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Dolphin Bay
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Reviews (691)
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All reviewsbanana breadfresh fruitevery morninghotel catthe big islandsmall kitchencoqui frogsfull kitchenone bedroom apartmentdowntown hilosmall hotelbanana treestropical gardenquiet streetthe lack of air conditioningfriendly hotelclose to downtown
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520 - 525 of 691 reviews
Reviewed 27 July 2010

stayed here whilst island hopping and despite all the luxury accommodation elsewhere on other islands this lil motel still makes us sigh with very fond memories. due to our lack of knowledge abot the chaos the cruise ships cause with hire car shortage we were stranded at one side of the island on our way to kona. the hotels advise to use the cross island bus saved our bacon. great service. friendly and helpful. great advice for our nighttime volcano trip. called friends and contacts to try and get us a hire car. went out of their way. fabulous people. fabulous coffee and pastries. i even loved the frogs. their constant hum wasnt an issue after the first few minutes. if i ever come back again i will go straight here. thanks for renewing our faith in human nature!

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled with friends
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1  Thank auditgirly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 July 2010

We stayed here for 3 nights in May 2010. The hotel is not the cheapest but is very nice, located in a quiet and secluded part of Hilo but still close to everything (2 mins drive to Hilo town centre and 20-30 mins to Volcano National Park). We found our rooms was HUGE (see pics) and clean, the surroundings of the hotel itself were lovely (quiet street and nice garden) and the service was very friendly and welcoming. We weren't told there was Wi Fi at the hotel so make sure you ask as we only found out right before we checked out. Breakfast is fresh coffee, danishes and home grown fruit but if you want something more substantial you can either eat out or if your room has a kitchenette (ours did), self cater. The only other thing to observe was that our room had no safe and we were a little concerned about security especially seeing as Hilo is not the safest town and our room was on the ground floor. However that said, we didn't have any incidents.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Karina B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 July 2010

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).

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank cmarramos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 July 2010

Finding it is a little tricky. Call them as you get to town and they will give you great directions. Our family of 3 adults and 1 teenager stayed one night in the 2 room apartment and appreciated the space and John's waiving of the 2 night requirement. The apartment is really a 3 bedroom with a small kitchen. The living room is set up with 2 twin beds and some rolling chairs. The bedroom next to the bathroom smelled like urine. This is the only reason I would not recommend it. I have a pretty sensitive sense of smell and this may not bother someone else. I moved to one of the twin beds in the living room and slept much better. The twins have nice pillow top mattresses. The bathroom had a spacious, nicely tiled shower. The banana grove behind the parking lot is beautiful and the front of the hotel has very pretty landscaping. It was really nice to sit on our balcony which faced the front and have breakfast. Take a walk around the banana grove at night and sit on the bench and listen to the frogs. It is very peaceful. The frogs didn't bother us at all. Where we live has night sounds of nature so we are used to it. If you are in Hilo on a Wednesday or Saturday be sure to go to the Farmers Market. It’s an easy walk there from the hotel and is great for more than just fresh produce - booths selling all kinds of stuff from blown glass jewelry to cheap stuff. Watch the guy preparing coconuts with a machete. Sea Jay gives a great chair massage

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled with family
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2  Thank abqtravelgal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 June 2010

We really loved this little hotel - it was just our style. The family-run atmosphere, the cozy room, the fresh fruit and pastries at breakfast were all great but what really makes this a special place are the people who run the place.

We arrived a little after-hours on a Sunday evening and were immediately met by Annette, a very jovial woman who greeted us warmly and who we quickly learned was a walking Hilo Encyclopedia. Over the course of the next 30 minutes she apprised us about everything we could ever possibly want to know about the place. The city's history, what to see in town, what not to waste time on, where to find this or that meal, where the locals like to go out at night, where to get groceries, which stores sold the best gifts, where to see the Honu turtles, and finally, when she finished that she began another lengthy discussion about where to go when we were done seeing the town itself and wanted venture to the best sights within easy driving distance. Needless to say we probably grasped only 50% but sure had a fun time doing it.

But, as their brochure states, this is not a place for everyone. If you are looking for a sterile full-service resort that caters to a finicky guest's every wish onsite, with fancy trappings and lush tennis couts and golf courses then Doplhin Bay is not for you - look elsewhere for that. However if, like us, you want a comfortable and affordable place to stay while you spend your days out & about taking in the beauty of this side of the island , somewhere with some character, then you won't find a more suitable place anywhere in town. The people really make the place. Besides Annette, the staff that runs the place on dayshift are also extremely friendly and always willing to provide helpful suggestions based on their intimate knowledge of the area.

While we were staying here we enjoyed so much of this side of Hawaii, in large part from suggestions made by the folks here. On our way to Hilo we toured the Hamakua coast, hiked in the Kalopa rain forest and went to Laupahoehoe point. The next day included a drive through the North Hilo district, visiting Akaka falls and meeting Ki'e, AKA Coconut Joe, the resident basket-maker. We hiked through more rainforests, visited the beach at Honoma and then walked the exquisite Hawaii tropical gardens, Later we drove up the saddle road and witnessed the most spectacular sunset from the summit of Mauna Kea. The next day, our last in Hilo, we saw more waterfalls, Liliuokalani Park , the Tsunami museum, did a little shopping and ate lunch at the Suisan fish market downtown. The day culminated with a flight over the erupting Pu O'o volcano that we enjoyed as we left town on our way up the mountain to our three nights stay in Volcano Village.

Thanks so much for providing the perfect base camp and a grand introduction to this often-bypassed working side of the Island. Fortunately for us the weather cooperated and we had 2 full sunny days to enjoy the area. We had a wonderful time staying here and will definitely return the next time we have chance to be on the Big Island again.

For those folks we know as well as those we don't... If you love to travel and really learn about the place where you are visiting this is definitely the place for you - Coqui frogs and all!

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank J_and_E_from_Denver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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