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Reviewed 13 August 2017

Beautiful campus and friendly staff. I came here for a 6-day retreat because a friend of mine spoke very highly of this place. I honestly had an overall good time but it could've been much better.

The Staff:
The residents are volunteers and they make up the staff. VERY FRIENDLY & ACCOMMODATING! They even provided transportation for us to and from the Hilo airprt. I really appreciated that! That was about a 30 minute drive each way.

The Lodging:
I stayed near the front entrance in one of the bungalows. It looked just like the pictures on their website so there was no surprise there. I was disappointed in the cleanliness of the room though. I found quite a few small hairs in the sheets and the toilet constantly smelled of sewage - even after flushing several times before I even used it. The floor wasn't clean (there was a broom in the room so I took care of that) and the shower could've used a good scrubbing. There is no AC but they provide a fan. Only screens and curtains cover the windows. This means that you can hear all the jungle noises at night. It was very relaxing for me (especially when it rained) but if you need total silence to sleep, you're going to need earplugs. The screened windows also mean that you can hear everything your neighbors do - and I do mean everything. I was privy to my neighbors' sexual encounters in vivid audio detail. Nothing was spared. I had a surprisingly strong wifi signal so I was able to enjoy streaming services; that helped to drown out the neighbors. Unfortunately, I had 2 unwelcome gecko roommates. That was quite eventful but definitely not fun.

The Campus:
ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL & SERENE. Lush vegetation everywhere! It's located right across the street from a beautiful overlook but you have to drive to get to a beach. (My group took an excursion to the Black Sand beach & it was AMAZING!) There are also feral cats, pigs, mongoose, and geckos galore. The pool is gorgeous AND clothing optional so...you've been warned. If you don't have access to a car, be prepared to walk a distance. It's not a small campus but I quickly learned my way around. Again, you can hear what people are doing in their cabins as you casually stroll the campus or in my case, attending a retreat session. Like some of the other reviewers stated, it does indeed get PITCH BLACK at night so you will need a flashlight if you're on foot. They gave me one attached to my room key.

The Food:
All your meals are included and rightfully so - the campus is in a very remote location. Without a car, your choices are very limited. I won't comment much on the food because I honestly don't think my assessment would be fair (I'm not vegetarian or vegan and that's mostly the choices on the menu), but I can say the salad bar never let me down! I just wished there was a wider variety at the bar. I also bought sandwiches and other snacks from Guest Services and Hale Aloha (try the ice cream!) at the front entrance. Remember the feral cats and geckos I mentioned earlier? They were present on the dining lanai - especially the geckos. (Maybe the main dining area should be screened?) Another thing I noticed is the residents allowed their children to turn the dining area into a playground - running, playing and pushing chairs around. The children were cute as buttons but I didn't think that was appropriate.

Conclusion:
I would visit the campus again because the staff made my retreat experience enjoyable but I wouldn't want to stay there. If I did, it would have to be in one of the newer buildings. I didn't get the impression they cared much about the overall cleanliness and appearance of the older buildings. Plus, I'd want a wider food selection. I had a pleasant experience in general and I would recommend a least one visit. This is the perfect place to unplug and relax.

Room Tip: Request a newer building or one with an ocean view
  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled on business
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Toni L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KalaniHonua, Media Coordinator at Kalani, responded to this reviewResponded 28 April 2018

Aloha and thank you for your review, Toni. We are glad that, overall, you enjoyed your stay!

It's great to hear that you were open minded about our organic, locally sourced, vegan and vegetarian friendly menu. We are sorry to hear that the cleanliness of our facility did not meet your standards, and that you were not impressed by your accommodations. We are not a typical resort, in that we are deeply immersed in our natural surroundings, offering a more rustic experience that is off the beaten path. Our rooms are simply-appointed, with no phones, air conditioners, or televisions. Visitors who are looking to connect with self, nature, and community will thrive here.

Despite that, it seems like our vibrant community and scenic campus made your experience worth it! It is good for us to hear which areas we can improve in, and which ones we should expound upon. Your feedback will be passed on to the appropriate departments.

Thanks again for your feedback and we look forward to seeing you again in the future.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2017

I came to Kalani to do my yoga certification at the recommendation of a friend who was here three years ago who raved about the experience. She told me of the great food, the beautiful grounds, and the warm and friendly staff. Okay, the grounds are nice and the rooms are adequate. I can't say the food or the staff is actually all that great.Let me start with the food. What happened? I was told that breakfast would be amazing. my friend had so much to say about it. She said the breakfasts they served was the best she ever had. She raved about the cheesy eggs and the sausage links she had. THAT IS SO NOT WHAT THEY SERVE NOW!!! Be warned, if you are coming for any length of time, be prepared to be hungry in the morning. Now days a typical breakfast consists of oatmeal and miso soup! Or if you are lucky, a boiled egg. That's it! No protein! No variety! Pretty much NOTHING!!! Are they going out of business i wonder??? Don't these people realize that people need protein to get through the day? Especially if they are in a yoga certification program!?!?!?! This is not the Kalani experience I had dreamed of. Lunch and dinner have been mostly fine, but the disappointment of their way way way overpriced breakfast diminishes the experience greatly. Going through the cafeteria style line to be fed recently, I heard a number of the staff complaining too. Not sure what happened here. I was also treated quite rudely by staff when expressing concerns. I wonder if they expect good word of mouth recommendations based on this? All in all, a beautiful place in certain ways, but based on too much of what I've gone through, I will not be back and do not recommend it.

Stayed: July 2017, travelled solo
18  Thank lizzeee88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KalaniHonua, Media Coordinator at Kalani, responded to this reviewResponded 28 April 2018

Aloha lizzeee88,

Thank you for the honest review. We are sorry to hear that the experience did not meet your expectations. We appreciate the feedback and consider it an opportunity to learn and garner suggestions as to how we can deliver a better guest experience.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 July 2017

The food is just so amazing. They are very health conscious. You can have organic, vegan, raw, gluten free, free range. They also have a sauna, pool, hot tub and gym, plus.... aquatic water massage in the heated watsu pool. And, lots of fun exciting classes and workshops to choose from. The location is also easy to access and right across the ocean. The staff is friendly and the guests are also wonderful.

  • Stayed: July 2017, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank happymom212ny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KalaniHonua, Media Coordinator at Kalani, responded to this reviewResponded 28 April 2018

Mahalo for the awesome review! We hope you will come back to visit us.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 June 2017 via mobile

There's no doubt that Kalani is located in a most beautiful and unspoilt corner of Big Island, with dramatic coastlines, Kilauea volcano and thick jungle right on the doorstep. Accommodation is varied in price range and comfort. The hales are the most basic, the new cabins by the ocean the most luxurious. Food is healthy, much of it grown on the land, and it is often good although can get to be a little repetitive if you stay for a while. This place offers the widest choice of spiritual and wellbeing retreats that I've seen in one place. It is a wonderful location to learn yoga, to dance or just to 'be'. Whatever impression you get from the website, it does feel like stepping back to 1970s California when you arrive! It is also the perfect place to get away from it all for a week or longer and recharge batteries.

Stayed: February 2017, travelled solo
Thank halesbernicecrystal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KalaniHonua, Media Coordinator at Kalani, responded to this reviewResponded 28 April 2018

Mahalo for your review. We are glad to provide a place where you can relax and recharge within the scenic, natural beauty of Hawaii.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 May 2017 via mobile

This was the best experience I have ever had. You can feel the energy of the place. The people are real without any agenda, where the jungle meets the ocean, the many stars shine at night and the sounds of the jungle all add to this experience.
The food is fresh and healthy and it is far enough away from the tourist spots to really experience what life was like in the 60's & 70's as it's a little 'hippy'.
I was so emotional when I left and am already planning to come back. I booked the Kalani experience but there are other options.
Am already making plans to go back.

Stayed: May 2017, travelled with friends
2  Thank Karen G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KalaniHonua, Media Coordinator at Kalani, responded to this reviewResponded 28 April 2018

Aloha Karen,

We are so glad to be part of such a profound experience! We can't wait to see you again. Thank you for the review.

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