Units in this circa-1950s motor lodge are modest, but charming, clean, and inexpensive. A glowing lava flow sign marks the office and bespeaks owner John Alexander's passion for the volcano. Stunning lava pictures adorn the common area, and Alexander is a great source of information for visiting the national park and for exploring the back roads of Hilo. Coffee and fresh fruit are offered daily with banana bread. Four blocks from downtown Hilo, in a residential area called Puueo, the hotel borders a verdant 2-acre Hawaiian garden with jungle trails and shady places to rest. Guests of the hotel return repeatedly, and it's ideal for families who seek a home base.