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“Addicting breakfast! Friendly, peaceful & walking distance into Hilo” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Shipman House Bed and Breakfast Inn

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Shipman House Bed and Breakfast Inn
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131 Kaiulani Street, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #5 of 18 Hilo B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
California
Level Contributor
73 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 416 helpful votes
“Addicting breakfast! Friendly, peaceful & walking distance into Hilo”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2012

I'm a foodie so I have to gush about the breakfast!!! Breakfast at Shipman House B&B was a fabulous treat we looked forward to for every one of our 5 mornings at the B&B, with an unsurpassed offering of a gorgeous fresh tropical fruit tray artfully displaying a delicious rainbow of island fruit. Fresh lilikoi butter (passion fruit) was made every morning, and it is addicting when spread on a slice of gently toasted fresh Portuguese sweet bread, or on a whole wheat English muffin. Healthy oatmeal or quinoa was also offered, along with yogurt, home-made macadamia nut granola, hard-boiled eggs, cheese, and a different home-made baked treat each morning.

The tropical fruit was fresh and local and exquisitely ripened...some of it grown right on the grounds of Shipman House. My husband and I both miss the Shipman breakfasts, and I long for a return visit to the Big Island just to feast on the addicting tropical breakfasts! There were a dozen different tropical fruits at breakfast each morning, and the supply of fruit was generous, so we could have seconds of our favorite fruits. I was delighted by the sweet papaya with a scoop of passion fruit and a squeeze of a lime-like fruit.

We had booked 2 nights in a cottage room at Shipman, and 3 nights in Aunt Carrie's room in the main house. Both rooms were lovely and comfortable, with Queen beds, and ensuite bathrooms with overhead shower heads plus hand-held personal showers.

Shipman B&B has 5 guest rooms: 3 in the main house, (a historic mansion), and 2 in the duplex cottage. On our next visit I will be happy to book any of the rooms which have a Queen bed in either the main house or the cottage.

If you are choosing your room, here is some info.

Cottage Rooms: There are 2 cottage rooms in a duplex cottage in a separate building but near the main house. I felt that our casual, airy cottage room had a feeling of romantic seclusion, even though it was actually close to the main house and next to 4 small parking spots and some garden plants. The coqui frogs calling at night add to the tropical atmosphere, and we were closer to the frogs in the cottage. We love the sound of coqui frogs as it reminds us of romantic tropical nights! Our room in the duplex cottage was quiet, and we never heard a peep out of the other couple in the other side of the duplex cottage. The cottage showers heat up their own hot water when you flip on the shower. If you are taking a long shower, you need to flip the switch off and on again to receive plenty of hot water for a longer shower. The cottage showers have good water pressure, and flipping the switch off and on to get more hot water is only a minor inconvenience. We would cheerfully stay in a cottage room again, and I feel it's a romantic choice.

Main House rooms: We had also booked a few nights in Aunt Carrie's room in the main house. Lovely Aunt Carrie's room upstairs in the main house has a better shower, a slight advantage compared to the cottage rooms. Also, being in the main house makes it convenient to explore the very interesting Shipman family mansion. The coqui frogs sound quieter from the main house, and whether you think this is an advantage or a disadvantage depends on your personal preference.
Since we found advantages to both the cottage rooms and the rooms in the main house, I will have a hard time selecting my favorite room the next time we stay at Shipman House! Ah, yes, the Big Island is calling me back already...
We also found Hilo to be a great base for day-trips to the Volcano National park and up to Mauna Kea.
The owners are friendly and helpful at Shipman, and they always had tips for us every day, answering our many questions and marking places on a map for us.
After 5 nights at Shipman House B&B, we were sorry to leave. We then headed to the other side of the island. On a return visit to the Big Island, I would absolutely book a room at Shipman House B&B again.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Melissa5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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221 reviews from our community

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Rancho Mirage
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2012

The house is gorgeous. Barbara and Gary, the Shipman House operators, did an outstanding job directing us to all the best restaurants and attractions in the area. The breakfast they serve is top notch. We definitely want to come back!

Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Wade S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adelaide, South Australia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2012

My wife and I spent just over two weeks on the Big Island, with Shipman House being the last place at which we stayed. We stretched our budget a little more than normal, but it was well worth it.

It is a historic and beautiful house, which Barbara and Garry have restored with much of the original furniture. They are welcoming hosts who made us feel very much at home.

We stayed in Auntie Carrie’s Room. Just outside our room, on the first floor was a balcony overlooking the front garden, plus providing views of Hilo bay.
Breakfast was a great experience, with an amazing range of fresh fruit, plus freshly baked breads and muffins, as well as Barbara’s own brand of granola. My wife is on a gluten free diet, and that was also accommodated for.
Each morning at breakfast, Barbara and Garry chat with the guests at breakfast, and ensure everyone is introduced

There was no TV in our room, which is no bad thing. There appeared not to be laundry facilities, a minor disadvantage, as there is a laundry not far away.
Shipman House is in walking distance to the shops and restaurants around Hilo bay

All in all, I think that Hilo was one of the most charming places we visited on the big island, and this was in no small part due to Barbara and Garry, and Shipman House.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JohnandBrenda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Level Contributor
128 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2012

Staying at the Shipman House is a great alternative to the underwhelming hotel options in Hilo. You pay for this luxury but it is worth it. This is a home where Queen Liliokalani used to spend afternoon's visiting, eating poi with her hosts, and planning the home's grand piano. Now Barbara Anderson, a descendent of the original Shipman hostess Mary Shipman, along with her husband Gary host guests with their wonderful breakfasts and great conversation on the wrap around porch. History surrounds you everywhere at the Shipman House. One may choose between a guest room in the home or cottage lodging built in 1910. Either way, you will have made a good choice.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ShirleyD49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
244 reviews
120 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 154 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2012

Staying here is like staying at a good friends place. The owners, Barbara and Gary, share their expertise with you as well as have breakfast each day with their guests. Everyone is introduced and made very welcome. The breakfast is delicious with a wide selection of tropical fruits, Barbara's famous muesli and fresh baked breads and muffins. The house is quite famous in Hilo and the furnishings and nick nacks are worth viewing. The rooms are large and the beds comfortable. This B&B is located in downtown Hilo close to many good restaurants and a 35 minute drive to the volcano.

In my opinion, for siteseeing on the Big Island, Hilo is the best place to stay, better than Kona, regardless of the regular rain in Hilo.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ozallan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2012

My partner and I stayed at the Shipman House in the Mauka Room for three nights. The property was beautiful - a manicured jungle of sorts. Our room was lovely - very spacious, simple, tasteful, and clean. We fell asleep each night to a beautiful cacophony of tree frogs. The breakfast was a spectacular assortment of home-grown fruit and fresh baked goods with yogurt, cheese, and homemade jams/spreads. Although Barbara seemed a little particular at first, she and Gary proved to be very friendly, helpful, and accommodating hosts. We would definitely recommend this place to travelers looking for something more than a banal hotel room.

Room Tip: We loved the the Mauka room in which we stayed.
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 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
Helpful?
1 Thank Nancy Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Park City, Utah
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2012

If you ever wanted to go back in time and stay in a lovely Victorian mansion in paradise, Shipman House is just the place. Upon arrival I felt I had been transported to a time when life was graceful, elegant and serene. The gardens, furnishings and art all work together to create this special experience. Whether walking down the grand staircase, rocking on the wicker chairs on the covered porches, or waking up in the antique bed, I felt like an early 1900's lady. What an unique experience. I hated returning to the 21 century. I plan to come back soon.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank mountaingirl164
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Shipman House Bed and Breakfast Inn

Address: 131 Kaiulani Street, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720
Location: United States > Hawaii > Island of Hawaii > Hilo
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 18 B&Bs / Inns in Hilo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates):
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
What to do in Hilo? Plenty! Get some of the best local advice from your hosts at Shipman House B&B, an historic home from Hawaii's monarchy period. Free Wi-Fi, free breakfast, free parking. Large guest rooms all have modern private baths. Amazing breakfast fruits. Special diets accommodated. Your part-Hawaiian host, a Shipman descendant, knows the best places to eat, shop, explore. Walk to restaurants, museums. Hula available. National Register. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Shipman House Hotel Hilo
Shipman House b&b Inn
Shipman House Bed And Breakfast Inn Hilo, Hawaii

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