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Hawaii: Volcano House is back in business

May 10, 2013|By Jay Jones
  • The historic Volcano House, a hotel on Hawaii's Big Island, has reopened on the edge of the island's active volcano.
The historic Volcano House, a hotel on Hawaii's Big Island, has reopened… (Jay Jones / Special to The…)

Volcano House, uniquely located on the edge of the active Kilauea volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii, has reopened after a multimillion-dollar restoration by its new owners.

The hotel sits within the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. It is located just across Crater Rim Drive from the visitor center.

There has been lodging on the site since 1846, when a grass hut was built to house visitors to the volcano. Among its famous former guests were American writer Mark Twain, British author Robert Louis Stevenson and French microbiologist Louis Pasteur.

The renovations have restored Volcano House to its pre-World War II heyday. Indeed, everything from the custom-made furniture to the wall coverings will harken back to quieter times.

“We went back through the [Park Service] archives to see pictures from before the war,” said Jorge Mangino, the general manager. “All the furniture, etc., will put it back to what it was like then, something unique.”

The hotel has 32 rooms, 20 of them with volcano views. It also features a restaurant, the only one within the park, and a bar with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the crater.

The lounge maintains the name it has had for decades: Uncle George’s, named for Greek immigrant George Lycurgus, who owned Volcano House in the early 1900s. Generations of guests have enjoyed cocktails served from the koa wood bar.

The hotel’s website lists forest view rooms at $285 a night and crater view rooms at $335.

Info: Volcano House, (866) 536-7972.

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