Loved the Inn and the Waterfall!
Really didn't know what to expect but were pleasantly surprised. It is off the beaten path but a pleasant ride and the road was well paved, directions were super. Our room (King Kamehahameha (?)) was lovely with a balcony overlooking the falls. The sound of the rushing water was lovely music to go to sleep by. The common areas were very nice with a open balcony to eat breakfast and TV, music, computer and phone if you wanted it. We were too busy to use the common areas anyway. The housekeeper, U'ilani was very welcoming and she will make you eggs if you would like. We met some very nice people and it was very private. Would highly recommend the Inn for a lovely stay!
Some Plusses Some Minuses
Recently stayed here for 3 nights. On the plus side - unique location, about 10 minutes from Hilo. Best driven in daylight for your first time up the hill. Well-marked directions (it's a good thing!)Romantic spot and the sound of the falls puts you to sleep. Room was about average for a B & B; breakfast adequate, but not memorable. Free use of internet on computer in guest living room was helpful. Breakfast staff very nice. On the negative side - Inn could use some maintenance and some grounds clean up. Some areas not quite finished yet. Would stay here again.
views depend on the room
We were reassigned to the princess room, and were disappointed in the view. The lanai was tiny with two chairs that faced back towards the room - and the view was mostly of the roof, the driveway, and some trees. The sea was so far you could not call it within the view. It was not at all inviting. (see photo). The king room, however, did have a balcony which looked over the stream, the beautiful hill behind, and the waterfall. So if you stay here, you should be sure to get one of the good-view rooms (king or queen) and not one on the other side (prince and especially princess).
The room itself was nice and looked like the photo on their website. The falls were very pretty and we liked the walks along the stream and in the gardens. Breakfast was good, and from the common room you have nice views and also the fast internet connection. We didn't have any problem with insects, and in February we didn't want any air conditioning.
Our bathroom was not quite finished and was smaller than we expected. But it was clean and functional.
The futon they supplied for our daugher was thin and not very comfortable - really a foam mat about 2 inches thick. So this is not a good place for a third person.
What a nightmare!
We reserved 3 nights at this b&b for a group of 8 adults and 3 children. We reserved the Pagoda House (sleeping 4 adults and 2 children) and 2 rooms in the main house, 1 sleeping 2 adults, and the other sleeping 2 adults and 1 child. Beautiful location, lovely drive up mountain to the inn. To keep this from being too long I will just list problems in order of being noticed.
1. Spiders, webs absolutely everywhere. Needed knocked down daily with broom, but
this was not done. Mosquitoes in room because of lack of screens on french doors which were left hanging wide open. (we're in the jungle. I do expect bugs, we're campers, I can handle this)
2. Bedding. 3rd person sleeping in main house must sleep on floor. See bug issue above. Forget about asking for pillows. When I asked for a pillow for my son I was told "We're in the jungle, what do you expect!" (there is a Walmart 15 minutes away, they should have provided bedding for all of us, we had 8 pillows for our group of 11) We reserved months in advance. They knew how many of us would be needing beds/pillows.
3. Water. They have their own water treatment system. It was not working. We went to bed with very little water pressure. When we awoke, there was insufficient pressure to brush teeth, flush toilet, take shower, etc. ( I did notice their clothes washing machines were running however) They shut off water to the pagoda house without any warning to any of us. The pagoda house had limited pressure, but more than the main house (I am also unsure of how they did dishes. I suspect they didn't wash them well.) When we told them there was no water in pagoda, we were informed they were working on the cisterns and changing the filters that were not working. They proved frozen O.J. for us to mix up for breakfast (with this river/tap water before it was shut off). The 5 people that drank that O.J. ended up with intestinal problems. We did eat out a lot, may have come from elsewhere, but that is the one thing that stands out as a probable cause. The remaining 6 of us who didn't drink it did not have any symptoms.
4. Pets. The cat (with oozy ugly eye) could open the doors to the pagoda house. My parents awoke in the middle of the night to the cat on the kitchen table eating a pizza crust it had pulled out of the trash. The doors were all sliding screen doors that did not latch. There was a large gap between the doors which invited all the mosquitoes in to feast on my family and the pets to eat our leftovers.
5. Food. Frozen oj, yucky pastries (frozen pound cake) fruit was good, but probably washed in their bacteria infested water. The pagoda house had cooking facilities and the entire group of 11 was asked to cook our own breakfast. The 5 staying in the main house were made to feel unwelcome in the main dinning room. (banished outside or to their bedrooms) They provided the goods. Their coffee was great, but powdered creamer is all they had. For the price, I expected at least good cream, 1/2 &1/2 , not powdered creamer and frozen oj.
6. Staff. We were never "welcomed" upon arrival. Had the owners been there it may have been different. When I went in to complain, (yes, I was upset after all of this, but not emotional, yelling, etc.) I was yelled at to remove my shoes! (perfectly clean flip flops that I use as my slippers. brand new for trip) I wish she could have asked nicely. The woman litterally skipped down the drive when we told her we were checking out yelling "Yippee! Now I have the day off!"
If you go here expecting a comfortable bed and a good breakfast you will be disappointed. If you expect a camping like experience you may like it if you can get it at a discount. I would've been happy had it only cost $50 per night. That is what it was worth. On the upside, they did refund the money for our 2 unused nights when we were able to find loding elsewhere.
I want to be fair......
I want to be fair about this property, so I will list the good things first:
Beautiful property, and we could see and hear the waterfall from our room.
Plenty of food provided at breakfast.
Now the bad:
Prior to our arrival, we received an email stating that they had double-booked our room for the third and final night of our stay and so we would have to move to another room for that third night. We felt this was best dealt with in person, so we ignored the email. Upon our arrival, however, the innkeeper told us that it was actually our choice whether to move or not since we were checking in first. When we told her we did not want to move, she complained to us that the other guest would be upset that she would have to move after her first night. As this was the Inn's problem and not ours, we didn't feel it was appropriate for the innkeeper to ask us to remedy the problem and then to try to make us feel bad that we didn't.
Spiders everywhere! I understand this is a rainforest, but a good exterminator and screens would go a long way toward keeping the critters out in the forest where they belong.
Rooms are unfinished. No trim along baseboards, leaving some exposed nail heads, etc.
Mold, mold, mold!!!! Tons of it in the bathrooms.
Smoke detectors in our room and the hallway had no covers, leaving us doubting if they would work.
Light switch in our room was missing a cover, leaving exposed wiring.
Our trash was never taken out of the bathroom while we were there, and it was overflowing on the second day.
Tissue was never replaced after box became empty on the second day.
Very low quality linens.
Water pressure and temperature in shower were inadequate. The first two mornings it eventually warmed up, but never did on the third and final morning.
Breakfast, while plentiful, is basically all packaged foods and some eggs if you want them. I'm not a big fan of packaged foods and like a little more variety from one morning to the next.
When we were leaving, my husband asked to speak with the owner. We were told that he was not there, so my husband asked the innkeeper to please have the owner call us to discuss the issues we had with the place. We have never heard from the owner. I believe the innkeeper suspected our dissatisfaction, so I do not know if the owner ever received the request or not.
I had misgivings about booking the stay here because it was so inexpensive compared to the other places we stayed on the islands - I feared something had to be wrong with the place. Their website, however, convinced me that I had found a real treasure. Do not fall for this incredibly adept marketing. Overall, I would say that this is a 1 and a half star lodging. You will probably be much less disappointed than we were if you know this going in. I wish I had listened to my instincts.
I just don't think the owners really know about hospitality. They do not give a provide any sense of aloha or welcome to their clients. They almost feel uncomfortable in opening their home. I think the owner is more of a web designer, who imagines himself to be a builder and inn keeper. We were impressed with the location, but underimpressed with the facilties. Too bad, because it really is a super location. The falls are awesome. It's a pretty good deal for a night or two, but know that you are unlikely to be completely comfortable.
I echo other travelers. The website was quite nice. The room was a bit on the small side and water pressure for the shower was weak. It's nice to provide a computer with Internet connection in the common area but after getting swarmed by mosquitos, I realized why there wasn't anyone hanging out there. It is a tropical rain forest area and the location is nice (although not an easy drive from historical Hilo), I would not recommend this place. Breakfast was decent on our stay of one night but nothing to write home about.