Once upon a time, Ricardo and Maria, a geologist and an artist based in California, decided to change their lives and move to Hawaii. There, they created a home which they eventually opened up to visitors. And thus the Bed & Breakfast Hale Kai Hawaii was born.
When someone starts a guesthouse for the pleasure of receiving guests and not just for the sake of business, you know you are bound to enjoy great hospitality. And this is exactly what happens at this B&B in Big Island’s main city, Hilo. Unlike other cities in more popular islands of the archipelago of Hawaii, like Maui or Oahu, things in Hilo happen at a slower pace. You can breathe in a much relaxed and pleasant way of life, without many touristic interferences to speak of. Right outside Hilo, Hale Kai is a great base to start exploring the Big Island.
All rooms at Hale Kai are ocean-front, affording incredible views out to the ocean and to the city center of Hilo. On clear days, you may even see a little smoke on the horizon, coming out of Kilauea Volcano – but there’s nothing to worry about as the volcano is located inside Volcanoes National Park and from afar all you get to experience is the visual thrill.
All rooms have en-suite bathroom with shower, fan, cable TV, internet connection and the best bed we experienced while traveling in Hawaii (not too soft, not too hard, just perfect). The bedroom glass doors let in a lot of natural light and open up to your own individual sitting area on the outside lanai. Inside, the decoration is contemporary Hawaiian, replacing the elsewhere over-used flower patterns with more subtle tropical details and impressive photography work on the walls.
We enjoyed our time at the Heritage Room pictured here, but there are other rooms with added comforts, such as the Pele Suite that includes a kitchenette. In any case, there is a small common room, with a fridge and microwave for everyone to take advantage of.
Every morning, guests are invited to come up to the terrace, where breakfast is served. An array of fresh tropical fruits and delicious cooked dishes are enjoyed in a communal table shared with other guests staying at the B&B. The travel talk from all corners of the world, paired with the ocean breeze, make for a great start of the day!
Of course it doesn’t hurt either that you get to eat home-made preparations that mix the tradition of a cooked American breakfast with a certain Hawaiian gourmet essence. Expect dishes such as coconut-macadamia pancakes, basil and feta frittatas, Hawaiian sweetbread French toast, mango-apricot scones, Portuguese sausage and, of course, Hawaii Island coffee.
There is plenty to do in Big Island, but relaxing is also encouraged around here. For that, Hale Kai has an inviting outdoor area with swimming pool and hot tub, surrounded by a pleasant garden with colorful flowers.
For the days out, the team at Hale Kai has put together a booklet with a very good collection of tips and recommendations, not only for things to see, do and eat in Hilo, but in other locations around Big Island too. From Hale Kai, it is easy to depart on day trips to several beaches and natural attractions, such as Akaka Falls. For your convenience, beach towels are provided too. And if you have any doubt, be rest assured that Ricardo will give you extra input and advice.
This is exactly what makes Hale Kai B&B great: it’s not just a place to enjoy a cozy room and a delicious breakfast. It is a place where you are bound to feel amongst friends, that is, feel at home.
111 Honolii Place
Hilo, Big Island of Hawaii, HI 96720