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Reviewed 19 February 2018

I booked an 8 night stay at Kirpal complete with morning yoga, breakfast, and dinner. Hawaii is quite expensive so as a budget traveller I was excited to find someplace that is affordable and that also operates as an ecologically responsible retreat. They use solar power and rainwater (and also have wifi!) Overall, I was looking for an experience that would provide me with a healthy and relaxing setting while also being able to explore the island.
I fell asleep to the sound of coqui frogs and awoke to a beautiful sunrise in the morning. The morning yoga class was exactly what I was hoping for: a slow, well-guided introduction to the day (I'm not a morning person).
The breakfast included local fruits and plenty of other foods like rice cakes, peanut butter, and chia pudding to fill me up before venturing out. There was also orange juice, coffee, and a variety of teas. The dinners were fantastic and were also quite filling. I loved loved loved the homemade dressings they made for the salads (I should have asked for recipes). They only serve vegan meals, which are also gluten free so, although I eat meat, my dairy and gluten free diet was already accommodated for. There was never a lack for second servings, and the meals were very well prepared (and this is coming from a cook who is also a bit of a picky eater).

As for the employees, they are the absolute nicest people. They are very accommodating and quick to help, full of funny tales, and they come from a variety of countries and backgrounds, as do the guests. The meals are served family style so it was a great way to meet everyone, share stories, and get tips on visiting the island.

If you are looking for a beautiful, natural setting to enjoy the Island of Hawaii this is an amazing option.

Room Tip: The less expensive the room the more basic it is
  • Stayed: January 2018, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank katie b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KMEC H, Manager at Kirpal Meditation and Ecological Center, responded to this reviewResponded 20 February 2018

Aloha and Mahalo (thank you) for your review! We are excited to hear you enjoyed our amenities, including the morning Yoga sessions, our organic, locally sourced meals and wonderfully caring staff of international travelers!

We love the relaxing and peaceful atmosphere of the fresh Hawaiian rain forest, and living less than a mile from the crystal blue waters of the Pacific Ocean is ideal! With 10 acres of maintained orchards with over 100 fruit trees of all kinds, we enjoy the abundance of living from the land as much as possible. Of course the freshly caught and filtered rain water and solar power only add to our minimal footprint. To keep in line with the comforts our guests expect, we still provide hot showers, flush toilets, and Wi-Fi. Along with hand built cabins that compliment the natural surroundings.

We hope to see you again!
With Love

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2018

After booking and paying in full in August we were literally told on Christmas morning that there was no space and we needed to find rooms elsewhere. The bad news started when we arrived and were told our accommodations were not built yet and we were given worse accommodations than requested. Management could've emailed us in advance but chose not to. My family was really low key about it and didn't mind at all and my 66-yr-old parents were champs about the outdoor bathroom. On Christmas morning we were told that other guests were coming and we had to find other accommodation. I very much doubt whoever was coming had booked in August. When I politely asked management if they had any ideas of where to look for a room in Hawaii on Christmas (there was nothing available on Orbitz or Booking.com for the remaining 4 days of our vacation) they told me "nope". So we wound up hotel hopping from one to the next in order to be in available places. We were reimbursed for the days we didn't stay at Kirpal, but not reimbursed for the thousands of dollars extra it cost to be booking the only available spots on the Big Island on Christmas Day or for the fact that the three days of accommodation we did get were much worse than what was paid for and booked. I am so disappointed in this place, as the management has none of the values professed on the website. The staff are wonderful people, and its beautiful, but being kicked out by management on Christmas morning with no warning on an island that is always fully booked by October is careless, cruel, and simply unforgivable. Most stressful "vacation" of my life.

Room Tip: Beds are uncomfortable
  • Stayed: December 2017, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank EmmyT365
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 December 2017

This was my third stay there and I don't know if they are concentrating on growth too much but my experience was definitely better before! I had a small cabin called Milo and right next to the cabin they were building more cabins and since there are no windows to close I was exposed to extensive construction noice. Sawing, drilling and hammering does not go with a meditation center. The sheets had definitively NOT been washed and I do not see why they would charge a $14 cleaning fee? What for? I was glad I had my own sheets and pillows. The area where I stayed is becoming way too crowded with all the small buildings and tents. There were wasps in my room which I had to catch and release. The price is misleading, since you are not aware of it until you make the reservation. I will not be back, sorry!

Stayed: December 2017, travelled solo
2  Thank Gertrud R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 November 2017

Was here for a yoga immersion. Researched prior to booking and was shocked upon arrival as the facilities are very rundown compared to the photos online. My bed pillow had horrible BO and it took 3 days for a replacement which my yoga teacher double cased since it had brown stains and black mold! Luckily I had a yoga blanket to substitute as a pillow!
They advertise vegetarian, but are vegan, and many meals lacked sufficient protein and creativity was also an issue. Veggie curry was a mainstay. Luckily we had some free time in town to eat a better variety of food. The days our yoga school cooked were much better. Unfortunately, we were expecting fish ( esp.being in Hawaii), but despite the sign in kitchen saying vegetarian, they insist they are vegan. Also, they only cook in coconut oil!! The open bathrooms allow frogs to jump on you in the shower, the shower curtain in moldy, the water presssure is inconsistant as is the hot water and the cabins with full upper wall screens may allow for the breeze, but with too small cotton curtains, my bed was rained on and wet for a week. The photos depict bamboo shades etc, so getting rained on was not in my plans! I have camped many times, but this was insane. A shower curtain would suffice to keep the rain out.... Laundry is done ONLY with vineger, and bath soap is water with lavender oil. I was afraid to ask what they was dishes with! Thankfully there is a laundromat in town. After 16 days, and gorging myself everytime I was off site, I still lost 5 lbs.!!
Oh, and let's not forget the geckos and roaches everywhere in the cabins. They provide a gecko sheet for the bed to catch the droppings! The feral pigs and mongoose are quite cute however!

Room Tip: go somewhere else
  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled solo
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
4  Thank Lisa Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KMEC H, Manager at Kirpal Meditation and Ecological Center, responded to this reviewResponded 4 November 2017

Aloha!

We're very sorry that you had such a negative experience here, Lisa!

We would first need to point out that you were here to attend a 16 day Yoga Teacher Training Course organized, marketed, and run by Yandara Yoga Institute. A group that has been coming to our Center for over 5 years now.

From my short experience here with Yandara and their students, is that they have not properly prepared you for the Jungle immersion that you're in for. This is seemingly on purpose as part of their strategy to allow their students to move out of their comfort zones and into the necessary healing and growth their seeking. We are sorry that they misrepresented the experience they sold you.

We do allow Vegetarian (dairy or eggs) on our property, but sticking to our beliefs, we only serve Vegan. Our staff, who work and function as they did in their lives before coming here to Kirpal, have never complained about the protein or lack of nutrition. This is mainly because our professional chefs are intentional and deliberate in their menu planning and execution.

Of course, this experience is not for everyone. If you are seeking or expecting a 4 / 5 star resort experience, with room service and air conditioning, then you may be better suited for the fancy resorts and hotels near the tourist hubs of Hawaii.

For those not afraid of a few harmless jungle critters, delicious compassionately prepared plant based meals, and complete immersion into the Natural Jungle only a mile from the Pacific Ocean, then this is the place for you!

Please have a look at our other reviews from prepared and happy customers.

Please give us a call anytime if you have questions about whether or not you're ready for the KMEC experience.

Mahalo
James

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 August 2017

KMEC is located on the southeast part of the island, which is also more local (vs. the Kona area that has all of the big-name stores that you can find in other cities). The entrance sign is small, which made us pass it up. Keep an eye open for it. The drive there is more than beautiful! Vines hang across the narrow road and salt is in the air. Once you pull into the property, you pass statues of Buddha and small huts. We were promptly greeted and checked in.

We had selected the cabin with the bathroom. The bathroom is completely outside on the back porch. We showered out in the open air, but away from anyone's view. It was great!

The building itself is screened in, so there is great airflow. It rained one evening while we were there and the sound of it hitting the tarped roof was like nature's music.

Upon arriving, we were told that the top layer on the bed (which also covered the pillows) was a "gecko cover". There were plenty of geckos inside that would hand out in the rafters, scurry across the counter, or sit just above the door. We loved them so much that we found a ceramic replica to bring home and hang on the ceiling.

Meals are optional and you can tell them the same day that you would like to participate (small cost). They are both vegan and gluten-free. So great!!!

Only 1 Possible Improvement:
> The refrigerator in the cabin didn't work and hadn't been cleaned properly. You could smell the old moisture inside of it. It really just needed to be propped open when not in use.

  • Stayed: May 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Veronica W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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