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“A horrible experience.”
Review of Honoka'a Club

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Honoka'a Club
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Honokaa
Reviewed 28 December 2010

I needed to be in Honoka'a, and Hilo is 1.25 hrs. away, so we stayed there. I believed the website. Whew. I've never been to such a dump. Never. And I grew up in Hawaii. It's like camping out. If that's what you expect, it's not a problem. However, I feel there is nothing "hotel" or "club"-like about this place. It was built in 1908. That should give you pause. I don't think they've put in much $ to fix anything--except maybe the website guy. We were on the 1st flr. A hall window opened onto the "backyard" without screens or glass. ( I wonder what they do in the summer with mosquitoes.) What got to me was there is absolutely no sound proofing between rooms (all rooms have screen transoms). So when the 3 guys sharing a room across us unzipped their luggage, it sounded like they were in our room. We heard every word they said as talked on and on into the night. My husband and I asked them to quiet down, but we could even hear them when they were whispering--every word. BTW, there is no one to complain to after 8PM at night.

I finally fell asleep exhausted around 2 AM (I had flown in that day). The cold, old, mildewy, lumpy bed with threadbare sheets didn't help. I was worried about bedbugs. At 4:30AM the wild roosters started crowing and didn't stop until at least 8. On a positive note, the shower was great. BTW, There was no TV. It was a smallish room with two beds, two lamps and two end tables. If you like camping, you'll like this "hotel." Breakfast was bread, slices of papaya or avocado and coffee (ugh). The couple who manage the Honokaa are well-meaning, but clueless or have no budget. The place is used by civic nonprofits for meetings, and the community "loves" them, so I hear. Good for them. I would skip this place and go into Waimea (1/2 hour away) for a real hotel/motel. This was a big lesson for me on believing photos on websites. If you're on a vacation or want to impress someone, go somewhere else, even if you have to spend $.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank onsecondhoneymoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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37 - 43 of 79 reviews

Reviewed 28 October 2010

We stayed here 1 night. We had a corner room on 2nd floor. We arrived here early (3:30pm) and we were checking in by 4pm. Once we got to our room we thought it was really nice for the price. We are low-maintenance couple and we thourghly enjoyed our stay here. The couple that run the place are very hospitable, social, and friendly. We didn't EXPECT much for the continental breakfast, and so the breakfast fit our needs and we found an EXCELLANT place to have breakfast....Hawaii Style Cafe in Wamiea, about 20 min drive.
Overall, this was a nice room for the price, and I recommend this to anyone who is not looking for a lot of extras, and would like a comfortable place to stay.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank scooter2724
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2010

Summary:
I also use Tripadvisor and sometimes it's hard what to make out of the different reviews. Some say a place is terrible, and it turns out okay. Sometimes it's the other way around. This place? You can go here, and take a 65$ gamble, hoping you'll enjoy your stay. I think you will regret that choice the moment you see your room! Only sleep here when you arrive late and/or have no other choice. Though even in that case I would still rather drive on to Waimea! This place is overpriced, the rooms are spartan, and just depressing. My girlfriend didn't even wanted to take a shower the morning we left, because she felt eerie. The "breakfast" is really the name unworthy.

Extended version:
We wanted to check-in at 4 pm. We were here at 3.30 pm but check-in starts at 4pm. The woman/manager arrived 20 minutes late, saying "sorry for that, it's hard to get going". No problemo! Hawaiian style right?

We reserved a room the day before, but when she showed us the room, it was like seeing your prison cell for the first time. It was really depressing. Hardly enough space to walk around the bed. Only a smelly bedcover. Yes, 65 dollars incl. "breakfast". is a pretty good price, but this is still a very bad deal for what you get! We normally travel on the (pretty) cheap, meaning we always stay in budget hotels/motels, so we expect, well, not much, really. But this is just a bit too extreme for us. (we are 29 and 34 yrs old). The walls were so thin, you could here everything! This place is a hotel only in name. In real life it more feels like a camping with woodchip walls.

When I asked if we could just cancel the reservation, because we expected something, well, a little bit more 2010, she/the owner got really short and rude. This gave us a really unpleasant feeling. We were tired though of driving, and just wanted to relax. Besides, this is the only place in town so not much choice. I guess the owner knows that too all too well! I can imagine that when you run a business, it is not nice to have guests
entering your hotel and then start complaining about your rooms. But at the other hand, if you present guests with rooms like these, you shouldn't be too surprised either.

I feel that if you receive guests who clearly feel bad about a room, (becuase the room was just terrible!) I would give them a break. But what she did was saying "start your own business, and you'll see how hard it is to run a hotel". My guess is that I wasn't the first person who wanted to cancel the room, after seeing it. If you like depressions, well,
you can knock yourself out here! My advice: sleep here if you really have no other alternative. And bring some antidepressivum! Expect nothing, and probably even that will be too much. Good luck! (You'll need it.)

Friendly greets, Jay

PS. She did offer us another room, for a higher price. We said no. Why? It was an even bigger ripoff. The only difference was the 20 dollars extra and the 1 square meter bigger room.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank JanMulder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 March 2010

This place was cheap, granted. I had a note to maybe stay 2 nights because the lady was so friendly when I initially called. If you are looking for a resort experience, you have absolutely no reason to stay here. We were not. For the price I expected a hostel like atmosphere... Our second floor room had a great (and interesting at times) view. We got there a bit early so had to hang out in the "quad" for awhile, we relaxed, wrote, read... which was nice after our hike in Pololu valley. When the manager Eden arrived, she made us feel welcome and right at home... again, if you are fussy and run a tight ship... WHY are you on the big island? We were there on a Sunday as well, dining was limited to Blaines diner where I enjoyed a loco bowl and a spam musubi, and with breakfast you get a choice of small drink -or- macaroni salad ??? The room was sparse, with old furniture but clean. The view (other than the ocean) and sounds inspired my new slogan for Honoka'a... "the Arkansas of the Pacific". barking dogs chained to 4x4 bumpers parked on lawns and roosters that crow from 3am to sundown... trying to sleep we got the giggles a few times. Then there was the chicken chasing a 3 legged dog... you cannot buy memories like that! For us it only added to the charm. Breakfast was great and Eden was fascinating to chat with. We hated to leave, next time through it will be two nights. if you are looking for this type of place also check out Kohala Village Inn in Hawi and Hotel Manago in Capt Cook.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank jim85004
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 February 2010

In contrast to the canned resort experience, this is old Hawaii in accommodations and experience. Contrary to the above reviews we found the new manager Eden more than hospitable. In the mornings at breakfast she introduced each guest to the others as if she was friends with us all! We were woken early by the tsunami sirens (the first in twenty years) just hours after we arrived, a frightening experience. But Eden appeared immediately and a few townspeople stopped in and we felt part of the community soon, safely talking as the sun came up. Honokaa is hundreds of feet above the ocean and not in danger of tsunami. The hotel is old, rust in the sinks, a few tiles missing in the nicely painted up showers, but clean. Remember earplugs because the town has a few roosters. It's not a Best Western, but we travel for the people and character of a place. In other words this is a travelers spot, not a vacationers spot. Go to Kona if you need a beach bar and concierge. The town is tiny but a real town- you can walk down main street to go to eat and meet people. Not much choice of where to eat, but that's not our focus. If you want to be pampered go to a resort. If you want to connect with people and the place, find a place like the Honokaa Club.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank BellinghamSalty_dogs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 November 2009

We found this hotel on line and then called and spoke directly with the main desk to reserve the 2 bedroom suite. Ha! What a joke! When we got there the owner in the office was extremely rude. She did not reserve the suite and basically called us liars. It was a bait and switch. Unfortunately it was late into the evening and so we decided (against our better judgement) to stay instead of getting back on the road. The owner was the most unhospitable person I have ever met! The rooms made your skin crawl. As we were leaving we noticed a posting they would be closed the next week for fumigation. Really gives you a great feeling. Avoid at all cost! Sleeping in your car would be much better.

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Friendsoutandabout
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2009

I definately agree with the reviews about this hotel. It was built in 1908 and nothing has been done since to upgrade it. The rooms are very small with a big price for it. The management turns off the hot water in the day time so you have to wait until evening to take a shower. There is no a/c. There are ants and flying roaches. There is no privacy in the rooms to talk because the windows above the entrance are only screens which need cleaning. The electricity is very poor and a short could cause the whole place to burn down. There is also no tv unless you get the room upstairs for more $. I would highly reccommend staying in the town of Waimea which is only 15 miles away. I would not recommend this place to my worst enemy! Oh yes, the free internet never worked. Alot of parking since there are no customers.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled on business
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2  Thank MaunaPua
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Honoka'a Club

Address: 45-3480 Mamane St, P.O. Box 247, Honokaa, Island of Hawaii, HI 96727-6970
Region: United States > Hawaii > Island of Hawaii > Honokaa
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Honokaa
Price Range: £80 - £106 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 18
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Also Known As:
Honoka`a Club Hotel Honokaa
Honoka Hotel Honokaa
Honoka'a Club Hawaii/Honokaa

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