10 Best Hotels on the Big Island Range from Casual to Luxurious

The Big Island's varied terrain and ample land offers a vast array of unique accommodations. From modest hotels ideal for storing stuff while guests explore the island all day, to luxurious resorts to relax at all day long, the Big Island's hotels are as diverse as the island itself. Hilo on the east side is home to several laid back, waterfront hotels while the Kona Coast boasts the island's extravagant resorts that are destinations within themselves.

Hawaii's largest and youngest island can treat visitors to casual accommodations for those who will spend most of their time exploring outside and just need somewhere to store their stuff and sleep. Uncle Billy's Hilo Bay Hotel and the Hilo Seaside Hotel offer modest accommodations that are simple, yet infused with a local feeling you'll find nowhere else, and hey, they're both affordable and overlook the ocean.

Down along the gorgeous Puna coast, Kalani Oceanside Retreat brings a home style feel to the jungle of east Hawaii. Kalani offers individual cabins, and even camping spots on large, lush acreage. You'll meet unique travelers and have a pool, hot tub and sauna, gift shop and kitchen area. For private home vacations rentals, look into the Palms Cliff House Inn or the Hilltop Legacy. They offer the comfort of a residential home on beautiful property.

Since the Big Island is so large it's a good idea for those exploring the entire island to move hotels as they move around the island. And 10 Best has you covered.


The Luxurious Waterfall and Pool Resort Hakalau is located in the neighborhood of Hakalau. The Hilo Airport is the nearest airport in going to the hotel. Other nearby landmarks includes the World Botanical Gardens, the Akaka Falls and Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden. All rooms come with balconies to provide a good view of the ocean or the pool outside the hotel. LCD Televisions with satellite channels plus DVD players create a good entertainment for all the guests. A full size refrigerator plus a complete kitchen and bathroom are also available. A private waterfall is set within the vicinity along with an outdoor pool and barbecue grill for guests to feel at home and relaxed.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: This resort has it's own on site waterfall and natural pool, and is conveniently located in a beautiful area lacking in hotels.

Read more about Luxurious Waterfall and Pool Resort Hakalau →

Halana Lodge is a unique property with five bedrooms. Lodge offers a large living room, complete kitchen, family room, covered lanai, laundry room and dining room that can seat 20. All rooms are located on one floor. The lodge rents individual rooms, but it is ideal for conferences, retreats, seminars, family gatherings and weddings. Five miles from Volcanoes National Park, there are two different viewing areas to watch the Valcano and lava flow. Halana Lodge is just four miles from Volcano Village, where there's a small amount of quaint and great restaurants and art galleries. The property is 30 acres and features a large lawn, fruit orchard and a fern forest for hiking.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: Nestled in the lush forest of the Volcano area, Halana Lodge is a beautiful stay in the coolest climate on the island.

Read more about Halana Hale Vacation Rental →

Nestled along the beautiful Puna Coast surrounded by lush jungle, Kalani Oceanside Resort is a unique and alternative resort. Private bungalows as well as a vast camp ground offer overnight accommodations, and a communal kitchen and restaurant offer on site dinging option. There's a good sized pool, a hot tub and sauna, or you have the option of swimming at a nearby black sand beach. The gift shop sells locally made crafts and arts, as well as souvenirs and snacks. Communal sports like volleyball happen throughout the week, and there's a venue for dance gatherings as well as classes and workshops.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: Kalani is a unique place that you won't forget, and this is one of the few places to stay along the gorgeous Puna Coast.

Read more about Kalani Oceanside Retreat →


Found on top of an ocean cliff on the Big Island, Honomu, the Palms Cliff House Inn offers a breathtaking view of the ocean. The Akaka Falls State Park and the Kolekohe Beach Park are only two miles from the area. Private lanais and complete modern amenities are set in each guestroom. Cable television with DVD players and a dial up internet access are included in every room along with private bathrooms and in room safes. Yoga and massages are available upon request. The Palms Cliff House Inn offers a lovely tropical set up along with a lush garden of banana plants and macadamia nut trees. An outdoor spa tub is set between the beautiful gardens with a lava rock path leading the way to the relaxing activity.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: This picturesque B&B is located on the beautiful Hamakua Coast and is a unique alternative to hotels.

Read more about The Palms Cliff House Inn →

Just 10 minutes from Hilo, once you arrive at The Inn at Kulaniapia Falls you'll feel far from the town. There's a waterfall and natural pool in the backyard, that you can swim in if you sign a waver, and it's a must do. The owners travel all over the world and the inn is decorated with art from the far east. The rooms are more simple and hotel like, but they're clean and nice. They don't offer meals, but there is a main refrigerator where guests can store food to make their own meals. This place is romantic and beautiful.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: This is more like a boutique hotel than a B&B, and there's a waterfall in the backyard.

Read more about The Inn at Kulaniapia Falls →


Uncle Billy's is an "old school" hotel located right on the water in Hilo Bay. Uncle Billy's is modest with a Hawaiian decor throughout the hotel. There's a pool on site, along with a restaurant and gift shop. There's no frills, but it's clean, simple, and affordable. The ocean view rooms overlook Hilo Bay and the coastline, and the garden view rooms look out over foliage and garden statues. From here it's just a short drive to Hilo's best restaurants and shopping. The sites of Banyan Drive such as Liliuokalani Gardens and Coconut Island are just a shot walk from the hotel.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: Uncle Billy's is one of the most affordable hotels in the area, and it's on the ocean.

Read more about Pagoda Hilo Bay Hotel →

The Hilltop Legacy at the highest spot in town that allows you to look down on beautiful Hilo Bay. At this bed and breakfast you can enjoy the privacy of the peaceful Hilltop Retreat, a pair of over one hundred years old Banzai trees, koi pond, and the legendary Legacy Stone. From here it's just a short walk down through the historical Haili street where you will find museums, grocery stores and shops. As a bed and breakfast property, the front desk hours will vary guests should contact the property to find out more information. To contact the property, use the number on the reservation confirmation received after booking.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: The Hilltop Legacy is centrally located in Hilo and is clean and homey.

Read more about Hilltop Legacy Vacation Rental →

The oceanfront property is located on the shores of Hilo Bay. There are 317 renovated guestrooms and eight ocean front suites featuring original artwork by local artists, new furniture, spacious marble tile bath, refrigerator, 32-inch flat TV, free internet access, free parking, coffee marker and hairdryer. As the gateway to adventure, Naniloa Volcanoes Resort provides the perfect base for visitors to explore the many natural wonders in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and East Hawaii. The Resort offers golf, dining and entertainment, wedding, and banquet and conference facilities. Located on Banyan Drive, the Naniloa is a short walk to attractions like Liliuokalani Gardens and Coconut Island.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: The Naniloa is a very Hawaiian style hotel and one of just two big resorts in Hilo.

Read more about Grand Naniloa Hotel Hilo - a Doubletree by Hilton →


The Hilo Seaside Hotel is one of the top two affordable hotels in Hilo. It's clean, simple and modest with a traditional Hawaiian theme. There's no frills, but for a budget hotel it's pretty beautiful as it's located right on the water in Hilo Bay. There's a pool and restaurant and it's just a short walk to the attractions of Banyan Drive such as Liliuokalani Park and Coconut Island. Hilo Seaside Hotel is still a family run place, and it's sister hotel is the Kona Seaside Hotel in Kailua-Kona. You'll no doubt spend time at the pool, but this is a good place to stay while spending a lot of time adventuring around Hilo.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: Affordability and location make the Hilo Seaside Hotel a good choice.

Read more about Hilo Seaside Hotel →

HIlo's most classic hotel, the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel manages to offer the most upscale accommodations in Hilo, but for a large hotel it's still without resort like bells and whistles. There's a pool which can be wonderful on those hot and humid Hilo days. There's an on site restaurant and gift shop, but the best shopping and eating in Hilo is just a short drive away, and they're worth it. You can walk to beautiful attractions like Liliuokalani Gardens and Coconut Island to swim. The Hilo Hawaiian, although clean and renovated, still maintains a feel of Hawaii from the 1970s.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: The Hilo Hawaiian is one of the nicest hotels in Hilo and overlooks Hilo Bay.

Read more about Castle Hilo Hawaiian Hotel →


Meet Jade Eckardt

Raised on the Big Island of Hawaii, Jade has traveled the world and doesn't intend to stop, yet the Hawaiian Islands are still her favorite place. She spent seven years living on Oahu and...  More About Jade