Grand Naniloa Hotel

The Grand Naniloa Hotel is a hotel in Hilo, Hawaii, on the eastern side of the Big Island. It is the largest hotel in the state of Hawaii's second largest city, and has the longest history as a hotel on Hawaii Island.

Grand Naniloa Hotel
    • Grand Naniloa Hotel 1, Hilo.jpg
    • Grand Naniloa Hotel 2, Hilo.jpg
    • Grand Naniloa Hotel 3, Hilo.jpg
The Grand Naniloa Hotel;
Grand Naniloa Hotel is located in Hawaii
Grand Naniloa Hotel
Location within Hawaii
General information
Address93 Banyan Drive, Hilo, Hawaii
Coordinates19°43′46″N 155°03′54″W / 19.7295°N 155.0649°W / 19.7295; -155.0649Coordinates: 19°43′46″N 155°03′54″W / 19.7295°N 155.0649°W / 19.7295; -155.0649


Parks and attractions near Hilo Bay and downtown Hilo, Hawaii
  •  Points of interest 
  •  Parks and open spaces 
  •  Transportation 

Lyman House Memorial Museum
Haili Church
Kalākaua Park / East Hawaii Cultural Center
Pacific Tsunami Museum
Moʻoheau County Park (Hele-On Bus Terminal) / S. Hata Building / Mokupāpapa Discovery Center
Russell Carroll Soccer Fields
Aupuni Center / County of Hawaiʻi offices
Hilo Bayfront Beach Park
Wailoa River State Recreation Area / Waiākea Pond
Coconut Island / Moku Ola
Queen Liliʻuokalani Park and Gardens / Banyan Drive
Grand Naniloa Hotel / Naniloa Golf Course
Reed's Bay Beach Park
Hoʻolulu Complex (Merrie Monarch Festival site): Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium · Aunty Sally Kaleohano's Luʻau Hale · Edith Kanakaʻole Stadium · 'Sparky' Kawamoto Swim Stadium · Walter Victor Baseball Complex · Francis Wong Stadium
Hilo Harbor
Hilo International Airport

The Grand Naniloa Hotel opened in 1939, on Waiakea Peninsula, a small peninsula that protrudes into Hilo Bay. It is located on Banyan Drive which was developed in the early 1930s and which is lined with large Hawaiian banyan trees. Liliuokalani Park and Gardens are within a walking distance.

In 1946, Hilo was devastated by the tsunami associated with the 1946 Aleutian Islands earthquake and others, but the town and hotel recovered.

The hotel currently consists of three towers, named after the Big Island's volcanos: Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, and Kilauea.[1]

The management and ownership of the hotel have changed several times. It was originally owned by a local company. In 2013, Aqua-Aston Hotels and Resorts of Honolulu started its management, while Tower Development became the owner.[2]

In 2016, the Hilton Hotels & Resorts completed a three-year renovation of the hotel, and it now operates as a Hilton DoubleTree hotel.[3] It was a $30 million renovation.[4]

In 2016, the hotel was listed on the National Registry of the Historic Hotels of America.[4]


The hotel has an association with hula dancing.[5] It is a host of Hilo's annual Merrie Monarch Festival, which began in 1963, and is now a week-long event with three days of hula competition. The Hula Halau Ke 'Olu Makani 'O Mauna Loa, a hālau hula, regularly practices on the hotel's grounds.

Frommer's summarizes that the hotel "has declared itself 'the home of hula.' Renowned photographer Kim Taylor Reese’s images of hula dancers hang on virtually every wall, high-definition video of the Merrie Monarch hula competition plays in the new, open-air lobby, with a central bar. Hula Hulas poolside restaurant offers locally sourced dishes, live music, and hula."[6]


The hotel has a nine-hole golf course, the only one in Hilo. The hotel has a small swimming pool and stands directly on Hilo Bay, but the guests have to drive one or two miles from Banyan Drive to Kalanianaole Avenue to find sand beaches.

Like other businesses on the bay, the Grand Naniloa Hotel does not own the land on which the hotel is situated, nor its golf course, but rather leases from the Hawai'i Department of Land and Natural Resources.[7] The lease was assumed in the 2013 purchase of the property when the lease had 58 years remaining and required payments of $500,000 per year. [8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Grand Naniloa Hotel (Hawaii Revealed)
  2. ^ Doubletree Grand Naniloa Now Open
  3. ^ Inside the $30 million renovation of Hilo's Grand Naniloa Hotel (Hawaii Magazine, 2016)
  4. ^ a b "Grand Naniloa Hotel Hilo, a DoubleTree by Hilton". Historic Hotels of America.
  5. ^ "Passport to Adventure: Grand Naniloa Resort". April 15, 2018. (a video interview with historian George Applegate and CEO Ed Bushor)
  6. ^ Cooper, Jeanne. "Grand Naniloa Hotel Hilo—A DoubleTree by Hilton". Frommer's. Archived from the original on 2020-04-06. Retrieved 2020-04-06.
  7. ^ Shimogawa, Duane (December 7, 2016). "Owners of Grand Naniloa eye opening second Hilton hotel in Hilo". American City Business Journals.
  8. ^ Gomes, Andrew (2013-12-19). "Naniloa Volcanoes Hotel purchased for $7 million". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Archived from the original on 2020-04-06. Retrieved 2020-04-06 – via Gale.

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