-night stay, including a kitchenette that enabled us to avoid blowing the budget on dinners every night (though we couldn't resist going to the Hilo Bay Cafe a couple of times - great place!).

The fresh bananas, papaya and coffee in the morning, fondly remembered from our previous stay, remain a delight. The staff is very friendly, and helpful if you need assistance with planning your day. The hotel is located within easy walking distance of downtown Hilo, for access to restaurants, shopping, the Tsunami Museum, etc, without jumping in the car.

But what about those infamous frogs? The din is admittedly pretty loud, but it really didn't disturb our sleep at all. The hotel thoughtfully provides earplugs in the medicine cabinet, but we never used them. There are so many of the frogs that their calls seem to merge into a continuous, almost "white noise" sound. We found that much less jarring than, for example, the sound of the early morning garbage trucks outside the Waikiki hotel where we had a one-night stopover. As always, "your mileage may vary", so keep those earplugs in mind!

  • Liked — Location, friendly staff, fresh fruit and coffee
  • Disliked — No Wi-Fi in room
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank barryon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle
Level Contributor
17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 19, 2008

We are just leaving after 4 days in Hilo. We had beautiful weather, so I may be a bit biased. The studio we had was clean with a small kitchen nook where we cooked nightly. Restaurants in Hilo are not cheap. A central place to explore this side of the Big Island. Annette was very welcoming with coffee and fresh rolls every morning. Just across the river from the town noise, so very quiet. Except for the frogs! Like a cacophony of squeaky wheels. Didn't bother us at all. Would stay again, but try to get the one bedroom units. They also grow their own bananas for breakfast!

  • Liked — Unassuming, but clean and convenient
  • Disliked — Frogs
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank SteveLikes2Travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
usa
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 15, 2008

As noted in other reviews, the motel owners are very nice people and the service during the entire stay was pleasant and friendly. However, please keep in mind the room rates are rather high for what the room has to offer. Please be prepared for room facilities lower than a Motel 6 unit. No telephones in rooms, no coffee machines in room, modest furniture and beds in crowded small rooms. On the positive side, you can get excellent advice on where to go and to plan your activities around Hilo. Also, the motel provides complimentary coffee and plain muffins in the mornings, and local fruits, bananas and papaya throughout the day. Bananas and papaya, you must taste. They were great. If you like to stay in Hilo with kitchen facilities, this is not a bad choice though the room rates are rather steep for what they offer.

  • Liked — Great service
  • Disliked — Poor rooms. No phones. No wireless internet in rooms. No coffee machine. Poor furniture.
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank GreenPlanet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Silicon Valley,CA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 30, 2007

We booked this from a recommendation on Hilo Craigslist.
It's clean, quiet (except for the Coaqui frogs), and well-maintained.
The property is within walking distance to downtown Hilo.
We were in the 2-bedroom suite with a kitchenette, paid $160/night, which is a terrific deal.
You'll need to book well in advance, especially in high season.

Stayed October 2007
Helpful?
1 Thank kungyee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Attleboro, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
105 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 27, 2007

This is the second time my husband and I have stayed at Dolphin Bay, and we love it there. It is a very homey, 50's style hotel(although it was built more recently than that). The rooms are comfortable, clean. There is no air conditioning, but it is not needed, as it tends to be cooler at night. There are fans in the rooms. The bathrooms have a really cool shower. There is TV, but no phone. A small kitchenette with fridge, stove, table and cabinets is included. Fresh fruit from their tropical gardens, and fresh banana bread, or muffins and coffee are available every morning. The hospitality is the best. John is a great host, and knows absolutely everything about the island. Beach towels and flashlights available for the asking. If you have a problem with nature-such as geckos, frogs, etc. then stay in a place on Hilo bay. Personally I will stay here anytime. I absolutely love this place. Looking forward to our next visit.

  • Liked — the natura tropical setting
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank aerofig52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dolphin Bay

Property: Dolphin Bay
Address: 333 Iliahi St, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720-2399
Location: United States > Hawaii > Island of Hawaii > Hilo
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Hilo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Dolphin Bay 2.5*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Seasoned guidance for a wide range of Big Island adventures. Walking distance to downtown Hilo. Clean quiet & reasonable. All rooms with kitchens. Free WiFi Internet available. Rated nicest small hotel in Hilo. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Dolphin Bay Hilo, Hawaii
Dolphin Bay Hotel Hilo

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