Disappointed A review of The Palms Cliff House Inn
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.