There are several hostels in the Hilo area. The Hilo Bay Hostel and Arnotts Lodge are our favorites, and we give a short description below. If you browse further down you can also find links to the other Hilo hostels.
we consider all hostels listed on this page to be good budget options for your stay on the Big Island. If you are looking for more affordable options for spending the nights, please refer to our camping on the Big Island resource list.
Arnott’s Lodge & Hiking Adventures
Sympathetic lodging with a range of accommodations from private bath, air-conditioned “ensuites” to backpacker dorms and tent spaces. Their dorms are among the cheapest option you’ll find in Hilo They also organize a lot of activities and can negotiate discounts for their guests on specialized tours up to Maunakea and the Kilauea Volcano.
Hilo Bay Hostel
Our other favorite destination for cheap accommodation in Hilo. The Hilo Bay Hostel occupies a beautifully restored 1913 hotel with old world charm that provides their guests with modern amenities. Located in the heart of Historic Downtown Hilo.
Other Hilo Hostels:
Big Island Backpacking Hostel (on yelp.com): The facilities here are on par with most hostels in Hilo. The hostel is mid-size so it has a homey feel.
Hilo Airport Hostel – Pineapple Park: Gets pretty poor reviews, and is located between Hilo (20 minutes) and Volcano Village (15 minutes).
Affordable accommodation in Puna
Puna has a fair share of affordable (shared) accommodation options. You can for example stay in a re-purposed bus (website), while a more luxurious and exotic option is a yurt (a portable, round, tent historically used by nomads, website).
If you are looking for a different experience while on the Big Island you should have a look at the website of Hedonisia in Puna.
Hedonisia is an eco-community in the lush rainforests of Puna that welcomes ‘normal’ tourists looking for an affordable eco-friendly place to stay in Hawaii. They offer many accommodation options including camping, shared spaces (like a dorm room), rental tents, and vacation rentals.
Note that Hedonisia Hawaii is not your “typical vacation rental”. Rather, they are trying to build a community around a set of values grounded in how to treat nature and other people. Have a look at the Hedonisia Community FAQ to learn more about to community.