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“An amazing experience.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kalani

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Kalani
Ranked #1 of 11 Specialty Lodging in Pahoa
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Alaska
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“An amazing experience.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2013

My first visit to Kalani and definitely not my last. I really needed a warm, beautiful, nurturing environment and Kalani exceeded my expectations.

The rooms: I stayed in Tree House room 12--it was great. Clean, and spacious. Screens on 2 sides overlooking a field. Rooms vary in size, but overall I would warn you that the walls are thin, and noise will travel. Overall it wasn't a big problem. The coqui (spelling?) frogs are loud, but I really liked the noise and you can use earplugs to help dampen down the sound. My room had a nice bathroom and I didn't consider it as "rustic" as some.

The grounds: Gorgeous. I highly recommend a Monday walk about with Barcus the horticulturalist in charge--we spent about 3&1/2 hrs walking the property and I could've spent longer. Learned about Kalani's aquaculture project as well.

The food: REALLY GOOD. Fresh, delicious, vegetarian options, great granola, great salad bar, great desserts in the evening. I never felt deprived.

Activities: I didn't come with a group, so I did the "Kalani experience" package. I got to choose from at least 2 yoga/dance classes a day. I took classes in Hawaiian language, hula, and even an improv class. Ecstatic dance was a unique experience and people from the community will often come to participate in Kalani activities. I would definitely recommend a watsu treatment with Sara Joy. There is a wonderful geothermally heated pool and tide pools for snorkeling within a short driving distance. I definitely would recommend renting a car to give you more options. Yes, pool is clothing optional, but I kept my suit on and felt quite comfortable around the naked folks.

People: I think this is truly the best part of the Kalani experience. Staff and guests are great folks, I found people to be overall warm and friendly. If you are a bit shy, I think people are friendly enough to draw you out or leave you in peace. Seating on the dining lanai is sort of "assigned" if you're with a group, but I found no trouble socializing with other guests/staff at mealtimes (and I would infiltrate a neighboring class' table at times). I met some special people with whom I'll definitely be keeping in touch.

Room Tip: I really liked Tree House 12--might even be better on the upper floor above that room (less noise?).
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank AKfolks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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214 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (51)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Albuquerque
Level Contributor
115 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

I've been going to Kalani since 2005 for an annual yoga workshop. The accommodations are a bit rustic, but soon you get used to being "unplugged" and relax. The pool is clothing-optional which may take a bit getting used to if you're not of that ilk. I didn't think the food was as good as in past years, but the staff is mostly volunteers. Some rooms are in traditional hales with open-air screens and shared baths. The grounds are lovely and the ocean is a short walk away. If you are looking for a casual retreat center with group meals, you will be happy at Kalani.

Room Tip: Hale 3 is closest to the dining lanai. The hales have rooms upstairs and downstairs so if stairs ar...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Winger07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anchorage, Alaska
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013

I have visited Kalani twice in the past 2 years, for a yoga retreat in January. For the nature-loving, low maintenance traveler who is ready to relax and renew in a soulful environment, this is a wonderful choice! As one staffer noted, Kalani is a retreat center, not a resort, so if you need something, they are happy to help, but you must ASK.

The food is excellent, with lots of fresh fruits & vegetable, and vegan, vegetarian and meat entrees available. Dining is cafeteria style on a lovely lanai.

The classes offered are eclectic and wonderful: hula, burlesque, Hawaiian healing, yoga, etc.

The pool area is clothing optional, but if you tend to be shy, suits are fine too. There is shade and moderate privacy around the pool and spa area. If you love to skinny dip but enjoy modesty, I would recommend an early morning dip when the area is completely deserted.

Definitely try out a massage from one of their excellent massage therapists. Several modalities offered mean that there is something for just about everyone: Deep Tissue, Lomi Lomi, Thai, Watsu ( a wonderfully gentle massage in the water where you truly are weightless and a lot of unwinding can happen), Hot Rocks, etc etc. Don't forget to tip!

The staff and volunteers are friendly, dedicated and hard working. Who wouldn't be in such a supportive atmosphere?

I am already scheming about how I can get back for another yoga retreat at Kalani in 2014!

Room Tip: I think they are all lovely. Tell the staff what you are looking for, and they will be sure to help...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Jeanne L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
37 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

I spent a week at this resort as part of a yoga retreat. The location, grounds, and staff were excellent. The food was plentiful and delicious with many cooking styles represented. I especially liked that the people who volunteer to work there are considered part of the community, sharing meals and facilities with paying guests. Also, people who live locally are welcomed to participate in most of the events.
Unlike other reviewers, I found the mix of people to be remarkably diverse, men and women, gay and straight, young and old. The clothing optional areas always felt natural, like not wearing clothes in a pool is normal.
My room in the Hale had no sound insulation, so you can be impacted by noisey neighbors. However, that was not a problem and I slept well there.

Room Tip: I think the individual cottages work best for people who would like more privacy and quiet.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank NorCalBiker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
17 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

Kalani, the largest retreat center in Hawaii, offers personal and group yoga retreats and a mix of performing arts, nature, adventure, and diverse programming. The location is ideal, close to lava fields, a black sand beach, tidal pools for snorkeling and jungle and cliff walks overlooking the Pacific. The staff is more than helpful, friendly and gracious, and the in-house cuisine is gourmet level and very healthy. The grounds include a large swimming pool, watsu pool, sauna, sweat lodge, and massage rooms. Highly recommended for those seeking a relaxing and healthful vacation.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank duneboi29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
54 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2012

If you are looking for a place to get away this is it. Food is amazing- fresh and abundant. Rooms vary in building age. There aren't very amnesties but it gets you away from reality. The staff is so helpful and thoughtful in your stay. They do massages there and prices are good. So many things to to around the grounds including a nude beach, volcano, hiking, snorkeling, and partying at Uncle Awa's. This part of the big island is awesome in the rainforest and so far from tourists. If you are thinking about going you should just do it! I would think twice if you are bringing children unless you have a very hippy kind of family lifestyle :).

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LindsayCSC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sandpoint, Idaho
Level Contributor
82 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2012

Wake to ocean breezes then take a short stroll to the dining lanai where you enjoy a fresh, lovingly prepared breakfast. Head over to the pool for a quick dip before your amazing yoga or dance class. Each day is yours. You can explore this lush, inviting Hamlet, or plop down in a hammock and let the beauty sink in. All the while you are embraced by the 100 or so volunteers who welcome you to the Kalani Ohana (family). Three beautiful meals a day, simple yet comfy accommodations, classes to uplift the body and soul, and warm, openhearted people all make me look forward to my next visits to Kalani.

Room Tip: Rooms with an ocean view mean a short walk to the dining lanai and pool but are worth it. Quiet hou...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank dawnya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kalani

Property: Kalani
Address: 12-6860 Kalapana Kapoho Beach Rd, Box 4500, Pahoa, Island of Hawaii, HI 96778-8019
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Hawaii > Island of Hawaii > Pahoa
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 11 Specialty Lodging in Pahoa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Kalani 2.5*
Number of rooms: 65
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kalani is the largest retreat center in the state of Hawaii, nestled on the yoga coast in one of Hawaii's largest conservation areas for over 35 years. We feature more than 40 classes a week, including our renowned yoga and meditation programming, Hawaiian culture classes, and dance (hula, modern, and aerial.)Our location on the Big Island of Hawaii is 5 minutes from Kehena Beach, a clothing-optional black sand beach where wild-spinner dolphins frequently swim; 15 miles from spectacular lava-viewing; and nestled in luscious rainforest, which helps feed our organic kitchens with abundant fruit and vegetables. Kalani is known as a power spot - Shiva Rea calls Kalani "one of the most potent and nurturing retreat centers in the world." Kalani is a 501(c)(3) charity. Your stay here will support the preservation of Hawaiian culture, transformation, and within the poorest district in Hawaii. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kalani Oceanside Retreat Pahoa
Kalani Oceanside Retreat Hotel Pahoa
Kalani Hawaii/Pahoa

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