FAQ: Lova Lava Land Eco-Resort Frequently Asked Questions - and even Answers!
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Often times we get emailed questions that are already addressed on our website. In order to help you get the answers you need faster, we've addressed some of the common questions like this and placed the link to the page with that information below for you. We also get quite a few emails asking for special exceptions to our normal policies - please understand that we have these policies in place to make everything fair for everyone and to help our business run as efficiently as possible (isn't it nice to know that people who email to ask for a special discount AREN'T getting one?). That said, if you have a particular extra customer service need, we will do everything we can to assist - as long as it doesn't break one of our normal policies.
We have used ACTUAL questions to create this FAQ. You'll notice most of them center around reservations because that is mostly what we are emailed about. You'll also notice some of them are a little crazy - we agree - but because we have been asked it more than once, we'll address it here. We are still happy to answer any questions you contact us about - but just using this to free up some time to research some more new green living/building methods.
Q: Cleaning Fee Questions
A: Covered on our reservations page and also our "Get Your Cleaning Fee Back Program" page.
Q: Can you make exceptions to your normal "Cleaning Fee Program." For example, I'd like to participate but cannot bring my own linens.
A: Sorry, in order to provide this program at all (which is already quite time consuming and increases our paperwork), we have to stick to the same rules for everyone. If you email to ask anyway, we will tell you the same answer. We are big on offering the exact same level of service and opportunities to all customers - it's only fair that way!
Q: I think your cleaning fee is expensive - can I have a discount?
A: Believe it or not, we do get this question quite often. Sorry, we have already reduced our prices and costs as much as possible so cannot offer special prices to specific people (it's only fair that way). 100% of our cleaning fee goes to a local cleaner that is already doing us a favor for providing the work for a lower price than normal. As an alternative for those that find this fee to be a hardship, we have gone to a lot of extra work to provide the "Get Your Cleaning Fee Back" program.
Q: Will you allow children or anyone under 21?
A: We typically like to allow adults 21 years of age and older. Please do email us to ask if you feel our property would work well if anyone in your party is under 21. We think the experience is great for well-behaved children but also realize our property is not, in general, very child friendly due to the underlying lava rock foundation of everything and our somewhat sensitive systems (check out info on our Policies page). But responsible parents or adult caretakers that understand this and are willing to take full responsibility for their children while on our property will be welcomed if at all possible. Another issue with allowing children is that our rentals normally hold 2 people. So if your party is more than 2, there will be added stress on the available space in a rental beyond what we normally allow. We reserve the right to ask for an additional refundable security deposit if we are able to accommodate your family in these types of situations. We also do prefer to have children in the VW Bus rentals rather than the yurt (they tend to like that better anyway!).
Q: Will you allow more than 2 in a rental?
A: Unless the third person is a child, we prefer not to do this. It's much better if your party of 3 or more just rents the appropriate number of rentals, with a maximum of 2 adults per rental. If you have 5+ adults in your party, check out our group booking page for information about renting the whole eco-resort.
Q: Do you have kama'aina rates?
A: No, we offer the exact same rates to all people.
Q: Do you have any special discounts?
A: No, we offer the exact same rates to all people. The only possible exception is if your group wants to rent the whole resort (3 rentals). See our group booking page for more info.
Q: Can I book last minute?
A: In most circumstances, no. If you are trying to book last minute, you most likely will also not be able to find the availability you want (especially if your dates are not flexible). Also, our online system will not process your reservation if you are trying to book less than 24 hours before the day of your checkin. If you contact us through our contact form, we may be able to squeeze you in if we happen to be on the computer during your attempt to contact us (unlikely) but PLEASE don't do this to us if you are capable of booking in advance. It not only requires us to change our plans for the next few days but it affects our cleaning service and camp host also, so is not something we like to put everyone through unless absolutely necessary. A main reason we offer lower rates is because of our advance reservation requirement. We NEVER allow walk-ins either - only registered and paid guests are allowed to drive or be on the property. Mahalo for your kokua.
Q: Can I just show up on your property without a reservation and pay then?
A: Short answer - no. Long answer: Sorry, but no. We try to provide a safe, quiet place for guests with advance reservations. Thus, we do not release directions to the general public and only allow guests with paid-for reservations on the property. Once you arrive as a guest, you'll see why this is an absolutely WONDERFUL policy for everyone staying there! Plus, it's great that all money stuff is already taken care of and once you arrive you can just immediately make yourself at home, relax, and enjoy the unique & beautiful scenery!
Q: Can I come get a tour of your property BEFORE I reserve?
A: Short answer - no. Long answer: We find this to be a very strange request (but do occasionally get it) and are most likely not able to accommodate it unless there is a very specific logical reason (like you are considering staying for a long period of time, like several months).
Even then, we feel like our website gives an extremely accurate, well-rounded, and full picture of everything we offer, what we look like, and what we are. The Lonely Planet Big Island writer even personally praised us for having the most accurate representation of our property via our website than any other property she's seen on the whole island! So we could see someone asking to look if they were paying a high amount per night and didn't have any pictures or info via a website to look at - but neither of those scenarios are true with us. Additionally, the privacy, security, and comfort of our present paying guests is a #1 priority for us over getting 'possible' new business. So for no other reason than that, we do not like anyone on the property that is not a reserved guest. If you have specific questions/concerns, we are more than happy to answer them via email.
Q: I'm a single female traveler, is Lova Lava Land a good place for me to stay?
A: Yes! Single female travelers are one of our largest segments of guests actually. Not surprising since we offer a lot more privacy and security than comparably priced options like dorm rooms in hostels or camping. Plus, a female built and designed most of the resort (with just a little help from her husband) so it makes sense that other females and couples are drawn to us. We also actively encourage (and enforce) a responsible, mature crowd and atmosphere versus the rowdiness found in some other budget accommodation options.
Q: Is the free wireless Internet working and always on?
A: YES! We keep the Internet on at all times and its uptime is better than most major city providers. The only exception is that if guests use up all our solar power, then that will also turn off the Internet until the sun is able to power the system back up.
Q: Does Lova Lava Land have a shower?
A: Yes! We have a beautiful outdoor lava rock shower. Currently, we do not have a hot water system on the shower (although the pipes do warm the water at times).
Q: Do you offer tent camping? Can we have a space to put up our own tents?
A: We do not offer tent camping. If you rent a VW Bus, you are welcome to put up a tent in that spot in addition to having the space in the bus for your use (Daisy the Daydream Bus has the best area for putting up a tent). Although, we can guarantee you that you'll be more comfortable sleeping in Daisy than in a tent.
Q: Can the VW Camper Vans/Buses be moved or driven?
A: No, the VW Bus Rentals are stationary accommodations with a nice little area for each one and private amenities around the rental. We do drive our VWs but these are not for rent. More info on this page: VW Bus Accommodation
Q: Do you offer any work exchange programs or work exchange for reduced rent?
A: Short answer: No, not at this time. Long answer: We do have a 3 month long Camp Host
position but interview separately for this and do keep the position filled pretty far in advance. Any past or current guests are given priority in the application process for this position during or after their stay with us. If you are interested in this, please check out our Camp Host / Caretaker Information Page. We do not offer any other type of work exchange at this time and will advertise it on our website if that changes.
Q: Do you offer monthly rentals?
A: Of course! In fact, we quite often have one of our rentals taken by a monthly renter and it's worked well for us and them so far. Due to increased short term rental interest, PLEASE book WELL in advance if you want to find a rental that is available for a whole month. (We often have a small group that will book up the whole resort for a few days of a month - taking out the opportunity to have any monthly renters for that month.) To encourage longer term stays, we offer some extraordinary great monthly prices: See our Reservations Page Monthly Rentals
Q: Are there any safety issues I should worry about concerning the volcano?
A: This sort of question got our "#1 Funniest Question of the Year" award last year. To be fair, the real question was if he should worry about lava coming over him while staying at Lova Lava Land. But since we do try to take any concern anyone has seriously enough to at least answer it - we'd like to point out that obviously we don't think this is a concern since we put our life savings into the property and also plan to eventually live out our lives here. Important to point out is that our volcano is NOT the active volcano that is erupting at the moment and in the news (that one is Kilauea Volcano in the Puna district of the Big Island). Regardless, the Big Island has an excellent civil defense system in addition to the scientists at the Volcanoes National Park - which are 24/7 monitoring any volcanic activity. We feel there will be adequate county warnings if anything like this were to ever happen anywhere on the island.
Q: What is your availability and prices?
A: Check our Price/Availability page. We keep 100% of our reservation online and availability 100% updated - so you can trust that our online calendar will be much more accurate than our memory if you email to ask!
Q: Can you contact me by phone for a reservation or what phone # can I call you at?
A: To keep our prices low for you, we do not offer phone customer service for potential reservations or questions. All reservation questions are handled via email and all our reservations need to be done online. This actually saves TONS of money and time and streamlines our reservation process - which can be the most time consuming for other vacation rentals. We'd much rather save that time to work on green projects or outside green volunteer work plus save the money from hiring a phone answering service and, instead, give that money back to you in the form of low rental prices. You will be given our personal cell phone # only after booking. This phone # is for emergencies only and not monitored at all times.
Q: I'm doing work on my computer (writing, online classes)? What is the situation as far as using my laptop and having electricity for it at Lova Lava Land?
A: We've had many guests in the past be successful at doing ongoing work on their computer while staying with us (including the Lonely Planet Big Island writer, who wrote a lot of the book here!). For such special circumstances and longer stays, we can also run an extra extension cord to "Daisy - The Daydream Bus" so you have power at your rental (otherwise the outlets are only in the common area - which most guests find is all they need). Daisy is the only rental this will work for and please ask us in advance if you need this. Otherwise, by using a back-up computer battery and recharging with our outlets in the common area, you'll find plenty of power available for a laptop. Just be aware if you or others are overusing our power system (and/or the sun isn't out several days in a row), then there may be times when the solar electrical system shuts off in order to have time to recharge.
Q: Do you know of similar places like yours on other Hawaiian islands (Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai)?
A: We are working on creating a "Hawaii Green Travel Network" - check it out here for: Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai. One of our green initiatives for the year is to use our Internet expertise to build this free network and help get the word out about green travel options and alternatives (many of these businesses don't have the funds or expertise to advertise or have an easy-to-find website).
Q: What's the best airport to use for getting to Lova Lava Land?
A: Our location page will help in deciding. But the answer is either - Kona is closer in miles but the Hilo drive is easier and less curvy. Both are beautiful drives with a lot too see on the way. We like to fly into Hilo if we're arriving after dark or Kona if we are arriving during the day outside of local commuter times (when traffic is heavy). Commuter traffic from Kona, heading our way, tends to be the heaviest around 3PM-5:30PM.
Q: Do you do airport pickup?
A: Sorry, we do not currently offer this. We may one day offer it when we can afford to get a good fuel efficient vehicle to do it with (we hope to one day be making our own biodiesel). Check our Location & Getting Here page for more information about travel options.
Q: Does Lova Lava Land have cell phone reception?
A: Yes! We use Verizon and ATT/Cingular and they both work perfectly fine (although they won't work on parts of the drive before you arrive in our town). Most likely other carriers also work well here.
Q: Do I need a 4x4 to get to Lova Lava Land?
A: No! All the roads to get to us are completely fine. More info on our Location & Getting Here page.
Q: How far are you from Honolulu?
A: Guests that have never been to Hawaii might not realize that we are on a different island than Honolulu (which is on Oahu). Honolulu is an easy interisland flight from the main airports on our island (Kona and Hilo).
Q: Does Lova Lava Land have a refrigerator?
A: Yes, we have a small fridge in the common area for communal use. Please share accordingly.
Q: Do the rentals lock?
A: Yes, it is possible to lock all the rentals.