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“Just a little too retro” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Molokai

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Hotel Molokai
Ranked #1 of 4 Kaunakakai B&B and Inns
Florida
Level Contributor
34 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Just a little too retro”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 February 2014

Hotel Molokai is a throwback to the motels you stayed at on family vacations in the 1960's. In some ways it's quaint, and I wanted to like it, but the downsides are just too many to overcome.

The lack of air conditioning would be a deal breaker for some. Wasn't an issue for us, except that it meant that with open windows at night for ventilation, there was no way to block light coming into the room. (You could draw the drape and kill the ventialtion on one side, but there wasn't even any drap over the front door, and no way to avoid the exterior light.

There's no kitchen on site due to the fire, which remains an ongoing problem.

The Hotel does have a nice water view, but its on a mud flat, with no beach, and no way to use the water behind the Hotel (might want to consider a little bit of sand for a beach front, and renting kayaks and paddle boards.)

Service was spotty. At times, some of the employees were nice,and seemed to geniuinely care about providing service. At other times, some employees, were testy, and seemed indifferent to our presence.

Hotel Molokai is pretty much your only hotel choice on Molokai. If you come, be prepared for a funky, old, hotel, with limitations, and be ready to drive to get in the water.

Room Tip: get a room back from the road.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Merlinextralight
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GMHotelMolokai, General Manager at Hotel Molokai, responded to this review, 21 February 2014
Aloha,

First, I would like to thank you for providing us with feedback about your visit at Hotel Molokai. While I am disappointed to hear that you experienced some disappointing things during your stay, I am pleased that you did take the time to let us know about them so that we can address the issues.

I am most disappointed that you experienced spotty service. It is our mission to provide the highest quality service to our guests 100% of the time and it seems that we failed to do so in this instance. I assure you that I will reiterate the importance of kind, thoughtful and helpful service to the team.

Thank you again for your comments. If you would like to discuss your visit further, please don’t hesitate to contact me by calling 808.553.5347 Ext. 3398 or emailing mdrew@hotelmolokai.com.

Mahalo,
Michael Drew, General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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516 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (170)
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English first
Honolulu, Hawaii
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 February 2014

I am an Oahu resident, been to all Hawaiian Islands however this hotel is very sub par. I knew in advance this is not a fancy resort or anything, but it is just a below average level hotel, and you should at least charge less if that's what you have. I've stayed at all kinds of low-budget hostels in many countries while backpacking and including Hawaii itself, but at least they are cheap(Yes, hostels in Hawaii are still relatively very expensive compared to the ones that you can stay in Asia region). However, I've never paid this much for such a budget hotel level room. It's just ridiculous.

1. I originally booked for a "garden view room" which was on the first floor without a kitchenette. When i opened the room i was so surprised to see how small it was. I live in a studio on Oahu by myself, and this room was even way smaller than my studio. Seriously? I don't think i've ever seen this kind of small hotel room. Remember, the price you pay is almost $200 per night for this room.

2. I didn't know Molokai gets such poor cell phone signals unless you are in the middle of town, because the island of Lana'i, which has less than half the population(about 3000-3500 ppl live in Lanai) of Molokai had no problem using a cell phone. Okay..this is "pristine" Molokai..I understand, ok, i cannot use my cell phone here. If that's the case, at least the wifi signal should be reliable. It drove me crazy during the whole stay when the wifi is constantly going on and off and on and off.. I complained about this but all they did was just reboot the server, saying that "there is no contracted technician on the island", they have to fly in from another islands, there's nothing they can do, blah blah blah.. The manager kept insisting that wifi is just fine, because he just checked and it was working fine. It is not..It just goes on and off and on and off, with weak signal. Why don't you try replace or upgrade the network system or whatever? Even though it is Molokai, there must be some way to make it better, and it is something you can do on your own, unlike the cell phone signals.

3. Oh my god the noise... When i saw my original room, i was so shocked that i ended up moving to a bigger room which was on the second floor. I was warned in advance that it will be very noisy with the traffic noise on the road. So I expected that. What's more than that is chickens crying all over early in the morning, as well as directly hearing all the conversation that's coming from the unit right below us when they were hanging around in lanai all the time.. It was like they were talking right next to me.

4. "Free breakfast"...... I don't know what to say about this. This shouldn't even be called "breakfast", because it is just "light refreshments". What they offer is coffee, a piece of papaya, and donuts or pastry..that's it. No eggs, no bacons, no juice, no cereal, no milk, no nothing.... Just tell the guests that a light refreshment will be served each morning, and don't mislead guests.

5. "Open" rooms. How they designed the upper half part of the room on each side is just open space, with screens on it. It's not closed by the walls. Probably this is to make the winds go through on each side so that it will be cooler. But what about when it rains heavy and wind is blowing and basically when it's cold? During my 4 day stay, it rained for 3 days and it was 60 something degrees every night. It's cold, but I cannot close the window or anything because it's open! I expect to be able to close something when it's cold. Besides, because of that open design of the room it worsens the noise from everywhere.


6. The pool is small, the beach is non-exist even though it's located right on the shore. It's just water with almost no sand. This could be just the geological characteristic of the island of Moloka'i, so i can't blame the hotel anyway. But what's for sure is this is against the people's general expectation about Hawaii.

7. When I was talking to the manger about how small the room was and if he could switch my room, he offered me an upgrade room saying that "he will be happy to give me the room" that is left (the one that's the noisiest, therefore people complain all the time, they let me know this in advance), without telling me anything about the upgrade fee. So i just assumed that it would be a free upgrade as this happen time to time at any hotels when it's slower. Later on the front desk girl(actually she was nice and kind though) just notified me that there will be an upgrade charge. The manager should've informed me about this clearly when he was offering me a room in the first place, it is bad communication.

Overall, I'm very disappointed and can't believe i paid this much to stay at this kind of hotel. If any hotel on Oahu charged this much for the quality they offer, it would've long gone out of business due to competition. But this is Molokai, there's no competition, they got the monopoly, and they still stay in business with no problem. What can I say??
If i get to ever visit Molokai again, there's no doubt that i will rather choose condominiums instead.

Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank Jung Yu K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GMHotelMolokai, General Manager at Hotel Molokai, responded to this review, 9 February 2014
Aloha,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback regarding your recent stay at Hotel Molokai. I was disappointed to hear that your visit did not live up to the usual exemplary experience the majority of our guests experience. Please know that we value all feedback from our guests, whether positive or negative, as we continually strive to sustain and improve the services that we provide.

As noted in your comments, there are many things we cannot control, including the lack of cell phone towers on the island and the geographical qualities of the island. There are sandy beaches on Molokai, and if you visit again you can find a list of the various beaches on our website, along with a link to another website with detailed information about the different beaches.

The open-air design of our hotel is meant to allow the tropical air to flow through the guestrooms and is frequently commented upon as one of the most pleasing characteristics of our property. I am sorry that the weather during your stay was not typical of the usual island weather.

Our complimentary continental breakfast is typically not communicated to our guests as a full breakfast. I sincerely apologize if this was miscommunicated to you by our team. I do feel confident that I relayed to you the upgrade fee during our conversation about changing rooms but again, I apologize if that was not the case.

Thank you again for your comments. If you would like to discuss your visit further, please don’t hesitate to contact me by calling 808.553.5347 Ext. 3398 or emailing mdrew@hotelmolokai.com.

Mahalo,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, Washington
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 January 2014

Hotel Molokai is a special place that doesn't feel like any other hotel or resort. Just like the island itself, its got its own unique character that is charming, laid back, peaceful, with quaint aesthetics while still being clean, with king beds and all the amenities you need, and top-notch in service. It is very private, in the sense that you have your own cute bungalow, but also generates a community/neighborhood sort of vibe because its a pretty small place and all the staff and fellow travelers are really friendly and laid back with many happenstance conversations occurring at the bar/pool area or in the open-air lobby. There is none of the BS extra fees and long list of policies of many of the other Hawaii hotels--internet, parking, snorkel, beach chairs, and towels are all included, and they will go the extra mile to make you happy. For us, they moved our room so we could have a better view and allowed us a late check out until our flight, amongst other things. Michael, the GM, makes himself readily available to all guests both through a Monday meet and greet (with free drinks!) and through informal socializing, and he's really terrific. He even spontaneously hosted a New Years Eve party by the pool when us and a few other guests expressed interest. He really wants all his guests to have a great time. Like others have posted, we definitely recommend the Friday night music performance by the "elders" on the island. Best to get a room with a kitchenette because food options are limited in town and close early. True that the beach is not really swimmable but the good news is that the sunsets in front of the hotel are beautiful and there are ample beaches to choose from on the island that are close by.

Also a word on Molokai itself--we were somewhat dubious about visiting Molokai when many people on other islands warned us that there was only a day's worth of things to do and that it was very rural. It turned out that Molokai was our favorite part of our multi-island trip. It is a place frozen in time, locals are exceedingly friendly and eager to share aspects of Hawaiian culture and tradition, and there are so many extraordinary places to explore that we easily filled up a week and regrettably didn't get to everything we wanted to do. Definitely recommend the Kalaupapa peninsula visit (we hiked and it was great) and the Western beaches. Also very worthwhile to visit the Kamakou forest reserve if you have a jeep and are comfortable driving on tough roads. If you need nightlife, shopping, and lots of tourist facilities this might not be the right place for you, but if you like an off the beaten path adventure, come to Molokai and stay here!

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank dllikestravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GMHotelMolokai, General Manager at Hotel Molokai, responded to this review, 23 January 2014
Aloha Deborah, I am so pleased to read this review – thank you! Your kind comments about the service and the property itself are very much appreciated.

I feel that Molokai is a special place and am happy to hear that you do as well.

We sincerely hope to see you again!

Mahalo,
Michael Drew, General Manager
Phone: 808.553.5347 x 3398
Email: Mdrew@hotelmolokai.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 January 2014

Lovely location and great hotel atmosphere, super friendly. Do not miss the Friday night local entertainment at the ocean front bar. The staff is incredible. Once the restaurant will re open it will be even better.

Room Tip: The upstairs have kitchenettes. Rooms are a bit pricey considering there is no beach in front of th...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank SusanneDenver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GMHotelMolokai, General Manager at Hotel Molokai, responded to this review, 16 January 2014
Aloha Susanne,

Your comments are greatly appreciated and our staff will be happy to hear your compliments about them! I’m glad that you enjoyed the entertainment on Friday at the bar – I’ll be sure to let them know.

Mahalo,
Michael Drew, General Manager
Phone: 808.553.5347 x 3398
Email: mdrew@hotelmolokai.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pfungstadt, Germany
Level Contributor
46 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 January 2014

We stayed two days at Hotel Molokai in a second floor room with a kitchenette and lovely spacious balcony - room# 204.

There was no a/c but you don´t need one due to the open construction and the slight breeze.

Before we arrived we were curious about possible noise because we read about "earplugs in every room". And now room# 204. Next to Kamehameha V Hwy. But it turned out we didn´t need them at all. Blame it on the really good cocktails from Hotel Molokai´s cocktail bar or on the packed day-action - After a sundowner on the beautiful lanai we fell asleep instantly. Thanks for the earplugs anyway but we didn´t need them.

Next point: noise of chicken. Well.... we used to live in a rural region of Germany, maybe we are used to the morning sound of these cute little guys but we didn´t feel this to be disturbing for us.

The kitchenette was well equipped and the bed was very comfy what might have helped to switch off possible noise.

The room was very spacious (4-person-room) and we really liked the high ceiling, the extraordinary architecture of this second-floor room. There was a flat-screen-TV as well but we didn´t use it.

Unfortunately the restaurant was still closed due to renovation but they served snacks in the bar area (did I mention the very good cocktails?).

Last but really not least, both thumbs up for the staff - at the front desk, at the bar, you name it. Very helpful and friendly (e.g. we changed our first level room to the second level unit upon arrival without any problems but with very nice assistance) - and finally this is a big point in leaving a positive impression.

Would I come back? YES!
Would I recommend Hotel Molokai? Yes, for sure!

Mahalo!

Room Tip: Try to get a second-floor room
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Pea-nui
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GMHotelMolokai, General Manager at Hotel Molokai, responded to this review, 15 January 2014
Thank you so much for taking the time to write about your visit with us! I’m happy to hear that you had an enjoyable time and enjoyed everything from the lanai and cocktails to the guestroom itself. I’ll definitely pass along your comments to our staff regarding the helpful and friendly service you experienced.

I hope that you’ll visit us again soon and have the opportunity to experience the restaurant once it’s reopened.

Mahalo,
Michael Drew, General Manager
Phone: 808.553.5347 x 3398
Email: mailto:mdrew@hotelmolokai.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 January 2014

My wife and I had one of the best vacations of our lives at Hotel Moloka'i! It was not just that the hotel is located in paradise, but the staff and people made us feel like family. The staff was always helpful for all of our needs and anything we asked about, they took care of right away. The grounds are very well maintained and the rooms were very clean. Tylor made the best drinks at the bar, where we had some of the funnest times with other guests, employees, and local patrons. Tylor even took us hiking on his day off and William Jr. gave us tangerines for the hike; we had so much fun! Overall, the manager Michael treated us better than any GM at a hotel has before. He runs a great place with excellent employees, such as Tylor, William Jr, Pua, David, Buddy, Fumiko, Shantell, Ted, Whitney, and Jaymi, who were wonderful people that we loved spending the week with. We hope we make it back here again in the future to experience the Aloha of the Hotel, staff, and island!

Bottom Line: This is not a Sandals or Wyndham resort type of place. It is a quaint place located in paradise that offers really special service. That said, you may see insects, you may sweat with no AC and only a fan, they may not have your specific item, but they seem to always go above and beyond to accommodate guests' needs as best as possible. It may be noisy because the neighboring property has chickens (as many on the island do), or because the walls and ceilings are not insulated (it's Hawaii, why would they be?), but they put earplugs in the room. This is the place to meet wonderful people, relax, and get away from the commercial consumerism of fast food, traffic jams, and big box stores on every corner.

Room Tip: Rooms are simple and clean. Some rooms have AC, but most don't. Second floor rooms are more priv...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Brock S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GMHotelMolokai, General Manager at Hotel Molokai, responded to this review, 8 January 2014
Aloha Brock and Sara!!!

Greetings from Molokai!! Thank you so very much for posting a review. We are delighted that you truly enjoyed your stay with us. I have shared your review with the entire staff and we are looking forward to welcome you back in the very near future. Until then...be well
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
26 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 January 2014

We stayed in the Hotel Molokai for New Year. The Hotel is very nice. It looks like a tiny resort, and the staff is very kind, and are always eager to help you to have a good experience. Hotel Molokai is located in Molokai's 460 HWY and if your room is in the outside part it can be a little bit noisy. Rooms don't have AC, but a fan is provided and works pretty well. Complimentary shampoo, conditioner, gel and soap are good quality and smell really good. The hotel provides continental breakfast with amazing papaya and bakery. Wifi works really well, and the Hotel provides complimentary beach towels, snorkel gear, and coffee. We also had a minibar. It is good to store some munchies since the town is really small and everything closes around 8 pm. Unfortunately, the Hotel Molokai do not have a nice beach, so if you want to lie on the sand, you better look for beaches farther east.

Room Tip: Ask for a room far from the Highway. If you are in the ground floor of a two-floor cabin you will he...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Chili2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GMHotelMolokai, General Manager at Hotel Molokai, responded to this review, 8 January 2014
Aloha,

Thank you for taking the time to post a review. We are delighted that you truly enjoyed your stay with us. We hope to be of service to you in the future.

Best Regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Molokai

Property: Hotel Molokai
Address: 1300 Kamehameha V Hwy, P.O. Box 1020, Kaunakakai, Molokai, HI 96748-4021
Region: United States > Hawaii > Molokai > Kaunakakai
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 B&Bs / Inns in Kaunakakai
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Molokai 3*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Enjoy an authentic Hawaiian experience at our resort, located on Kamiloloa Beach adjacent to Hawaii's only barrier reef. Our Ocean front resort offers the ideal setting for your authentic Hawaiian experience. Join us every Friday for our "Aloha Friday" sunset celebration from 4pm-6pm Oceanside. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Molokai Hawaii

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