Stylish digs on the rim of a volcanic caldera.
Located about a 45-minute drive from the Hilo airport, this unique hotel (dating back to 1846) sits on the very edge of Kilauea Crater in the heart of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The setting may be rustic, but the hotel is attractive and comfy following a major renovation. Accommodations include 33 historic guest rooms and ten updated camper cabins at the nearby Namakanipaio Campground. Amenities include extras like free Wi-Fi, but the real draw here is the volcano view, which can be seen from select guest rooms and the dining room, serving island cuisine with ingredients sourced mainly from local purveyors. While this isn't the most plush hotel in the islands, it offers an experience like no other, especially when Halemaumau crater spews gassy plumes of smoke, rumbles and throws out fist-sized rocks from time to time. A word of caution: the crater can emit a dangerous level of sulfur dioxide during active phases which can cause havoc on those with respiratory problems.