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“Interesting mix- great essence here - not so great accomodations”
Review of Kalani

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Kalani
Ranked #1 of 11 Specialty Lodging in Pahoa
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed November 19, 2013

Overall I had a magical time here. I attribute it to the classes I attended, and the people I met, as well as the overall energy and vibe. the accommodations leave something to be desired. I understand it's a retreat place not a resort, but it feels like you are paying resort prices..Not even a nice bar of organic soap in a bungalow room, some watered down fluid disguised as soap / shampoo. It's the little things like that that are missing from this place, as well as your door that shuts tight to keep the creatures out.

Room Tip: Someone suggested to pay extra for a cottage- great idea. I recently stayed in a bungalow- 8-spacio...
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled solo
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3  Thank MLMDuluth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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81 - 87 of 234 reviews

Reviewed November 13, 2013

My husband and I spent almost six days at Kalani for a ukulele retreat in late October. The grounds are magical and very well kept. Since we were out and about after dark with our group activities, we were glad we had headlamps for additional lighting. This is not an "upscale resort" in that the rooms were very comfortable and more on the "bungalow" style. The room fans seemed to do the trick for the heat and we did have a very hot and humid week, unlike my previous trips to Hawaii. The windows in our room were screened which let in night air and jungle sounds of frogs and rain. The food, for us, was perfect. The kitchen focused on whole grains, healthy food with always a vegan or vegetarian option, lots of greens, fresh fruit and flowing juices, teas and coffee. Our workshop venue was very spread out, so that made for a lot of walking of the beautiful grounds, and we appreciated the physical activity, but for some this might not work as well. The swimming pool, clothing optional, was one of the best in that they are able to keep a lot of the harsher chemicals down to a minimum with great outdoor warm water showers and soap provided right next to the pool deck. A more beautiful and serene setting you won't find...and you won't find cocktail servers roaming the deck chairs. The staff was very friendly, as were the volunteers who do most of the cleaning, kitchen work and landscape work. The rooms were clean, the grounds beautiful and the food bountiful and healthy. This is a special place, a step out of the ordinary and after reading reviews if you think it might be for you....it probably is!

Room Tip: There are several "styles" of rooms at Kalani. If you want luxury and privacy, go for the...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank NanSimpson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 13, 2013

I went to the Kalani retreat as part of yoga retreat. OMG AMAZING!!! I loved it there soooo much. So peaceful I stayed in a room with a friend we shared a bed and private bathroom. To me it was like glorified camping and i loved it!! No TV no phone service!! AMAZING!! The food was AMAZING!!! All organic and raw, tofu, Granola fresh fruit WOW i cant say enough!! Its deff not like anywhere i ever stayed but Im still dream about it. Everyone "volunteering" and working there was amazing!! The clothing 'optional' pool... amazing!!!!!!!! My first time doing that too!! LOVED IT!

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Jilly48869
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2013

This is the first time I haven taken the time to write a review about one of my travels. I have been to many destinations but my trip to Kalani was one I will never forget and is the first destination of travel to really touch my heart. When booking my trip to Kalani I really didn't have any major expectations. I read reviews and looked at pictures and it looked pleasant. I had no idea what was really in store for me.

The first thing I want to say about this place is that it has the most beautiful energy floating around. The people are so beautiful and inviting. The sound of the water and frogs sooth you to sleep and help remind you you are one with nature. The food is so nourishing and filling and the staff is just so amazing.

I was looking for a place that I could travel to alone (being a young female) and I really needed to relax and find myself and I was able to do that here and then some. I feel in love with the community, agriculture, fresh air and sounds and the people. If you are looking for a place to let go of pain, to feel loved and cared for and just truly be yourself, Kalani is that place. It really is a magical place and is very special. I highly recommend Kalani and can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled solo
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3  Thank Nicole W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 1, 2013

I spent five nights at Kalani along with 40 other ukulele enthusiasts to better hone our playing skills. This place is a step above communal camping. The non-existent lighting around footpaths made walking at night frightening for my vision impaired roomie. And why was the bathtub in the middle of bedroom? The salad bar was not screened, and I saw flies landing time and again on the cottage cheese. We HATED busing our own dishes. The place is plain dirty.

The chefs served quinoa daily, usually at breakfast, and sometimes with other meals, too. The roasted tofu was uneatable. Once our retreat was over, we headed to Volcano House for lunch - one of the best meals of our trip and made us realize how really bad the food was at Kalani. Why do the Kalani chefs think every soup has to include chili in it? It was such a relief to taste good food without the overkill of chili when we lunched at lovely Volcano House.

Our group plans to return for another ukulele retreat next October. They will do so without my roommate and me, regardless of how good our classes were. The venue does not work for us.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
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7  Thank snorkelPat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 25, 2013

If you are looking for a resort in Hawaii, this is probably not the place for you. While you can book in and stay, it really is a destination for people who want to experience what Kalani has to offer. I found the previous reviews of the Retreat to be really helpful, so I would encourage reading them. I went here for one of the workshops (Will Donnelly's Practical Yoga), and I really cannot say enough about what an amazing an experience it was.

With respect to the lodging, it was clean and comfortable, nothing fancy. I stayed in a bamboo bungalow in the jungle, which was interesting. Spacious with everything you would want from lodging when you are not there for the hotel room.

The food, I have to say, is outstanding. I have eaten and stayed at a lot of first-rate restaurants and the food here could hold a candle to any of them. Because there are a variety of chefs, nothing ever really tastes the same so you don't get bored. It was healthy, but it was also delicious. They accommodate vegan and gluten-free with ease.

The pool is a refreshing place to cool your body temperature. It is clothing optional, but as others have said, all that means is you are meant to respect people's clothing choices. I had one of the best massages I have ever had, and they offer a wide arrange of therapies. If you don't come on a specific workshop, there are plenty of activities to keep you occupied.

This is a very spiritual place occupied by a community of people striving to be better human beings. It isn't a vacation spot. But it is a simply amazing retreat.

Room Tip: The various jungle rooms are closer to main facilities. The ocean view suites require about a 10 to...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled solo
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3  Thank Rebeccas1964
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 21, 2013

My wife and I stayed at Kalani during the second week of our honeymoon. Kalani is clearly a very friendly place if you are there on a retreat/course or if you are volunteering there. Those are the circumstances under which I would recommend a stay.
I was glad we only stayed two nights as it felt like being in the middle of a gap-year and it did mean that we appreciated the Volcano Rainforest Retreat in Volcano even more.

I don’t know if our stay would have been improved if we got the accommodation that we asked for rather than the exact opposite. We asked for a modern cottage away from the pool and got a bamboo cottage (with screens) right by the pool. While complementary earplugs were provided the Coquí (small frogs) sound like a car alarm during the night and the work of running Kalani (such as teams of gardeners chatting under the window) got in the way of any daytime nap. In addition an ill-fitting doors meant that creepy crawlies galore could explore the floor, walls and ceiling. I am not averse to insects; however finding them inside my pillow case was the last straw.
The food is delicious and varied, and the communal dining and level of recycling does leave a very green vibe. However beneath this ‘green’ veneer were:
* Toiletries - larger containers that are wall mounted and refillable would I imagine be more environmentally-friendly than the tiny 3-in-1 bottles that were provided.
* Toilet roll - these were recycled paper made in Canada from material shipped to Canada. That seems like a lot of mileage involved in producing a "green" product.
* Gift shop - I'm sure there were some local produce alongside the pottery that was made in China.

Room Tip: We got the exact opposite of what we asked for so I have no idea! I would not recommend the bamboo c...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Catherine B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 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: $75 - $200 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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