Are you struggling finding the perfect place to stay on the Big Island? Picking just the right spot is usually one of the hardest parts for me when I’m planning a trip. I love staying at fancy beach resorts (pretty much more than anything!), but it just doesn’t always make sense to pay so much money when I’ll be spending most of my days hiking in Hawaii Volcano National Park or visiting amazing colored sand beaches.
Luckily, I’ve figured out the perfect way to save some serious cash and still get amazing amenities by staying in an Airbnb on the Big Island! And yippee for you…I’ve got a $35 credit for you to use towards your stay! You can grab that right here.
But before I let you in on some of my favorite Big Island Airbnbs, you probably have a few questions…
But before I get started, not super familiar with the Big Island? Check out this post to get the lay of the is(land) so you can decide where is the best part of the island for you to stay.
What is Airbnb? Airbnb is an online booking platform that connects people who are looking to rent out their home (or condo, guest cottage, garage apartment, etc.) with people who are looking for that type of accommodation. Operating in over 200 countries and 35,000 cities, Airbnb has over 10,000 listings in Hawaii alone!
How does it work? By doing a simple search by island, you’ll be able to find a wide (price and type) range of accommodation. Some Airbnb listings are for a shared or private room in the “host’s” house and some are for an entire apartment, condo, or house. You can refine your search to fit certain criteria (part of the island, price, style, etc.) before you start weeding through specific properties. Once you settle on a property, you’ll work out the details with the host and submit your payment through Airbnb’s online booking system, which mediates the transaction.
Why Airbnb in Hawaii? Airbnb is a popular accommodation source all over the world, but Hawaii is an Airbnber’s dream. Hawaii has a great variety of accommodation options, which makes it the perfect place to try out Airbnb. Since Hawaii is a major vacation destination, there are of course MANY condos to choose form but besides condos, Hawaii has a ton of “ohanas.” Ohana means family (any Lilo and Stitch fans out there???) and in Hawaii the term is applied to separate living units located on the same property as the main house. Many homes in Hawaii are divided up into multiple spaces (each with its own private entrance, bathroom, kitchenette, etc.) while some have a guest cottage on the property. Because so many homes are configured this way, it’s easy to find a private apartment or cottage on the same property with a local host.
How does it save me money? There are several ways you’ll save money on a trip to Hawaii by staying in an Airbnb. The biggest way you’ll save money is that it’s soooo much cheaper than staying at a resort or hotel. On many islands you can find condos or ohanas either right on or just a block or two from the beach. Plus, resorts can get expensive really fast if you have more than two adults staying in a room. Airbnbs are perfect for larger parties who can rent an entire house or multi bedroom condo and split the cost. Another big benefit that Airbnbs offer is the full kitchen (or kitchenette depending on what you book). Having a place to cook some meals and a fridge to store snacks and drinks can really save you a lot. Another big plus to staying in a hosted Airbnb is that they often provide gear for you to use. If you’re staying at a beach resort, they’ll only provide chairs and umbrellas for you at their beach, but an Airbnb or condo will often have chairs, umbrellas, beach towels, coolers, and snorkeling gear for you to use during your stay. This is a pretty big bonus if you’re the adventuresome type who likes to check out different beaches and do day trips to explore the island.
25 Fantastic Big Island Airbnbs
Beautiful studio steps from the bay: This cute condo near the bay in Hilo is rustic chic and starts at $89/night.
Adventurous lava rock hale: Staying in this hale will be a truly unique experience. The property is luscious and gorgeous and starts at $84/night.
Amazing paradise encounter in Hilo: This spacious Hawaiian inspired hut is centrally located on the Hilo side of the island near Kilauea, and it starts at $109/night.
Tropical modern eco-farm loft: You won’t want to leave this trendy eco-loft. It’s equal parts modern and equal parts tropical and starts at $125/night.
One-bedroom suite in Hilo: This cozy one-bedroom suite has a wonderful lanai and starts at $77/night.
Peaceful Balinese teak cottage: This little jungle hideaway starts at $92/night.
Private garden studio in the south: This well equipped studio near the southern most point of the island is a great place to explore a less visited part of the island. Pricing starts at $85/night.
Dreamy tropical tree house: If you’ve ever dreamed of staying in a luxurious tree house in the middle of the jungle, you’ll loooove this dreamy tree house near Hawaii Volcano National Park. Pricing starts at $200/night.
Luxury studio in Volcano: This bright studio is cozy but modern and conveniently located for exploring Hawaii Volcano National Park. Pricing starts at $115/night.
Paauilo far from the madding crowd: This cute bungalow with a loft is far from crowds and tourists and the perfect place to get away from it all. Pricing starts at $110/night.
Noelani of Waipio: This cozy little two-bedroom bungalow on the north shore is the perfect basecamp for exploring the breathtaking Waipio Valley. Pricing starts at $99/night.