No doubt if you’ve landed on this page, you’re planning on backpacking Hawaii. Great news – there are some fabulous hostels to discover on this small collection of islands.
Did you know? Hawaii is the most recent state to join the US, back in 1959.
Are these really the best hostels in Hawaii?
The list may be small – ok, very small – compared to other countries around the world, but there are only around 20 hostels across the entire state.
For more great hostels, check out our huge collection of the best hostels in USA.
As always, we pick the best of the best. Hostels that we’d recommended to our friends and family. And you!
Solo travellers, backpackers, couples and friends, get ready for memorable accommodation.
We are the Hostelgeeks and we discover the world’s greatest hostels: the 5 Star Hostels.
At the end of this article you’ll spot a hostel map which is really helpful for your planning.
List of Destinations with the Best Hostels in Hawaii
Hawaii is petit and manageable, just like our below list.
The destinations we cover in this guide are:
Best Hostels in Hilo: The Big Island Hostel
Hilo is on the main Hawaii island, and is often called the Big Island. This is the place to base yourself if you’re keen to check out the Rainbow Falls or the ‘boiling pots’ of basalt-lava rock.
The only place worth staying in Hilo is a hidden gem named The Big Island Hostel.
It’s a colourful, secure and has everything you need for a basic hostel stay.
Details go a long way and we’re sure you’ll appreciate theirs:
- 24/7 security & on-call staff
- Free tea & coffee
- Memory foam mattresses & pillows
- Filtered water
- Code lock on doors
There is a collection of board games and a kitchenette that all can use.
Location: a 15-20 minute walk to many local restaurants, markets and shops. Staff can help you with hiring a car so you can explore further afield. It is a big island, after all.
Best Hostels in Kailua-Kona: My Hawaii Hostel
Also on the big island of Hawaii is Kailua-Kona. This town is on the West coast of the island and is home to Hawaii’s oldest church. Not particularly exciting, we agree.
You’d have much more fun if you checked in to My Hawaii Hostel on your way to Kamakahonu Beach!
First off, choose your room. There happens to be female and mixed dorms, plus private rooms on offer.
Shove your stuff in a locker and take a stroll the the nearby beaches and coffee shops. Ask to borrow a boogie board on your way out!
When you get back, light up the BBQ and enjoy dinner in the courtyard or bright kitchen area.
Compare prices at: Hostelworld
Best Hostels in Maui
Maui is the island where natural beauty takes over and leaves you feeling breathless. Especially if you decide to hike around Halaekala – the island’s highest peak!
There are 30 miles of beaches to enjoy. Plus gorgeous waterfalls and refreshing pools accessed only by winding roads.
So where to stay? We have two top hostels for you:
1. The Lahaina Beach House
This newly renovated property is a hop, skip and jump from the famous surf area known as Break Wall.
Catch some rays on the sun deck on hot days, and escape inside to the air-con when it all gets a bit too much. There is also a lovely garden filled with flowers and plants if that’s more your style.
It’s one of the hostels that’s designed for various traveller types. Small families, older travellers and surf nuts will feel at home here.
Location: situated on the renowned Front Street, quite literally on the beach. All major attractions and yummy restaurants are within walking distance.
2. Aloha Surf Hostel
In the historic town of Paia is a surf lovers paradise. Welcome to Aloha Surf Hostel.
This place surely does love the word free. Get a load of their inclusions:
- Daily tours of Maui
- Pool table & ping pong
- Hot tub
- Pancake breakfast
- Outdoor BBQ
To top it off, Aloha is located between two of the most popular water sports spots, Ho’okipa and Kanaha beach.
There are 6-bed mixed dorms and private rooms on offer, though we doubt you’ll spend much time in there.
Compare prices at: Hostelworld
Best Hostels in Honolulu
This is in fact the capital of Hawaii and your gateway to exploring the island chain. It’s most likely you’ll fly in to Honolulu. Like most cities, you can expect plenty of shopping, nightlife and dining as well as access to some beautiful palm-lined beaches.
As for hostels? There are two we recommend:
1. HI Honolulu – Waikiki
Remember that beautiful beach we mentioned? Waikiki is its name and HI Honolulu – Waikiki happens to be two blocks away.
This modern, clean and safe hostel has rooms designed like small apartments, with no more than 7 people sharing an en-suite bathroom.
It’s ideal for travellers looking to avoid the party scene and enjoy a great location.
Grab your free boogie board and snorkel gear before heading to the beach!
The large kitchen dining area is the highlight of the property and a good place to meet others.
2. THE BEACH Waikiki Boutique Hostel by IH
If you’d prefer to be closer to the beach (how does 1 minute walk sound) and find yourself amongst a more social atmosphere, pick THE BEACH Waikiki Boutique Hostel by IH.
This great hostel wants to show off with:
- Free breakfast (waffles, Hawaiian coffee)
- Daily activities
- Free beach equipment rental
- Big kitchen
Dorms are kept small with just 2-8 beds, mixed and female only. Twin and doubles are also available. They all come with en-suite bathrooms!
When you’re not at the beach, chill out on the awesome rooftop lounge with a cold drink.
Compare prices at: Hostelworld
All Best Hostels in Hawaii on a Map
Below we have put all of the greatest hostels in Hawaii mentioned in this article on a map.
That’s because we want to make your planning as hassle free and straight forward as possible!
We’ve marked them as follows:
- Backpacker-Type Hostel: Orange
- Other recommendations: Purple
(View full sized map here)
More Hostels in USA
There are many, many awesome hostels in USA to be discovered and enjoyed, including out-of-this-world 5 star hostels.
Easy: find all of the 45 best hostels in USA here.
We’ve gone one step further and created these awesome guides to nearby destinations in USA:
- best hostels in Seattle
- best hostels in San Francisco
- best hostels in Los Angeles
- best hostels in New Orleans
- best hostels in Chicaco
- best hostels in Washington DC
- best hostels in New York
- best hostels in Boston
Destination not Listed?
Besides the listed accommodation, we also put together the best hostels in the world; the 5 Star Hostels.
We stayed in a former winery in Santorini, in a former jail-now 5 Star Hostel and many more. And we share all of these unique budget accommodations with you.
Make sure you check out our guides “best hostels in“. Here we cover many more destinations.
By now you should have the answer to your question where to stay in Hawaii. Which of the best hostels in Hawaii have you fallen in love with? Let us know!
This guide is your shortcut to your hostel-picks, saving you lots of time in your accommodation research.
And for sure, it gives you the security of a top-hostel choice without any bad surprises.
Then please please leave a comment below. We would be thrilled to hear from you and to help a fellow backpacker.
Have fun & Safe travels!
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Your Smart Packing List
It is time to see what you should pack in your backpack or suitcase. Make sure you always pick a quality hostel, it totally reduces the things you need to pack. Here is our ultimate hostel packing list. It features 23 items you should really throw in your backpack.The most important things to pack are:
- eye mask
- key chain flashlight
- the right backpack, the Nomatic (our review of Nomatic here) or Lowe Alpine Lightflite 45 Pack
- packing cubes
- generic padlock (fitting all locker types)
- quick-dry travel towel
- universal power adapter
- travel-sized toiletries