For lodging near Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, consider the Bamboo House at Volcano Rainforest Retreat. // © 2015 Volcano Rainforest Retreat
Feature image (above): Volcano House boasts the best evening views of glowing lava. // © 2015 Volcano House
Steaming vents, tropical rainforests and walk-in lava tubes create a magical landscape at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and the surrounding accommodations are equally unique.
Home to two of the world’s most active volcanoes, the Hawaii Island park has huge appeal to day-trippers. But travelers who spend one or more nights there can explore its riches at a more leisurely pace. Better yet, they can experience after-dark spectacles, such as the glowing lava lake in Halemaumau crater.
Accommodations at the park are as varied as the wide range of travelers who visit it. Clients can choose from a pair of historic lodges and a range of hospitable bed-and-breakfasts, while an upgraded campground with cabins appeals to travelers who prefer roughing it in comfort.
Located in Volcano Village, just 1 mile from the park, Kilauea Lodge makes its home in a 1938 YMCA building. Its common room features an International Fireplace of Friendship decorated with stones and coins from around the globe. The lodge’s 12 on-property rooms provide lanais or balconies and views of native and tropical gardens.
Perks for guests include Wi-Fi access, a covered Jacuzzi in a private outdoor setting and a big home-cooked breakfast. For small groups of travelers wishing to stay together, the lodge also rents out four freestanding units with full kitchens.
My Island Bed & Breakfast Inn
Born and raised in the islands, inn hosts Gordon Morse and his daughter Kii welcome visitors with their vast knowledge of the destination. Guests can opt for one of the garden units or stay in a room within the three-story main house built in 1886.
With touches such as Hawaiian koa wood branches for stairway railings and imperfect glass windows, the main house also features a library full of helpful resources for island visitors. Seven acres of flower gardens enliven the landscape. An all-you-can-eat breakfast and free Wi-Fi access add to the pleasures of this getaway.
Hawaii Volcanoes Lodge Company, which also operates Volcano House, recently upgraded this campground’s 10 one-room camper cabins, complete with new beds. It also renovated the community restroom, making this a comfortably rustic place to spend the night in the park.
Clients looking to rough it further can rent a tent and camping equipment including a memory foam mattress, hotel linens, a cooler, a lantern and two chairs. Each evening, travelers can gather around Namakanipaio’s fire pits and gaze at the sea of stars from the park’s 4,000-foot elevation.
Since 1846, this site has hosted various accommodations, from the original one-room grass-and-wood hut to today’s newly-renovated hotel. While not exactly glamorous, its 33 rooms provide jaw-dropping views of Kilauea Crater and endemic ohia trees with lehua blossoms.
Rooms don’t have televisions, but the hotel does provide free use of iPads and Wi-Fi access as well as board games, card decks, a lending library and live music on the weekends. In the evening, the hotel dims the indoor lights so people can see the orange glow from Halemaumau in the distance.
Volcano Rainforest Retreat
These four cedar cottages call to clients with a passion for the environment. The Bamboo House is notable for its 6-foot skylight and full kitchen. The Guest Cottage boasts walls of windows looking out to the rainforest. The octagonal Forest House provides serenity with its covered deck and domed skylight. And, finally, the 200-square-foot Sanctuary channels Japanese sensibilities with low tables and Shoji doors.
Guests can use the private soaking tub pavilion and outside shower. Stocked with breakfast goodies, this retreat is a Hawaii Volcanoes National Park standout.