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“You Won't Feel Like a "Guest"-for Better and Worse”

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Volcano Guest House
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
San Francisco, California
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“You Won't Feel Like a "Guest"-for Better and Worse”
Reviewed 22 July 2013

If you end up staying here because you’re spending a day or two in Volcanoes Park (which you should, because it’s amazing) you will be fine. VGH is clean, the guest units are spacious and have sparsely equipped kitchens The surrounding forest and gardens are lush and lovely. There is a separate cottage for breakfast with a hot tub that is pleasant enough to hang out in. The owners are nice and will answer any questions if asked, though they won’t go out of their way for you (which, depending on your personality, can be a relief or a slight).

So it’s fine. And I imagine at one point VGH was actually more than fine. But the issue here seems to be that the owners have been running this place for many years and they have figured out a way to do it that works very well for them—but maybe less well for their guests. In fact, it is hard to really feel like a guest here. There is neither the convenience and amenities of a hotel nor the warmth and attention to detail of a B&B. The furnishings are adequate but not especially comfortable; the sheets, towels etc (which are not changed while you are there, nor is there any tidying done or beds made) are basic at best and somewhat worn. There was no soap in the shower/bath when we arrived, just economy-sized bottles of Herbal Essences shampoo.

I would, perhaps, fact find all of that quirkily charming if it weren’t for the breakfast. The one thing one expects from a B&B is the second “B.” What you get at VGH is, I hate to say it (because, again, the owners are really nice) is cheap and indifferent. Cold cereal from Costco; Quaker instant oatmeal; Skippy peanut butter and grape jelly in a squeeze bottle; stale refrigerator bagels with a big tub of cream cheese that is three-quarters empty and deeply unappetizing (all knife-gauged, gummy and with crumbs in it). The first morning they put out an already-stale, pre-packaged cinnamon twist coffee cake, also (I’m guessing) purchased from Costco. We ate one slice, and didn't like it. They then proceeded to put the same package out every morning, as it grew more stale and even less appealing. Yes, there are fresh papayas and bananas, but the pineapple was visibly overripe and, once more, when we didn’t eat it, they just served it to us again the next day.

My feeling is if you’re going to run a B&B (and price it competitively) you should truly care about your guests’ comfort. Because they are just that--guests, not relatives that you want to discourage from ever coming back. I would so like VGH to be a better place, because it has some great qualities. But it needs to be seriously stepped up.

So for accommodations, because it’s spacious and well-located I give it 3 stars. For service, comfort, and breakfast I give it a 1 ½ or maybe a 2. I can’t fully recommend staying here, but you won’t be devastated if, for whatever reason, it’s where you end up. Just be aware that it does the job, absolutely nothing more.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank PJfromCA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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181 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (28)
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English first
Vancouver, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
Reviewed 15 July 2013

This place is exactly as advertised. Good breakfast. Accommations clean. The only caveat is that you are in the middle of a fern forest, so expect showers and some damp conditions. But that is all part of the adventure!

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank DSTSAT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 July 2013

Excellent place to stay. We were with 2 adults and 2 kids. Had lots of space. The kids loved all the animals and the hot tub. The owners were so helpful letting us do washing and just being really relaxed about everything being available. The breakfast was awesome. Love all the recycling and solar etc. So close to Volcano National Park. would love to come back!

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TJB73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
Reviewed 21 June 2013

Love the breakfast lanai. I love that there are no rules just suggestions like you can use the hot tub anytime just be considerate to guests nearby.
I like that they are environmentally conscious- solar water heater, recycling, compost etc.
Will stay there again.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Swtnsvvy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edmond, Oklahoma
1 review
Reviewed 14 June 2013

Our family (six of us) rented the entire house. We wanted a three bedroom house. It was very spacious and the bedrooms each had their own bath. Lovely setting and very quiet. Kitchen had all the basics. We could cook breakfast before we left each day. We chose this house because of proximity to Volcano National Park and the Hilo coast. It is minutes to get into the park which is wonderful. We did a day trip up the Hilo coast all the way to the end of the road and we still back to house by 8:30 pm. Great location. The innkeepers are wonderful. I had numerous questions which were all answered via email prior to us getting there which definitely helped our stay.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank Debra H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kaneohe
1 review
Reviewed 8 June 2013

As a family with one 8 year old child, we enjoyed the relaxed, welcoming feel of the place. The collection of garage sale furniture and décor was comfortable and I did not feel like I had to worry that my son would break anything terribly valuable.

Everything seemed to be clean, neat and tidy. Having a kitchenette was great since most of the eating establishments in Volcano are closed on Monday nights (our first night in the area).

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank Beth Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minnesota, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 5 June 2013

On my next trip to Hawaii, I will definitely look forward to spending more time at this collection of rustic cabins right in the middle of the Hawaiian mountain rain forest. My wife and I stayed in the commodious and homey Twin 1 for two nights and had an enjoyable stay.

The nights were cool and damp (remember that this is the mountain rain forest) but the beds were cozy with electric mattress pads. It is so close to the national park that we were able to stay late at the park for the night viewing of glowing lava at night Halema`uma`u crater & still be back at our cabin in minutes.

The breakfasts are self-serve, low-key, and tasty and include local tropical fruit, hard-boiled eggs, bagels, cereal, etc.

Alan was friendly, helpful, and hospitable, and so was his dog, Hina. We also enjoyed seeing the cows & ducks!

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Randy G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Volcano Guest House

Property: Volcano Guest House
Address: 11-3733 Ala Ohia Street, Volcano, Island of Hawaii, HI 96785
Region: United States > Hawaii > Island of Hawaii > Volcano
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 20 Speciality Lodging in Volcano
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Volcano Guest House is 12 acres of high-altitude tropical rainforest and farm, with three cottages, two apartments, and two big houses that rent whole or by the bedroom. Ten minutes from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, perfectly placed eco-accommodations to enjoy the wonders of an active volcano, and the native environments in this International Biosphere Reserve. Line-dried linens, solar-assisted hot water, free breakfast/snacks 24/7. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Volcano Guest House Hawaii

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