A mile from the entrance of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, this lodge was initially built as a YMCA camp in the 1930s; now it is a pleasant inn, tastefully furnished with European antiques, photographs, and authentic Hawaiian quilts. Some rooms have a gas fireplace, including a charming one-bedroom cottage on the property, perfect for romance. Cottages off the main property include Pii Mauna House, on the fairway of the Volcano Golf Course. Rates include a full hot breakfast at the lodge's restaurant (open to the public), which has an excellent, gourmet dinner menu that includes braised rabbit and leg of antelope. The duck à l'orange is a customer favorite.
There are 12 rooms spread across the immediate property, as well as four vacation rental houses nearby, but off property. All rooms have central heat and some have fireplaces, as well as heated towel racks. Décor is simple, but the furniture and room are comfy and inviting.
Bathrooms range from small to medium, with basic shower and sink facilities. Each bathroom also has a decorative water jug for drinking water because the property uses a rainwater system for water.
Guests can check in at the gift shop inside of the restaurant as staff is setting up for dinner service. But be warned – this gift shop has a really great variety of Hawaiian gifts, so be careful not to spend your whole travel budget here!
There is a covered hot tub available for guests.
Kilauea Lodge Restaurant is also on property, and guests enjoy a hot breakfast at the restaurant that is included with their stay. In addition to breakfast, there is daily lunch and dinner service, and a Sunday brunch. The dining room only seats around 80 people, so it’s no problem to wander around and look at the unique local art hanging about. Reservations are recommended for dinner, and always be sure to ask about the specials of the day. Oh, and you can order a box lunch the day before to take with you on adventures!
To fully explore Volcano and the rest of the island, you’ll need a rental car.
If you haven’t had enough of the beautiful gardens at the lodge, Café Ono (10 minute walk) offers health conscious fare in an old Hawaiian garden estate. Ohelo Café (7 minute walk) offers heavier, more traditional American and Italian fare in the form of wood-fired pizzas, upscale meat dishes, and a chef’s table option.
Volcano Winery (8 minute drive) offers tastings of their island inspired, island grown wines every day of the year for a small fee. Thai Thai Bistro & Bar (4 minute walk) offers up local brews for a great price, tropical cocktails for a decent price, and a Flaming Thai Thai with an extra little kick.
WHY WE LIKE IT
There is a lot of history on these grounds, and one of the most charming parts about this lodge is the story of the International Fireplace of Friendship, featuring stones and coins from around the world. Be sure to spend a little time visiting it. The real draw here, however, is the beautiful rainforest grounds that the lodge sits upon, making this a wonderfully serene place for a solo vacation to focus on self, art, writing, and other introverted activities.