Big Island Hotel Recommendations | Budget-Friendly Accommodation Review

Big Island | How to Choose Where to Stay

Accommodation was the most challenging aspect of planning our itinerary for the Big Island of Hawaii. Lodging in Hawaii is not cheap, and we wanted to explore the entire island. While staying in the same place every day was an option, we didn't want to waste too much time on transportation and still desired to find the most suitable accommodation at the most reasonable price. Therefore, deciding which hotel to stay in on each day became our biggest headache.

Before I start to share my experience, I would like to give a brief explanation. The whole island tourists live in Kona is the most people, one to the southwest side of the island has the most attractions, on the other hand, Kona compared to the northwest side of the Waikoloa price is easy to approach, so theKonaThere are also the most choices of accommodation. If you prefer to stay in a high class hotel, you can also stay in the northwestern part of the city.Waikoloa. Kona provides a wide range of lodging choices. If you prefer a luxurious hotel experience, you can opt to stay in Waikoloa on the northwest side. Some people even spend an entire week within the upscale resorts in this area. However, if you plan to explore the entire island or visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, it is generally recommended to spend at least two days on the eastern coast of the Big Island. Hilo accomodations are typically the most budget-friendly on the island, and it's a place many people appreciate. From a transportation perspective, if you intend to visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, staying within the park itself is the most time-efficient option, as it minimizes commute times. This way, you can allocate half a day to a day for Hilo.

Recommended Kona Hotel | Holiday Inn Express

  • Room: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Facility: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Location: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Price: $$$
  • Overall Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in Kona for several days. When choosing a hotel in Kona, our top priority was its location because we planned to stay in Kona for several days and didn't want to keep changing hotels. Although Holiday Inn Express is not right by the beach, it is centrally located. It's just a few steps to walk to the old town area, making dining convenient. The distance to all the attractions on the west side is manageable by car. Since we were out snorkeling most of the time, coming back to the hotel for a rest at noon didn't waste much time. Although there's nothing particularly noteworthy about the interior, it didn't disappoint us.

Holiday Inn Express reservations

Recommended Volcanoes National Park Hotel | Hale 'Ohu Bed & Breakfast

  • Room: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Facility: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Location: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Price: $$$
  • Overall Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Hale 'Ohu Bed & Breakfast, located near the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, was the most satisfying accommodation during our trip. In fact, there aren't many accommodation options near the national park. Initially, we considered staying in one of the Volcanic houses within the park. However, we later discovered that Hale 'Ohu is only a five-minute drive from the entrance of the national park and is much more reasonably priced. Upon arrival, we found that the bed and breakfast itself had a lot of character, with a warm and tranquil atmosphere in its overall design.

Seeing the vast greenery around, it's hard to believe that there are only three rooms in total. The first building we saw after parking the car is actually the office and residence used by the owners of the bed and breakfast. Our accommodation room is located at the other end.

Upon arrival, the weather was overcast with light rain, and the bed and breakfast was shrouded in mist, creating a surreal atmosphere. The next day, the sun shone brightly, and the surroundings looked completely different, yet equally beautiful.

The extensive garden is open for guests to explore freely. Before leaving, we lingered there for a morning, enjoying the serene atmosphere and feeling the thoughtfulness of the hosts.

The most surprising part is that beyond the garden, there is an entire private tropical rainforest, complete with a short hiking trail. After exploring it, we felt like there was no need to visit the Tropical Botanical Garden in Hilo anymore.

The interior of the room was not particularly upscale, but overall the room was very comfortable. The breakfast was quite generous and healthy, with lots of tropical fruits and good flavors. The menu varies from day to day and is prepared the night before and put in the mini fridge for you to pick up in the morning. The food would be good anywhere else, let alone in Volcanoes National Park where there are no restaurants at all, so it was a treat to be able to have a well-prepared breakfast in my room with a view.

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Hale 'Ohu Bed & Breakfast Reservations

Recommended Hilo Hotel | Dolphin Bay Hotel

  • Room: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Facility: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Location: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Price: $
  • Overall Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Dolphin Bay Hotel is a remarkably impressive accommodation. When we were booking hotels in the Hilo area, we found that there weren't many options available. The Dolphin Bay's price was relatively cheap, and the photos didn't seem particularly appealing, so we arrived with the mindset of just needing a place to sleep for the night. The hotel has a noticeable historical charm, and the owner seems to adopt a laid-back approach to management. However, upon entering the room, we found that although the design was lacking, the amenities were comprehensive. There was a kitchen, dining table, and even in a room costing less than 100 dollars, there were three large beds that were surprisingly comfortable to sleep on. Perhaps their focus is on budget-conscious long-term guests. Despite the lack of air conditioning, the room was surprisingly cool, possibly due to its location.

The surprising element was the complimentary food that we didn't expect at all. Although the hotel didn't explicitly mention providing breakfast, there was coffee available in the morning, accompanied by complimentary banana bread and mangoes. The fruits and banana bread here were the best we've had in Hawaii. They appeared simple but were evidently carefully selected by the owner. Other guests were also loading up on banana bread, making this unexpected treat truly worthwhile.

Dolphin Bay Reservations

Recommended Waikoloa Village Hotel | Hilton Grand Vacations Club Kings' Land Waikoloa

  • Room: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Facility: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Location: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Price: $$$$$
  • Overall Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Waikoloa Village is the most luxurious area on the entire Big Island, with numerous upscale resorts. Of course, one can imagine that the accommodation prices are quite high here. Although we were eager to experience the most expensive five-star resorts, it seemed that the dates we chose were quite popular, and the prices we saw, exceeding a thousand US dollars per night, were just... beyond our budget. In the end, we opted to stay for one night at the King's Land, a Hilton-affiliated resort in this area, which was much cheaper than the resorts closer to the sea.

Before jumping to conclusions that cheaper means less enjoyable, it's worth noting that Kings' Land itself has excellent facilities, including swimming pools, sports courts, bars, and more, typical of a five-star resort. They also provide shuttle services, making it very convenient, and the amenities are quite upscale. What's most important is that guests can actually access the extravagant facilities of the Hilton Waikoloa Village for free, where they can enjoy the beautiful seaside views and even more luxurious amenities. It's considered free because non-guests would have to pay a hefty parking fee of $39 if they were to drive in. However, this fee is waived for guests staying at Kings' Land, as they can use their room key for access. After visiting, we found that the Hilton Waikoloa Village is actually huge, and even guests staying there need to take a shuttle to get to their own beach. Additionally, cars are not allowed to drive directly to the rooms. Therefore, we actually preferred staying at Kings' Land because we didn't have to drag our luggage far, yet we could still enjoy going to the beach without any hassle. It's a bit further away, but it's still very worthwhile.

On the other hand, Kings' Land itself is not just an ordinary small hotel. After checking in, we had to drive for a few minutes to reach our room because there are many buildings on the property. The interior of the room was also very luxurious, with virtually no flaws. We stayed in the cheapest room layout, a 1-bedroom unit, which consisted of a living room with a full dining area, a separate large bedroom with two TVs (one inside and one outside), and a comfortable balcony. The room also had its own washer and dryer, which didn't require any additional payment.

Hilton Grand Vacations Club Kings' Land Waikoloa Reservations

More Accommodations by Areas of the Big Island

Find a stay in Kona:

Find a stay in Waikoloa village

Find a stay near Volcanoes National Park

Find a stay in Hilo?

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