The Grand Naniloa underwent renovation in 2016, but we have a feeling that the $30 million changes are just the beginning for this snazzy resort, and we look forward to their future with… curiosity.
The hotel is clean, spacious and modern (though many things have not changed such as the bathrooms, for example) with a Hawaiian influence in the decorations (walls lined with Kim Taylor Reece artwork are exceptionally beautiful) and live music seven days a week. But they left the pool alone (though there are now pool and lounge chairs available). Although sometimes the combo of Hawaiian and modern seems to clash rather than flow (the lobby feels a little unnerving to us), in general, this hotel has undergone tremendous change for the better. They seem to be sending a message to the more popular resort areas that Hilo can fancy, too. (Yes, we’re using that as a verb.)
They are especially well-equipped for large groups or conferences with five meeting rooms available for 40–350 people.
The area surrounding the hotel feels satiating, and it’s rewarding to be able to meander the grounds and stop in the nearby shops for must-haves (like Skittles and reef-safe sunscreen). Skip the on-site restaurant.
There are three towers—Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa and Kilauea (volcano names you should be familiar with as you prepare to explore the island). All rooms are fairly uniform and have nice, clean areas. Some hallways give us vertigo (they’re skinny and next to huge windows that look straight down), but even in our nauseousness we were impressed with the view. This location really is the best in Hilo. Rooms are 298–369 sq. ft. and rates vary depending on view and lanai. Suites are 550–742 sq. ft. Discounts and packages available.