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“great stay at Kalani”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Kalani

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Kalani
Ranked #1 of 11 Specialty Lodging in Pahoa
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
nyc
1 review
“great stay at Kalani”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 26, 2009

I went to Kalani by myself for a yoga retreat as part of a workshop from an NYC instructor. I had a great time staying at Kalani. Met lots of nice people from all over at the pool, in the hot tub and at the dinner table. I also have to mention the all volunteer staff were all so very friendly. I actually thought about volunteering sometime, If ever I'm unemployed again. There were lots of interesting new foods, so I tried them all. They were all very tasty. I even ventured over to the ecstatic dance on Sunday. That was a lot of fun. Not seen that much tie die in a long time.... ;-)
Over all, a great place to stay for nice quiet relaxation (swimming, hottub, yoga), adventure (for tours), therapeutic (dolphin dance, watsua pool), nice sleeping arrangements, great weather, and food.
I'd recommend it to anyone and have.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank bicuri39nyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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226 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (53)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
British Columbia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 12, 2009

Kalani is extraordinary but it is not for the average resort traveller.

Finding Kalani is not easy as it is so far off the beaten path, but for some that merely adds to the enjoyment!

The staff are young, playful volunteers (for the most part) and appear to be enjoying their time there as though on vacation themselves. They welcomed me to eat at their table on my first night there (as I was a solo traveller) and I thrilled at hearing their experiences as travellers!

The food is second to none! I ate well at every meal and though no alcohol was served my meals were better than I have had at many far fancier locales. It was easy to be a vegetarian there, and almost easy to be a vegan! Their breakfasts were the best!!!

The services (massage, yoga, etc) were varied and interesting. Sara (Watsu masseuse) was amazing and Cathy (yoga guru) changed my life. I was enchanted by these women!

From the day I arrived to the moment I left I was comfortable, happy, well-fed, entertained and satisfied with my choice. I'd go back tomorrow.

  • Stayed November 2008, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Couchtraveller10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berkeley, California
Level Contributor
43 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 29, 2009

Come check out Kalani. It's a bit of a drive to get here but it is worth it. To get the most out of your visit, do stay at least 5 days. You need the time to enjoy the fresh air, the scenery, and the quiet sanctuary Kalani offers. The are many classes to try and hikes to take.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank rconcepcion
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 27, 2009

Simple, clean accommodations with community refrigerator. Simple healthy delicious food. Friendly mostly volunteer staff. Gorgeous setting with temperate weather. Great yoga facility. High point is the pool/spa area, with sauna, jacuzzis, Olympic swimming pool, and especially the warm watsu massage pool with terrific bodyworkers on staff.

  • Stayed December 2008
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Helpful?
1 Thank LosAngelesMongoose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 27, 2009

Recently, I had the pleasure of attending a dance retreat at Kalani, a beautiful and mindfully managed retreat center on the big Island of Hawaii. Staying at Kalani for a week was a wonderful experience. Both your body and your soul are very well cared for at Kalani ,Everything about the place from the simple but spacious and very clean rooms, to the terrific, healthy gourmet food, to the wide variety of bodywork and traditional class options is wonderfully thought out and subtly executed. The site, on the lush tropical coast of the Big Island and within hearing range of the ocean surf, is so alive and so beautiful, and is lovingly stewarded by the staff and a group of amazing volunteers. Kalani is truly an exquisite place for personal retreat and renewal.

  • Stayed March 2009
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Helpful?
Thank MidnightPoppy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 2, 2009

I just returned from a week's stay at Kalani. I went as part of a group dance retreat. Despite the name, this is not what I would call a "resort". It is more a sophisticated camp for adults. I met several scientists, marine biologists and an oceanographer vacationing there, as well as teachers, business people and a Chicago policewoman of all things! (just to let you know the calibre of the guests). It is staffed by volunteers, mostly educated folk who left their homes somewhere else to live close to nature, practice yoga, and be with others of like mind. Some of the volunteers were fairly young, but most seemed to be 30's and up. The volunteers are assigned a duty like gardening, room cleaning, cooking or even dishwashing, etc. and they are generally unobtrusive, but quite helpful and interesting to talk to you if you so choose. You very well may be sitting next to one at mealtime, as they are indistinguishable from guests. I didn't see very many kids, I only saw two younger girls (early teens maybe?) on the last day, and I'm not sure whether they were visitiors from the surrounding puna area or actually staying there or just came to see the open to the public show that was put on my the dance group I was with. I would think there would not be much to keep young children and teens from being bored as there is no tv, radio or cell reception, so I wouldn't recommend for kids...This is definitely a place for adults who want to get away from it all (including away from the kids, if only for a short while!)

The place is run on a schedule, and it is up to you to follow the schedule or not in order to take advantage of what is being offered. Group yoga, tai chi and/or chi-kung (bad spelling, I know!) are offered all day long, starting as early as 6:30am or 7:00am. I took a tai chi/chi-kung class with Alice early one morning, and it ended up being a private lesson, because no one else had got out of bed early enough. She was quite patient with me, as I had never done it before. What a wonderful lady.

Also, in addition to classes, massage and other wellness services are offered. I highly recommend the Emotional Freedom Therapy with Lilyas. She taps on acupressure points in your wrist, neck, chest, etc., and converses with you about yourself, and somehow by the time she's done, all you burdens and cares are lifted! She's amazing! And be sure to take a kundalini yoga morning class with Omkar. There's no bending and twisting like a pretzel, just a gentle breathing and stretching through the chakras, that awakens and energizes you for the day, as the sun comes up over the Pacific Ocean before you. And Omkar's not bad looking at all (wink, wink) and very gentle and sweet!

Also, I highly recommend that you go to the office and say hello to Ehulani Stephany, a wonderful kumu hula master. She gave me and a friend a wonderful lesson on hula (there's more than meets the eye with hula) and explained some of Hawaii's history for us. Mahalo Ehulani! I wish she would make some hula dvd's, but she has a website which tells about her hula passion and history and you can check out what she's all about via her website if you like.

Meals are served only at the following times 7:30-8:30a for breakfast, 12n-1p for lunch, and 6p-7p for dinner, and you won't want to miss any meals. The food was really amazingly delicious, which doesn't really fit the whole adult "camp" thing, but there you have it....that's the sophisticated part. For example, this past week, they served seared ahi, shrimp paella, and beef ribs, as well as vegetarian options like curried tofu, portabello mushroom, etc. Breakfast had offerings like omelets, frittatas, bacon, pancakes, etc. , bagels, toast, cereal, oatmeal, and yummy whole milk yogurt and granola. There was no low-fat this or that, and to be honest, I didn't miss it and surprisingly, I didn't gain any weight...probably due to all the walking back and forth from the cabins, up to the dining lanai (you do a lot of walking at Kalani). By the way at the dining lanai, you don't sit there and order, you go to the buffet and point at whatever you want to eat, the volunteer staff loads your choices onto your plate and off you go to one of the long trestle tables on the veranda to join the other guests in community style dining. And the desserts! One choice of dessert per night, but they were all great....One note here, you can BYOB, as they don't serve any, but they do offer caffeinated and decaffenaited coffees and teas.

The lodging areas are quite nice and comfortably furnished in a rustic manner. My particular cabin (near the Rainbow Room) had a bedroom, a separate area with a futon/couch, mini fridge, sink and shower. No glass in the windows, just screens, but the doors do have locks. Some of my friends were in a shared lodge up near the dining lanai, with three to a room, and those areas also had a community room with plenty of free books on loan and comfy couches and seating. Note: you won't find any small bottles of shampoo/conditioner here, just liquid soap dispensers on the wall with gym style liquid soap, so be sure to bring your own. No hair dryers either and don't bother to bring one with you, blow dried hair wouldn't last very long int he rainforest (it rains every day, however briefly), and leave your makeup at home, it will just run down your face. I was wearing just a little bit of mascara, and ended up with raccoon eyes on most days (it is a hard habit to break)! There are rules about not bringing food to your room (unless you have a fridge), and I certainly wouldn't leave any food out, as there are plenty of ants and possibly other insects that would just be more than willing to party with you. I was blessed to have a family of gekkos living in my cottage, so I think they were keeping the insect population down, although I did end up with quite a few chigger bites...(well, I did say this was like camp, didn't I?) Just be sure to bring your insect repellent and don't forget to USE it. Oh, and the bed was really comfortable....felt like a memory foam mattress......Oh, and there are rules that between 10pm and 6am guests should be respectful of others by being quiet....no problem there since most seemed to be early risers......although my friends in the lodge house did have some issues with a group of russian visitors who were getting up at 4am and being a bit noisy.....

And just to add that homey touch, there were a few dogs and very friendly cats on the premises, and we also spotted some wildlife (mongoose, a wild pig, a red cardinal (bird)?, a rat - outside - not inside, and the inevitable singing/chanting coqui frogs. Well, it IS in the middle of the rainforest, after all. As a friend of my commented, "you in da jungle now, baby". ha-ha! If I had read this particular paragraph a week ago, I would have been horrified, but once I was there a few days, it seemed natural to see these things, and since they didn't come over and "make friends" with you so to speak, it was fine. Live and let live.

Also, l had read somewhere that the place was on generator, and that electricity was shutoff at 10pm. This is outdated information. Kalani is actually the last property on the district's wired system, and the lights, if you so choose, never have to go out inside. However, the pathways to and from other cottages, the dining lanai, the office, the front gate, etc. are not lit at all in some places, or very dimly lit in other, hence the need for a good flashlight. I had brought two kinds of flashlight, a utility type run on D batteries, and a smaller LED pocket sized light (purchased at a camping goods store)....The utility flashlight barely cut the darkness (there was a new moon), but the LED was quite good at lighting the path. You really want to see where you are stepping, as the ground can be quite uneven, and even though the night sky is chockfull of stars, it is not enough to walk by star light.

What else? Oh yes, if you look at Kalani's website, they offer "adventures" off property, for an additional fee. Be warned, not all adventures are available on any given day. They will generally post notices as to which adventures are available for sign up during that particular week. And once folks sign up for it, the pricing is on a sliding scale depending on the number of attendees.

I highly recommend that you rent a car at the airport if you are going to Kalani. Even if you are planning on just staying on or near the property, and only want to visit the nearby blacksand beach, that beach is 1.5 miles away (it took me 30 minutes to walk there and 40 minutes to walk back, and you have to climb down a short cliff face to get down to the beach. Also, if you want to go see the Kalapana lava flow at night, you need a car. Or you may want to visit the nearby village of Pahoa and sample the local market offerings.....etc. Trust me, the car would come in handy. I didn't get a car, based on my group's organizers, recommendation, and I'm sorry I didn't. If I ever have the pleasure of visiting Kalani again, I would definitely rent a car.

What else can I say? Oh yes, almost forgot. The "resort" is gay owned and alternative friendly. I'm straight, and when I read this in the previous reviews or descriptions, didn't know what to expect. Well, I didn't see anything that would make me think the people weren't like any other place on this earth that I've visited, except that I saw LESS public displays of affection than anywhere else I've gone. I saw an occasional hug here and there, but pretty much, public displays were g-rated. Yes, the pool area is clothing optional, but everyone seemed to be respectful of others, and even at the clothing optional "nearby" black sand beach, I still did not see any type of hanky panky. Just quiet people enjoying quiet, lazy days....mostly smiling and nodding hello, and not being intrusive at all......

It was really a nice experience overall. I actually enjoyed the place much more than the retreat I signed up for, which was being held at Kalani but was not part of the regular classes there...but that's another story!

In summation, once you leave your city thinking behind, this truly was a bit of paradise on earth...... and a week is the perfect amount of time to disconnect from the tv, radio and cell.....it just adds to the mystical feeling of the place.....and the sound of the waves crashing into the cliffs at night makes for a wonderful lullaby, accented by the chanting of the coqui frogs....Someday, I will have to return.....

Aloha and happy travelling!

  • Liked — The rustic environment!
  • Disliked — The rustic environment!
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
7 Thank truthseekerNyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Telluride
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 30, 2008

Booked our stay with staff at the office for $115.00 Stayed in the tree house nice laided back atmosphere. Heard frogs all night through screen windows. We checked out the next day and notice that we were charged an additional $120.00 becuase we had two kids 7 and 4 years old. This is the reason why they gave us the tree house is beacuse there we were a family of four. Even at check out they never said anything. They just charged us. I would say they are very disorganized. We are in discussions with them on returning the $120 additional charge for a 4 and 7 year old. I would discourage any family's from using this resort

  • Liked — Open air movement screened windows
  • Disliked — Being over Charged by more than 100% for having two small kids
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank chadle
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 #1 of 11 Specialty Lodging in Pahoa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Kalani 3.5*
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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