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Staying on Hawaii's Big Island without spending big bucks

April 26, 2009|Christopher Reynolds

If you're hoping to spend less than $200 a night on Hawaii's Big Island and prefer small inns to big resorts, two likely prospects are Waimea Garden Cottage (in the northern town of Waimea, a.k.a. Kamuela) and the Kilauea Lodge (in the park-adjacent southern village of Volcano).

Waimea Gardens Cottage is really three units, which neighbor the owners' house on a grassy creekside site. Waimea is an old cowboy town where restaurants such as Merriman's and Daniel Thiebaut win praise for sophisticated use of island ingredients, and the beaches of the Kohala Coast are 15 minutes by car. Each of the units has a kitchen or kitchenette stocked with breakfast ingredients. Hot tub, no pool. No credit cards accepted, but the owners take payment by PayPal and check. Usually a three-night minimum. Rates $150 to $180 nightly; P.O. Box 563, Kamuela (Waimea); (808) 885-8550, www.waimeagardens.com.

Kilauea Lodge is a 1938 YMCA camp headquarters, converted and expanded into a 12-unit inn. It stands on 10 acres of grass and ferns among a handful of inns, shops and restaurants just outside the entrance to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. There are no crater views and no pool, but the well-appointed rooms and common areas make it a more than fair bargain. The restaurant serves breakfast, dinner and a big Sunday brunch. Rates $170 to $185, breakfast included. Two cottages ($200 to $220) also available a few blocks away; 19-3948 Old Volcano Road, Volcano Village; (808) 967-7366, www.kilauealodge.com.

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