We emailed the volcano Inn for reservations, they replied with instructions to mail a check or money order mailed out to them asap... this is the first time ever where a hotel/inn has not only not "reserved" a room with a credit card but has demanded money up front without the posibility of cancellation with enough notice. Did everyone else staying there go through this process?
Please understand that this is a "Mom and Pop" establishment and that credit card payments actually cost the proprietor money (a percent or two depending on the type of card). This is just one way the Volcano Inn keeps its prices down. This is a small establishment and I would bet they could not afford last minute cancellations (like big hotels can do because they have lots of rooms and are rarely completely full). I have tried many places to stay in Volcano and the Volcano Inn is far above all places that are less expensive as well as several of the more expensive places. I stay at Volcano Inn two the five times a year and have for the past five years. I like to book ahead (and send in my payment) to be sure I can stay there - it is that great! Plus, I like to give business to locals. For its price, the Volcano Inn is the very best bet. They are always very helpful and polite on the phone so if you had a problem with mailing your check from another country you could explain this to them and I bet they would keep your reservation and wait for your check.
Yes, they did the same with us and we had no problem with our transaction. This is pretty common for small independent inns.
Yes, this is the norm for them as they try to keep costs down. They may not have cc facilities and it seems a little odd for this day and age but it works. As soon as they get the money order they confirm, and it's well worth the stay. Pay close attention to their GPS coordinates as it is in lush forest, just off the highway. We got confirmation pretty quickly and we're in Canada.
When we went, they did not take credit cards. We didnt decide to stay there until we were already down there, though, because we were staying in Kona. We just didnt feel like driving back the same day, so we called them to see if they had vacancies. Can't really speak for booking before heading to the island. Good luck.
Yes I paid in advance with my credit card.
Get an answer from Volcano Inn staff and past guests.