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“Dolphin Bay in a rain forest”
Review of Dolphin Bay

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Dolphin Bay
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Hilo
Certificate of Excellence
Indianapolis, Indiana
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Dolphin Bay in a rain forest”
Reviewed 5 December 2013

Just stayed for two days in this retro hotel. Met by John who showed us around. Right east of the parking lot is a rainforest with some of the tallest banana trees you will ever see. Small breakfast of wonderful banana bread, coffed, bananas (fresh!) and papayas. Clean rooms with no air conditioning, but nice rotating room fan in the bedroom. Best amentity is location to the east side of the Big Island (Waipio valley, botanical gardens, and volcano). Don't worry about the frogs. While the chirp alot, it was not as loud as some have said. We have cicadas in Indiana and they can be louder. Great place.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Gravesdt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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663 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (124)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
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English first
Bromsgrove
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 November 2013

The Dolphin Bay Hotel is a great place to stay, with a friendly welcome and all the basic needs you could wish for. John Alexander and his team provide helpful advice and service, and guests can avail themselves of free coffee (freshly percolated) from 05.30am, and banana bread (from the bakery) at 06.30am, with fresh bananas and papaya. The hotel is as described on its website - clean, unpretentious and geared for those who want to get out and enjoy all that the island has to offer. The fresh flowers in the room were a nice touch, and we found the free wifi very useful indeed.

John is a self-confessed "lava nut" and will give you good advice on where to go and what to see on anything to do with the volcano. We thought our room was adequately spacious, and greatly appreciated the kitchenette (sink, fridge, microwave and cooker), plus table and two chairs to eat at, so DIY breakfast or other meals was no problem. The hotel is easy walking distance to the town and there are plenty of reasonably priced places to eat. There is a supermarket not far away for shopping.

We enjoyed the grounds (like your own personal bit of rainforest), and found the melodic croaking of the tree frogs quite soothing - not irritating. The flowers, shrubs and trees provide an interesting introduction to the flora of Hawaii and a relaxing spot for a stroll or sit in the evening.

We would certainly stay there again, and is the favourite of all the places we stayed in the Hawaiian islands.

Thanks John & Team !

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Roy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 November 2013

We opted to stay in Hilo as it is reasonably close to the Volcano National Park compared to the 2+ hour drive you'd have from the Kona side. If you like conventional concrete hotels, then this in not the place for you. If you like something more local and down to earth, this is the place for you. John Alexandra and staff make you most welcome on arrival and are full of helpful information on the area. As we checked in we were checked out by the now infamous Rubble! Room was clean and tidy, with a handy kitchen. Dolphin Bay is definitely handy for the local town where there are plenty of restaurants serving some good quality food. The help yourself breakfast of coffee, bananas, banana bread made a nice start to the days. Yes there are frogs with fog horns [well thats what they sound like at first] after a while they just blend into the background of the rain forest. The Dolphin Bay's own little rain forest is not to be missed with some amazing flowers , fruits and critters roaming free. Thank you for a lovely stay.

Room Tip: If you find that the frogs don't blend into the background noise, there are ear plugs in the roo...
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Whiteley_Meerkat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 November 2013

Excellent value and good, friendly service. The rooms are impeccably clean - very impressive indeed. We were told by the manager that the rooms are maintained by a lady in her 80s who has been cleaning the rooms since not long after the hotel first opened. She does an excellent job.

Rooms are dated but it is a well-located hotel with nice complimentary breakfast of coffee, banana bread, papaya, and bananas,

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Billychica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Escondido
Level Contributor
245 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 163 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 November 2013

This is the most difficult review I have ever written. My rating could easily be average, but the people that care for the visitors, is easily worth the extra rating, not the room.

First, we have stayed in Hilo twice before, and both times said it would be the last. Unfortunately, it is just too convenient for so much to see. Lodging is generally very old and iffy. The noise of the airport, roosters, revelers, and frogs makes it harder to sleep.

Okay, we picked the Dolphin Bay Hotel (a bit of a misnomer). We had a bit of a problem finding the place, but that was our issue, and not the Hotels. The reviews were great, and the price competitive. Our room, #9, was on the end, so a tiny bit more private, and quiet. Parking seems adequate, but tight. A lot of regulars seem to stay here and they sing their praises of this place. We are staying 3 nights.

The facility is old. It is block wall construction. If you are into fit and finish, you are in the wrong place. They have one newspaper for all to share. No soap dish or shelf in the shower/tub. the sink is a bit low for most adults. The bed is at best, not too good. There is no A/C. The wall hanging fan did provide a bit of relief, in a limited area. The frogs croak all night. Sleeping was not good! We will not stay in Hilo again, but I still recommend the Dolphin Bay if you do stay in the area. READ ON.

We asked for a quiet room (hence we were placed in a end unit). We asked for 2 extra pillows and one extra bath towel (these items were in our room when we arrived). The TV did not work, but a replacement was in our room before 30 minutes passed when we mentioned it. While best (only) watched from bed, the TV reception was good most of the time (yes we are in Hawaii, but wanted to keep current on the Government shutdown, as 4 more stops are dependent on a rapid settlement). There is enough storage for a long stay, but no extra floor space. There are two wooden chairs in the bedding area. One is for a desk, but then the TV takes up this space. the bath has a shower over the tub and a sink. A generous medicine cabinet makes up for the lack of space around the sink. Soap, shampoo/conditioner, Kleenex are provided. Fresh flowers are in the room (from the onsite garden). A short hallway leads to the kitchen. the kitchen is small, but it has everything you need. The flooring in the unit is linoleum and carpet. There is both a front door (leads to the street and has a tiny table and chairs) and a backdoor (leads to the parking lot and the garden walk...bug spray and careful walking recommended). maid service is included each day. BREAKFAST is not included. What is included is coffee, banana bread, bananas, Papaya, and occasionally a avocado. You bring these items, if you participate, back to your room. The couple tables and chairs in the area are assigned to the adjacent rooms! We did get coffee each morning and them added our OJ and coffee cake from the store. A small table in our kitchen served us well. We also had a couple dinners at this table. Hard not to end up talking to several "employees" while staying here. All are quite nice, and helpful.

We had a car, but as others mentioned, town was within walking distance, if you are into the humidity and a bit of a steep walk back.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank ranles76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
155 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 October 2013

Just spent 3 nights at the Dolphin Bay Hotel. All of the staff were nice and very helpful in planning on what to visit around Hilo. For breakfast they had coffee and juice, wonderful banana bread, fresh bananas and papayas - all were excellent. It was just a short walk into the main part of town with lots of restaurants, the farmers' market, theaters, etc. Free WiFi and a small kitchen in our room. They also had a washer and dryer ($1.50 & $1.00) which was useful. Will definitely plan on staying there again.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Dave C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
35 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 October 2013

This hotel has a lot going for it. Nestling on a secluded road within easy walking distance of Hilo centre, you have all the amenities you need for an extended stay (including full kitchen facilities), as well as the perks of the tropical garden and the free fresh fruit available daily. Most impressive of all was the courteous and friendly service from all staff, who displayed a real enthusiasm for the area and provided useful advice and recommendations throughout our stay.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Stuart_and_Becky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Dolphin Bay

Property: Dolphin Bay
Address: 333 Iliahi St, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720-2399
Region: United States > Hawaii > Island of Hawaii > Hilo
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Hilo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Dolphin Bay 2.5*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Seasoned guidance for a wide range of Big Island adventures. Walking distance to downtown Hilo. Clean quiet & reasonable. All rooms with kitchens. Free WiFi Internet available. Rated nicest small hotel in Hilo. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Dolphin Bay Hilo, Hawaii
Dolphin Bay Hotel Hilo

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