Hostels in Hawaii vary a lot by island. On Oahu, the Waikiki hostels are plentiful and full of people to hang out with. But on Kauai, there are only a few hostels, which mostly didn’t look up to par for me (either zero security, or insane manager). I did stay in Camp Sloggett on Kauai, a cool campsite/bunkhouse which was deserted when I stayed there. On Big Island, there are a good number of hostels, and again they are rather empty in May.
Here’s a view of Pineapple Park Volcano, a great facility where I had some nice conversations with the owner, Doc Holliday.
Doc has hostels in Hilo and Kona (Captain Cook) as well. I stayed two nights at the Kona hostel and it’s also a very impressive facility as hostels go: lockers (bring a lock or rent one), free wifi, great (clean!) kitchen, clean rooms & showers.
One thing I’d mention: the Volcano place is mostly set up for large groups of researchers or students. If you plan to go there, be aware you might be the only one. It’s a bit remote and there’s no internet. But I enjoyed the solitude and relaxation for a couple days, and heard great stories from Doc.
Now, if you’re with a large group and plan to cook in (not go out to bars), the Volcano hostel would be the perfect place – it’s nicely set up and Doc has everything (grill, pizza ovens, refrigerators, even a scenic pond with what I think are taro plants).
It’s a little damp indoors, but surprisingly little mold/mildew. The whole place is very well kept. Location: about half an hour from Hilo, and half an hour from Volcanoes National Park. Allow about an hour to get to the lava viewing area at the end of Highway 130.
Thanks, Doc, for an excellent stay, cool Hawaii stories, and great coffee in the mornings! If I come back to Hawaii, I expect we’ll meet again at Pineapple Park.