We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Very friendly and laid-back place to stay in Hilo” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Dolphin Bay

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 1 more site!
Dolphin Bay
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Hilo
Certificate of Excellence
Mount Airy, Maryland
Level Contributor
29 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Very friendly and laid-back place to stay in Hilo”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 14, 2011

I accompanied my elderly parents to my father's high school reunion. Hilo is definitely the slower, less sophisticated side of the Big Island. So, it was reassuring to be able to book reservations at a small, friendly hotel not too far from downtown Hilo.

The rooms at Dolphin Bay are simple, but clean and roomy. Having a spartan kitchenette in each room with pots/pans and dishes is very useful. The only bugs I noticed in the rooms were an occasional centipede. The office and maid staff were very friendly and helpful. And having the free pastries, papayas and coffee in the morning were very welcome!

There is no restaurant, beach, swimming pool or resort amenities at the Dolphin Bay, but most travelers staying there do not need them. It's a great base for day trips to the many sightseeing spots on this side of the Island. The gardens behind the hotel are beautiful, if a bit buggy. And the hotel cats are always entertaining to watch!

We had a great stay at Dolphin Bay and would book there in the future!

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank stevekaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

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
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 29, 2011

this really is a lovely hotel in a very quiet street, close to the main street and eating area of hilo. the service in the hotel is absolutely fantastic!! the staff couldn't be more helpful especially with their local knowledge and their information on the volcano. in the mornings there is free pastries and fruit. the hotel itself is set in a beautiful rainforest garden. parking is good. the room was good, very spacious and clean. the bathroom was good. there was a full size fridge and oven and cooktop which was great too. the only downer to the hotel is the loud noise from the frogs. the best way to block them out is to close the windows but this can make the room a little stuffy as there is no airconditioning and you lose the breeze coming in from outside.its was not that bad though. other than that it really was a great stay and a nice hotel.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank anglia48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, CA
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 10, 2011

A little gem in old Hilo about four blocks from the heart of town. Fresh pastry, coffee and fruits awaited us every morning. Our room had a kitchenette, with an outdoor balcony to enjoy our breakfast. No A/C but not needed in Jan. Rooms had ceiling and wall fans that kept the room pleasant. Furniture and decor is dated but very clean. Fresh flowers in the room as well. Personnel very helpful and informative about what to do and see. Short 10 minute walk to downtown. Great farmers market on weekends. Cafe Pesto had great food with local produce and fresh seafood, live music.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TomboTrio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 5, 2011

The Dolphin bay hotel is very unique...its is basically something like a nice motorlodge in a residential area....the rooms are great...we had a 1 room apt...good sized, with a deck (which is great), cooking facilities, fridge....1 queen in the bedroom, and 2 twins/couches in the living room...lots of room...The owners are fantastic...they are welcoming, helpful, know the area inside-out, and their pastries in the morning are to die for....The grounds are gorgeous...and you get fresh papaya and bananas from the tree!....As for the frogs, I loved them...just loved them...they do not overwhelm you in my view...also, you really do not need an AC here....the tradewinds really keep the place very nice all day...I worried about this before I came, but when we stayed, it was clear it was not needed....Anyway, I cannot recommend a place more highly...really a fantastic visit.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CCresident
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
28 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 30, 2010

The best thing about this hotel was the surrounding tropical garden. At night, with the windows up we could go to sleep with the sounds of all the insects making their noises and it felt like being in the jungle.

The staff were very friendly and helpful. There were umbrellas to borrow if it rained (does a lot in Hilo). The room had a fridge, microwave, but an old TV. There was no AC, but we didn't need it with powerful fans doing the job with windows open at night. There were nice decorations in the room and famous Hawaii pictures throughout. There was a corny plastic volcano at the entrance of the hotel, and it was a little tucked away from the main street.

The morning we were pleasantly surprised with free fruit and cakes for all the guests!! The bed was very comfortable and like I mentioned before the garden and the sounds at night are really relaxing and feel trophical!

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank FlyAwayOz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Level Contributor
107 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 25, 2010

We've been coming to Hilo at least once and often twice a year since 1992 (a mixture of business and pleasure), and long ago came to consider the Dolphin Bay our home there. Twice we were unable to get in due to scheduling conflicts and were devastated - none of the other places to stay in Hilo is as good or as welcoming. A quiet neighborhood only 10-minute walk to the Farmer's Market downtown, the best staff in the world, immaculately clean rooms, and a fully-equipped kitchen. And fresh papayas, bananas, danish, and coffee for breakfast. No A/C, but no problem. The charm of a small European inn, but with much better plumbing and an acre of tropical flowers and fruits. We even cooked breadfruit from the back lot in our kitchen one time (wife likes it, I don't). The best recommendation we can give the place is that we just keep coming back. And if you go, tell them the cricket people sent you.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JRote
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eugene, Oregon
Level Contributor
38 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 21, 2010

We reserved a room at this modest, unassuming-looking hotel based on its 5-star rating by Budget Travel reviewers. We were not disappointed. We loved our room (No. 10), which was a spacious corner room. The room is not fancy, but is immaculate, freshly painted, with new draperies. There was a kitchenette, which we used and appreciated. A ceiling fan and a rotating fan kept the air moving nicely and no air conditioning was needed, even in Hilo's humidity. We were always comfortable. The bathroom was spacious, with a lovely large tiled shower/tub. There is no phone in the rooms, but one is available at the office if needed. This is the only place we've ever stayed (other than an airport hotel) that provided good coffee and fresh fruit and pastries at 6:00 a.m. The manager was extremely friendly and the room was quiet and overlooked a courtyard full of blooming orchids, torch ginger, plumeria, and other flowers. The neighborhood the hotel is located in is what is politely called a "transition" neighborhood, but is perfectly safe during the daytime. We walked downtown, a short 3 blocks away. I could have stayed for weeks or months, very happily. We will definitely return. This place is a gem.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kamaaina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Hilo
1.6 mi away
Castle Hilo Hawaiian Hotel
3.2 mi away
Arnott's Lodge
Arnott's Lodge
#1 of 8 in Hilo
4.0 of 5 bubbles 509 reviews
1.8 mi away
Hilo Seaside Hotel
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
22.0 mi away
Chalet Kilauea
Chalet Kilauea
#1 of 2 in Volcano
4.0 of 5 bubbles 384 reviews
59.4 mi away
Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel
59.0 mi away
Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Kailua-Kona
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Dolphin Bay? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Orbitz and Hotels.com so you can book your Dolphin Bay reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Dolphin Bay Hilo, Hawaii
Dolphin Bay Hotel Hilo

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing