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Travel Blogs from Hilo
We started out today very early - getting up around 3:30 - so we could get to the airport in time to catch our flight. Although it was sad leaving Oahu, it was exciting going to the Big I! We had a nice flight and got some great views leaving Oahu (Diamond Head, Waikiki, Hunama Bay) and some nice views coming into Hawaii. I'm not sure if we flew …
The rain rains, the water flows...
We actually slept in this morning - if sleeping until 6am is considered sleeping in. It felt good to not get up at 3am at any rate... We woke up to rain - lots of rain. But this isn't a rain forest for no reason! The hotel attendant told us that it rains 300 days a year in Hilo. I think Hilo gets more …
Bananas and Papaya of the tree in the garden for breakfast. Yum!
Went to see waterfalls first – the Akaka and Kapuna Falls. The Akaka Falls in particular were awesome – a 420 foot fall into a pool. The walk around the falls was also splendid with luxuriant vegetation.
Then on to the Hawaii Botanical Gardens at Onomea …
We checked out of Volcano and drove to the South East part of the island, as we are staying the night in Hilo. First stop was the LavaTree State Park, near Pahoa. Alas it was closed (for resurfacing the car park) so we could not enter. Nevertheless, the monkeypod trees were absolutely beautiful, providing an amazingly patterned canopy.
We left the Manago Hotel in the morning, stopped for groceries, and headed south. Our plans were mostly of a volcanic nature that day, but we did stop for a while at Punalu'u, a beach of gorgeous black sand. A couple of turtles were resting in the surf, just chillin' while the tourists did their tourist thing.
The sand gave way to rocks …
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Dolphin Bay Hilo
It feels good here
I would generally agree with the reviewer below that a 1950s style old motel doesnt deserve 5 stars... BUT.... i think this place was wonderful - so clean and comfortable - a little outdoor sitting area amongst all the lush 'jungle' plants, the singing birds etc etc-- i have stayed in many places from top hotels down, and this place is where i have felt the most comfortable - the whole place has a 'feel good' atmosphere and i soooo loved it i stayed until the very last minute for checkout..
yes - the furnishings are older style-- but i felt so 'cared for' here - lovely little touches like fresh flowers around the place. lovely lovely.
i would definitely recommend this motel and will stay here again.
The absolute best
This is a superb small inn, very simple accommodations but clean, comfortable and with beautiful garden views/access from your patio. This is definitely the kind of place to stay if you want a quiet respite from it all. We had birds singing and orchids blooming right outside our front door! Located in a residential neighborhood just a few blocks from downtown Hilo, this inn is a delight. John and Julia were helpful and gave great directions and suggestions for activities and dining. And the grounds here are marvelously beautiful. We brought out 15-month-old daughter and she was treated like royalty. We'll be back.
Nice but No Air Conditioning!
The gardens are gorgeous, the people are wonderful, but we were there in May 2004 and it was HOT and HUMID and there is NO AIR CONDITIONING in this B&B. It is like an old fashioned two-story motel. The walls are cinderblock, very basic, the photos are accurate. It was clean and no mold/mildew. Fresh picked bananas and papayas for breakfast. Jillions of birds wake you up at 4:30 am--my husband said he thought he was in Zimbabwe! Walking distance to Farmer's Market with tropical flower arrangements for $5-10 that would be $100+ on the Mainland, and a hundred vendors, plus shops and restaurants. But if you like to be cool--especially to sleep at night, you might want to think twice.
Comfortable, Great Value
You can't give 5 stars to a Hawaii Hotel that doesn't have in room phones, has outdated furnishings, odd japanese style soaking tubs, and is not near the ocean. With that being stated, Dolphin Bay delivers with everything that they've got! We loved it there. We will stay there every time we visit Hilo. In spite of the negatives, I recommend it to everyone, especially families on a budget. It is clean and friendly.
Interesting, a must stay for Hilo
The Dolphin Bay is an interesting little place where the people are so warm and accommodating, you can't help but love it. Our apartment was as described, sort of a 50's sort of place with vases of fresh flowers in every room. We loved the place and we loved the owners
Like coming home.
We live in Japan but the Big Island is our home. When we go home we spend the first and the last night at the Dolphin Bay. Prior to moving to Japan I managed in Hotels (S/SF, H/Hono, and other Big Names) none had anything on the Dolphin Bay. HOSPITALITY is priceless. #1 in my book. In a good hotel, size doesn't matter. Dan_in_Japan
Alexander families Dolphin Bay Hotel in Hilo,Hi
Warmth and ambience of the hotel and the Alexander Family together with the quiet setting makes this place a MUST STAY. Been there several times for relaxation and business.
We stayed here when doing business in Hilo, because of the kitchenettes and good rates, but we're going back for the sheer pleasure of it. It's just a lovely small place, still run by the family who built it and the tropical jungle garden behind it. Immaculately clean, spacious rooms (for Hilo), and full of the small thoughtful touches you'd expect at a good B&B. It's very quiet and caters to the thoughtful eco-tourist crowd. Do ask for a room with a lanai so you can enjoy the beautiful gardens. It's a short walk to the old downtown, easy for what shopping and nightlife old Hilo offers. We especially liked walking to the Hilo farmers' market (Weds. and Sat. mornings), buying tropical veggies, and cooking them up in our kitchenette using the utensils we picked up from the nearby Chinese grocery. Dolphin Bay is a great place to get a sense of Hilo's gentle local charm, and even feel like part of the place.
The very best in state
My wife and I agree that the Dolphin Bay is the very best hotel in the state of Hawaii! John, the host and owner, is not only one great guy, but can help guests have a great time in Hilo. A must.