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“Great Experience”

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Pahala Plantation Cottages
Vancouver
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Great Experience”
Reviewed December 18, 2012

We stayed for two nights. The booking service and everyone we dealt with were so helpful and accommodating and made for a really easy stay. We stayed in the large house which was enormous for two adults and one 4 year old. The finish and furnishing of the place is mostly original and is wonderful as it hasn't been 'modernised' or 'refinished'. This doesn't suit everyone as the bathrooms were old and worn in places, but we loved the overall feel and authenticity of the place. One thing i must say is that the level of cleanliness, especially considering the age, was AMAZING. Not easy to keep a house this large and old this clean so hats off to the cleaners! Pahala itself is pretty run down but it was worth staying to see a different side of island life. It is also good to see that the area is slowly being revitalised through a shift from sugar in the past to a future in Coffee growing. The brand new Coffee Mill is well worth a visit.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank TroutmaskVancouver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HawaiianTraditions, Owner at Pahala Plantation Cottages, responded to this review, January 3, 2013
Mahalo nui loa (thank you very much) for your fantastic review! We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us so much and hope that we can accommodate you again in the future.

Your description of the Plantation House is very flattering to hear. It is always a pleasure to hear that our guests appreciate the historic ambiance we offer. It would be a pity to loose the sense of history in our rentals; they have seen so much over the decades.

We will be sure to let the cleaning staff know how appreciative you are of their attention to detail! Many thanks for noticing.

Perhaps the next time you come through Pahala, the town will be much livelier than you saw it this time. As you mentioned it is indeed being revitalized by the growing coffee industry.

To more great experiences for you and your family in 2013!
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35 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 (6)
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English first
San Jose, California
Level Contributor
15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed November 28, 2012

Pros

a) Easy accessibility to volcanoes and HI - 11
b) Away from busy tourist areas
c) near coffee plantations
d) great space with antique furniture with kitchen at cheaper price
e) Ideal for families with kids
f) Friendly manager and owner


Cons
a) No restaurants nearby
b) Overall place is clean;however some antique furniture gathers more dust e.g. jute chairs

Room Tip: there are local markets nearby, however buy some from HILO or KONA area....
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DeepthiS537
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HawaiianTraditions, Owner at Pahala Plantation Cottages, responded to this review, January 3, 2013
Thank you for your wonderful review! We hope to host you again in the future.

Pros - Thank you :) Very kind of you.

Cons -

a) No restaurants nearby. Unfortunately, the last restaurant in Pahala closed in 2008. Thankfully, there are a few restaurants in Na'alehu that aren't too far away from Pahala... less than 15 minutes driving.
b) We will be looking into those jute chairs and any other antiques that seem to be causing some dust problems. Thank you for giving us the heads up!

Room Tip: INDEED! Something we try to give our guests a heads up about but sometimes there are miscommunications.

We hope you have a lovely 2013!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 12, 2012

I'm not sure about some of the other properties mentioned, but the house we stayed in was filthy. The furniture was dirty and old, the sheets had seen better days, the moldings were covered in dirt, and the worst part was the bugs. It was infested with ants and termites, which left their droppings everywhere including on the bed. As mentioned in another review, the floors were so dirty that we wouldn't take our shoes off. Some of our friends that we were meeting were staying at the condos at Punaluu, and after they saw our place insisted that we stay with them. Which was a much nicer option even though we had to sleep on their floor for a couple of nights.

If you want to stay at the cottages I would recommend seeing the property before commiting to it.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Lexi E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HawaiianTraditions, Owner at Pahala Plantation Cottages, responded to this review, September 12, 2012
Aloha,

Thank you for your review on TripAdvisor. We hope to address these issues but we are not sure which place you stayed in. If it was the Market House, please know that these issues are already being addressed. We have recently had our houses inspected for termite damage and are proceeding to treat those that were recommended. As we mentioned in the previous review, we had a problem with fires this summer, which made it very difficult to keep everything clean after you had checked in. If you remember which house you stayed in, please let us know so we can address the other issues.

Mahalo
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Madison, WI
Level Contributor
22 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed July 27, 2012

Pahala is a small town which is definitely not a destination for most tourists. For us, that was the appeal of staying at this property, we wanted to get away from touristy areas. From that perspective, this place met our requirements. It is off the beaten path and out of the way. The location was convenient to the Hawaii Volcano National Park, the black sand beach, and the town of Naalehu (there are a couple of restaurants there and a farmers’ market twice a week).
The comments in this review concern the market house; perhaps some of the other buildings are better. We took a look at the main plantation house; it does appear nicer (and a lot bigger).
There are some good things about this property; there is fast wireless internet, and a washer and dryer on site. There are new floors in the bathrooms and sleeping areas, which were nice. There was ample hot water for two people including doing dishes, showering, and laundry.
Now for the bad parts: The first thing you encounter is the driveway. It is paved; however it is in such bad condition that I was concerned it would damage the car. No damage occurred, however it is so visually unappealing that it really detracts from the place. As you walk up to the entrance, you are greeted by the abandoned walk-in freezer (this place used to be a meat market). Upon entering the building, you’ll see the “antique” furniture. Some of the pieces are sort of old; but none of them are particularly nice; and everything is dirty. The couch and recliner are upholstered, they are not good quality, and they are especially dirty. The rest of the place is dirty too, if you walk around barefoot, your feet will turn black from the old concrete floors in the main living area (you have to scrub your feet to get clean again). There are ants, especially in the kitchen. My wife found some in her purse, and they were also crawling in the keyboard of my computer. The kitchen is poorly laid out and poorly equipped; there is a dirty old stove with one broken burner; no counter space to work with, and a refrigerator with a pile of ice maker parts and uninstalled shelves next to it. The view from your window while you are washing your dishes is a dilapidated shed which is rusted, leaning, and should be destroyed. The furnishings in the kitchen aren’t too good; there are a couple of utensils, a few old pots and pans; you won’t want to cook there. We barbecued, however we had to call the office and have them bring a grill over.
The bedroom furnishings are similar to everything else. The bed was not the kind of good hotel quality bed you’d expect. The drawers in the dresser were difficult to open and close. Window coverings were homemade and mounted on shower curtain rings.
The grounds also need attention. From the rear deck there is a view of a farm road, a couple of scraggly plants, and the occasional stray dog. You’ll also see the mongoose that is nesting on the property. There is also a kennel nearby; you’ll hear a lot of barking. The grounds aren’t nice, there is no privacy, and we didn’t really enjoy spending time there.
The worst thing for us, though, is that an animal was in the house (we suspect it was a mongoose, but he was too fast to positively identify). One night we heard noises in the walls, the next morning we discovered that the cherry tomatoes we left out were gone. The following night we heard more noises, and we actually saw the critter running around.
Because this place was so unsatisfactory, we left a day early. This cost money, we had to pay a change fee for our airfare, an extra night at our next destination, and we abandoned quite a bit of uneaten food. We figured we’d just cut our losses and move on; it was worth spending the money to get out of there.
The market house was big enough to sleep six, and it was cheap. We weren’t looking for a bargain though; we would have gladly paid more for better accommodations. We tried to be fair in this review and mention the good along with the bad; however the negatives are so bad that it is impossible for us to recommend the market house. You might do better at some of the other buildings, but until the website is improved so you can see photos of each house, clearly labeled, and you know exactly which you’ve booked, it seems like a risky proposition

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank rh59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HawaiianTraditions, Owner at Pahala Plantation Cottages, responded to this review, September 12, 2012
Aloha,

Thank you for your review on TripAdvisor. We are sorry to hear that your stay was so upsetting. We would like to respond with an updated report of how we have addressed these issues.
#1 Pahala is a small town – that is the draw to many of our guests and at no point do we claim it to be otherwise. We are happy to hear that this is something you found appealing as we try to encourage our guests to focus on the draw of the abundant nature here.
#2 – Thank you for approaching this review so fairly. We appreciate that you pointed out the good qualities too.
#3 – The driveway. Unfortunately, this is not entirely up to us as it is an easement. However, we have asked the owner to consider repaving it. We have never encountered any of our guests who have found damage to their cars from the road as it looks worse than it is. We advise that people rather not speed on it.
#4 - The freezer – it is part of the history of the place and gives perspective as to what the place used to be.
#5 - The furniture – many of the pieces are in fact antiques and we take care to keep them clean. Upon re-inspection of the place, we have found a few cushions that had permanent stains on them. Those have been removed. If the cushions were not what you were referring to, kindly email us so that we might inspect the item further. Many of the antiques are from the old store, including the original store counter, the stainless steel sink, some signage, shelves and other artifacts.
#6 – Floors – We cleaned the house and took care to wipe down the screens so a breeze wouldn’t undo our work. Unfortunately, you arrived shortly after major fires raged through the nearby macadamia nut orchards and fields, thus over the period of your one week stay the dust and ash must have accumulated. Houses throughout the village suffered from this and residents had to clean daily. However, since we did not hear from you about this issue until after you left, we did not know it was an issue in the house you rented.
#7 – Ants & Animal – Living in the countryside is very different from living in the city and we now know that it is not something many people have encountered. The price of having open land nearby is often an increase of critters and pests. The fire before your stay forced the ants and other creatures to find water in other places, which meant infesting the town of Pahala. We struggled to keep the ants out because they are attracted to even a single drop of water. When you called to make a complaint about the ants and creature, we came to investigate and sprayed for ants. We now have a notice to guests that advises putting all food in the refrigerator or freezer to avoid attracting unwanted pests. Since we did not hear or see the creature, we did not know what methods to use to get rid of it. If you remember, you mentioned in your call that you had potentially let the creature in by leaving the doors open. We are sorry that we did not have the forethought to warn you of the dangers encountered when in the countryside. We are in the process of creating a welcome packet that explains the risks in detail.
#8 – Kitchen – we are working on a plan to increase the work space, we have removed the shelves, the stove may still be old with one broken burner but it is clean. We are looking into the utensils and cookware to see what needs to be replaced but have never received a complaint about them before. The antique copper priceless pans and pots were bought by the owner in Paris about 40 years ago and we are grateful that she lets the guests use them. We also can provide more modern cookware upon request.
# 9 – Shed – this is not on our property, thus we can only ask the owner to remove it.
#10 Barbecue – is not a part of our rental plan but we were happy to accommodate you.
#11 - Bedroom - The beds are new, we are sorry the were not to your liking but unfortunately in this business you will always encounter some who find the bed comfortable and other who don’t. The window coverings are store bought, we are sorry to hear that you did not find them appealing. The dresser is an antique and we are having it looked at to make it easier to use.
#12 Grounds – We do not own the grounds around the house but appreciate the collection of large trees including, avocado, mango, orange, banyan, plum, plumeria, a rare pink bombax, Norfolk Pines, and various palms and hibiscus.
#13 Noise – The town of Pahala is a small, rural town and people in the town reserve the right to have hunting dogs, which they prefer to keep in their private kennels. This is the same story for all small towns in Hawaii.
# 14 Website – we do not have each house separate on the website because we reserve the right to move our guests should there be problems with the house they rented or should it be specifically requests. Our guests are welcome to state which house they want and we will adhere to our promises but we find our website to have a good representation of each house and make a point of noting one each page that the photos are examples.

We hope that if you do find yourself in Pahala again, you stop in to check on our progress. We appreciate your thorough review.

Mahalo
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Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
92 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
Reviewed March 9, 2012

We stayed at the Market House in Pahala itself and really enjoyed the property. We booked last minute on airbnb and Julia met our needs nicely! We checked in without fanfare and were met by Julia who showed us around a bit and gave us some usefull tips for sites in the area. We particularly enjoyed the black sand beach and Volcano National Park.

The property has two private bedrooms and a third bedroom off the main living area with no door but rather an open concept. Lovely flooring throughout with large deck at the back of the property. Two modern washrooms with laundry facilities in one of the washrooms. We had to buy laundry soap as none was provided!

The large living area was nicely layed out and quite spacious.

Would highly recommend the Market House if you are staying in the Southern part of the big island of Hawaii!

  • Stayed March 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TORN1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HawaiianTraditions, Owner at Pahala Plantation Cottages, responded to this review, January 3, 2013
Mahalo (thank you) for your glowing review! We enjoyed hosting you and hope that we can see you again in the near future.

We will take providing laundry soap to guests under advisement! It's one of those things that is a bit difficult to predict what brand to offer that would meet the expectations of as many guests as possible.

Here's to wonderful adventures in 2013!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Louis, MO
Level Contributor
282 reviews
87 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 224 helpful votes
Reviewed February 7, 2012

We've been taking a large group to the big island for the past 15 years, and the Pahala Plantation Cottages are great for our needs. We travel all around the island, from Kailua Kona to Volcanoes National Park to Hilo and all the way up the Hamakua coast. If you are looking for lots of beach and a day or two at Volcanoes/Hilo, then I'd recommend staying at or near one of the resorts in Kona. (The island is small, but roads are curvy and the speed limits are lower than on the mainland.)
The Plantation House is huge--seven bedrooms, a huge kitchen with all of the cooking gear you'll need, and lots of places to get away from the group. The dining room, living room, music room, and sitting room provide spaces for your big group to hang out, not to mention the wrap around lanai with plenty of seating for outside dining. Our group is always enjoying their time in the house, often playing and singing at the grand piano.

If you don't need such a big place, there are lots of other options. The Cottages are really a set of properties located around the sleepy town of Pahala. We have stayed in quite a few of them, including the Plantation House, Maile House, Market House, and Kamani Cottages.

There's a lot to like about the Plantation Cottages. The owner is very attentive and helpful, and the folks here have always striven to resolve any issues.On the other hand, some of the rooms have not been updated in decades, some of the electrical outlets don't work, and the towels don't match. These are not big problems for most people at a vacation rental, but might be for some.

The other thing to note is that Pahala is in the middle of nowhere. The town has a market that usually is open from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm (cash only) and closed on Sunday. There is a gas station and a hospital. That is pretty much all of the commercial interest in town.Hawaii Volcanoes National Park entrance is about a 45 minute drive north, and Naalehu (restaurants, bakery, bigger market) is the nearest town to the south. The beautiful Punaluu black sand beach is about a 10 minute drive. But, if you are trying to "get away from it all", you cannot get much farther.

Room Tip: Ask for specifics about the layout of the layout of the cottage. "Sleeps 6" might be three...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank n2history
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HawaiianTraditions, Owner at Pahala Plantation Cottages, responded to this review, January 3, 2013
Thank you for your lovely review. We are happy to host you and your group with each stay and hope to continue to see you each year!

You make some very valid points that will better help visitors discover whether our cottages in Pahala are the right fit for them. Those who generally have the most fun out here are those who aren't coming to Hawai'i to spend their days shopping or lounging on the white sandy beaches, but rather are coming to Hawai'i to go on self-guided adventures through the rain forest or along the undeveloped coast to lesser known destinations such as the green sand beach. Travelers, much like yourselves, that seek to stay off the beaten track to get to know the less populated and more agriculturally centered side of Hawai'i, for our district is one that reflects the "old Hawai'i" more than today's image of modern Hawai'i.

Other than the occasional few that were expecting to find something more like the resorts in Kona, we have been blessed with guests who were seeking to spend time in a place that better reflects the life of the community members while retaining an air of its grand history in the Sugar Plantation days. We are very happy to have guests like yourselves who enjoy returning to stay "in the middle of nowhere" each year :)

Happy 2013!
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Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 1, 2012

It was so great to be able to stay in such a historic house in Pahala, HI. My crew and I stayed there for 2 weeks and lived like one big happy family. The local townspeople and Hawaiians in general are so hospitable and couldn't do enough for us. We, as always, look forward to another stay with the colourful people of the Big Island, HI.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Michelle B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HawaiianTraditions, Owner at Pahala Plantation Cottages, responded to this review, January 3, 2013
Mahalo (thank you) for your wonderful review of the Plantation House! We were happy to host you and can't wait to see you again sometime soon. All the best for 2013.
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Additional Information about Pahala Plantation Cottages

Property: Pahala Plantation Cottages
Address: Maile St., Pahala, Island of Hawaii, HI 96777
Location: United States > Hawaii > Island of Hawaii > Pahala
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Pahala
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Pahala Plantation Cottages 3.5*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Renovated plantation cottages from two-bedroom homes to the seven-bedroom Pahala Plantation House, the former manager’s house for the 28,000-acre sugar plantation. The houses are decorated in antique furniture and plantation style floral prints. They have original wooden floors, high ceilings and details of the sugar plantation era. All units are fully furnished, complete with a kitchen, lounge, dining area and bathroom. Laundry facilities are located on site and welcome to guest use.Walk to a public pool, library, post office, convenience store and bank. The village is surrounded by Macadamia nut and coffee farms as well as ranches. Take a 5 minute drive to Punalu'u Black Sand Beach and snorkel or watch sea turtles bathe in the sunlight. ... more   less 
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