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“Funky, quirky, memorable, but 2 nights were enough”

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Volcano Rainforest Retreat
Ranked #3 of 31 Volcano B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Jackson, WY
Level Contributor
87 reviews
66 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
“Funky, quirky, memorable, but 2 nights were enough”
Reviewed April 30, 2008

The positives of The Sanctuary cottage:
~ unique property that provided a vivid, mystical memory for our vacation
~ close to Volcanoes Nat. Park
~ hard to believe that we were in a rain forest without mosquitoes
~ obviously a labor of love by the owners whom we did not meet
~ the b'fast was OK - we appreciated being able to state preferences for the 2nd b'fast. Plentiful 100% Kona coffee, but no 1/2 & 1/2. I loved the granola - my husband liked the pocket b'fast, heated in the toaster oven.
~ we were OK with the fishbowl effect. We pretended that we were in The Truman Story. At night we used the roll-down blinds.
~ I didn't mind making our own bed, but left the dishes for them to do when we checked out. It would have made sense to provide disposable picnic-ware, but that conflicted with the Green Earth theme here, I guess.

The negatives of The Sanctuary cottage:
~ the new-age, earth mother motif was not our style, but I dutifully composted like she asked me to...
~ my husband and I felt like we were staying in some dingbat-Aunt's room. Every surface was littered with knick-knacks, so we felt like the room wasn't really ours. Books overwhelmed the eating table and sometimes fell down, knocking down the lamp that didn't work. We felt cramped and cluttered.
~ suitcases have to be carried, not rolled, to The Santuary (b/c of the gravel paths)
~ we couldn't lock The Santuary, so we packed out our valuables each AM
~ the owner's Reiki Certificate in Natural Healing was an oddity in our bathroom. What was that all about?
~ the WiFi signal was quite weak, causing a dropped connection over-and-over again. This alone erased my husband's tranquility for he had an urgent need to review an office document. Aargh !
~ we never figured out where to put our suitcases. They were either in the way or under the bed and inconvenient. At night we put them in the doorway for "security." Remember, no lock...

  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank teton-view
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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266 reviews from our community

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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Leeds
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed March 3, 2008

Spent a few nights in the rainforest retreat. The setting is lovely and very peaceful. The experience was good until we got into bed. The sheets smelled horrible and there were stains on them. We requested the bedding to be changed the next day and was told that it had already been changed. This was a lie, itwas exactly the same bedding as the night before. Why is it when places get a good review in the lonely planet they have an air of arrogance about them and think they are untouchable. The owner looked at me as if I was a piece of dog dirt on the underside of his shoe when I requested the bedding to be changed. Minging!!! Avoid this place if you want a clean bed!. Poor experience

  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
7 Thank EMT_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed February 6, 2008

We stayed on the Big Island after spending 2.5 weeks travelling around Oahu, Maui and Kauai'i. The B&B is a long way from the airports, but right next to the Volcano National Park. We stayed in the Guest House and when we arrived we were pleasantly surprised by the size of the guest house, our own drive way and entrance to the property. None of the other rooms or the owners house were in view - which was great. The guest house was a little dirty - lots of dust in the corners and it was clear it had not been properly cleaned for a long time. The bed linen was old and I wasnt convinced if the quilt had seen a wash since the last guests. The owners asked for guests to wear some slippers provided and to keep their shoes outside - I thought it was a bit weird to ask people to wear shoes worn by hundreds before them. It wasnt like the guest house was carpeted or recently renovated! Another thing to point out is that the bed is up a set of very steep stairs, and the toilet is downstairs. It was a bit of a hassle if you needed to use the bathroom in the middle of the night.
It was a great experience staying in the rainforest, but as the building itself had lots of gaps (windows didnt shut properly for example), I just couldnt get over all the creepy crawlies. We were sat having dinner one evening and a beetle (which looked like a cockroach) landed on my arm. Needless to say I lost my appetite.
There isn't anything to do in Volcano, the one or two convenience stores were small & expensive so even though we had a kitchen in the Guest House, there wasn't much opportunity to use it! We ended up spending most of our time in Hilo & only coming back to the retreat when ready for bed.
The owners were difficult to find and a little unfriendly. I just wish the Guest House was as nicely kept as their office was - it was amazing!
The breakfast was very poor. One muffin each and some hard unripe fruit is not what i constitute a nice breakfast. If you didnt eat all the food, they would not replace it with fresh food the next morning. The lack of TV was also a little tough to bear considering the lack of things to do.
I felt the experience could have been a lot better, if the owners spent just a little more attention to their guests and did a proper spring clean of the accommodation and closed up all the gaps in the woodwork / windows so you didnt have the feeling you were sharing the place with all the creatures of the rainforest! I appreciate this is also part of the charm of the place, but if you are not particularly keen on spiders and the like, just bear this in mind.
I think one or two nights (max) at this place would be a great experience and give you enough time to see the Volcano National Park (which we did in one day). I would then stay down the coast close to Kona or near Hilo. We stayed for 4 nights (5 days) which I think was just too long.

  • Liked — different to anything i've stayed in before
  • Disliked — remote location and cleanliness
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank Desiscotty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indiana
Level Contributor
21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2008

I booked two nights at the Retreat on the advice of a close friend who had stayed there, and our stay was perfect in every way. I travel for leisure several times a year, and I have to say that this was one of the most beautiful places I've ever stayed--it's probably in the top 3! We had our own little house in the middle of an actual rainforest! It was so comfortable, and the breakfast was delicious. If you are going to the Big Island, a stay at the Retreat is a must. I just wish I could have stayed there for an entire week!

  • Liked — the scenery
  • Disliked — water not hot enough in the shower
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Angela H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Level Contributor
35 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed December 8, 2007

This was the first of two B&Bs my wife and I stayed in on our honeymoon, and we absolutely loved it. We stayed in the Guest Cottage, which had all the amenities we needed - including a fully-equipped kitchen and a wonderfully large bathroom. The building itself is gorgeous, and you can immediately sense the love that went into building it (the owners lived here while they were building the rest of the property).

The breakfasts were plentiful, and very healthy. We appreciated the owners' commitment to our own health and to the environment, with organic food and eco-friendly soaps provided.

Keeping this property from 5 stars is the fact that the linens could use some updating - the comforter and futon cover were pretty dated.

Overall, I would highly recommend this place to anyone looking for a quiet, relaxing trip to the Big Island, particularly if you want to explore Volcanoes National Park.

  • Liked — The cabin itself - the coziness of it.
  • Disliked — The bed linens (weren't horrible, just needed updating).
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank jakester24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
1 review
Reviewed October 11, 2007

We were quoted one rate from one of the owners, but his wife decided at the last minute that a higher rate was required. Not exactly the aloha spirit we expected. I would rather stay somewhere else where you're treated with honest hospitality.

Stayed January 2007
Helpful?
Thank Mimi00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashville
Level Contributor
24 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed August 27, 2007

We really enjoyed staying at the Volcano Rainforest Retreat. We were in the Sanctuary room which was lovely but smallish. This IS a B&B so we did not expect the "services" that others seemed to - how difficult is it to make your own bed when staying in such lovely suroundings?! And we saw nothing to complain about with regards to the breakfast foods - the muffins were delicious!

That said, the kitchen sink doubling as the bathroom sink was a bit weird and the watered down shower soap is just plain cheap! The bathrobes and towels were both small and they would have done better to have done without all of the New Age/hippie decorations in the room and have put in a small refridgerator rather than relying on the beach cooler.

We loved the outdoor shower even though it was separate from our room and not overly private. Overall, we would recommend this to others - it was very unique and very lovely. This is a wonderful place to stay for a weekend - I think that the novelty would wear off after a few days though. As for price, this was far more lovely, more welcoming, better breakfast and much nicer than several other B&B's we have stayed at elsewhere in Hawaii that were much more expensive. Face it, if you want the Waldorf, you better be willing to pay Waldorf prices!

  • Liked — Beautiful setting
  • Disliked — Tiny bathroom with no sink, shower in another building
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank zsazsa17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Volcano Rainforest Retreat

Property: Volcano Rainforest Retreat
Address: 11-3832 Twelfth St, Volcano, Island of Hawaii, HI 96785
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Hawaii > Island of Hawaii > Volcano
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 31 B&Bs / Inns in Volcano
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Volcano Rainforest Retreat 2.5*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Volcano Rainforest Retreat lodging experience on the Big Island of Hawaii offers visitors a collection of distinct guest cottages, created with elegant simplicity in harmony and balance with the Hawaiian rain forest. Its sense of place imparts a seamless feeling of connection between inside and outside, the accommodations and nature. The rain forest lodgings are interconnected by intimate paths, which wind their way through the misty, mossy landscape. This Hawaii Volcano retreat offers a unique setting for romantics, artists, nature lovers and world travellers seeking refuge and intimate contact with the living volcanic earth. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Volcano Rainforest Retreat Hotel Volcano
Volcano Rainforest Retreat Hawaii

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