Wild Ginger Inn & Hostel

Revealed Resort Review

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(800) 882-1887 or (808) 935-5556
100 Puueo St, Hilo

This is a budget traveler’s kind of place, a little bit hotel, a little bit hostel. Private rooms have an empty fridge, microwave and TV; semi-private rooms have a full-size bed, shared bath and TV; hostel (his and her’s) dorm rooms have bunk beds, TV and fridge; outdoor “Lava Pit” rooms are surrounded by semi-private bamboo walls in part of a larger outdoor hostel with bunk beds. There’s a shared kitchen in all categories, shared baths in all but private room category. Hostel-type rooms require BYOT (bring your own towel or rent one); bedding supplied, as are lockers. No phones (two pay phones), no a/c. Everyone gets a continental breakfast. Every time we review this place it has changed. They seem to want to be all things to all people in the budget traveler category. The owner and people who run it are extremely nice and very proud of the place. When you visit, they don’t make it out to be more than it is. But we have seen their website, and we gotta say, their photographer did a great job of making this place look lush, and in some ways it is just that. But in other ways it feels run down, old and dirty. This is the kind of place that you will either love or hate. It feels geared for people who enjoy a bit of “adventure” in their accommodations and don’t like to drop a lot of cash. Let’s talk about the indoor part first. There are some long-term renters here. The private rooms are small, utilitarian, and the bathrooms need updating and could be cleaner. The small dorms are…well, dorms—and small. Below the main building there is the “Lava Pit,” which used to be the night spot in its day, with lava rock walls and bar overlooking the river. The old high metal ceiling has bare beams, and the room is open-air. There are five tiny private rooms, which consist of bamboo stick walls, a full-size bed, table and mosquito netting (which you will need), all set along the river’s edge. The Lava Pit dorm (in the center of room) has bunk beds covered with straw beach mats and mosquito netting. It reminded us of a refugee camp in Asia. The loud coqui frogs are a nuisance nearby—some people enjoy the sound; others may find it deafening. This is a very old building, so expect some bugs. Rooms are 160–204 sq. ft. and cost $70–$120 for two people, semi-private rooms are $45 for one person or $55 for two, indoor bunk beds are $30, Lava Pit rooms are $37 for one person or $47 for two people, Lava Pit bunks are $22. No housekeeping service except in the private rooms. Phew! Prices include taxes. This place is a moving target. The neighborhood is not the best. 7-night max stay in the dorms.

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Resort at a Glance

  • 24 private rooms with empty fridge, microwave and TV
  • 2 semi-private rooms with full-size bed, shared bath and TV
  • 2 hostel (his and hers) dorm rooms with bunk bed, TV and fridge
  • 5 outdoor “Lava Pit” rooms
  • Outdoor hostel with 8 bunks
  • Free WiFi in lobby
  • Ceiling fans
  • Walk-up only
  • No ADA accessibility
  • Coin-op laundry
  • Full kitchen
  • Empty fridge
  • Microwave
  • Coffee maker in room
  • Free continental breakfast
  • TV
  • Free self-parking
  • All non-smoking resort

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What Readers Have to Say

“…Our friends offered to loan us their Kauai guidebook…all the while thinking “this is our 3rd time to visit Kauai..what will this book tell us that we don’t already know?” Lets just say we were put in our place…! Boy, were we shocked and blown away by the wealth of knowledge your book bestowed upon us! We took the book everywhere with us as our travel companion and tour guide that led us to excellent food finds, breathtaking views and awesome adventures. We credit your book for helping us steer clear of all things mediocre. We enjoyed the harsh truths that you stated about certain places…especially restaurants. And in turn, your praises resounded that much more clearly. Bottom line, you saved us time, money and miles…and for that we are grateful.”

- K. & M. Williams, KS …