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“A retreat centre to challenge your expectations and so rewarding!”
Review of Kalani

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Kalani
Ranked #1 of 11 Specialty Lodging in Pahoa
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed January 7, 2014

For the avoidance of doubt this is the Kalani Retreat centre on the coast at Puna, Big Island, Hawai'i.

It is fascinating to read the reviews of Kalani and discover that the people who give it low ratings wear swimming costumes! This is a very special place designed to take you out of your rut, so it is unconventional. It will challenge you. It is different. It is not a five star hotel.

Come here and enjoy the sounds of the jungle, the sound of rain on the roof. There is no glass in the window because you do not need it. The air is warm and you can live in the jungle.
You queue for food and are served food on the plate but it is excellent freshly cooked fresh produce and tasty. You will not go hungry! Each day different volunteers cook which adds competition and variety.
Go to the pool and sauna and watsu pool and spa bath and enjoy being naked. If you need to wear a swimming costume this is probably not your place. Be free. Let it hang out. Go to the black sand beach. Enjoy the drum circle or the gay Mondays. At the beach some wear clothes most do not.

The gardens are semi wild riots of tropical plants. The place is mainly run by volunteers so sometimes things are not perfectly as the team would wish. The lady checking us in did not give us the right meal ticket but this was sorted out. There is a shortage of the green towels for the beach...... The building lodges are clever designs with four bedrooms sharing a shower and EC with twin basins in an area outside the bedroom doors. Possibly too public for some? Life is not perfect..... Go with the flow and you will enjoy your time here and join so many returning. There are all sorts of people here on various courses. It is dark at night and small torches are issued, but this allows you to see the stars like you cannot at home. Prices are high if you merely compare the standard with a hotel room, but here you get different standards where jungle atmosphere and volunteers gives a different character that is incomparable with any hotel!

I thought this was a gay exclusive naturist retreat. Although it was a gay foundation it is now open to all and whatever course you are on there are other courses running and people can join in on other retreats.

Room Tip: Pick the more expensive accommodation if you want more privacy and luxury.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
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7  Thank MS31Dec2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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79 - 85 of 234 reviews

Reviewed November 20, 2013

A hidden haven on the Hilo side of the Big Island of Hawai'i, Kalani Oceanside Retreat is nothing but a pure escape to the jungle at it's finest. And your off-the-grid experience can be as luxury, or as rustic, as you'd like it to be!

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled solo
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3  Thank ejlipton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
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.
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Additional Information about Kalani

Address: 12-6860 Kalapana Kapoho Beach Rd, Box 4500, Pahoa, Island of Hawaii, HI 96778-8019
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 
Also Known As:
Kalani Oceanside Retreat Pahoa
Kalani Oceanside Retreat Hotel Pahoa
Kalani Hawaii/Pahoa

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