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“Must at least stay there at least one night”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Volcano House

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Volcano House
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Level Contributor
71 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“Must at least stay there at least one night”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 July 2014

If you are a first time to the area, I recommend staying at least one night at the Volcano House to enjoy the night time scenery of the Kilauea Caldera! I did splurge and booked the Crater View room. Yes, it is a bit pricey, but for one night worth the experience to see the caldera glowing in the evening and then to wake up to see the steam coming out in the morning. My husband and I enjoyed our overnight. We really enjoyed our views for dinner and then again at breakfast. We were able to enjoy the hiking trails and get an early start since we were already up there. Enjoy going to the Jaggar Museum patio at night (it is open even after the Museum closes) to get a closer view of the caldera glow.
The hotel staff has been very pleasant and made our stay very enjoyable! There is no A/C but they do provide a fan.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Travel206Girl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
David M, General Manager at Volcano House, responded to this review, 16 July 2014
Aloha Travel206Girl,

Thank you for choosing to stay at Volcano House on your recent trip to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. It's great to hear that you enjoyed the glow from the Caldera in the evening and the view of the steam during the day!

I'm also glad to hear that you found our staff very peasant and that they were able to make your stay very enjoyable!

Mahalo,

David MacIlwraith
General Manager
Hawaii Volcanoes Lodge Company
dmacilwraith@hawaiivolcanohouse.com
808.756.9625
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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802 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (283)
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Ede, Nederland
Level Contributor
69 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 July 2014 via mobile

The hotel is on a beautiful location, right in the park (across the visitor center) with a view on the caldera. In the evening you can see the glow from the lava. Unfortunately not all rooms were looking out on the caldera, and our room was at the parking lot side.

Rooms were okay. Bed good, amenities simple but sufficient. The room lacked a fridge, and there also was no public ice machine. Since we were traveling with some food, we were required to ask bar personel for ice to keep goods fresh.
Also there was no airconditioning in the rooms, though during our stay the weather didn't require any more artificial cooling.

Breakfast (not included) in the hotel is GREAT. Best omelettes and waffles ever! Also there are two nice little giftshops in the hotel.

Stayed July 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank RuudKok
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
David M, General Manager at Volcano House, responded to this review, 16 July 2014
Aloha RuudKok,

Thank you for providing feedback on your stay at Volcano House. I'm excited to read that you found our omelets and waffles are the best ever! I'm also pleased that you found our rooms comfortable and our view amazing.

It's true we don't have public ice machines, but we provide ice whenever you require it. A simple call to the front desk and we will gladly fill your ice bucket or cooler for you.

It's also true that we don't have air conditioning. This fact is advertised on the rooms page of our website and in our two pre stay letters.

The average high temperature in Volcano, Hawaii runs between 66.9 degrees and 72.4 degrees Fahrenheit with average lows in the low to mid fifties. At an elevation of nearly 4000 feet, most guests are often surprised how cool it can be in the Park and that is why we've installed new heaters in all of our rooms. We do have fans available in all rooms to our guests that may require a bit of additional cooling.

Thanks again for the feedback!

Mahalo,

David MacIlwraith
General Manager
Hawaii Volcanoes Lodge Company
dmacilwraith@hawaiivolcanohouse.com
808.756.9625
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sunnyvale, California
Level Contributor
34 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 July 2014

Newly renovated and recently re-opened this is one cool (or maybe hot) spot. Most rooms have large glass windows that face the volcano. We could see in the not too far distance the red glow of lava reflective off the rising steam. The rooms are larger than expected (originally built in the 1920s) and very clean and comfortable. No TVs so get out and enjoy nature. The food at the Rim restaurant was amazing. During dinner they turn off the lights and you can watch the glow from the crater just outside the windows. It isn't cheap but should be on your bucket list.

Room Tip: Make sure you as for crater side!!
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank KonaBoyCA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
David M, General Manager at Volcano House, responded to this review, 16 July 2014
Aloha KonaBoyCA,

Mahalo for taking the time to write a great review about your recent stay at Volcano House, located in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed our rooms and found dinner in the Rim amazing!

Thanks again and safe travels!

Mahalo,

David MacIlwraith
General Manager
Hawaii Volcanoes Lodge Company
dmacilwraith@hawaiivolcanohouse.com
808.756.9625
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Waianae, Hawaii
Level Contributor
23 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 July 2014

I booked a room about 2 months ago which makes me wonder why I got the room I did.

From what I've read there is no need for AC (true, quite chilly) nor do the rooms have t.v.s as they wanted their guest to enjoy the view of the crater. Problem was that my window overlooked the parking lot.

There is free parking but one has to pay to get into the national park to get to the hotel and parking is limited as those outside come in for dinner.

There is no elevator; my room was up three flight of stairs and down the hall to the end. Difficult if one suffers from sciatica and trying to lug up luggage.

The restaurant needs reservations for dinner. Just don't try coming early or they will make you wait. (There was a group of people who only had to wait 5 minutes and it appeared that they didn't have a reservation at all.) Our reservation was for 6pm and we came there at 5:30pm on the fourth of July. The restaurant was half empty but we were told to come back in 20 minutes. We waited 25 minutes just to be sure and the hostess didn't recognize us even though she called the party that came after us by name. This ruined the whole experience for us but the waiter was alright and the food good so we gave our normal 25% tip.

Our last day there, the 6th of July, we decided to eat the buffet breakfast. Unfortunately a bunch of people were waiting as the staff wasn't ready (it was pass 7am when the buffet was supposed to begin.)

The bathroom was ridiculously tiny. Honestly, I wasn't given an option when I was booking the room for an upgrade. I would have gladly paid more for a room with a view (which is the whole reason I booked with Volcano House). And my husband would have appreciated a bathroom that he could turn around and move about without bumping into something.

The only reason I didn't give this a total one star was Chantelle the front desk clerk and Lily the housekeeping staff. These ladies were so helpful, giving us suggestions as to where we could find things in Hilo. Oh and the omelet chef was great. He remembered us from the previous morning and asked if we wanted the same kind of omelet or did we want to try something new.

I had visited the Volcano House years ago and remembered the restaurant and the gorgeous view with awe. I jumped at the chance to stay there for my vacation. Very disappointed.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a view of the crater. Make sure to use the heater. Be prepared for a very tiny...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Victoria T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
David M, General Manager at Volcano House, responded to this review, 7 July 2014
Aloha Victoria T,

I’m glad to see that Volcano House is your first TripAdvisor review. It sounds like you enjoyed Shantel and Lily as well as our breakfast cook – I’ll let them know you appreciated their level of service. It does sound like we didn’t meet your expectations on some items – I apologize for this. Since you had a number of issues, I’d like to address each separately:

As our restaurant is quite popular and books up early, we do recommend dinner reservations. We communicate this in our pre-stay letters and we also call all future hotel guests three days prior to their arrival if they haven’t made reservations to ensure they get a table for dinner (if we have a contact number and we are able to connect to them). I’m sorry we weren’t able to seat you earlier than your scheduled 6:00 pm reservation time. Our reservation system is set up with two hours between a table’s seatings and we have a limited number of tables per server in order to provide a quality experience to each and every guest. We also space out tables for each server so that we can provide you with an adequate amount of time so that you don’t ever feel rushed.

The breakfast buffet is open each day from 7:00 am – 10:00 pm. I reviewed the security camera footage from the 6th and talked to the servers and we did open on time. There were even guests who came in before the official opening time.

I looked into your reservation and am glad to see that you were able to take advantage of our low Kama’aina rates for Hawaiian residents. We advertise three types of rooms on our website: standard view, crater view and deluxe crater view. You booked a standard view room which doesn’t overlook the crater. It is on the parking lot side of the building and you see both the parking lot and further out the Ohia forest. I’m sorry we didn’t do a better job communicating this to you and that you didn’t see the other options for rooms. I’ll work on ways to better explain our views.

Since we are located inside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, it’s true you have to pay the entrance fee to get to our lodge. We communicate this in both our confirmation letter and on our pre-stay letter. I’ll look at other ways that we can better communicate this to our guests.

It’s also true that we don’t have an elevator in our lodge and it is 20 steps to the second floor (with 2 landings). I looked into your reservation and saw that you were an early check-in (check-in is at 3:00 pm, but your room was ready early, so you were able to check in at 12:55 pm). Our bellman comes on at 1:00, so I apologize no bell service was offered. In these situations, the front desk is trained to offer bell service through our houseman. I will work with the agent who checked you in to make certain they understand this for future guests.

I apologize again for letting you down and hope that you will reach to me so that we may discuss any additional concerns further. Please find my contact information below.

Mahalo,

David MacIlwraith
General Manager
Hawaii Volcanoes Lodge Company
dmacilwraith@hawaiivolcanohouse.com
808.756.9625
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St. Louis, MO
Level Contributor
95 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 July 2014

How can it get much better than to lie in your bed at night and see the Southern Cross and the glow of the caldera. The setting is nothing short of spectacular. Besides the views from the hotel itself, the location puts you in easy access to all the park has to offer including the Jaggar Museum, the Chain of Craters Road and the best hiking trails. (Kilauea Iki is a hike not to be missed.) The hotel has been recently updated and is attractive and comfortable, within the restraints of it's historic and historical limitations. The bathrooms are small. The rooms will be cooled by your open windows. Instead of these being liabilities, they help you connect with the history of the building and park. And, if the lack of a television in your room is an issue, try looking at the thousands of stars that are visible, or watching the ever-changing glow of the caldera, or listening to the sounds of the night, or taking in the live acoustical entertainment in the family-friendly lounge.
Service at the hotel is where they lose their five star rating, as it is uneven. The young man who checked us in on the afternoon of June 27 was efficient and very friendly. The woman who checked us out two days later would hardly look up and never gave a smile. The man at the omelet station was incredible, keeping the line moving quickly as he made two omelets and two waffles at a time. Our waitress at dinner, while efficient enough, lacked the flair of service that should go with
the linens, menu and prices. The young man in housekeeping that we encountered more than once in the hallway, always greeted us with a smile and hello. If the hotel and restaurant could get all their employees to up to the same level of service, Volcano House would earn a five every time.

Room Tip: The second floor offers spectacular views of the Caldera.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank loveadventure4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
David M, General Manager at Volcano House, responded to this review, 7 July 2014
Aloha loveadventure4,

Thank you for the great review of Volcano House. It sounds like you had a wonderful time here and really understood that we are a historic lodge located in a National Park and offer a unique experience to our guests. I'm glad you enjoyed our live entertainment in Uncle George's lounge. This is free to all to enjoy on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

I'm sorry that you found our level of service uneven, I'll let the afternoon front desk clerk, the breakfast cook and our houseman know hat you enjoyed their service. We are in the process of providing all front of house employees with extensive training on working with our guests. Most have completed four hours on interpretive information about Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and next is training to help elevate our level of customer service that we provide to our guests.

Thank you for the feedback!

Mahalo,

David MacIlwraith
General Manager
Hawaii Volcanoes Lodge Company
dmacilwraith@hawaiivolcanohouse.com
808.756.9625




Mahalo,

David MacIlwraith
General Manager
Hawaii Volcanoes Lodge Company
dmacilwraith@hawaiivolcanohouse.com
808.756.9625
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
Level Contributor
51 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 July 2014

I love national park hotels. They may not be the most modern or comfortable, but you can't beat their historic vibe, interesting architectural details, and ambience. This one is no different. Where else can you sit in comfort and watch a volcano glowing red hot not a mile away? Amazing! I didn't stay in the lodge--all sold out--so I stayed in a camper cabin that is part of the lodging. It's four miles away, and you have to have some basic gear, but they provided very comfortable beds, bedding, and towels. The cabin is half mile from Jaggar Museum and night viewing of the crater; and is surrounded by forest so you wake up to bird song.

My only complaint: they were breaking in a new key card system and I had to go back several times (4 miles each way) to get two keys that worked. They should bring the new keys out to you if they can't fix the system. Old-fashioned keys might be a lot better!

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 123carolyn123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
David M, General Manager at Volcano House, responded to this review, 7 July 2014
Aloha 123carolyn123,

I appreciate you taking the time to write a recent review of your stay with us at our cabins. I also appreciate you sharing your experience of the lodge and the iconic view of the glow from the crater - it is indeed magnificent!

I'm sorry that you were on of our guests that experienced issues with our card system. It's been in use for a year, but we believe we may have had a bad batch of blank keys. We had a couple of days of all sorts of lock issues out of the ordinary. I agree, we shouldn't have made you drive back and forth. We've actually started a system were our night porter can drive new keys over to guests so that we don't have this issue again.

Thank you again for the wonderful feedback!

Mahalo,

David MacIlwraith
General Manager
Hawaii Volcanoes Lodge Company
dmacilwraith@hawaiivolcanohouse.com
808.756.9625




Mahalo,

David MacIlwraith
General Manager
Hawaii Volcanoes Lodge Company
dmacilwraith@hawaiivolcanohouse.com
808.756.9625
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
78 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 July 2014

We ended up at the Volcano House after a terrible experience with a VRBO home rental. When you hear the horror stories about dark, dirty and mildewed rental homes - believe them. After we escaped the rental, we decided to try the Volcano House as we wanted to stay in the park. It has definite pros and cons.

Pros:
1. Location can't be beat. The view of the volcano was outstanding. Of the 3 nights we stayed, it was clear as a bell 2 of the 3. Only one night was cloudy/rainy.
2. The historic aspect of the hotel was charming.
3. They have a cookie happy hour at 6:30 every night. We missed it one night, so the front desk manager was kind enough to set aside 2 cookies for us upon our return. That's customer service!
4. Bike rental is free and they are in good shape.
5. Several of the main hiking trails end up right in the backyard of the Volcano House.
6. Wide selection at the bar.
7. They have board games and a lending library.
8. If you just can't stand not having a TV, they have loaner iPads. Just ask at the front desk.

Cons:
1. It is a bit pricey for what you get.
2. We stayed in room 11 and we could smell the burning wood from the fireplace below day and night. Made it feel a bit like we were living above a BBQ restaurant.
3. There's not much of a cross breeze in the rooms. If we were to open the door, we would have been cool as a cucumber, but who wants to sleep with their hotel door standing wide open?
4. Restaurant food is overpriced for the quality and offerings.
5. The bathrooms are TINY. Shower only. I'm 5'2" and I couldn't stretch my arms out all the way on either side.

So overall, we enjoyed our stay. It was a HUGE step up from the crappy rental home we started in, but I do still feel it is a bit overpriced. Just know what you are in for and you'll enjoy your stay.

Room Tip: TIPS: 1. Ask for a room in the main building on the wall facing the volcano. 2. Ask for a room a...
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank StorytellerGal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Volcano House

Property: Volcano House
Address: Crater Rim Dr, PO Box 53, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Island of Hawaii, HI 96718
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Hawaii > Island of Hawaii > Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Volcano House 2.5*
Number of rooms: 43
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Volcano House is the only hotel located within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and is perched on the rim of Kilauea's Halemaumau crater. The historic Volcano House Hotel has long captured the imagination of visitors from all over the world with its iconic location, rich cultural legacy, and warm Hawaiian hospitality. Drawing upon a storied history dating back to 1846, Volcano House Hotel is now re-imagined for a new era with updated rooms, a restaurant and lounge serving Pacific Rim fare, and retail shops. Come experience the best Hawaii Island has to offer. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Volcano House Hotel Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Volcano Hotel
Volcano House Hawaii/Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

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