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“Cozy comfort in the rain forest”

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Volcano Guest House
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed August 21, 2013

My family stayed in the Olapa guest house (5 of us, so we had the whole cottage) and had a lovely time. Breakfast was nice, as was the dedicated lanai setting in which it was served; the grounds on which the cottages reside are lush and picturesque. Proximity to both Volcanoes Park and Hilo make it a great place to stay. Would definitely stay there again if visiting that part of the island.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Cory V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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42 - 48 of 182 reviews

Reviewed August 20, 2013

The cottage we stayed in was adjacent to the lanai. It was comfortable and efficient. We used the fridge for leftovers and the stove for tea. The lanai was the best part of the place. The continental breakfast of fresh papaya and macadamia nut bread with jam was a such a treat. The cottage was a bit mildew and cold at times. There was a dehumidifier and space heaters to help though. The place was very convenient to the Volcano park and to Hilo. We saw all the volcanoes, hiked the lava field to watch live lava at night and swam in the bay at Hilo. All in all it was an great stay.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank hillaryheart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2013

Our family stayed at the guest house while visiting Volcano. We were trying to be "eco-tourists" and the Volcano Guest House is a model in being environmentally responsible. It was very convenient to the park entrance, breakfast was wonderful (a locally made coffee cake, fresh fruit, English muffins, bagels, jam, cereal, hard boiled eggs, freshly brewed coffee, tea, juice...) and having our own kitchen to bring take-out home to for a casual late supper was helpful, too. Just be sure to have the directions with you when you first check in - it is well hidden down narrow lanes!

Room Tip: Call and talk with the owners - they will describe the varied options and help you select what match...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Susan G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2013

We joined some friends and stayed in the "Twins," two units connected by a lanai. A perfect set-up. Each unit was nicely outfitted--easy to stay in and cook or bring left-overs home and enjoy at the outside table, looking at orchids and anthurium or a sky full of stars. We loved all the fragrant scents--lime trees and bananas and mystery plants that imparted a lovely spice.

Our hosts were friendly and informative, telling us about everything from their half-sized cows from Ireland to a special ground-cover with healing properties.

Excellent location, close to the Volcano National Park, Hilo, and South Point.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Skute_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 15, 2013

Our family stayed at the guest house while visiting Volcano. The house is about 5 minutes away from the entrance to Volcano. Upon check in there was no one to check you in. There's a bucket with your name and a set of keys. A map shows you where you'll be staying. At night, the place is quite peaceful since its basically in the fern jungle setting. The house that we rented was the Akaka. The house was spacious and clean. However, if you have little kids, be careful because there are stairs in the house. The house has pots and pans. The bedding was damp. There is a washer and dryer here. You have to clean after yourself (ie bring out the trash). On the night that we check in the light over the stairs was burnt out. When we went to the owner, he seemed bothered that I because I didn't know the exact size of the bulb. I told him that I could go back and get it. He said he didn't want me to come back every 15 minutes for a new bulb. I eventually picked a bulb that I figured would fit. Good thing it did. They do provide breakfast (cereal, toast, juice, fruit). Overall this is a good place to stay if you're looking for a bed and some peace and quiet. Definitely don't expect any type of service. Good or bad, depending on one's preference you will be left alone.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Hawaiidreamer1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2013

We had our group of ten there in June and rented the Olapa and Akala houses. Bonnie is a great host.
This Eco-friendly property is tucked almost too tightly into the Ohia and fern rainforest in that the roads were narrow and tight for our vans. The rooms are spacious and bright from the skylights. The kitchen is well equipped. Our room (Olapa - Bedroom 3) had a view of the forest at both ends and the rain is relaxing to listen to at night.
The self-serve breakfast consists of coffee, instant cocoa, milk, orange juice, fresh bananas, fresh papayas, previously refrigerated cut pineapple, hard-boiled eggs, cold cereals, instant oatmeal, break and muffins, etc.

The one important negative was that the beds are too soft, perhaps on purpose for the warmth of the mattress surrounding you . But there were insufficient blankets to be found so we used our sleeping bags and I had to inflate my Thermarest to very hard to put over the soft mattress or else get a backache.

Overall, we will return there with or without a group.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank BILL C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2013

If you end up staying here because you’re spending a day or two in Volcanoes Park (which you should, because it’s amazing) you will be fine. VGH is clean, the guest units are spacious and have sparsely equipped kitchens The surrounding forest and gardens are lush and lovely. There is a separate cottage for breakfast with a hot tub that is pleasant enough to hang out in. The owners are nice and will answer any questions if asked, though they won’t go out of their way for you (which, depending on your personality, can be a relief or a slight).

So it’s fine. And I imagine at one point VGH was actually more than fine. But the issue here seems to be that the owners have been running this place for many years and they have figured out a way to do it that works very well for them—but maybe less well for their guests. In fact, it is hard to really feel like a guest here. There is neither the convenience and amenities of a hotel nor the warmth and attention to detail of a B&B. The furnishings are adequate but not especially comfortable; the sheets, towels etc (which are not changed while you are there, nor is there any tidying done or beds made) are basic at best and somewhat worn. There was no soap in the shower/bath when we arrived, just economy-sized bottles of Herbal Essences shampoo.

I would, perhaps, fact find all of that quirkily charming if it weren’t for the breakfast. The one thing one expects from a B&B is the second “B.” What you get at VGH is, I hate to say it (because, again, the owners are really nice) is cheap and indifferent. Cold cereal from Costco; Quaker instant oatmeal; Skippy peanut butter and grape jelly in a squeeze bottle; stale refrigerator bagels with a big tub of cream cheese that is three-quarters empty and deeply unappetizing (all knife-gauged, gummy and with crumbs in it). The first morning they put out an already-stale, pre-packaged cinnamon twist coffee cake, also (I’m guessing) purchased from Costco. We ate one slice, and didn't like it. They then proceeded to put the same package out every morning, as it grew more stale and even less appealing. Yes, there are fresh papayas and bananas, but the pineapple was visibly overripe and, once more, when we didn’t eat it, they just served it to us again the next day.

My feeling is if you’re going to run a B&B (and price it competitively) you should truly care about your guests’ comfort. Because they are just that--guests, not relatives that you want to discourage from ever coming back. I would so like VGH to be a better place, because it has some great qualities. But it needs to be seriously stepped up.

So for accommodations, because it’s spacious and well-located I give it 3 stars. For service, comfort, and breakfast I give it a 1 ½ or maybe a 2. I can’t fully recommend staying here, but you won’t be devastated if, for whatever reason, it’s where you end up. Just be aware that it does the job, absolutely nothing more.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank PJfromCA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Volcano Guest House

Address: 11-3733 Ala Ohia Street, Volcano, Island of Hawaii, HI 96785
Location: United States > Hawaii > Island of Hawaii > Volcano
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 22 Specialty Lodging in Volcano
Price Range: $115 - $225 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Volcano Guest House is 12 acres of high-altitude tropical rainforest and farm, with three cottages, two apartments, and two big houses that rent whole or by the bedroom. Ten minutes from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, perfectly placed eco-accommodations to enjoy the wonders of an active volcano, and the native environments in this International Biosphere Reserve. Line-dried linens, solar-assisted hot water, free breakfast/snacks 24/7. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Volcano Guest House Hawaii

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