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TravelPod Member ReviewsVolcano House Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Wicked and something totally different awe inspiring
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Volcano House Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
My husband and I booked two nights at Volcano House, sight unseen. After we got a look at the tacky, worn condition of the lodge we would've found other accommodation after our first (prepaid) night but decided to stick it out to save time. For $200 a night, our room, supposedly "deluxe" crater view, was a hodgepodge of conflicting fabrics -- not one thing (including carpeting) matched -- a designer's nightmare. The furnishings (admittedly, lovely koa wood) were arranged without care -- for example the bed didn't even line up with the two bedlamps (wall hung) -- and the cords were draped carelessly across the wall to the outlets (tacky, tacky).The most disagreeable factor, however, was the smell -- not cooking bacon odor as others have mentioned. This was a musty, stale urine smell -- intolerable, at any price.I had assumed that "deluxe" meant upgraded from the normal and thus worth the $200 tab. When I inquired after seeing our room, the desk clerk told me the deluxe rooms are bigger. Big deal! Although this is within the national park don't imagine something on the order of the Grand Canyon's El Tovar or Yosemite's Awhwanee Hotel when you picture Volcano House -- there's no comparison. VH is not quaint, nor rustic, and if it was anywhere else, it would probably have been bulldozed long ago. At the very least it needs a major overhaul -- and the help of an interior designer with a good eye. Surely, with its location, it deserves nothing less.My suggestion -- stay at Kilaeua Lodge just outside the park in Volcano village as we will next time -- you'll get more and pay less. The food's better there too.
Rustic is good....this wasn't rustic!
We stayed in the Volcano House in August. the position is very impressive, the food and restaurant service good, but the rest of the hotel vastly over-priced - if it was anywhere else apart from on the rim it would be in trouble!
Perfect place to explore the National Park
We stayed here to be close to the national park since we planned to spend three days exploring it. It was a good decision since the guesthouse is located only a couple of miles from the park's entrance, which was a blessing after a long day of hiking in the park and watching the lava until late at night.The cottage is very pretty, has a fully equipped kitchen and all the amenities you may need. It is located amids huge ferns and banana trees, for the full tropical forest effect including the humidity. It is very humid (they provide a dehumidifier in the cottage) and chilly at night so bring warm sleepwear even in the summer.
Seems to be a love/hate kind of place. If you are from the east coast it is hate, anywhere else it is love, not sure why. The place has it's own charm. Yes it does smell of overcooked bacon, it is from the vapors of the volcano and can be smelled throughout the park. If your kids need TV and video games to survive do not go here, this is for people who enjoy the quiet and can read books for entertainment. It is not near a major or minor shopping area so if you need supplies bring them with you. We enjoyed our 2 night stay and did not see anything dirty or encounter any unfriendly staff.
Quite possibly the worst hotel I've ever stayed in. If it were anywhere but over looking the crater I doubt it would get any business what so ever. The service was horrible, we made our reservations a few months in advance (If only we had known), and when we got there after a 3 hour drive around the island, we find out they were somehow lost. Luckily, after quite some time they were found... but there was no compensation for our lost hours of time. When we finally got into the room, it was just horrible. Thats all I can think of to describe it. The walls were extremely dirty, and the (so- called) bathroom was worse. And i'm surprised no one else has mentioned this, but throughout the hotel there was an extremely strong smell of over- cooked bacon. I would have rather stayed 100 miles away and driven than spending the night there. Not to mention, there was absolutely nothing to do if you were to bring little kids. No TV, radio, game room or anything. The closest thing to entertainment (besides the volcano) would be counting the specks of dirt on the celing.
Volcano isn't enough to save Volcano House
I recently returned from the Big Island and totally agree with New York's view of the Volcano House. While it is a unique experience to stay there the only reason to stay there is the proximity to the Volcano. I supposedly stayed in one of the better rooms, and it is certainly not worth the nearly $200 per night. The room was awful and I found nothing charmingly rustic about it unless you like to see ants crawling around your room. This is rustic charm I can live without! The food in the restaurant was mediocre and while the prices are not outrageous, Sacramento is right, definitely plan ahead and I recommend that your planning include eating somewhere else . I would definitely recommend staying somewhere near the Park to enjoy the unique opportunity it offers but I would not stay at the Volcano House.
I stayed a Volcano House in January of 2002 so maybe it has changed. Maybe it is a bad a NY suggests but that was not my experience. First, understand that it is a Park lodge. It's not Kona Village, it is old and rustic. That is part of the charm. When I stay there, I do so for one reason and one reason only, I am in the heart of the Park. It is close to everything I need to do in the Park and I am willing to sacrifice a few benefits of Kona. Nowhere on earth is there a view such as the back of the building. It is a rare gem. Now, is the food great? No, it is distinctly average but at a reasonable price for Hawaii. Are the accommodation first rate. No, except for some of the newer view rooms, they are average NP lodge rooms, nothing special about the room. Does the place shut at 8:00 p.m.? Probably but that never prevented me from enjoying the fire and planning ahead for snacks and beverages. There is no other place that gives me such immediate access. So while NY is not misleading you, understand what you are getting. A reasonably price room on the lip of one of most incredible places on earth. If you are not interested in the National Park experience, do a day drive to the Park and spend a few hours. If you are into nature and willing to sacrifice some luxury and comfort, this is the place for a day or two. I would rate VH as average except the location and oh, what a location.
Horrible! Horrible! Horrible!
We stayed here one night and it was one night too many! The room was terrible -- half the lights did not work, there were tiles missing from the bathroom floor and the
bed was not comfortable. I can't believe we paid nearly $200 for this! The restaurant is terrible -- service is slow until they want to clear your plate even though you are still obviously eating -- but I'm sure it's because they are anxious to leave since the restaurant has limited hours. If you go to see the lava flow at night which is the only reason to stay there and you get back to the hotel there is no place to get a snack or beverage past 9:00 P.M. -- although the person at the desk was "kind enough" to provide us with a paper cup with water
and two small ice cubes!
The staff is neither frindly nor helpful. Indeed, one gets the impression that they are laughing because you were foolish enough to stay there!
The only positive about staying here is the convenience to the Park. However, there are other options and I highly recommend that one explore them -- such as -- B&B's in Volcano Village (one mile away from the Park) or hotels in Hilo (a short distance from the Park). I would never stay here again and except for the fact that it is now something to laugh about it has no redeeming features. For the record my view of this hotel seemed to be the collective view of other people who were staying there that we met.
Romantic and educational
For views, convenient access to the park,
and enough privacy for romantics, Volcano
House is a delight. Rooms are spacious and
modern, though not elegant. Everything
needed after an adventure-filled day in the
park is available without getting back in the
car. The friendly hotel staff is as warm and
helpful as the park rangers. Spend the $$ for
a crater view room.
This hotel is a bit hard to find as most travel agents do not list it. It can be found on the internet and booked directly. The hotel has been around for a very long time. Mark Twain stayed here. it has been renovated and updated but still has that old time charm. There are no TV's or radios in the rooms, who needs them with a room overlooking the caldra of an active volcano! We stayed in the best room they have, it was 185 dollars a night and well worth it. The room is decorated with Koa wood furniture. The resturant is top notch and affordable. The reception area has a fireplace and they have had a continuous fire going since 1848. If you want to do the park justice stay here and use this hotel as a base of operations for exploring.
TripAdvisor Reviews Volcano House Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Travel Blogs from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
... br style="line-height: 21.2999992370605px;">Out in the park, we followed the lava tube trail which led us to... a car park, so we thought we might have missed the turning for it along the path and headed back the way we'd come to have another look. There were no other turnings off the main path, that we could see, so we admitted defeat and jumped in the car to head to the next viewpoint. On our way there, we passed a sign for the lava tube, which was directly ...
... crowd. Each person only got 10 minutes looking at the sight then they had to move along. The sight has since cooled down though steam vents are still present. People can go hiking down in this now canyon and you can even see the marks the waves made on the side walls.
After that, we headed to a visitors center before making our way to the main crater. Someone said gift shop so I was all over that. But the best part of that stop was that the cashier said "Aloha" ...
... love and peace bumper stickers etc. It's was getting so hot in the midday sun it was a blessed relief go sit in a chill out zone at the back of a little zen like shop to drink iced herbal tea served by a barefoot tattooed woman. I loved Hilo immediately and if I ever come back I'll chose to stay in a more basic b&b on the side of the island.
The Volcano National Park is a 3/4 hour drive uphill out of Hilo which was great as the altitude increased ...
... the bottom you could feel the salt water spray as the waves crashed into the cliffs. We took the short(but hot) hike to where the lava crossed the road. It was very interesting to see the youngest piece of the earth and hard to imagine it was only formed 11 years ago.
After a wonderful visit to Volcano National Park, we made our way back up the mountain and headed back home to Hilo.
What's the most interesting part of nature you've ever witnessed? Leave a comment below.
... He had vanilla ice cream with Carmel sauce for dessert. We came back to the room after that, I wrote a couple more postcards and ordered our breakfast for tomorrow, and figured out what other trips I might want to take. Worked on my sudoku... And we are going up dancing again tonight! We leave Hawaii at 11:00 PM tonight. Went dancing and met some new people. I handed out my "new" business cards. Closed up the bar at 1:00! Walked 19067 steps ...