The Palms Cliff House Inn
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Historical Traveler Reviews The Palms Cliff House Inn Honomu
I must first say that the Palms Cliff House is just as gorgeous in person as it is on their website. The house, the grounds, the rooms, and the view are all absolutely beautiful. Unfortunately, we were unable to fully appreciate or enjoy the beauty because it was SO HOT!
We stayed for 3 days in September, 2004. I know September is not the coolest time of year in Hawaii, but we specifically chose a room with air conditioning for that very reason. We arrived in the mid-afternoon and our room was literally an oven. They had not turned on the a/c or even opened a window. For $300+ a night, I would have expected them to prepare the room for us. We had been driving all day (from Kona) and stopped to do some hiking near the falls, so we were looking forward to resting in a cool, comfortable room. Instead, it was at least 90 degrees in the room (no exaggeration) and even with the air conditioning on full blast, 24/7, it never got comfortable in the ENTIRE three days. Yes, the room was luxurious, but it was a joke just to look at the gorgeous bed, fireplace, sheepskin rug, and private Jacuzzi tub when it is sweltering! Only at about 3:00 am did the room start to feel cool, but as soon as the sun came up, we were back to the sauna conditions.
It was really too bad, because as I said, everything was beautiful and I so wanted to enjoy it. We tried calling the office for help, but they just said something about how it was the hottest time of the day, and to try opening a window along with the a/c. Not much help. No apology or anything. No calls or visits later to check on us. Again, for $300+ a night, I would expect the owners to be a little more attentive. They really should upgrade the a/c beyond the small unit. If that is not possible, they should either charge less (a LOT less) in the hottest months or even close down until it cools off.
As much as I would like to, I can't recommend this place.
Lovely setting; cold hosts - you can do better
My husband and I stayed at the Palms on our trip to the Big Island last year. The rooms were lovely and the setting is amamzing. The place was full, but very quiet and relaxing.
The hosts, however, don't really seem to be interested in any guest interaction (this could be a good thing, but wasn't). We had virtually no interaction with John. His wife never bothered to introduce herself over the three days we were there. She was out on the patio during breakfast, interacting with the other guests... Maybe she didn't like our attire?
We also thought the breakfasts were very good, but be warned, the portions aren't large and you are NEVER offered seconds of anything.
That said we had planned on going back because of the setting; we'd get our warm fuzzies elsewhere. However, we only had two nights in Hilo (and they were weekdays), and even though we were returning guests,and the rooms were open, the owners would not be flexible in their pricing. (You get a discount at 3 days). They are clearly in it to make money. There are other, better choices out there.
One of the very best!
Whale watching, gorgeous view, excellent breakfast, unintrusive but friendly owners are some of the things we enjoyed about the Palms Cliff House. I liked taking my shoes off. It is a Hawaiian custom and made me feel like I was visiting a very special place. It is very close to the rainforest (take the scenic route to Hilo!) and an hours drive from Volcano in one direction and Waimea in the other. Great location, beautiful rooms and last but not least, an awesome cooking class!
We will go back as often as we can!
We recently stayed two nights at The Palms Cliff House. We originally were booked at the Four Seasons Hualalai for all but the last day of our stay on the Big Island. At the time I booked hotel accommodations, the Four Seasons unfortunately did not have a room available for the last day, my birthday, which is during Christmas week. After reading good reviews of The Palms Cliff House on Tripadvisor, we decided to check out of the Four Seasons early and stay at The Palms Cliff House. Much to our surprise, the Four Seasons told us upon check-in that the manager had been able to acquire a room for us for my birthday. We told them that we would be checking out early to spend some time on the other side of the Island. The receptionist expressed that they were sorry that we would not be staying for my birthday. The Palms Cliff House has a check-in time limited to 3-5PM. Since we would be arriving late, we called ahead and made arrangements for the key to be left for us. We assumed we would meet the host/hostess sometime later during our stay. We never met them. The only person who spoke to us during our stay was the woman who served us breakfast (merely to explain what was being served) and I'm not sure if she was an employee or perhaps she was the hostess. At arrival, our key was left in an envelope with a sheet of rules (e.g., if you smoke...$250 fine, check out no later than 10am, breakfast is served between 8-8:20). A simple note expressing "Happy Birthday" would have been a nice addition (at the time of booking, we made it clear that we were coming in order to celebrate a major birthday). In contrast, the Four Seasons focused on my birthday at check in. The following are some additional things that disappointed us: 1) We didn't expect to be nickel and dimed, which you'd expect at a budget place where you pay for everything extra, but not at a place where you're paying $300/night (e.g., the safe costs a quarter to use). 2) The room was not cleaned thoroughly...soap spots left on mirror, used wash cloths left on shower floor. 3) Breakfast rule of 20 minute service only. We arrived promptly at 8am on the dining lanai but since the cook made one or two breakfasts at a time, we were served well after 8:20. I could care less about being served late but for the hotel's 20 minute service rule. Why inconvenience the guests for the convenience of the owners. In addition, we noticed guests left their shoes outside and were barefoot at breakfast. Since we never met the owners, we were never explained the shoe rule and this is one rule that was not mentioned in the rule sheet. Having lived many years in Japan, I understand the concept of taking shoes off inside someone's home. But, in Japan, the hostess provides slippers to guests to wear inside on non-tatami floors. And one is never expected to go shoeless on outdoor patio surfaces. Accordingly, I didn't understand why shoes were taken off to go eat breakfast on the outside Lanai. Our past experiences at Bed & Breakfast type establishments entailed friendly, personalized service. I am sorry to say we received friendlier and more personalized service at the Four Seasons, a very large hotel, than at The Palms Cliff House. To end on a positive note, we had a beautiful view of the bay from our room and we did see a whale on the morning we left.
My husband and I stayed at the Palms Cliff House December 2003, and it was the most beautiful place I have ever stayed. The views were amazing, the rooms were gorgeous, and very clean. The breakfasts were worth waking up early for, as we sat overlooking the ocean. We stayed here six nights, and wish we would have stayed longer. We will definitely be making a trip back here as soon as possible.
Comfort and Luxury at the Palms Cliff House
My wife and I just got back from a short stay at the Palms Cliff House. What a beautiful, comfortable place! We stayed in one of the 2nd floor rooms, which included an air conditioner which I feel is necessary, due to the humidity (first floor rooms don't have air conditioning). The room was beautiful, the view and grounds were gorgeous and the bed and bedding were tops! The amenities were well thought out: small in-room fridge, battery lanterns in room for walks to the hot tub, and a very complete DVD collection. There is only one sitting time for breakfast (8 am) which is a negative for early risers. The only thisn I would have changed, would to have stayed a couple of days longer. The 4-mile scenic drive just south of the Palms is not to be missed.
-Kevin & JoAnn
Don't dirty the carpet
When we walked up, there was a sign saying Mahalo for Removing Your Shoes. So, we sat down and removed our shoes. We knocked on the door, and the owner was wearing his shoes. I guess he just doesn't trust his paying guests. THe rooms have white carpet and are fancy. Breakfast was delicious, but I constantly felt like I was imposing on the owners.
We Loved It!
This was a lovely stay in Hawaii. The Inn is gorgeous, the grounds lovely, and arranging for that whale to flip its tail thru the bay was outstanding! They could be chefs in a 5-star Hotel. The meals were not only good, they were downright beautiful! The owners are incredibly special and beautiful people and they have touched a special place in our hearts. Meeting other guests was so much fun, sharing our adventures and hearing about their's. So much to see and do - our stay was far too short.
Too stuffy and formal for Hawaii
Well, first let me say this, as far as bed and breakfasts go, this is probably as good as it gets. Unfortunatly, my wife and I discoved that we aren't B & B kind of people. The place was very nice but the over all impression we got was to whisper when speaking, don't touch anything, don't speak to the other guest. It was so un-Hawaiin compared to the other places we visited (Kona Village resort, Hana Bay Ranch Hotel). It is a very provincial environment. But if that's your thing, go for it. The brreakfeast is very good and not to be missed. However, bring your own ice beacue they don't have any to speak of. And Hilo is economically depressed. But drive further south to Kapoho for some amazing Lava Pools! But Most Important.. Do Not Book it through Hawaii's Best B & B!!! They over chared us and would not give us a refund. Book it direct witht the Owners if possible.
The Palms Cliff House is perhaps one of the most beautiful places we've ever stayed and we like to stay in nice places. The Inn sits on the edge of a cliff overlooking the Pacific about 13 miles north of Hilo.
We stayed in two different rooms over 7 days. The owner keeps the place emaculate and seems to be continually working to keep the place up to very high standards. The rooms are spacious, tastefully decorated, with luxurious king sized beds, a fine TV/DVD system, roomy baths. The rooms all have ocean views. To top it all off, excellent gourmet breakfasts with fresh fruit served on the lanai, again overlooking the ocean. We loved our stay. - Rogard and Sharon
TripAdvisor Reviews The Palms Cliff House Inn Honomu
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