On the Big Island of Hawaii, it’s common for people to day-trip from Kona or Hilo to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. But why? Though lodging is limited inside the Park, the town of Volcano, just adjacent, is home to many small, charming inns, many worth checking out.
The Lotus Garden Cottages, for example, is a rainforest bed and breakfast, a great representation of the type of property you will find in Volcano. Come along as we take a look inside:
While there is limited lodging inside the Park, there is plenty to speak of around it. The Lotus Garden Cottages are a great example of the type of intimate, remote lodging you will find in the tiny town of Volcano. Just a few minutes drive from the Park entrance, it boasts major convenience for those looking to spend multiple days in the Park, or simply break up the journey and switch things up with an overnight stay. The town of Volcano is as local as it gets, immersed in a rainforest, similar in terrain to what you find inside the National Park.
The property reminds one of a peaceful monastery, blending Asian décor and Hawaiian hospitality. Bamboo woodwork, Buddhist statues, a gong, Asian artifacts and Zen gardens make up a big portion of the décor, while the environment reminds guests they’re in Hawaii, with lush palms and tropical flowers. Surrounded by thick rainforest and residential houses, the Lotus Garden Cottages are set up as a place of refuge and a quiet retreat.
There are four rooms, or cottages, on property. The use of the term “cottage” here is a little misleading—don’t picture individual buildings spread out over a large area. Instead, the “cottages” are individual suites, spread through a retreat-like complex, with long outdoor corridors connecting the rooms (some of the buildings may be technically disconnected from the main house, but the reality is that all four “cottages” are bunched together, some under the same roof).
That said, each provides plenty of privacy, and each has its own personality. The Rising Moon Suite has its own back patio; the White Lotus has a large bath-spa tub; and the Hula Moon a fireplace. Some have a full kitchenette, some just a microwave. All have inside and outside sitting areas.
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A stay at the Lotus Garden Cottages includes breakfast, although it is a little different than a traditional bed and breakfast. Each night, a tray is placed in your kitchenette, usually consisting of fresh fruit, juice, baked goods and one main item, such as a quiche or breakfast sandwich, that you can heat up in your microwave. There is no common dining room—all guests are encouraged to enjoy the privacy of their large, spacious suites and sitting areas.
The combination of location and ambiance make for a great stay at the Lotus Garden Cottages. Truly peaceful and removed, it’s the type of place you want to go with a significant other, where you return to relax after a day of exploring, where you can listen to the rain as you fall asleep, where interacting with others is low on the list of priorities. The ability to cook in the suite is not only a perk but a necessity in a town like Volcano, where dining options are extremely limited. Get a good bottle of wine and see what it’s like to spend a night in the rainforest.