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View Full Version : Advice on Big Island and Volcano Nat'l Park



falmouth3
12-16-2006, 09:53 PM
I took my first trip to Hawaii in Sept. We went to Maui and we loved it! For my next trip, I'd like to go to the Big Island. The one thing that I absolutely want to visit is Volcano Nat'l Park. I understand that Sea Mountain at Punalu`u is the closest TS. Should I request that resort as an exchange for the week or should I request some other resort and book a night closer to the park just to avoid the commute?

I'm also requesting suggestions on best time to visit. We have no children so we could go at anytime.

Thanks,
Sue

Luanne
12-16-2006, 10:09 PM
Personally I would prefer to spend most of my time in the Kona/Kohala Coast area, and then spend a night or two in Volcano to see the park. I think Sea Village would be too remote for an entire week. What we've done is to book our timeshare, and then add a night or two on to the trip. Next summer we're spending two nights at the Kileaua Lodge in Volcano at the beginning of the trip, then a week in Kona and another week in Waikoloa Village.

taffy19
12-16-2006, 10:38 PM
I agree with Luanne and we took her advise too and stayed at the Kilauea Lodge as it saves so much driving. If the volcano is active, you may want to drive down the Chain of Craters Road again after dinner as you will see the glow at night much better than in the daytime.

I don't know if they will still let you walk the trail closer to the lava. You will have to check with the park ranger if it is worthwhile going there or not. You can check it online too right here (http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/kilauea/update/). There is a lot to see in the park so one day is not enough. JMHO. We stay longer every time. There is enough to see around Hilo too.

falmouth3
12-16-2006, 11:13 PM
I got similar advice on the other board, too. It seem unanimous! So with the experts weighing in, that's what I'll do. It will still be a while before I go because I'm thinking about my 2008 vacation already since 2007 is booked. I only get 2 weeks vacation. :(

Thanks for your advice!!

Sue

Glitter Brunello
12-16-2006, 11:45 PM
I got similar advice on the other board, too. It seem unanimous! So with the experts weighing in, that's what I'll do. It will still be a while before I go because I'm thinking about my 2008 vacation already since 2007 is booked. I only get 2 weeks vacation. :(

Thanks for your advice!!

Sue

Sue,

Sounds like you've already decided, but just to reassure you, we drove by the t/s b/c I was interested for a future visit. It is really in the middle of nowhere. Closer to Volcano than Kona or Waikoloa, but not close enough to make it worthwhile. We rented a cottage for an overnight at Volcano. The lodge Luanne recommends would be ideal, and there are other options in the area.

Luanne
12-17-2006, 01:57 AM
The lodge Luanne recommends would be ideal, and there are other options in the area.


Glad everyone likes my recommendation. :grin: We've stayed at the Kilauea Lodge for several years, always in Tutu's Place which is a cottage off-site. Even if you don't stay there try to have dinner there one night. Reservations are a must.

http://www.kilauealodge.com/

4ARedOctober
01-12-2007, 10:12 PM
We are planning on staying two nights minimum at the Volcano and would appreciate your advice.

We will be on the BI this April for 10 nights total with the balance in a combination of either timeshare or at the Hilton Waikoloa with HH points.

Is it better to go at the beginning of the trip or at the end? We arrive at noon on a Friday into Kona.

I see the recommendations on the Kilauea Lodge and it looks nice. What about Volcano House, The Inn at The Volcano (Chalet Kilauea),
or other options in the area? We have kids ages 9 and 4 who are well behaved (for the most part).

Any other pearls of wisdom will be welcome and appreciated.

Luanne
01-12-2007, 11:29 PM
We've done the stay in Volcano at the beginning, middle and end of our trips. :biggrin: I don't know if I have a preference. This year we're starting out in Volcano, for two nights instead of our usual one. We'll be at the Kilauea Lodge again. Since we like it there so much we haven't tried any of the other places in the area. We always stay in Tutu's Place, which is the off site cottage with two bedrooms.

Two summers ago we spent a week on the Big Island, a week on Molokai and the final three nights in Tutu's Place. We just manage to fit Volcano in when it works out best with the timeshare weeks. It's about a 2 1/2 to 3 hour drive from the Kona airport to Volcano, so it just depends if you want to make that drive at the beginning, or end, of your trip. You can fly into Hilo, which is closer. We've never done that because we can get a non-stop out of Kona.

TravelBug
01-12-2007, 11:31 PM
We're doing the same trip in May :banana: ! Have reservations for 3 nights at Kilauea Lodge then a week at the Hilton. We took the same trip 10 years ago on our honeymoon and thought it would be fun to do it again. Hiking at the volcano was phenomenal and exhausing; relaxing the following week at the various beaches on the other side was wonderful! We only stayed two nights the first trip and felt it wasn't quite enough.

The only problem I have is that I'm not sure where we stayed! I don't think it was at the Kilauea Lodge. It was a wonderful place, we had a room with a great view and I want to stay there again. The Volcano House sounds vaguely familiar and I need to do a little more research.

Ingrid

Luanne
01-13-2007, 12:33 AM
For anyone who is planning on staying in Volcano for a night or more, even if you don't stay at the Kilauea Lodge, plan on having dinner there. And reservations are a must. I'm sure I've given this recommendation before, but it never hurts to repeat. :biggrin:

taffy19
01-13-2007, 12:54 AM
We are planning on staying two nights minimum at the Volcano and would appreciate your advice.

We will be on the BI this April for 10 nights total with the balance in a combination of either timeshare or at the Hilton Waikoloa with HH points.

Is it better to go at the beginning of the trip or at the end? We arrive at noon on a Friday into Kona.

I see the recommendations on the Kilauea Lodge and it looks nice. What about Volcano House, The Inn at The Volcano (Chalet Kilauea),
or other options in the area? We have kids ages 9 and 4 who are well behaved (for the most part).

Any other pearls of wisdom will be welcome and appreciated.
John, staying at the Volcano House (http://www.volcanohousehotel.com/) is wonderful if you overlook the Caldera but Luanne recommended the Kilauea Lodge (http://www.kilauealodge.com/) as she wrote that the meals were so much better so we took her advise one year and tried it. The food is much better and we loved our accommodations too at the rooms we have had but it is not quite in the park either but only a mile or so away from it. They have a few units too with kitchen facilities but you will have to book a longtime in advance and even for a single room too.

I remember that Steve (T. R. Oglodyte) , I believe, posted a link where he stayed at and it looked like a very nice place to be at with beautiful grounds too and still very close to the park entrance. I bookmarked it but can't find it now. I don't know if it has kitchen facilities as we don't need them with only the two of us.

We also stayed at a B & B (http://www.bayhousehawaii.com/) in Hilo that was very nice but still too far away from the park if you want to spend enough time at the volcano. We love this park because there is so much to see, especially when the volcano is active.

We haven't stayed in Kona for many years now because we like the Hilo area so much better. There is so much to see here besides the park. You have the beautiful rain forest, waterfalls and the drive of the old road where the volcano swept through to the sea and beaches where you can snorkel with no parking problems like in Maui.

Expect lots more rain on the Hilo side of the island but beautiful rainbows too almost every day! I have so many beautiful photos of our trips to this area but never got around to upload them yet. Don't forget to see the Akaka Falls (http://www.emmy.net/akakafalls.shtml) too. I really believe that there is more to see on the Hilo side of the island but the northern part is just like England with rolling hills and lots of cattle grazing. We love this island the best of all the islands because there is so much variety here. We like it better than Kauai too but every island has it's beauty so we will return as often as we can to all islands. :biggrin:

Star gazing is another very interesting trip as they take you to a very high altitude on Mauna Kea. We saw lots of snow in April and star gazing is very exciting too. We have done it twice already and I have to find all these pictures too. We took this tour with the same company (http://www.maunakea.com/) but now they have competition which is good for the consumer! It may be less expensive today. :)

calgal
01-13-2007, 01:25 AM
I recommend you hike the Kilauea Iki trail. It is about 3 miles in total. You cross a small volcano crater with active steam vents. It is awesome and younger kids can make it across. We had a picnic lunch next to a vent and melted the cheese on our sandwiches via the vent.

eal
01-13-2007, 02:08 AM
We are on the Big Island right now, and staying at Paniolo Greens. This timeshare is 6 miles from the ocean and close to everything on the Kona Kohala Coast. We did a day trip to the Volcano National Park and things worked out well. We drove back and had dinner in Waimea at Charley's Thai Restaurant and were tucked into our beds by 10 pm.

I wouldn't stay closer to the volcano, there is too much to enjoy on the Kohala Coast.

T. R. Oglodyte
01-13-2007, 04:10 AM
I can't believe I missed this thread earlier.

I completely concur with the idea of spending several days on the south side of the island, tacked on the front or back of a weeks stay in Kona. It actually works out conveniently, because you can usually get air fare to Hawai`i cheaper by flying mid-week (or cash in frequent flyer miles more easily). So you fly in to Kona on a Wednesday, spend Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday nights near the volcano, then check in to your timeshare in Kona on Saturday. The money you save on air fare will probably pay for the lodging near the volcano.

We stayed at Bed & Breakfast Mt. View, which is halfway between Hilo and Volcano. We recommend it highly. We'll probably stay there again when we visit the BI again this year.

4ARedOctober
01-17-2007, 06:11 PM
Thank you to everyone for your responses and PM's. You have left me a good number of choices we can feel good about. We will see how the schedule works out and then see what the availability is at the choices you have provided.

samsarmy
01-20-2007, 04:41 PM
My wife and I stayed at Fairfield Kona Hawaiian Village for a week a couple of years ago. It was a well-situated spot to get out and around by airport rental car to the rest of the Island. We went to Volcano one day. The daytime view of the caldera from the Lodge was awesome. We did that in the morning when we first got there, checked on our dinner reservations that we had made weeks before, then went on into the park. We got to walk a couple of miles across a dormant crater that had active steam venting all around us. Did the lava walk, parking an hour before sunset. Came back to the lodge for dinner, and then drove back to the resort, getting back around 11pm. A tiring and long and very fun day.

Read up on the do's & don'ts if you're going on a lava walk at night. Bring not-heavy bright flashlights (or buy them on the island - they're pricey right in the park). Walking a mile on hardened sharp lava is work, and takes at least twice as long as walking a mile on flat ground. You need good closed shoes.

The paperback book "The Big Island Revealed" was a big help for us first-timers.

Mike

falmouth3
01-20-2007, 05:12 PM
Thanks everyone for such wonderful tips. Now all I need is the exchange week to come through for me. :mrgreen:

Sue

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