When I arrived at Volcano Village Lodge, the sun had already set. On my way along the gravel path, I mistook another guest’s cottage for the lobby. Apologizing profusely as I did a sharp u-turn on the trail, I found my way to the Main Lodge. Locked up tight there was a welcoming note taped to the door that said to make myself comfortable and to come and say “hello” in the morning. An easy to read map directed me to my room, that from what I could see and hear, was set in the middle of the Hawaiian rainforest.
The room, Hale Kilauea, was more like a tiny house. Hale means building or house in Hawaiian. It was unlocked, with the lights on and the key on the bedside table.
My 12-plus hour day had started many miles ago on the Kona side of Hawaii’s Big Island. It included touring a Seahorse Farm, hiking a waterfall, learning how Hawaiian Vanilla is grown and when the sun set, watching lava glow at nearby Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Even in my exhausted state, I appreciated the comfortable and cozy stand-alone cottage. I switched on the gas fireplace and settled into the queen bed. It was dark, and I’ll admit, I was happy exploring the property would have to wait until morning.
I had no idea what was waiting for me when I opened my eyes early the next morning. Three walls or sides of Hale Kilauea are made of large glass windows. The garden of ferns, anthuriums and bamboo surrounding the room made getting out of bed easy.
The view and the many amenities had a way of making up for Hale Kilauea’s small size. Along with a coffee maker and tea kettle there was a microwave and toaster. A gourmet breakfast is prepared the evening before and placed in the room’s refrigerator. Colorful plates of fresh fruit are paired with tasty selections like sweet bread French toast and sausage, along with a generous selection of yogurt, cereals and juice. A basket on the beautifully set table includes other goodies like chocolate, macadamia nuts, granola bars and microwaveable popcorn.
The hot tub is open 8:30am to 10pm. Gino, the resident gray cat, may greet you on your way.
The Main Lodge and reception area is stocked with games, books and hundreds of DVDs. (All rooms have televisions equipped with DVD players, but no reception.) WiFi is complimentary. The strongest signal is near the Main Lodge. It’s not lightning fast, but will do for checking email and sharing vacation photos with family and friends.
It’s hard not to be impressed by the many amenities, but when it comes down to it, it’s the Lodge’s location in Volcano Village that can’t be beat. Set in a quiet residential neighborhood, just two miles from Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, you couldn’t ask for a better home base to go in and out of the park, day or night.
Volcano Village is a small community. There are two general stores, a handful of restaurants and two places to get gas. If you crave some hustle and bustle, Hilo is about a 45 minute drive.
Volcano Village Lodge has just five rooms. Maximum occupancy varies from two to four people. Booking early is recommended. Hale Kilauea costs $280 per night, including breakfast. There’s typically a two-night minimum, but sometimes there’s wiggle room, so ask.
Review and photos by Dana Rebmann. Her stay at Volcano Village Lodge was hosted by the Hawai’i Visitors and Convention Bureau, but as always her thoughts and opinions are her own.