Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Lodging & Dining

A variety of lodging and dining options are available at the park, including hotel rooms, cabins, and dining rooms with panoramic views.

History of the Volcano House

In 1846, Benjamin Pitman built the first Volcano House on the northeast side of the Kilauea Caldera. The thatched structure was specifically for visitor use. A second Volcano House followed in 1866, constructed by J. L. Richardson and Company. It was here that Mark Twain stayed that same year. In 1877, the building was enlarged with many of the finished materials coming from Honolulu. It was the first truly wooden hotel on the island that used lumber and commercial doors and windows.

In the late 1800s, the hotel on the rim of Kilauea changed hands several times, until a larger, Victorian structure was erected. In 1904, George and Demosthenes Lycurgus took over management and became the principal stockholders. Their ownership lasted until 1921, when the hotel was purchased by the InterIsland Steam Navigation Company. In 1932, George Lycurgus reacquired the hotel, and he and his son, Nicholas, managed it for more than 30 years.

In 1940, a devastating fire completely destroyed the Victorian hotel built in 1891. Fortunately, the section of the hotel built in 1877 had been moved so that this relic of Kilauea’s by-gone days escaped unharmed. The 1877 structure is now the Volcano Art Center Gallery.

The current hotel was built in 1941 at the edge of Kilauea Caldera, with addition of the Deluxe Wing built in 1962. In the late 1960s, the Lycurgus family sold Volcano House to C. Brewer and Company. Brewer operated the hotel for a short time and then hired Sheraton Hotels to manage it. Then, it was sold to Ken Direction Corporation, a local family-owned and operated company.

In 1989, extensive work began in an attempt to restore the casual elegance that made Volcano House world-famous in the Lycurgus years.

In 2013, with funding from the National Park Service and Hawai‘i Volcanoes Lodge Company, the hotel underwent a multi-million-dollar renovation that improves safety and restores cultural and historic elements.

Many dignitaries, including Mark Twain (1866) and Franklin D. Roosevelt (1934), have visited Volcano House, as have many modern-day celebrities and royalty. Today, you can stay year-round at Volcano House, the oldest hotel in Hawai‘i and the only hotel in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

Lodging at Volcano House

You have the opportunity to share the warmth of the historic lava-stone fireplace in the lobby. In 1935, Ripley’s Believe It or Not stated that the hotel’s fire had been burning continuously for 61 years. For over 134 years, the Volcano House fireplace, which symbolizes the hotel’s warmth and its spirit of “Aloha,” has continuously burned brightly.

Volcano House Hotel is located on Crater Rim Drive within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. The Volcano House is just a short walk across Crater Rim Drive from park headquarters and the Kilauea Visitor Center. The hotel is located 30 miles southwest of Hilo on Highway 11 (45 minute drive); 96 miles southeast of Kailua-Kona on Highway 11, or 125 miles through Waimea and Hilo via highways 19 and 11 (two and a half to three-hour drive).

The Volcano House has a new kitchen, beamed ceilings and 34 rooms outfitted with rare koa wood furniture, iconic Hawaiian pieces and museum art. There are two gift shops, which carry a variety of items including souvenirs, books, clothing, jewelry, and native Hawaiian arts and crafts. Other facilities include a grab-and-go food retail location, The Rim Restaurant and Uncle George’s Lounge. Pets are not allowed. Wi-Fi is available at the hotel. Major credit cards are accepted.

Namakanipaio Cabins

Volcano House also operates year-round cabins at Namakanipaio Campground, three miles west of the park entrance on Route 11. Each newly appropriated cabin can accommodate up to four people; linen, towel and blankets are included. Showers are located nearby. There is a picnic table and barbecue grill outside of each cabin. You must provide your own charcoal and cooking utensils. There are electric lights but no outlets.

It is best to make advance reservations for lodging at the Volcano House and the cabins at Namakanipaio, especially for July and August. Contact the Hawai‘i Volcanoes Lodge Company at (808) 441-7750 or (866) 536-7972, or visit hawaiivolcanohouse.com.

Other Accommodations

If you are a member of the military (active, reserve or retired, or Department of Defense civilian, their dependent or guest), you and your family may find accommodations at the Kilauea Military Camp, a Joint Services Recreation Center, which is located one mile west of Park Headquarters. For more information or to make reservations, call (808) 967-8333 or (808) 438-6707 or visit kmc-volcano.com.

There are several vacation rentals and bed and breakfasts in the nearby community of Volcano Village, located right outside the park boundary. Hotels are available in Hilo, which is 30 miles (48 km) northeast of the park.
For more information about lodging, dining and other amenities outside of the park, please call the Hawai‘i Island Visitors Bureau at (808) 961-5797 or visit gohawaii.com /big-island.

Dining at Volcano House

The only public dining facilities in the park are located at Volcano House. The Rim Restaurant and Uncle George’s Lounge offer spectacular panoramic views of the Kilauea Caldera. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and is open daily. The lounge offers an all-day appetizer menu. Creative island cuisine highlights the best of Hawai‘i Island’s bounty through seasonal specials; at least 95 percent of the restaurant’s meat, seafood, fruit and vegetables are sourced from local ranchers, farmers and suppliers.

Dining Outside the Park

Restaurants in Hilo offer a variety of cuisines. There are also restaurants at Volcano Golf Course and Volcano Village, located just outside the park.