Looking to save money on the Big Island? Find out about the best cheap places to stay on the Big Island and how to book them. Keep scrolling down for all the info on my favorite cheap hotels on the Big Island!
This list of cheap places to stay on the Big Island was written by Marcie Cheung (a Hawaii travel expert) and contains affiliate links which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, I may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog.
If you’re looking for cheap hotels on the Big Island of Hawaii, you’ll want to keep reading!
The largest and youngest of the Hawaiian Islands, the Big Island has so much to offer as far as things to do. You might want to spend less of your budget on a hotel and more on all the amazing experiences.
You can visit the coffee farms of Kailua-Kona, go on rainforest waterfall hikes, and visit the unique Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. There are endless things to do if you’re doing a Hawaii vacation on a budget.
And if you want to stay close to where you’ll be enjoying your time on the island, you’re in luck.
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There are affordable places to stay in every part of the island, from the big cities like Hilo and Kailua-Kona to the surfing towns on the North Shore. You’ll even find affordable Big Island accommodations close to the Volcanoes National Park!
If you’re doing Big Island on a budget and want a great place to stay, then keep reading for my top 10 picks.
Want to skip all the planning and just access my detailed Big Island Itinerary complete with daily schedules, fun activities, and travel hacks? Click the button below.
Where to Stay in Hawaii on a Budget
Big Island Hawaii lodging can get a little pricey, especially at the big-name resorts. But you can find a variety of affordable places to stay for $115 to $250 a night. If you go with a smaller bed and breakfast or hostel, you can easily find rates below $100!
On my list of cheap hotels in Hawaii Big Island, some of the most popular are in Hilo and Kona. I’ve also included some very unique stays outside of Kona and around the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
I’ve also included a cool place on North Shore, though I found the most expensive hotels on Big Island to be in this region.
1. Royal Kona Resort
You’d never know that Royal Kona Resort is one of the most affordable cheap hotels in Kona!
One of the most famous Big Island of Hawaii resorts, they check all the boxes with panoramic ocean views and a variety of amenities. Plus, you’re less than 20 minutes from the airport. Read my full Royal Kona Resort review.
The entire resort features elegant island themes, from the common areas to the standard and deluxe you’ll be staying in. Guests can enjoy 2 different onsite restaurants, a spa, an outdoor saltwater lagoon swimming pool, and tennis courts.
You also have access to a private beach, and they have complimentary snorkel gear at the concierge! Check the latest rates and availability.
You’ll pay small fees for some things, like parking and breakfast. But it’s the only budget resort in Kona with this location!
You’re within walking distance of a variety of restaurants, coffee shops, markets, and shopping centers. There are also beaches, parks, and luaus in Kona available to you. Check rates here.
2. Bears’ Place Guest House
Some of the best cheap hotels in Kailua-Kona are gems like Bears’ Place Guest House. This privately owned hotel is 7 miles from Kailua Beach and only 4 miles from Kona Airport.
Enjoy the personal touch with only 6 condo-style rooms featuring queen-sized beds and sitting areas. Some rooms even have kitchens with dining room tables! Check the latest rates and availability.
Set in a residential area, you can enjoy the peace and quiet of this small guest house lodge. I suggest renting a car and using Bears’ Place as your base to enjoy all kinds of island adventures.
You’re close to Thunder Mountain Coffee Plantation. And you’re a short drive to a variety of state parks and public beaches.
This is also a great option if you’re looking for a place that feels like home with grocery stores and other similar conveniences. And when you’re looking for Kona hotel deals, you can’t Bears’ Place, with private entrances for every room, and a private lanai. Check rates here.
3. Dragonfly Ranch
Dragonfly Ranch is a wonderful alternative to the cheapest hotel in Kona Hawaii. Fall asleep each night to the chirp of tree frogs and crickets in the rainforests of Kona!
Surrounded by cocoa, coffee, and macadamia farms, Dragonfly Ranch is a jungle eco-lodge that offers a unique experience for the open-minded. Check the latest rates and availability.
You can choose from a variety of themed rooms. There are indoor and outdoor spaces in this DIY mansion in the trees. The owner, Barbara, provides everything you need including daily breakfast and kitchens for cooking.
There’s water gear if you want to go to the beach, and more. Meditate in the rainbow cathedral or book a massage with the onsite certified healers. Check rates here.
4. Aloha Junction Bed and Breakfast
There are several lovely hotels and B&Bs in the village of Volcano just to the east of Hawaii Volcano National Park. Aloha Junction Bed and Breakfast is one of my favorite choices. This 1925 plantation offers a variety of suites on a small acreage covered in gardens.
Use the beautiful common area or relax on the lanai. Every morning you can join the rest of the guests for a tropical breakfast and fresh coffee in the dining room. Check the latest rates and availability.
Each room includes a kitchen, a tv, and an electric fireplace. You can find out about walking tours of the area, guided hikes, cooking classes, and more! Check rates here.
5. Ma’ukele Lodge
Head to the southeast village of Pahoa and you can find a surprising number of cheap hotels on the Big Island of Hawaii. Ma’ukele Lodge is another beautiful B&B where you can immerse yourself in island life!
The lodge is set just feet away from black volcanic rock bluffs, including Kaimu Beach. On the property, you can enjoy palms and flowering trees, as well as natural hot springs with soaking tubs.
The owners have put together romantic and beautiful rooms and suites of different sizes. Check the latest rates and availability.
There are also sun decks where you can retreat from your day of exploring the Big Island, gardens, and BBQ pits. Enjoy a tropical breakfast in your room or join your fellow guests in the café. The owners also host a cocktail hour and offer a variety of services and rentals, like bike rentals. Check rates here.
6. Open Gate Hostel Hawaii
Open Gate Hostel is definitely a special place to stay. It’s not hard to find the colorful 2-story building on top of the black lava field in Pahoa! Hostels are welcoming places to all guests, from world travelers to families and surfers staying indefinitely.
This is probably the most affordable option on the list of cheap hotels on the Big Island of Hawaii, averaging less than $50 a night for a bed in the dormitory! You can also go with a private room if you prefer. And all the guests share 4 bathrooms.
Guests can relax in the living room, walk the lanai, or cook in the kitchen. There’s a yoga and fitness room or find out about group outings. Go on a hike, or see the black sand beaches nearby!
This is a fun, relaxed place where you’re encouraged to participate. You can enjoy music and drinks in the evening, and you might find a traveling artist painting one of the walls of the hostel!
7. Arnott’s Famous Lodge and Hiking Adventures
If you’re looking for cheap hotels in Hilo Hawaii, I recommend checking this next place out! Arnott’s Famous Lodge in the heart of Hilo not only has a prime location, but it’s a one-stop-shop for Hawaii experiences.
The rooms are no-frill, but large, clean, and cozy. Some suites have a lanai. You can enjoy spacious indoor and outdoor spaces with snacks, board games, gardens, and more. There’s also a shared kitchen and laundry room. Check the latest rates and availability.
But the big appeal of Arnott’s is the tour services on site! Book a food tour of Hilo or a guided hike to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. You can also find out about bike rentals at the concierge.
And Onekahakaha Beach nearby has cool wading pools and is a common place to see sea turtles! Check rates here.
8. SCP Hilo Hotel
Formerly the Hilo Seaside Hotel, SCP Hilo Hotel has maintained the quality and hospitality that has made it a mainstay in Hilo for almost 75 years. It’s a beautiful resort in the middle of the action with a bright, classic design.
You can book rooms with upgrades like “Deluxe” and “King” that basically change the size and number of beds in the room. Check the latest rates and availability.
For such a great price, you can enjoy a variety of amenities, like a fitness center, cultural activities for all ages, and common spaces with board games.
You can even find complimentary bikes and water gear! There’s a restaurant, coffee shop, and bar inside the resort. And you can talk to the concierge about guided tours and hikes. Check rates here.
9. Dolphin Bay Hotel
On the other side of Hilo Bay is Dolphin Bay Hotel. What makes it one of the best cheap hotels on the Big Island of Hawaii is how simple everything is here!
It’s a small boutique hotel with 8 spacious units. There aren’t a ton of amenities, but the concierge is available 24/7 to answer questions, suggest a restaurant, or help you book a Big Island tour. Check the latest rates and availability.
This is a quality choice for singles, couples, groups, and families alike. You can choose from 8 different studio, 1-bedroom, or 2-bedroom apartments. Dolphin Bay Hotel also offers long-term rentals in an adjacent complex. Each unit comes with a full kitchen and dining area.
There isn’t a pool or free breakfast at this hotel, but you can enjoy a courtyard garden full of tropical plants and a babbling stream! And within walking distance, there are museums, parks, restaurants, and even the Hilo Farmers Market, which is a must-do! Check rates here.
10. Kohala Village Inn and HUB
Kohala Village Inn is ideal for the traveler who wants to immerse themselves in Hawaiian culture.
Located in Hawi Town in the rural Kohala region on Big Island’s North Shore, the Kohala Inn isn’t an inn. It also doubles as a local community hub with regularly scheduled classes and events that you can attend!
The 1950s plantation offers rooms and suites with mini-fridges, fans, and AC units. The front of the inn hosts a large restaurant, as well as the Hawi Farmers Market, so you’ll always have access to food! Check the latest rates and availability.
Every week, the Kohala Village Hub hosts children’s dance classes, hula classes, counseling groups, and a night market where you can shop artisan vendors. You can also venture out and explore North Shore beaches, go hiking, or visit historical sites. Check rates here.
FAQ about Big Island Hawaii
Both islands have unique personalities with a variety of activities. If it’s your first time in Hawaii, you might prefer Oahu, with its golden sand beaches and tourist-centric towns. But Big Island is the place to be if you want to see the famous volcano park or are looking for tons of outdoor adventures.
For classic hotels and resorts, check out Hilo and Kona. Especially during the shoulder seasons, you can find cheap places to stay in Kona Hawaii near an urban center, beaches, and touristy things to do. But if you think outside the box, you’ll find quite a few unique places to stay across the entire island! Think hostels, rustic inns, and boutique bed and breakfasts.
Even on a budget, you’ll find lots of free things to do on the Big Island. Public beaches are free for all. You can find dozens of waterfall hikes with amazing scenic views and watering holes where you can cool off along the way. Sometimes you’ll find free hula shows in town, too.
Stay at the Best Cheap Hotels in Big Island Hawaii
You’ll be pleasantly surprised to find so many cheap hotels on the Big Island of Hawaii! There’s something for every taste, from the classic resort experience to a small village inn.
You can stay at a magical holistic retreat in the jungle or at an old-school Hawaiian hotel in the heart of the city. With a little bit of footwork, it’s easy to enjoy Hawaii on a budget!