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Reviewed 5 October 2017 via mobile

Looked for resort for over three hours without success. No phone number, email address or website listed on our info packet, no one we talked to to the small village had heard of Pele’s Breath. Found out later they were doing business under a different name.

Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
5  Thank Joseph R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 September 2017 via mobile

My children and I stayed here for 10 days. It was a fantastic experience. It was a very refreshing, healing, comfortable Hawaiian paradise. The hosts were amazing and make sure you feel at home. The views were amazing and it is very close to Pahoa town.

Stayed: August 2017, travelled with family
Thank Lilyjackmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 August 2017

Our group of four experienced travelers, ages 65+, stayed three nights at Pele’s. The proximity to the Volcano and the nighttime lava flow hike, the advertised steam vents and pools, and reviews on Trip Advisor contributed to our choice. Upon arrival, we were greeted by Shanti who introduced herself as the co-owner and explained that the manager, Marc, was dealing with a family emergency. She said that she was there to prepare the facility for sale and really didn’t know how the B&B worked. On the morning that we checked out, Marc returned, and we were able to address our concerns. He was understanding, but said that our experience was due to our misplaced expectations.

Our “unreasonable” expectations, based on photos and reviews on several on-line booking sites, were: 1) Cleanliness - the bedrooms had a very musty odor, kitchen trash had not been emptied, bugs were crawling through rotten potatoes under the sink; 2) Drinking water - Shanti explained that the water came from a catchment and the large water jug in the kitchen was empty, so we should purchase our own bottled water; 3) Security/manager living on site - on the first night, there was no one else in the building, and the front door latch didn’t work, so we moved a table in front of the door. The next two nights, the third room was occupied, but we did not meet the occupants, and no manager was on site. Additionally, Shanti told us that a woman would be coming in twice a day to feed the macaw and two huge cats who lived there; 4) “Self-service continental breakfast included” - Shanti said she didn’t know how that worked, but pointed out a shelf labeled for guests that contained a carton of oatmeal, raisins, tea, and decaf coffee. The refrigerator and freezer were completely full of the managers’ personal food, and we did not feel comfortable in using any undesignated items. 5) Hot showers - the second morning there was no hot water for showers, and the owners did not answer the number provided. Marc and Paul (co-owner) later insisted that there was no problem, but the hot water magically reappeared the next morning.

Steam vents and geothermally heated pools - the steam vent saunas were unappealing to us, the tub outside the saunas was empty, and the ponds were dirty and covered in scum, so we did not use them. The crowning blow occurred on the second day when Paul informed us that some of his guests would be using the steam vent. As we were sitting in the dining room, four adults walked by, waved at us, and proceeded to disrobe at the steam vent in full view of the house. We certainly did not expect public nudity when we booked the rooms.

When we booked the two rooms, we were required to post a $200 refundable deposit in addition to full payment of the fee of $139/room/night. With other people in and out of the facility, we were uncomfortable about departing and assuming responsibility for any potential damages incurred by other guests. When we spoke with Marc, he agreed to refund the deposit in cash upon our departure, rather than electronically.

Although we greatly enjoyed the Volcano National Park and the charming town of Pahoa, our stay at Pele’s was an entirely unsatisfactory experience for us. We stayed at two other wonderful B&Bs while in Hawaii, paying a similar rate, and there is no doubt in our minds that this is a hostel, not a B&B. I suggest that future guests phone the manager in advance to discuss “expectations” in order to avoid similar misunderstandings.

  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank Escambian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marc-and-Ishika, Manager at Pele's Breath, responded to this reviewResponded 11 September 2017

Aloha to anyone reading this review, it is clearly an anomaly; the managers of the property were not on-site when all this occurred. Due to a medical emergency we had to be airlifted to Honolulu and ultimately experience the loss of our son. Unfortunately, bookings cannot be canceled spontaneously due to a state of emergency and so the owners who are unfamiliar with the runnings of the property had to step in. The guests were informed of the situation from the moment they stepped in through the doors. Shanti the co-owner of the property tried her best to step up and do a job that she has no idea about, and therefore there may have been misinformation about the filtered water (we do have filtered water in the kitchen sink but the owner did not know about it or how it functioned), she did not really know how the continental breakfast worked or if some items needed replenishing while we were in the hospital, the door latch does indeed work, but there is a technique involved, something we don't even have to mention to most people because it is so easy to work out but if someone is facing difficulties we are always there to assist just like with the following issue, the faucet for the hot water needs to run for a minute before the hot water comes in and the owner Paul 'magically' made it work when informed of the issue; we rarely ever have to help anyone with this since it is so common with a lot of houses but when we are on the premises, this is easily resolved by informing them that it works and you just let it run for a bit, just like Paul did, it was not magic but a minute's worth of patience.

None of these management issues would be present if the actual managers were able to be there to accommodate these guests; I am absolutely 100% sure fresh, clean sheets were provided by Shanti but due to the unsure reception and hospitality provided, these guests unfortunately resorted to nitpicking. To add to the fact that this review is nitpicking and not a just and true reflection of the property, the "pools" mentioned here were never advertised as pools, we don't even mention them in the listings and swimming pools are a great feature to any listing. It is their own absurd preconceived notions that lead them to just assume that the fish ponds on the property are somehow in fact murky, unkempt pools to swim in. This is what my husband was trying to say to them when he said they had, to put it kindly, misplaced expectations.

In regards to the people coming in to use the steam vent saunas, people come from far and wide to experience this natural marvel; the vents are at a distance, located away from the house, so I cannot fathom how anybody unless they were being peeping toms could witness any indecent exposure, even if you could see, you wouldn't be able to make out much and why would you be trying to make anything out anyway? Our saunas are clothing optional, that is why everybody reserves their own private slot. It is respectful to give people privacy when using a sauna, not to judge them with prying eyes. We have had so many guests and multiple families stay with us at a time while using the saunas, no one has ever complained about such a bizarre self-inflicted predicament.

A state of emergency is a state of emergency. We did not ask for sympathy or prayers for our grave situation from these guests, all we requested as they entered the premises was some iota of understanding that things would not be operating as professionally and smoothly as they usually would when the managers are at the beck and call of the guests and tend to every need and concern in the very moment, we requested understanding that this stellar guest experience may unfortunately be compromised during their stay due to this terrible emergency. And yes, when you are hospitalized in an emergency your groceries may start going off and unfortunately Shanti did not spot that single bag of potatoes as she was not living at the property, but if it bothered them that much they could have told her and she would have immediately taken care of it. Everyone was trying their best given the circumstances. We took phone calls while at the hospital to resolve any and all issues and were phoned about them not being able figure out the hot water faucet and we did our part to assist from afar in the midst of our turmoil. The morning after being discharged from the hospital and flown back, grieving for our recently deceased son, exhausted and defeated, my husband had to check these guests out and gave them his utmost understanding when it should have been the other way around, while they complained on and on, nitpicking every little hiccup. He was so kind as to give them a token of fresh organic honey in order to make up for any way they had been inconvenienced, a token and gesture they were so kind to throw back in our faces and leave behind like it was not fit for human consumption simply because it was sourced at our property.

There were other guests that stayed at the property during this rocky span of three days, when informed of the situation they were more than empathetic of the dire circumstances. An outpouring of support and emotion is not what we expected but simply having the heart to realize that things would be out of the ordinary is all. No one else that stayed during this 'treacherous' period of three days had a single complaint, on the contrary, they've rated and reviewed us with 5 stars honestly, humbly and kindly; despite not receiving the hospitality they would have usually otherwise have experienced had we been there.

Kind Regards,
Ishika Aziz

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 July 2017 via mobile

Beautiful property with stunning views. Marc is friendly, makes you feel welcome, and provides a great overview of the property and area. These are the basis of my 4 star rating as there are a few other things you should be aware of if you choose this property. First, it is not air conditioned and if you are on the upper floor it can get pretty uncomfortable, which means you have to leave all the windows open and some of them do not have screens (nor do they tightly close). This means you are going to have a lot of creepy, crawly company. Second, this is a bare bones accommodation. .not a problem, but you need to be aware ahead of time. You need to bring everything. ..soap, wash clothes, shampoo, etc. The beds are pretty uncomfortable too. Lastly, this is not a b and b. You will have access to some basic breakfast items and kitchen tools so that you can make yourself breakfast. You are also expected to clean up and there are signs reminding you in case you forget. Dorm room came to mind more than once during our stay, but with that being said, it is a beautiful property and served as a convenient base camp for exploring the national park and surrounding areas. Marc gave us great recommendations for restaurants and things to do that were great. We would consider staying there again, but with different expectations.

Stayed: July 2017, travelled with family
Thank Lynn G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 July 2017

This magical place was perfect for slowing down and relaxing while being close to the volcano park and amazing lava seeings. We really enjoyed the garden and its natural steam bath and the managers made us feel very welcome. We highly recommend this place.

  • Stayed: July 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Anne Bisgaard P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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