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“Perfection in paradise”
Review of Kalani

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Kalani
Ranked #2 of 11 Specialty Lodging in Pahoa
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
The Sea Ranch, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Perfection in paradise”
Reviewed February 6, 2014

Unusual place to take my 3 year old grandson to help celebrate my 65th birthday but it was the perfect choice. Extremely comfortable with the toddler, the staff treated him like royalty.
Wonderful housekeeping staff, excellent food, offered everything we were looking for to just hang out and get to know Hawaii from a non-tourist experience. At Kalani, I feel we experienced the real hawaii, peacefulness, and the entire staff of volunteers are awesome. Highly recommend Kalani to anyone who would like to relax and doesn't need to be entertained. Off the beaten path and a totally awesome place just to relax and get in touch with the beauty of the island. Close to ocean beaches, wonderful pool on site. The management/owners should be complimented for living lightly on the land. We loved our accommodations too, a studio cottage with oversized bath tub! A perfect experience! Can't wait to return!

Room Tip: We stayed in the M-11 cottage. It is perfect hideaway in the trees but with lots of sunshine. As...
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Green Features: The entire organization has numerous practices in place from their recycling program and aquaponics gardening and other resorts should emulate Kalani. I found them to be very conscientious about walking gently on the land!
  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Rae R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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232 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 (55)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
St. Helena, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed February 4, 2014

I booked a week here after viewing their impressive website, which came across like a high-end yoga retreat. It was a long, un-scenic drive there! Then I was put into a room with plywood floors, a tin roof, and thrift shop furniture. Lamps were broken, fan was broken, only two old pillows and a thin cotton spread on the bed. I paid $280/ night!!! The food was served up mess hall style with folks in hair nets portioning out your food. You were required to bus and rinse your plates. Then it sormed that night, and the noise on the tin roof was so ear-splitting we hardly slept. Plus we were cold since the bedding was so thin, and no extra blankets provided. Thankfully, they refunded our money, but we had to find something else last minute, which was a hassle. Would not recommend it, unless you're a hippie-yoga type, and even then, this place should be priced at around $90/night.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
7 Thank frameworks62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dorset
Level 6 Contributor
149 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
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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Green Features: This is as environmentally aware as you will find! Though solar panels for PV and water heating we're not apparent.
  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
7 Thank MS31Dec2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Honolulu, Hawaii
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
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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Helpful?
3 Thank ejlipton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Duluth, Georgia
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
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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Green Features: The only thing I noticed were composting bins around the property. Room appliances were basically limited to a small refrig and fan, didn't notice the energy star rating. No airconditioning present in the room, and wasn't aware of classes or chemical usage.
  • Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
3 Thank MLMDuluth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Friday Harbor, Washington
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
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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Green Features: This is a place that is really "going for green" in it's practices. It felt good to support it.
  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank NanSimpson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sunset Beach, Hawaii, United States
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
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!

Green Features: AMAZINGGGGG!!!! They try to conserve and help the environment!!
  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jilly48869
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
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 #2 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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