Our accommodation for the two nights in Hilo was at a bed and breakfast, Shaka Shak Garden Inn. It is the first time staying in this type of accommodation. My short conclusion is that it is OK with mixed feelings.
The accommodation option in Hilo is limited. There aren’t any international hotel chains in this part of the island. What I found on Booking.com was a few local hotels and B&Bs. In the end, I went with Shaka Shak Garden Inn (B&B) and paid USD $137.64 + $18.88 cleaning fee for two nights. The local hotel had a similar price.
The B&B is a single-detached house in the middle of the residential area of Hilo. The owner Cynthia rents out the three rooms on the second floor while she lives on the first floor. It isn’t far from downtown Hilo as the city isn’t big. Driving to nearby attractions and restaurants took at most 15 minutes.
The overall experience was OK. The room came with two double beds and a desk. Fans were available, but they weren’t helpful on the first night which was super hot. We shared the kitchen, the living room, and the bathroom with other guests. Sharing the bathroom was not a pleasant experience. I managed to be the first one to shower on the first day, but my sister had to wait for a long time. The breakfast was DIY pancakes and coffee. The owner, Cynthia was very nice. She provided a list of attractions worth visiting nearby, and it was helpful. From that list, I found the malasada place Tex Drive-In, which we visited on Day 7.
It was a big downgrade comparing to the stay at Hilton Waikoloa Village, but it better fits my need. My goal was not staying in the room or the hotel and doing nothing all day, so a B&B is definitely enough. However, air-conditioning and a private bathroom are also important. I’ve learned my lesson, and I know what to look for when booking future stays.