Hawaii’s Big Island faces such a large year-round demand for rooms that rates here are more competitive than on the other islands. Just note that it’s called the Big Island for a reason — this island is 6,422 square miles, and takes roughly 90 minutes to drive from the east to west side. You’ll want to research the best things to do in the Big Island, then book a room in the area where you plan to spend the most time. Another option: make several hotel reservations to divide your time between different areas to see more of the island.
Whether you’re looking to stay in the main town of Kailua-Kona, or out east in Hilo or anywhere in between, deals at these affordable Big Island hotels and resorts can be had for less than $200 a night.
Grand Naniloa Hotel Hilo by Doubletree, Big Island
The city of Hilo, found on the Big Island’s east coast, is much less touristed than Kailua, delivering great deals and the chance to get closer to Mauna Kea and the Hamakua Coast. A top hotel pick here is the 379-room Grand Naniloa Hotel Hilo by Doubletree with room rates as low as $150-199 in summer.
Those rates get you into a sleek, modern room with coffee and a microwave, plus free breakfast. The coastline here isn’t sand, but rather smooth black lava rock—the upside of which is that green sea turtles love sunbathing on this stretch. The Doubletree does charge a hotel fee, but that covers the onsite golf course, along with watersports and bike rentals.
Hawaiian Sanctuary Eco-Retreat
Set on 44 acres amid the forests of the inland Pahoa area on the eastern tip of the island — a hub for hippies and other nature-lovers — Hawaiian Sanctuary is an 11-room, rustic eco-retreat specializing in wellness and healthy living.
Onsite, you’ll fine a sauna and hot tub, as well as daily yoga classes. Room rates start at $160 a night to stay in the main lodge, with stand-alone cabins also available. A breakfast bounty of granola, fresh fruit, and coffee and tea is included in the stay. Those who want to spend time lounging on a Big Island beach should note that Isaac Hale Park is the closest ocean access point, located 30 minutes away.
Ka’awa Loa Plantation Bed-and-Breakfast
Ka’awa Loa Plantation Bed-and-Breakfast gives island-lovers all the best of Kailua-Kona without the crowds. This lush property sits 8 miles south of Kailua-Kona, and 1,200 feet above Kealakekua Bay in the Captain Cook area. The result is a quiet garden sanctuary where the bed-and-breakfast owners grow the fruit that’s served at daily breakfasts alongside homemade goodies such as pineapple-macadamia-nut cornbread.
As one of the most affordable hotels on the Big Island, the main lodge offers four rooms that rent for around $139 a night, with another stand-alone cottage. We love this site not only for the gardens where guests can pick avocados and passionfruit, and also for the Jacuzzi with ocean views, perfect come sunset at this west-facing property.
Hilton Waikoloa Village, Big Island
Water lovers couldn’t ask for more at Hilton Waikoloa Village, a 40-minute drive north of Kailua. This expansive, 649-room property offers a private black-sand beach, a flat-water protected lagoon and three outdoor pools with slides and a lazy river, as well as an adults-only pool. The protected lagoon is a hit with kids thanks to its white-sand beach and always-flat waters that create a safe, friendly experience for paddle boarding and other water sports, or just playing.
Beyond the water, this resort delivers plenty of entertainment, including tennis, luau shows and bicycle rentals. Rooms are extremely comfortable, but with décor that could be at any Hilton. Granted, the brand delivers a high standard for cleanliness and service, making the nightly rates starting at $225 a screaming deal.
Kona Islander Inn Hotel
The Kona Islander Inn Hotel offers visitors one of Hawaii’s best deals for a private room: Rates start at just $89, making this one of the most affordable hotels on the Big Island. Best of all, book at this 142-room hotel and you can hoof it to most sights in Kailua if you’re reasonably fit. The property is built in a Hawaiian plantation style, with rooms that have been updated with fun, trendy décor — much nicer than their website suggests.
In Hilo on the east coast of the Big Island lies Maureen’s Bed-and-Breakfast, which travelers who tread off the beaten path will treasure. The five rooms feature a Hawaii-meets-country décor, with quilts patterned with tropical taro leaves and other designs.
A breakfast spread of waffles, fruit, local coffee and more is included. Have your fill, then take on the 10-minute walk to Wai’olena Beach Park, which offers some of the clearest water on island (perfect for snorkeling), but no food vendors. Rates at Maureen’s start at $150 per night.
The Palms Cliff House Inn
The Palms Cliff House Inn, an eight-room bed-and-breakfast in the town of Honomu, north of Hilo, stands out for its quiet grandeur. This sweeping estate, spread across 3.5 acres, occupies a cliff overlooking the ocean, creating a dramatic stage for weddings or just mornings spent savoring coffee or tea. The inn will also arrange high tea for your party for an add-on charge. Tropical flowers, exotic fruits or massage treatments can also be prearranged. Rooms feature a traditional, plantation-style décor, and start at $199 per night, making this one of the most affordable hotels on the Big Island.
Uncle Billy’s Kona Bay Hotel
Located on the edge of Kailua Kona, Uncle Billy’s Kona Bay Hotel puts guests within walking distance of much of the city, and yet, sits right on its own quiet, natural beach, creating a relaxing retreat to come home to each night.
The property has on Old Hawaii feel, and the 436 rooms are a bit vanilla, but for rates around $130 a night, you won’t mind. Onsite, there’s not much by way of amenities — although there is a pool and coin-operated laundry — but this also means you save further as the hotel explicitly does not charge resort fees.
Royal Kona Resort
The Royal Kona Resort is easily the sweetest deal to be had in Kailua-Kona, located right on the water with room rates starting at $150 a night. We love the sunset views from this west-facing hotel, where 436 rooms are spread between towers of nine and 10 stories — elevated enough to create an epic viewing experience.
The property offers four onsite dining options, including the open-air, waterfront Don’s Mai Tai Bar, specializing in the state’s most beloved cocktail. Lastly, we love that seeing green sea turtles is a given right on property: The hotel’s coastline is smooth black lava rock where these protected reptiles catch sun almost daily.
Kona Seaside Hotel
The Kona Seaside Hotel, a gem located in the northern part of Kailua, is situated just a minute’s walk from the beach. The 225-room property merges clean lines with a Polynesian vibe — with rooms feeling fresh thanks to extreme attention paid to upkeep.
The hotel offers four categories of rooms, starting with their best rate of $149, which does not include breakfast. The deluxe room includes an ocean view, a small balcony as well as breakfast. Note: This property also charges no resort fee.