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“Basic Accomodation”
Review of Pakalana Inn

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Pakalana Inn
Ranked #10 of 18 Hilo B&B and Inns
Reviewed 1 October 2013

We found the place to be basically basic. Neat, clean and tidy. I use the term basic because if comparing it to some of the Basic hotels brands like Holiday Inn Express or Hampton Inn, even comparing on B & B scale it has below that in terms of service and décor.
There is no front desk and no one to great you when you arrive regardless of time. We were given a pass code to access the building and our room with our reservation confirmation. All the rooms are up a set of stairs. The inn only consists of 6 rooms. We stayed in room 5.
The building doesn’t have central air. When we entered out room it was stifling hot. There was a portable A/C unit which we turned on. The unit it took hours for the room to cool off. The air filter on the unit was BLACK and clogged. After cleaning it off, the unit worked much better. I have similar portable A/C units at my home so I knew how they operated.

Room 5 consists of 2 double beds, bathroom, with a small kitchenette (microwave, fridge, coffee maker for which the supplies were not restocked from previous occupants use) and a connecting door to the adjoining room. We didn't hear or see any other guests during our stay, so either the noise insulation between rooms is really good or we were the only guests. Room 5 overlooks the main street with a view of the park. We didn't notice any noise coming from the street at night.
There was a big velvet living room chair in the center of the room which had seen better days as well as a small table and chairs. The curtains were threadbare and ripped, like a cat had used them for a scratching post. One roll down shade had a tear in the bottom. Bedding was comfortable and clean. The bathroom was a nice size but lacked any shelf or hooks to put toiletries on, especially near the sink. The room was clean and if cared for would better would have scored higher in my rating. But if the owners can’t even replace the curtains or clean the air filter it makes me wonder if they care about their guests or is this just a money maker for them.

Street parking is the only parking. Read the signs. We easily found a spot out in front upon our return from Mona Kea at 10 pm, so overnight parking isn’t an issue. Daytime parking is scarcer.

The what really disturbed us about this place was the lack of customer service. We had arrived in Hilo from the mainland at 8 am and were exhausted. We had tried weeks prior to our arrival to see if we might be able to check in early or if not, to book the room for the previous night so we would have a place to crash when we arrived. Even later that afternoon we called the contact number and despite asking that someone return our call we got no response. No one checked that we had been able to access the room. Wi-Fi was basic and worked. The café inside the door was ok, with very, very limited menu. They only have seating for about 8 people, and they had no information as to the accommodations’ but did advise not to park in the lot behind the building. I would suggest going a few blocks over to for more selection on food establishments.

Location is what place has going for it. It backs right up onto the Hilo Farmers market. The surrounding neighborhood has some interesting shops and places to eat. It isn't crazy noisy or super busy. There is a park across the street. You can walk, easily to the main area of commerce and find some nice places to eat, we had luch a a nice place I cannot recall the name now. Nearby is the Pacific Tsunami Museum and the Lyman Museum – recommend a visit to both.
We use the Inn as a base for the attractions in the Hilo area. Rainbow Falls is about 20 minutes away. Mona Kea is about an hour drive. Painted Church & Volcano National Park is less than an hour away. Hilo is a calm, somewhat charming town that isn’t at all too touristy as compared to Kailua-Kona area.
People were really friendly, “Aloha” spirit and were happy to make recommendations and give directions. Café 100 and Kens House of Pancakes were recommendations. We only had time for Kens House of Pancakes which was a great deal with friendly fast service.

There is a Shopping Center (Wal-Mart, Macy’s, Hilo Hattie’s as well as the Fast food chains) on Hwy 11 with all the major retailers so you can get anything you might need. Turn left out of the airport road instead of right.

I would stay here again, knowing what to expect. BASIC, no frills, no amenities, no service and with the exception of the A/C unit filter it was clean and tidy.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank NewburghNY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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43 - 49 of 106 reviews

Reviewed 19 September 2013

My wife, daughter and I had a little difficulty finding the Pakalana Inn in Hilo. Once we found it, my wife became a bit nervous because it was in an older building. We went inside and were delighted with the cleanliness, the décor and the atmosphere. This is not a standard in where there is a front desk or staff waiting for you. You are given a code that allows you access from the street and access to your room. We happened to catch the person cleaning our room (the owner?) who suggested that we could park across the street next to the park for free. Our room had a view of the park and Hilo Bay. It also had a free standing air conditioner, which is not a guarantee in Hawaii. We were in Hilo to attend the farmers market which was right next door to the inn. There are also several places to eat within walking distance. Nice place, good location, and a great overnight stay.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank morrisn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 September 2013

Located on a quiet street the Inn is within easy walking distance to everything in Downtown Hilo. Parking on the street is easy. The owner was really helpful and met our needs without any fuss. Paul's Place is also a great place for breakfast.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Yves R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 August 2013

We stayed here while moving our son into University of Hawaii in Hilo. It has a great location for exploring the downtown, allowing us to try out several local eateries. We did not try Paul's Place as my husband was on a protein diet, so no waffles for him. Highly recommend Cafe Pesto and Lucy's Taqueria, both within a few blocks walk. The room had plenty of room but still had the charm of a bed and breakfast. The building has character and houses several businesses. We had room #2, great ventilation with multiple windows for fresh air and a ceiling fan. The room is directly above Paul's Place but we were always awake before they even started fixing breakfast and they played soothing music, not annoying. We stayed for a couple of nights and did not mind the frogs in the least, great nature sounds to fall asleep to. Sometimes heard people walking by in the middle of the night but our windows were open. A great improvement from chain hotels with locked windows and air conditioner running all night long. It is just two blocks away from a run along the ocean and we always had plenty of choice parking on the street. The pictures are quite accurate. We highly recommend staying here!

Room Tip: Room #2 is on the corner with windows on both sides and a ceiling fan, never stuffy! Can look out to...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Wendy D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2013

We needed to stay in Hilo for the night to take the volcano helicopter trip in the morning before heading to Kona. We stayed in room 5. The inn is precious and quaint. They allowed us late check-out and were happy to meet all our requests. The greatest surprise was Paul's Place Cafe in the bottom of the inn. The fresh food and ambiance were just perfect. Paul and his niece Megan were so hospitable and the food was delicious. This cafe is a "don't miss"!

Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
2  Thank 971victorc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 April 2013

If you need to be right in Hilo, say, for a night before your flight, this is the place. It is pretty much hand crafted, excellent workmanship, very, very clean, lovely, and totally centrally located. Just steps to the farmer's market and we had a kitchen, so it was awesome. The bed was super comfortable, a huge plus. I didn't get to eat in the cafe, as I needed to leave super early, but it looks amazing. I'd highly recommend it. Neil, the owner, carried my suitcase to the cab, down the stairs, himself! Thanks, Neil! My only complaint was, it was a hot evening so I had the windows open, and the street noise was a bit loud. Luckily, it quieted down pretty early. Other than that, awesome.

Room Tip: If you can get one that is not directly on the street, it might be quieter...but then again, maybe n...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank olallieRN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 April 2013

Don't be put off by Pakalana Inn's unassuming exterior - it's a great place to stay. Inside it looks more like a European boutique hotel, not like an ordinary inn. Our room was very clean, and the beds are comfortable; I'm not sure if there were other guests present when we were there, but overall it was pretty quiet. The owner installed new windows virtually blocking the street sound. The cafe downstairs serves really good breakfast and coffee. Locals go here, so you know it's good. It's only a short walk to the shore, parks and the street market where you can buy anything from freshly picked fruit to macadamia nuts to local crafts. This place is safe and secure. Highly recommend!

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank LeopoldinaIL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Pakalana Inn

Address: 132 Punahoa St, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720-6308
Region: United States > Hawaii > Island of Hawaii > Hilo
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 18 B&Bs / Inns in Hilo
Price Range: £60 - £91 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in historic downtown Hilo adjacent to the Farmer's Market and Wailoa State Park. Vintage building with upgraded interior, spacious rooms. Air conditioning, kitchenette available. Flat screen TV, internet, coffee maker. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Pakalana Inn Hilo, Hawaii

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