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“Great family run hotel that cares”
Review of Dolphin Bay

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Dolphin Bay
Ranked #2 of 7 Hotels in Hilo
Certificate of Excellence
Wednesbury, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
73 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Great family run hotel that cares”
Reviewed January 29, 2013

We stayed in this hotel for 2 nights in August 2012 and I have to say that this is without a doubt one of the nicest hotels I have stayed in. Do not get me wrong the place could probably do with a facelift but the place was basic, clean and comfortable and very friendly, what more could you want?. From reception to the cleaners everyone was helpful and greeted you with a smile.

The frogs were not really an issue for any of our party as if you shut the windows this cuts out the noise of the frogs if you wanted to get a good nights sleep but believe me the frogs make a beautiful noise. Even with the windows closed the rooms were plenty cool enough due to the provided desk fans.

I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone and I would definately stay there again if and when I return to beautiful Hawaii.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Andy R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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671 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (125)
Date | Rating
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English first
Sydney, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
105 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed January 28, 2013

Our family of four enjoyed our stay at the Dolphin Bay Hotel. Sure it doesn't have airconditioning and it's a tad dated. We still loved it. Why? Firstly they have twin single beds which our two girls really appreciated after weeks of sleeping on uncomfortable sofa beds (even in expensive 5 star hotels). Secondly, the rooms are spacious with nice garden aspects. Thirdly, there's a full kitchen meaning you can self cater. We appreciate this flexibility. Fourthly the location is close to the old downtown area and there's a good Foodland supermarket to pick up provisions. Fifthly, it's in a quiet area so good for sleeping. We didn't have issues with the frogs. We found the noise they make interesting - nice to be close to nature. Sixthly, John and his team are amazing hosts. They made us feel so welcome. John was full of great ideas to maximise our enjoyment. His recommendation of a walk out to the active lava flows was absolutely spot on. Finally, the place is clean and beds are comfortable. Ticked more than enough boxes for us:)

Room Tip: For families the one bedroom apartments are great as they have two single beds instead of the dreade...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Geoff K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Claremont, California
Level 6 Contributor
84 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 182 helpful votes
Reviewed January 25, 2013 via mobile

We stayed at this Motel/Inn as we were heading in on a red eye from LA to Hilo. We were actually spending a week on the Kona side so we just needed a quick place to lay our heads. Since there was 5 of us we needed something inexpensive and that had enough beds to sleep us all. I choose this based on other reviews. It was an old Hotel/Motel/Inn and way past its prime. It was clean. There was nothing really bad about it except that it was extremely dated and old. The reviews make it better than it actually is. Yes, there was warm bread and coffee in the mornings and the hosts were kind. The location good to downtown Hilo. But aside from that, I can't really recommend this other than a place to lay your head for the night. The owners should take a clue from what other Motel/Inns are doing and gut and modernize the rooms and truly give it a more Inn appeal and market it as such. I would rather stay at a larger modern commercial Hotel for a nights rest than here.

  • Stayed April 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank tedandlisa90
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed January 16, 2013

My husband and I stayed at the Dolphin Bay in November. The hotel was dated but very Hilo and comfortable. The room was clean and the staff was execptional. I was a bit hesitant to book with the hotel because it was dated w/ no ac and complaints of frogs. However, we enjoyed our stay so much we are working toward the next visit. Not having ac is not a problem and the frogs were soothing. The room had a kitchen which allowed us to enjoy breakfast in the room and pack foods to take with us for our day out. The staff was very knowledgable and made suggestions for all the places to visit. We were sad to leave the Dolphin Bay for the Kona side.

Room Tip: Rooms on top floor made me feel a bit more secure.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank theweepingatlas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
adelaide
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed January 14, 2013

I stayed at the Dolphin Bay in December with my husband and 2 teenage daughters. The staff at the Reception Desk were helpful and knowledgable. The hotel itself was a little dated/old but it was clean. It is a very average hotel so I was surprised when my husband told me he chose this place because it was rated No. 1 on TripAdvisor. There is no breakfast available at the hotel, only some coffee and coconut muffins ( which were very dry) at the reception area. It is probably equivalent to a 3 star hotel. There is a pancake restaurant not far from the hotel and also a shopping centre/mall which has a Macy's, Yogurtland, Starbucks and other stores there.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Diamonds47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 10, 2013

Clean and comfortable accommodation that is good value for money. The volcano is only a 45 minute drive away and is conveniently located close to other attractions such as Rainbow Falls. Our kids love searching for the Coqui frogs at night time. Would stay here again. The accommodation is nothing flash, but is a home away from home.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Stevo675
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pompano Beach, Florida
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2013

HIlo's volcanos are its main calling card. You can't see lava flowing within Volcano National Park, however, because the molten stuff is on private land. The Dolphin Bay proprietor, John Alexander, is a volcano expert and knows who to call for a hike to the action.He'll also tell you how to get an amazing souvenir.The hotel is a charming well-kept older facilility. The bathroom is large and tiled. It's not air conditioned but was comfortable in November, 2012. Breakfast is fresh breads, local fruits and coffee. Each unit has a well-equipped kitchen. An outside grill is available. The nearby "waterfall" was a dribble. The "birds" you hear chirping at night are tree frogs, but charming. Even without the lava, we would stay there again.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Pompaneer
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 7 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 
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Also Known As:
Dolphin Bay Hilo, Hawaii
Dolphin Bay Hotel Hilo

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