What is the difference between a hotel and a Bed & Breakfast?
A Bed and Breakfast is defined as a small property, offering 5 guest rooms or less. It may also have small cabins in addition to the main house. Typically the owner or host is the one who will welcome you personally and prepare your morning breakfast. A B&B is a fun and different place to stay; it's a home away from home.
Your lodging experience will be more personalized with the host sharing the common areas of their home and information about the local area you might not get in a hotel. A B&B provides a breakfast included in the room price that usually incorporates local specialties you would not normally receive from a hotel kitchen.
Concierge services, activity planning, drinks & snacks, or internet which are usually an extra charge in a resort hotel are often included free. However please remember we are a small operation and do not have a 24 hour desk to attend to your needs or lift your bags. At a B&B your host does all the work with little or no staff.
Why do B&B's have specific check-in times?
Most B&B's have specific check-in and check-out times, and do not operate around the clock like a hotel. The owner or host of the property will personally greet you and show you what the property offers in the way of amenities. Some B&B personnel have other jobs, or will be the ones cleaning and preparing the rooms for your stay, which is why specific check-in times are requested. If you are unable to meet the check in time, due to a late arriving plane, let your host know so arrangements can be made well in advance to be there to let you in.
At Volcano Acres Ranch we have implemented a self check in procedure to assist with social distancing guidelines. Communication via email or text will provide pertinent check in information. You can arrive anytime after 4 PM, but keep in mind it does get very dark and there is no ambient lighting so we recommend arriving before dark your first time to the property.
What are the rooms like in a B&B?
Guest rooms in a B&B are typically delightful. The owner has usually put lots of care into choosing the atmosphere, furniture and décor of the rooms. You will find them more comfortable and cozy than a hotel room, and equally, if not more, private.
At Volcano Acres Ranch we have taken care to choose high quality beds and bedding you would not find except at the most luxurious class of hotels. Rooms feature custom made artisan beds, comfortable mattresses, and luxurious linens.
Will I have to share a bathroom down the hall?
Some B&B's offer shared baths and others offer private baths. It's is always a good question to ask when choosing a B&B.
At Volcano Acres Ranch, ALL our bedrooms have private baths. In addition you will find the spa amenities you usually find in a better hotel such as fluffy towels, quality soaps, shampoo, hair dryers. Our master suite features a whirlpool tub with aromatherapy amenities and towel warmer.
How do we obtain drinks or snacks, are there vending machines?
Most B&B's do not have vending machines but do offer free or honor system non-alcoholic drinks and snacks. Some B&Bs (outside of Hawaii) allow access to the refrigerator, and others have a separate guest refrigerator. Always ask the host before putting anything into the kitchen refrigerator or taking something from the kitchen. Some B&Bs allow you to bring your own liquor, beer or wine- but always ask if that is allowed.
At Volcano Acres Ranch we have a small tea and coffee station in each guest room along with a small refrigerator microwave and toaster oven. While you are welcome to bring your own wine, beer or liquor, we do ask that you drink responsibly and respect the other guests in the house. Hawaii B&B licensing prohibits guests from using the kitchen facilities (oven, range, refrigerator, and microwave).
Are there TV's, Telephone and Internet access at a B&B?
This varies greatly from property to property and if these are important to you it is wise to ask.
At Volcano Acres Ranch TV sets with DVD players and basic cable are included in each room. Internet access is available for checking email or posting to social media, but due to our location in the rainforest we don’t get enough bandwidth to stream movies or shows.
What is breakfast like in a B&B and when is it served?
All B&B's provide breakfast but this can vary greatly among properties from a light continental to a hot, sit down breakfast. County regulations dictate that only licensed restaurants are permitted to serve hot breakfast.
At Volcano Acres Ranch you will be treated to a hearty farm to table Continental Breakfast of cold cheeses and meats, hard-boiled eggs, tropical fruit, fresh baked muffins and breads and make-your-own island style waffles. Our chickens lay all of our eggs so you know they can’t get much fresher than that! We purchase all of our fruits and breads from local artisans and at the farmers market. Enjoy a variety of freshly ground Hawaiian coffee drink or gourmet Hawaiian teas. To assist with social distancing guidelines breakfast will be dropped off in your room either the night before or between 8 am and 9 am each morning. Menus are in your room, fill one out per person and we will collect them each evening. Because we are 30 miles away from major supermarkets, you are encouraged to bring your own specialty foods (rice or soy milk, gluten-free baked goods, etc).
How can I find out about area attractions and activities?
In each room you will find a book containing activity brochures, restaurant menus and a calendar of local events.
Your host is able to recommend include guided culture and nature hikes, tours of lava tubes, or helicopter rides to see the active volcano. In addition she can recommend places for a picnic, beaches, day hikes, art, fun country markets or island wide options based on your preference.
Does a B&B serve breakfast, lunch and dinner?
Depending on the state you live in a B&B may or may not serve other meals. In Hawaii a Bed and Breakfast may ONLY serve breakfast.
A complete listing of area restaurants, is included in a directory in each room. Everything from pizza and sandwiches to Thai food or fine dining is available in Volcano, although most places do not serve past 9:00 pm. Some suggest reservations which your host is happy to make for you, while you go enjoy the park. Area restaurants are only 5 minute drive away. The town of Hilo, about 45 minutes away, also has a large selection of restaurants.
Am I expected to tip at a B&B?
At a B&B, like any quality accommodation, the staff works hard to provide for your comfort. Tipping is not expected, but is always appreciated. We strive to provide great service and welcome your feedback.
What else should I know about customs unique to Hawaii?
Hawaiian custom asks that you remove your shoes while in someone's home. It is a sign of respect and keeps the house cleaner too, as there is often plenty of sand, mud or red dirt in Hawaii. Shoes are left at the door.
In a basket, just inside the door we provide slippers or clean slipper socks that may be worn in the house. You may wish to bring a pair of your own house slippers. Or you are welcome to go barefoot, island style, as we do.
Give a Lei!
This is one of our favorite customs! Lei-making in Hawaii is an art form and an expression of aloha. They are made of plants, flowers, nuts or shells. Lei are given to welcome friends, as gifts at important ceremonies like birthdays or graduation, to a presenter at a lecture or just anytime as a gesture to make someone feel special.
If you are celebrating a special occasion I can arrange a lei greeting made of exotic flowers from one of our skilled island lei makers. Please contact me at least 72 hours prior to arrival.