We stayed at the Dolphin Bay for one night as a rest stop between Volcano and a long drive up the Hamakua Coast towards Kailua-Kona. As we arrived quite early in the day before they had had a chance to clean many of the vacated rooms, we were given the room directly opposite reception. I assume that this was a Superior Double as we had requested. The unit was very pleasant and clean. I agree with previous positive reviews in that, while the rooms are not lush and the decor a little bit dated, they are spacious and sufficiently fitted to make one's stay comfortable. There was a small kitchen area, fitted with a cooker w/ oven, large fridge-freezer, microwave, utensils, tableware and cleaning materials which would be particularly useful to those who choose a longer stay. It can get quite humid in Hilo, but we found that the fans which had been installed in the room were more than enough to address the lack of air conditioning.
The staffs helpfulness and friendly manner are really what enable me to rate this hotel a little higher than I might otherwise.
We have only one gripe: although Dolphin Bay is advertised online and in magazines as having free wifi when we arrived this was not available. We did enquire at the desk as to whether this was just a glitch but it seemed to be the status quo. No explanation was given as to why this was no longer available despite the advertising, which was quite disappointing. We were really needing to access the internet at the time to deal with some affairs back home, and with Hilo being quite sparse for amenities there was no alternative.
I have read in numerous Big Island travel guides that the Dolphin Bay is the best in Hilo, and after seeing what Hilo has to offer, I am inclined to agree.
If you MUST stay in Hilo for more than one night Dolphin Bay would be the place to crash (IMHO there really is so so so little to see and do in Hilo bar indulging in various flavoured Mochi at Two Ladies Kitchen or going on a spending spree at Big Island Candies).
- 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