You will spend almost half of the time of your vacation in Hawaii at your chosen accommodation and this means that your choice of lodging will have a huge impact on your vacation. In this article we outline the pros and cons of all your options, and help you choose the best accommodations for your group.
Table of contents:
- Accommodations summary
- Hotels vs. Vacation Rentals: which one is better?
- Extra luxury: resorts
- A little bit of everything: B&B’s
- Accommodations FAQ
The two most popular options are hotels and vacation rentals. There is also the middle-of-the-road option of spending your nights at a bed and breakfast, though these are slightly less common on the island. If you are looking for accommodation options in a specific area of the Big Island, you can jump through to the following pages:
Note that on the Big Island, apartments, condominiums and homes are eligible to be operated as vacation rentals if they are located in areas zoned for such use or they have obtained the required authorization(s) from the State & County of Hawaii. We recommended that you confirm with the owner or manager that the property is operating in compliance with all applicable laws before booking.
Comparison between hotels and vacation rentals in Hawaii
We compare the benefits of staying in a hotel versus staying in a vacation rental based on the following points:
Cost: which one is better value?
Renting a vacation rental or a hotel room for two people will cost you anywhere between $80 and $200 per night. For the same price, vacation rentals offer much more space and practical comforts such as a kitchen, laundry facilities, etc. If you are with a larger group, especially, you’ll really start to notice how much further your money goes when staying at a vacation rental. Most are fully self-catered, potentially saving you hundred of dollars in food costs during your stay, and another perk of choosing a short-term rental is the lack of hidden fees. Parking fees, internet fees, destination fees- what does that even mean?
Size: where do you get more space?
Vacation rentals are on average about 4-5 times larger than a hotel room. Many vacation rentals have their own kitchen, bathroom, bedroom(s) and entertainment area, garden, and garden with sometimes even your own private hot-tub!
Privacy: which one is more private?
Vacation rentals offer far more privacy. Inside, you won’t hear your neighbors through the thin walls of your room. The same goes for the outside spaces. Especially in the more rural areas outside the cities, vacation rentals often include a secluded garden.
Dining: what are your dinner options?
Hotels often offer the convenience of a buffet for breakfast and a restaurant for dinner. Vacation rentals have their own dining area with kitchen and refrigerator, in which you prepare your own food. You can also order take-out and have a romantic dinner in your backyard, have breakfast in your bathrobe, and plunder your fridge for a midnight snack if you wake up hungry.
Cleaning: who cleans your place and what does it cost?
In a hotel you can leave your room in a state of chaos, and return to a beautifully cleaned room every day of your stay. In a vacation rental do not have the luxury of your in-house cleaning service. However, since you have lots more space available in your rental, it won’t clog up that quickly. Hotels don’t charge a cleaning fee to prepare your room for the next occupant after your stay. Vacation rentals often do charge a cleaning fee to clean the house. This fee generally is between $30 to $100.
Resorts in Hawaii
Staying in a resort is the most luxurious accommodation option on the Big Island and takes almost all the chores of planning your vacation out of your hands. We recommend staying in a resort if you want an ultimately relaxing vacation and don’t mind paying the premium for it.
Find out more about resorts on the Kona coast.
Bed and Breakfasts in Hawaii
Bed & Breakfasts are a wonderful way to get to know the island. Their setting is more intimate that that of the resorts or hotels. They offer some of the advantages of vacation rentals, such as atmosphere and the feeling of being a local, and offer more convenience because of the included breakfasts.
Most lack however the large spaces and privacy of vacation rentals. See the following sections of out website for B&Bs on the Big Island:
Frequently Asked Questions about Accommodations:
This FAQ answers some of the most often asked questions about finding accommodation on the Big Island:
The average hotel room on the Big Island cost $280.90 in August 2019. The cost of accommodations mostly varies based on the type of property, hostels being the cheapest and luxury resorts the most expensive. Vacation rental properties are available over the whole price range.