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“This inn has everything but hospitality”

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The Palms Cliff House Inn
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Honomu
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 29 November 2011

This bed and breakfast inn is jaw droppingly beautiful. The grounds, the entrance, the rooms, the view, the veranda are all beautifully maintained and stunning. Our breakfast could not have been more tasteful. And yet something is missing here. The owners appear not to like their guests. It's a little deeper than reserved. I've dealt with smarmy innkeepers who won't let you be. This is the opposite end of the spectrum. The receptionist hurried off shortly upon our arrival and we were told the owners would not be seen until the morning. We were the only guests at the inn. There was no warm coffee for us in the morning. There was no lingering over the breakfast. No curiosity as to where we were from or our plans for the day. Service was prompt and polite and scripted, but conversation between the proprietor and his guests was not welcomed. When we returned in the evening there was no on to ask for wine glasses in our room. The innkeepers were gone with nothing but an emergency number to call. The note said no rooms were available though the place looked pretty empty. We felt fairly abandoned. This for over $400 a night!

If you desire a place where you will be left alone, The Palm Cliff House is for you. Yet it diminishes the pleasure of your travel experience a little to feel you are tolerated rather than welcomed. And that is why we won't be staying at this very perfect inn again.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with friends
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16  Thank jschreib11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kealaokapua, Owner at The Palms Cliff House Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 21 December 2011

Thank you for the nice comments about our property, the views, the food, and the rooms. They are the reason folks come stay; I am glad you enjoyed them. Sorry to hear though, you thought conversation was unwelcome. My guess is that while you felt conversation was unwelcome, we got the impression you wanted to be left alone. A miss-read on both our parts.

We love to chat with our guests, as does our staff, to distraction sometimes. We do not have the resources to staff 24/7, we do the best we can, but we are upfront about our business hours. We have never considered ourselves the ‘attraction’ of the inn; nor do we ‘live’ to be at the inn 24/7. We go out to diner, run errands, participate in family events, attend community activities, travel, and enjoy personal hobbies. The Inn is our business, not our life. We have been open for 11 years, hosted more than 20,000 guests in that time so I’m guessing most guests like the way we operate. Certainly every guest’s needs are different, and clearly we were not a good fit for you, all I can say is that we and our staff tried as best we could. I sincerely hope the rest of your visit in our beautiful state better met your expectations.

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Reviews (233)
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143 - 149 of 233 reviews

Reviewed 27 October 2011

We stayed at the Palm cliff house inn, Hilo for two nights earlier in August. We have travelled all over the world and have seen great boutique hotels/B&Bs, resorts and 5 star hotels.

This must qualify to be one of our worst experiences in terms of both comfort and service. While Michelle, the hostess seemed very friendly and is an excellent cook, John made us feel as unwelcome as possible.

We arrived at around 9 pm and had to pick up our keys from a mailbox. We were told about that beforehand so no issues there but the welcome note in the room was a series of "don'ts". The next morning we were greeted by John and the first thing he mentioned is that we need to pay the remaining amount. When we asked a simple question regarding the weather at Volcano national park, John couldn't even be bothered to look at the weather forecast. He just mentioned that it was likely to be raining there as it was raining in Hilo (this turned out to be contrary to what several experts told us later about micro climates in the area !)A request for a packed tomato-cheese sandwich was met with the most bizzare excuse that they were not licensed to do that. When we told them that we were leaving at 6.30 am the next morning, his only comment was "so I'll cross you off the breakfast list for tomorrow".
For $250 per night, this B&B offers neither the facilities nor the service one would expect.

We travelled for almost 3 weeks in Hawaii across the different islands and in every other place we were treated warmly and felt the "aloha". This was one place where we did not.

Would stay away from the Palm Cliff house inn!

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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20  Thank Bhaskar P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kealaokapua, Owner at The Palms Cliff House Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 21 December 2011

Believe me, you made it very clear that you were upset that we would not make lunch for you, that you thought our reason was ridiculous, thus your post is not unexpected. Our operating permit, issued by the County of Hawaii, limits us to provide one set menu meal a day, breakfast. Offering menu service or additional meals, may not seem like a big deal to you, but doing so risks my operating permit, and ensures a substantial fine for violating the operating permit. Glad to hear you enjoyed the rest of your stay in Hawaii.

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Reviewed 24 October 2011

What a great place! The Victorian charm, the lavish rooms, the personal service, and the Hawaiian atmosphere. I wish I could stay here every day. Do try the outdoor hot tub.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Apu_the_apricot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kealaokapua, Owner at The Palms Cliff House Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 21 December 2011

Now that's what we like to hear, that you 'felt at home.' Hope to see you again someday.

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Reviewed 27 September 2011

We have stayed at Palms Cliff House 3 times and would not hesitate to return! The grounds are beautiful and the scenery spectacular! Although it IS a bit of a drive a to Hilo but it is well worth the 20 minutes or so it takes and it really is NOT that far to go back to town for lunch or dinner. The last time we stayed, we arrived at about 6 pm and found our room key right where we were told it would be. We had a lava boat trip scheduled for 4am the next morning so we left a message saying we would be back before breakfast was over (confirming what we had told them by telephone a week prior to arrival) and when we returned from our trip and went to the lanai, John immediately brought our breakfast.
I do not understand these other reviews saying John and Michelle are very 'hands-off'-we don't see Michelle as often but John always greets us at breakfast & tells us what is being served, brings it out and is always very sociable, asking about our plans, recommending restaurants, etc and if we meet up during the rest of the day, he always stops to visit.
One of the times we stayed, we asked to change rooms our last night just to see the difference in the rooms and they were very accommodating and even moved our luggage for us. We have stayed in 4 rooms there and prefer the lower level for the breeze.
Our only complaint, if there IS one, is we eat far too much for breakfast!! The breakfasts are delicious but a lot more is served than we really need. While enjoying the delicious breakfasts, we are entranced by the beautiful view from the lanai and the last time, John pointed out dolphins in the bay.
When we leave, John always seems sincerely disappointed to see us leave and I feel we have become friends over these 3 visits. We definitely would return!

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Hawaiilover3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kealaokapua, Owner at The Palms Cliff House Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 21 December 2011

You are always a welcome sight to see! And I know, the breakfast ARE big aren't they? But we actually have a review saying there was not enough food, so go figure! LOL! Anyway, glad to hear you are still enjoying the Inn and that it still holds that special charm for you. Aloha!

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Reviewed 25 September 2011

The view will take your breath away. There are many considerate and lovely touches in the inn. The evironment is a combination of natural wonders, pleasant landscaping, beautiful interior and outdoor decorating, and a gracious host & hostess. Breakfast is an experience in dining, it's prepared to perfection with many items incorporating tropical fruit.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank WonderLake_ILShari
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kealaokapua, Owner at The Palms Cliff House Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 21 December 2011

After 11 years, the view still takes my breath away too, thanks for the nice comments. Please come back again some day!

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Reviewed 29 July 2011

Our room was nice with lots of extra things for our use and convenience and had a lovely view. This place is run more like a hotel or lodge than a typical B&B. Hired staff greets you and shows you the common area and your room (Ashley was very nice), The owners are hands off. They run it like a business and are definitely off at 5. So if you look at it this way, I think you will be very happy.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank raf014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2011

My wife and I stayed here 2 days on our honeymoon to Hawaii. This was without a question the best of all the great places we lived.

A beautifull scenery with the water just outside the window and balcony.

Arriving a bit before planned was no problem and nice owners showed us to our room which they updated to a suite.

Great view, breakfast and hospitality.

/Nikolaj

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank Nikolaj_Pedersen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Palms Cliff House Inn

Address: 28-3514 Mamalahoa Hwy, Honomu, Island of Hawaii, HI 96728
Region: United States > Hawaii > Island of Hawaii > Honomu
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Spa Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Honomu
Price Range: $296 - $456 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Palms Cliff House Inn 3.5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This 3.5 acre private estate offers sweeping ocean views perched ocean side atop a 100 foot cliff. Delicious full breakfasts are included in the regular room rates. Honored in Song and depicted in hula, this inn specializes in catering to couples seeking a quiet and romantic get away that embodies the feeling of the Old Hawaii we all dream about. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Palms Cliff House Hotel Honomu
The Palms Cliff Hotel
Palms Cliff Hotel

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