About Arnott’s Lodge

Arnott’s Lodge & Hiking Adventures was established in August 1990.

We are a unique place in Hilo, providing lodging and our own tours for genuine travelers on a budget. We have accommodations from deluxe, one, two and three bedroom suites to semi-private shared apartments, to dormitories and camping.  Arnott’s Lodge has kitchens for you to prepare your own food and we offer you a clean and friendly place to kick back and relax in Hilo. We are within walking distance to secluded beaches and green sea turtles.  Rent one of our bikes and head into downtown to check out the Farmer’s Market or Richardson’s Black Sand Beach.  If you don’t drive, can’t be bothered to rent a car,  book a tour with us!

We are the only hotel that offers our own adventure tours to the popular summit of Mauna Kea, famous Volcanoes National Park, evolving Puna and our plunging Waterfalls. If you stay two days or more at our lodge you’ll get a discount on our tours. Let our experienced tour guides do the driving and sharing their mana’o (thoughts/knowledge) with you.  We will also pick up guests that want to join in our adventure tours from major hotels in Hilo.  Escape the busyness and relax in our “Old Hawaii” setting.  Come and make friends and meet other travelers: this is the place to be.  E komo mai (We welcome you).

Arnott’s Lodge & Hiking Adventures also provide tours for Cruise Ship lines which visit Hilo, such as Norwegian, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Celebrity and Carnival. This industry, with its high demands for safety and training and elevated insurance requirements, assures our guests of a superior experience.

Arnott’s Lodge – What It Is and What It’s Not!

The Lodge is run by its founder – Doug Arnott, and Glory Arnott our General Manager — and a small dedicated staff who work hard so you can have fun.

What It Is:

  • A high energy, fun, international traveler’s lodge with rooms for regular guests, dorm space for backpackers, and a lawn for campers. We have daily expeditions, free WiFi, gathering areas, a lamplight patio, a large TV room with cable, fresh ground coffee, and extensive grounds for your pleasure. It is located near a beautiful wilderness coastline that is a must to visit, with turtles year round and whales seasonally. We created the lodge for international travelers on a budget who are out to have fun and share their adventures.
  • We maintain a secure format where mothers in London or Sydney or school and college groups can send their daughters and sons with confidence. For this reason we are hard on anyone caught with drugs or who becomes drunk.
  • If your idea of a good time is to party till 2:00am and get drunk, please stay elsewhere!!
  • It is also available for interstate and local travelers who are easygoing and fit into our format.
  • Proof of an outward bound air ticket to show that you’re a genuine traveler will be requested upon check in.
  • Quiet hours are from 10:30pm-7:30am. We ask all registered guests to respect our quiet hours and to allow other guests to rest during their stay at Arnott’s Lodge.

What It’s Not:

  • Arnott’s Lodge may not suit those who like luxury full-service hotels or who expect lotion, shampoo and a cotton robe in their room.
  • We have great prices but “no frills” service.  We do not provide daily housekeeping service or linen changes. You may request full service housekeeping at an extra charge (inquire at the front desk). Or request fresh towels with our housekeeper or at the front desk by swapping in your used towels.
  • It is not for people who use drugs or consume alcohol to excess.
  • We do not accept long stays, preferring to have a constant turnover of interesting guests being energized by their discoveries. There is a 7-day stay limit, although genuine travelers with an onward ticket may request an extension, at management’s approval.

We DO NOT Have:

  • Air conditioning – except in deluxe rooms and some semi-private rooms ($5 a day charge). We have fans in every room.
  • Telephone in rooms
  • Television in rooms (we have a communal TV at our guest patio area and in our TV room).
  • Breakfast
  • Full service housekeeping
  • 24 hour front desk, wake-up calls, phone message or fax service.
  • Late partying or disturbing others.  Our guests are adventurers who rise early to visit the wonders of Hawaii.
  • If what we are is to your liking – – WELCOME – – you join over 120,000 happy travelers who have enjoyed our Lodge over its 20 years of existence.
  • If it is not to your liking there are several concrete, conventional Hotels in Hilo at double our prices.
    And you can still take our “Great Expeditions”!  Arnott’s Lodge is set up to make your stay as enjoyable as possible at the most reasonable cost.

We look forward to seeing you!



This is the current logo of Arnott’s Biscuits Australia and incorporates the original parrot  eating a biscuit, that was allegedly drawn by founder William Arnott’s daughter-in-law Leslie Arnott in 1888. While many people today would say the parrot is based off the native Australian bird, legend has it that the model used, was actually a Mexican parrot given to William by the captain of a Newcastle coal fleet.


Doug Arnott, owner of Arnott’s Lodge is a direct descendant of William Arnott who founded Arnott’s Biscuits.

Doug Arnott who founded Arnott’s Lodge in August 1990 was born in Australia into a family that had worked hard to create an iconic Biscuit (Cookie) manufacturing company that is an Australian Household name.  Arnott’s are popular for their famous Tim Tams which we keep stocked at our front desk.

At 24 years old, Doug had a chance to immigrate to the U.S., specifically Hawaii, as he had specialized in a form of Construction Accounting and obtained a great job helping build the famous Ala Moana Center on Oahu.

After several years of Ala Moana Center, other projects, and extensive U.S. travel, Doug took a chance to run a small new Hotel in Tahiti in 1972.  Doug has immense experience under his belt from providing everything for the hotel from water wells to generating electricity.

It was relatively easy on his return to Hawaii to help manage some major Condo/Hotels such as the Whaler at Kaanapali.  He assisted in finding computers for hotels, which led him to a stint in SE Asia for three years selling Hotel Computers and Direct Distance Dialling to major Hotels.

With all this experience in construction and Hotels, and after an accidental visit to Cairns, Australia’s Backpacker capital, Doug finally took the plunge in 1990 by opening the main building at Arnott’s Lodge in Hilo, Hawaii.  A need for affordable activities, tuned to our type of adventuresome guests, saw the addition of Hiking Adventures by 1992, using a windowless panel van with a mattress in the back..!!

As the advent of the internet drove an ever-changing demographic, and now in response to the challenge of maintaining a great Trip Advisor rating, we changed the overall format of the Hotel several times, paying more attention to cleanliness and upgraded kitchens and bathrooms but always mindful of our humble beginnings with Backpackers.

Today, Doug has traveled the world extensively except for Africa and counts Turkey, Egypt, and Libya, for its Roman ruins, and a return to South America for a more leisurely visit, as his bucket list items.

Running the Lodge is Doug’s passion and he likes to add amenities to keep his guests up with the latest in the Hotel Industry.  You’ll see Doug in either a blue shirt or an “aloha” shirt on the premises.  Say a warm “aloha” or “g’day” when you see him working on the property.


Glory Arnott, who also has an extensive experience in the hospitality industry, starting at at the age of 16 at the Waikoloa Hyatt (now Hilton) runs the Lodge and Group tours.  She was born and raised in Honoka’a here on the Big Island.  She’s traveled around the world once and hopes to do it again in the future.  She’s a professional  photographer and enjoys capturing moments all over the world.  Check out her photography in some of the units of the lodge.  You can sometimes see her checking rooms, supervising the front desk and housekeeping and even helping on big ship days with Hike Support at the National Park.


Our Staff are a mix of local natives from the Big Island, the neighbor islands and from the mainland United States.  They come from a mix of different backgrounds rich with information and Aloha to share with you.


Say aloha to Miranda and Sarah when you check in!