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“Quiet and quaint or sketchy and worn?”

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Wild Ginger Inn Hotel & Hostel
Ranked #3 of 11 Speciality Lodging in Hilo
Aptos, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Quiet and quaint or sketchy and worn?”
Reviewed 30 October 2007

My husband and I had been on the Kona side for 6 days, but since we we're flying out of Hilo at 8am, decided to find a place there. The Wild Ginger Inn was recommended to us by the property manager of the cottage we stayed at in Honaunau. I checked out the website, it looked good and was the cheapest, so I booked for one night.

Our immediate thoughts upon arrival were "What a dump, let's get out of here". Its old and worn down. The furnishings were ok, and the bed sank down a little, but I'd say the room was pretty clean. Tall people, beware - my husband hit his head entering/exiting the bathroom several times. Our room was on the upper level, with the window surrounded by bamboo trees. The rain and geckos were extremely loud, but I actually liked that.

This definitely is not the place for people used to luxury hotels, and I think the website advertises that correctly. Overall, I just wasn't comfortable there (in safety's sense), and will probably stay on the Kona side next time.

  • Liked — Price, off the beaten path
  • Disliked — Old and worn
  • Stayed September 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank divergrrl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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166 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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English first
Dayton Ohio
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 7 March 2007

This was my 5th time at the Wild Ginger Inn, and found it to be clean as a pin, no bugs in sight, not even an ant! New owners, this place has changed hands several times over the past few years,but they were very nice and found me a room even though I walked in without a reservation on a Saturday afternoon. Sunday morning as I was about to leave my rental car had a flat tire, and a young man who worked there had a compresser and filled up my tire for me and would not take a penny for his efforts. I am planning on taking my friend from Canada there for a night when she gets here from Canada. Nothing fancy, but it has a large lanai to sit and read, look out at the ocean or the banana trees in the garden. It has a microwave, a small refridgerator, It is laid back and more like old Hawaii. The only place I stay when I make that drive around the island.

Stayed March 2007
Helpful?
1 Thank travelinglady2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 26 May 2006

I stayed here May 14, 2006
Accomodations initialy appear to be spartan, but VERY clean.
However, I woke up in middle of night to see a VERY LARGE
cockroach on the table next to my bed!

It was what are known as Palmetto bugs in Florida-i.e. at least 3 inches in size.
YUCK!
It appears the previous resident had left crumbs on the table.

The table had never been cleaned off. Thus, cockroach. I killed it on the floor(again YUCK)
It was 3am, so I went to bed.
In the morning I discovered a horde of ants devouring the cockroach. YUCK.

The hotel appears to be undergoing renovations so perhaps this wont happen again.
However I did not feel very safe walking to this location from downtown Hilo
at 10pm at night. It was deserted and kinda scary with homeless people about.

What I liked: Very tropical-its on a ravine filled with happy frogs
and GIANT 3 story high bamboo that were scraping the rooftop all night long.

The courtyard has bananna trees.
The room and the lounge area catches VERY nice breezes and there are hammocks
to hang out in.

It was cheap and conveniently located.(60$, 4 blocks from Cafe Pesto)
If I couldnt find anything else as cheap and I needed to stay downtown,
I might stay here again.

  • Stayed May 2006, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 5 March 2006

My husband & I have stayed at this inn several times over the past 10 years. Yes, it's gone through ownership changes and is constantly getting work done... the new owners & their family are working hard. We enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and good times "talking story" at the inn. We had no problems with dirt or bugs (altho we are from Hawaii so we know what to expect if something does show up!). My only disappointment was trying to get a hot shower in the middle of the day when (I guess?) laundry pulled the hot water away from the room... I had no problem getting a hot shower later. I would not give up the congeniality and affordability for a predictable,lonely and sterile hotel.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 23 January 2006

This "hotel" needs to be demolished. Whilst the location is good the entire place is run down, full of bugs, beat up and has a "mouldy" air to it. I booked the room based on the recommendation in "Lonely Planet" and as a result will view all Lonely Planet recommendations with a jaded eye from now on.

Do yourself a favour and pay more to stay in a decent establishment. Wild Ginger is at the lowest end of the budget scale and will depress even the most tollerant traveller.

  • Stayed January 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
4 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Hilo hotels

Canada
Level 5 Contributor
44 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 135 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 January 2006

I stayed at the Wild Ginger Inn with my mother in June of 2005. I heard of this place from my Lonely Planet guidebook and, after checking out their website (which isn't updated, by the way -- the peacock didn't stick around when the owners took over -- and I really don't blame it!) and looking at cautionary tales posted on this very website about the place, I decided to give the Wild Ginger Inn a try. I'm all about adventure & staying at places that are basic -- so long as they are still reasonably confortable and offer an unique experience. Well, my mother and I definitely got more than we bargained for! Here are our thoughts:

SOME POSITIVE THINGS ABOUT THE INN:
1) The garden is extraordinary! Mom really loved having her smoke & chilling out in the garden. Unfortunately, things have gotten a little overgrown and we didn't feel comfortable chilling out out there for a long period of time. The open air gathering room just off the office is also a funky hang-out spot. I recommend a nap in the hammock.
2) The new owners are very friendly, personable, and were more than willing to help us out when we decided to cut our stay short. (We had pre-paid for four nights and only stayed for one).
3) There is a certain charm about the Inn. It's in a great location (albeit a walk from the town centre)with Hilo Bay on one side and a lush ravine on the other. Unfortunately, the Inn has degraded so much that most of the charm is gone. The sound of the frogs at night is amazing but, if you need things a little more quiet, don't expect to be able to close your window!

WHY I WOULD NEVER STAY THERE AGAIN:
1) I feel like you definitely get what you pay for at the Wild Ginger, and thankfully we didn't pay much! Our room was quaint but damp because our widnows wouldn't close. The bathroom was very sub-standard, with grime in every corner, a floor desperately needing to be redone, and little bugs marching across the linoleum as I sat (reluctantly) on the toilet. On the more positive side, the fridge in our room worked well and the bedding was definitely clean (albeit damp).
2) The historic plantation that makes up the Inn is made out of wood. What do termites like to eat again? Oh yeah! Basically, my mother and I were run out of our room by a swarm of winged termites. They came in through the bathroom window, attracted apparently by the glow of our humble television screen. I left our room to go and speak with the manager (my mother was terrified at this point), and was greeted by an absolute swarm (I'm talking thousands of them) of termites flying around. The manager was very empathetic and agreed to let us stay in a different room for the night. We checked out another room, which was also inundated with termites. Finally, we found a room that was reasonable. I grabbed the keys, help my mother to our new room and we holed up for the night, fearful of the creepy-crawlies around us. Did I mention the spiders, crickets and humongous cockroaches yet?
3) We packed up all our stuff and left the Inn first thing the following morning. The owners were helpful & refunded us fully. I'm very annoyed, however, that they didn't tell us more about their termite problem. The Manager asked me if we had been warned, because, apparently, from 6 to 8pm we were supposed to have all our lights off to avoid attracting a swarm of termnites to our room. We were told nothing when we checked in and I felt that this was very poor service!

In conclusion, I would never stay at the Wild Ginger Inn again. I wish the owners luck with their renovations and upkeep and, hopefully they can deal with their facility issues and restore the romantic charm that once made this historic sugar plantation lodging a unique place to stay. Although a little grungy itself, we generally foiund Hilo to be a fun and interesting place to visit and would definitely return.

Whatever you decide, I hope that you have an awesome time visiting the amazing Big Island!

  • Stayed June 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank ChrisDaberer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Jose, CA
Level 2 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 November 2005

After reading the reviews on this site, I decided to give this place a try. There were some good things about the experience, and some not so great things. The continental breakfast was quaint and tasty. The fruit they serve is all grown on the property. The gardens are quite nice. I loved hearing the sounds of the insects at night when the storms came in and rained on the town.

On the other side of things, it wasn't so great. To be frank, the place is falling apart. Our pillows were covered in plastic, the rooms were quite dirty. The bathroom was ancient and had all these different patches of tile and linoleum to hide holes and cracks. I know the place had a change in ownership in spring 2005. If the owners spend a bit of money to remodel the rooms and make them nice, they will have a fantastic family style inn providing all the charms of non touristy Hawaii.

  • Stayed August 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank july09bride
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Wild Ginger Inn Hotel & Hostel

Property: Wild Ginger Inn Hotel & Hostel
Address: 100 Puueo St, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720-2428
Region: United States > Hawaii > Island of Hawaii > Hilo
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 11 Speciality Lodging in Hilo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2 star — Wild Ginger Inn Hotel & Hostel 2*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Wild Ginger Inn is centrally located in Hilo, which is on the east side of the Big Island. One of the most affordable accommodations in town with free Wi-Fi and Hawaiian Style Continental Breakfast. We offer many different levels of comfort including regular hotel rooms, indoor and outdoor hostels (private and dorm), and tenting. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Wild Ginger Inn b&b
Wild Ginger Hotel Hilo
Wild Ginger Inn Hilo
Wild Ginger Inn Hotel & Hostel Hilo, Hawaii

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