Sleeping near a Volcano
Very affordable, and cozy, with a rustic atmosphere. This was a great place lacking in the usual luxuries of television and cable. This was a GREAT place to rest for the night after long days touring the island. Books! Books in the room and books in the Lobby. Games! Games to borrow at the front desk. Cozy lobby with fireplace for guests to relax at before retiring to the solitude of their rooms.
Outdated Than Rustic
With crater rim views of Kilauea Caldera, the Volcano House's location is its primary draw, and perhaps maybe even its only draw. While it's the only hotel inside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the state's oldest continuously operated hotel, it's evident that this hotel's glory days are long gone. The fact that it's changed ownership numerous times in its century plus history may have something to do with it too. Regardless, it makes me sad to say that the Volcano House feels more outdated than it does rustic. I understand having only basic amenities in keeping with lodge living (no TV, no safe, no microwave, no mini-fridge, etc,...), but paying $205 a night for a musty smelling room with peeling wallpaper, decaying sliding doors, creaking floors (you could hear people walking above us continuously), hand crank windows, and a space heater (like the one I grew up with) just doesn't seem right. A place can be "rustic", but still be charming. Sorry to say, but the Volcano House is more rusting than charmingly rustic. We stayed in the "crater view" room in the main building, which afforded us with amazing views of the crater and the Ohia forest just steps away from our room. Additionally, the hotel's proximity to all the sites within the National Park was a major plus, allowing us to beat any visitor traffic. Lastly, in the evening, spend some time in front of the eternal fireplace in the lobby - the lobby, probably being the only place on the property that exemplifies true rustic charm.
Note: Tip originally written Oct. 29 for Oct. 2009 visit to the Big Island.
Addendum (10/31/09): After having checked out of V.H., a hotel representative called me up to tell me that I forgot some items in the room. Because I (for once) over packed, I intentionally left some things behind. It was just nice to know that they cared and were professional enough to give me a call.
Stay the night in the Volcanoes National Park
When spending all day in the Volcanoes National Park, and perhaps doing a hike after dark, the volcano House is a perfect place to spend the night.
This historic hotel from 1865 is located within the park itself and is placed right on the rim of the Kiluea crater.
They have both rooms with a crater view and rooms in a building located between the main building and the visitor center, and they are priced accordingly. If you are spending the day and the daylight hours in the park there is really no need to spend the money on a room with a crater view, as you'll have a perfect view of the crater during breakfast, which by the way is a nice buffet. Great views of the Kilauea crater from the dining room at breakfast.
Extremely Disappointed - stay somewhere else please
This review is late....I was extremely disappointed with our stay at the Volcano House. I expected rustic and historic. It was un-maintained and tacky. Our beds were tiny, the rooms were not very clean. The view from the dining room was amazing - the best part of the lodge. Breakfast was barely marginal. The best part of our stay at Volcano House was that is was only for one night. The place has potential but is sorely in need of better management and a facelift.
Upon checking in, I was treated like a child by the desk attendent. She saw my son - who is 13 - and said to me "In the hotel world, he is charged as an adult. I should charge you an extra $15 but I'll let it pass this time". Well... what a welcome! I offered to pay the $15 and she refused. Her whole attitude was poor - especially after I paid her $250 for my mediocre room. Great view otherwise.
Snack bar terrible and restaurant is overprice for what you get.
Volcano House should clean up their attitude especially for a traveler just checking in...!
the Crator seen from the Volcano House
Volcano vent next to Volcano House
Me photographing Kilauea Crater from Volcano House
Looking at staying at the Volcano House on the Big Island. Thanks to a tip! I was wondering if anyone has looked at the cabins they have. It says they are three miles from the main house. My parents are looking for budget accomodations and this sounds right for them but I want to make sure that they are clean and safe. We will be staying at the main house are the crater view rooms worth the money? Thanks for your help!
RE: Volcano House
Aloha. Unless your parents are real camping buffs and dig the really simple life of outdoor living then the cabins are not for them. Go to the website for the Volcano House: www.vocanohousehotel.com and look at them. It reminds me of camp grounds with the toilet facilities outside of the cabin. The Hotel itself is old, remember Mark Twain stayed here, but a fire destroyed his cabin. The grounds are safe if you don't climb the little stone wall barrier to the crater. The neatest part of staying is the rocking chair in the room. The room I stayed in was sparse with shuttered windows facing the crated. Primative, but something refreshing and peaceful about the rooms. The prime rib at the restaurant is the best. Aloha oe.
RE: Volcano House
There are other accommodations options in this area. Although the Volcano House is in the Park, there are plenty of choices of B&Bs right outside the Park's entrance in the little town of Volcano. We stayed at one a couple years ago and it was very convenient for us to explore the park in detail. The highlight was driving down to the end of Chain of Craters Road and hiking on the lava fields to see the lava enter the ocean well before daybreak. The lava at night is an awesome sight!
Keep in mind that the town of Volcano (as well as the Park's entrance) is at approximately 3,500 feet above sea level. This area seems to be in the clouds most of the time due to prevailing winds and everything will be damp and wet. That's why you'll see all the ferns growing so well in this area. If you can get use to the cool (50-55 degrees F.) and damp air, you'll be alright. Otherwise, consider yourself warned.