Fodor's Expert Review The Palms Cliff House Inn

28-3514 Mamalahoa Hwy., Honomu, Hawaii, 96728, USA See on Map

This handsome Victorian-style mansion, 15 minutes north of downtown Hilo and a few minutes from Akaka Falls, is perched on the sea cliffs 100 feet above the crashing surf of the tropical coast. You can pick fruit and macadamia nuts from the gardens of the 3½-acre estate. Individually decorated rooms have private lanai. Suites include oversize hot tubs (all four suites have a Jacuzzi by the window with a stunning view of the coast). A husband-and-wife team serves breakfast with pride on the lanai overlooking the cliffs; meals generally include fresh-baked muffins, locally grown fruit, a warm egg or meat dish (they always ask about food allergies or dietary restrictions ahead of time), and, of course, fantastic local coffee. They can help you plan activities, including hula lessons and massage.


Well decorated with island style and carpeting throughout, the rooms are warm and have just a touch of the regal in their décor (though they are just a bit outdated). The welcoming environment makes you want to slip off your shoes and stay a while. All of the rooms have views of the expansive Pacific Ocean that’s just a cliff line away.

YOU SHOULD KNOW Check out time is 10 a.m., one of the earliest times on the island.


A few of the rooms have en suite jacuzzi tubs, if you really don’t feel like walking all the way to the bathroom to lounge in a bath. Otherwise, the bathrooms are all just a bit different, but still offer nice bathrooms in each room.


You’ll get the full Hawaiian vibe of this Victorian mansion as soon as you walk in and start your check in process. There are artifacts, artwork, and a variety of décor everywhere you turn. Running late? Your hosts can leave your key in the mailbox so that you can go straight to your room to rest.

Your hosts provide beach towels, umbrellas, coolers, and other beach gear that you won’t want to buy on your trip, so be sure to take advantage of those. And if it happens to be a rainy Hilo day you can use the free wifi or extensive movie library.








There is no on-site dining, but your hosts provide a lovely full hot island breakfast that is included with your stay from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Not only is it delicious, but it comes with stunning ocean views, and maybe a few whale or dolphin sightings with your local coffee. They also take into account late risers and those adjusting from other time zones by offering an in-room continental breakfast from 9 to 9:30 a.m. There is also a grill and dishes available for guests who want to prepare meals on their own.




Getting Around

This inn is in a somewhat remote area, so you’ll need a car.


Nearby Mr. Ed’s Bakery (2 minute drive) is a great places to grab a cup of coffee and a sandwich to go. Mr. Ed’s also has a great selection of fruit jams, great for souvenirs. Head into Hilo for more dining options, including Café Pesto (15 minute drive) for an Italian meal with island flair.


The short but sweet happy hour at Moon & Turtle (15 minute drive) offers up some really stunning cocktails that will leave you hoping that they have available seating for their small plate dinner service. For really fun cocktails made with fresh, local ingredients, stop by Pineapple’s (17 minute drive) for pupus on their patio. Yes, they even have a cocktail served to you INSIDE a pineapple.


This inn feels both luxurious and comfortable at the same time. You can imagine Hawaiian royalty staying at a place like this, taking in the gorgeous views and lounging in the stately rooms.


Casual Chic


Phones: 808-963–6076;866-963–6076

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