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“Great place to stay in Tarawa” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Utirerei Motel

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Utirerei Motel
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Ambo Village, Republic of Kiribati   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Ambo Village B&B and Inns
State of Sao Paulo
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Great place to stay in Tarawa”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2014 via mobile

During my second time in Kiribati, with friends, we stayed in this great hotel.
After a big ham radio expedition to Banaba Island, we returned to Tarawa And this place was amazing!
Thanks all And Jonh And Retaati.

Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
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34 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    5
    24
    4
    1
    0
See reviews for
2
Couples
0
3
26
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Melbourne, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2014

This was my first stay at Kiribati so I did not know what to expect. Landing at the airport and travelling to Utirerei made me a little nervous about staying there for a few days. But I found that given the conditions, staying at the Utirerei Model was excellent.

The rooms are basic, but they were quite comfortable. The room I had, which was overlooking the front car-park, was air-conditioned and consisted of a double bed, a small desk, a bench with a separate sink, and a bathroom with a shower. Everything was clean and serviceable. The bench consisted of an bar-fridge and the usual tea and coffee making facilities. The water is not suitable for drinking but bottled water is included in the price of the room, and there is a shop at the front which sells bottled water as well, along with a few basic foodstuff. Internet is available and quite fast given how remote Kiribati is. The one negative I can give about the rooms is that it could get quite noisy during the evenings and early mornings, so maybe pack a pair of earplugs.

The outdoor restaurant was reasonably nice, although there was a mild odour from the lagoon which was a little unpleasant. The menu is quite basic and since they rely on monthly shipments of supplies, you may not always get what is advertised. But what you do get is usually excellent. It was also possible to get a hired car to travel around the island.

All in all, this was a decent place to stay for a first time visitor to Kiribati. You can be sure that staying here you will be safe and comfortable.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2014

Most places in Tarawa to stay are below average in general travellers standards and this one stands out as the best of the bunch, the rooms are clean the food is average though. It can get boring at times so bring lots of movies with you on the laptop. Wifi is available and cheap so this is good.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canberra, Australia
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2013

I've been travelling to Kiribati since 2007 and have stayed in a few different place. Utirerei is the best place I have stayed in so far. Each time I go there they have made improvements and continue to seek feedback on how they can continue to raise their standards. The room are clean and good standard and are now cleaned on Sundays. The food has improved with a larger menu and new chef. The staff are very friendly and efficient. The management are fortunate they have a good team that add to the experience. Well done Utirerei.. Warwick.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Melbourne
Top Contributor
111 reviews 111 reviews
49 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
100 helpful votes 100 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2013

This was my second visit to Utirerei this year! There is a marked improvement in the overall look and "vibe" of the place. It seemed cleaner in the grounds than before and the garden has grown up a lot which gives it a more pleasant feel. The staff are all very friendly, helpful and usually attentive.
It is not cheap to stay in most Pacific islands, a night at Utirerei, costs more than a 4 star hotel in Beijing (Or any other large Chinese city) but it is comparable with costs for other Pacific Island accommodation.
The internet is mostly OK, slow though and sometimes can be painfully and frustratingly slow. But it is relatively cheap compared to some and I was always able to get all my work done every day, so that is a bonus.
Restaurant needs more improvement, meals are quite bland and very much the same every day. Most days not all menu items were actually available. Clean table cloths every day would be nice too. Meals are reasonably priced as are drinks and it can be quite a convivial place when friends drop by.
Rooms are acceptable but furnishings etc vary from room to room. My room this trip had a double bed and double bunk, the room next door no double bunk but a nice sink and food area which was absent in my room. (To fill the kettle in my room I had to fill a cup and pour it into the kettle as the bathroom basin is too small to allow the kettle to fit) But these are just minor inconveniences.
They are trying to improve and as there is a big new hotel being built at Bairiki (Wishing Star, Chinese owned) I think this new place may force the locals to lift their game even more.

Room Tip: One of the outside downstairs rooms
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Thomasville, Georgia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2013

This is a gem of a hotel on Kiribati, not really the motel as the name implies. The service, food and rooms are excellent & of good value.

Make sure you explore Northern Tarawa with the excellent guides Meere & Reetati. Their day trip was incredible

  • Stayed November 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2013

Utirerei is a good choice in Tarawa - so the rating should be taken relative to Tarawa and not relative to Asia, for example.

The rooms are comfortable but ask for a room along the corridor (rooms 9-12 or 17 - 19) as the ones above the guest kitchen overlooking the restaurant can be quite noisy. The rooms along the corridor outside the reception are the worst.

The food was decent and the staff friendly. The internet was quite easy to use and relatively inexpensive. Breakfast options are limited in terms of fruit so bring some dried fruit and/or cereal with you and you can buy some milk at the store.

Given the overall quality, I would say that rooms should be valued at around AUD55-60, rather than at AUD88. You have to note that rooms are not cleaned on Sundays (although full room rate is charged).

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Utirerei Motel

Address: Ambo Village, Republic of Kiribati
Location: Republic of Kiribati > Gilbert Islands > Tarawa Atoll > Ambo Village
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Ambo Village
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 23

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