A rustic lodge built as a children’s camp nearly 80 years ago is now home to one of the most unique lodging experiences in Hawai‘i: Kīlauea Lodge in Volcano Village, just outside Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.
Originally built in 1938 for the YMCA, Camp Hale O Aloha was a gracious ten-acre retreat. Thousands of youngsters experienced Kīlauea’s wonders by day and, warmed by the fireplace, told stories by night. In October of 1938, four hundred people from around the Territory of Hawai‘i gathered at the camp for the dedication of a unique fireplace: The International Fireplace of Friendship. With its stones from 32 nations and coins from all over the world, the fireplace was the brainchild of Harold Lucas, the YMCA camp director in charge of construction at Camp Hale O Aloha.
Purchased by Lorna and Albert Jeyte in 1986, Kīlauea Lodge was refurbished to welcome visitors from all over the world. Locally raised, Lorna taught school before making a mid-life switch to inn keeping. German born Albert, an Emmy award-winning make-up artist, and Lorna bought the property on their honeymoon.
Kīlauea Lodge is only one mile from the entrance of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, and offers nearby volcano explorations, hiking, birdwatching, wine tasting, golfing, and much more. The lodge offers twelve rooms on property as well as four off-property vacation rental cottages nearby. Several rooms offer balconies, fireplaces, and common rooms. In addition, there is a relaxing hot tub for guests to enjoy.
The lodge’s restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner nightly, as well as Sunday brunch. Owner-Chef Albert offers a menu which reflects a marriage of his European background and local flavors. Kīlauea Lodge dinners are well known for Albert’s specialty, European favorites like hasenpfeffer, antelope, and duck. There’s always fresh fish from deep Hawai‘i Island waters, too. The Fireplace of Friendship, with its precious collection of artifacts, provides the setting for the meals.
For special events, the restaurant can accommodate private dining or meetings with seating for 22 or standing room for up to 30 people in the Kīpuka Room. The lush grounds, complete with gazebo and vast lawns, are the perfect setting for an outdoor wedding surrounded by green tropical forests. ❖