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“Victorian splendor, unparalleled tropical b'fast, old Hilo autheticity” 4 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 #7 of 18 Hilo B&B and Inns
Boston, Massachusetts
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Victorian splendor, unparalleled tropical b'fast, old Hilo autheticity”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2013

There may not be a better place to stay in Hilo. It is mostly certainly my personal bias but the hotel chains cannot outdo the Shipman House's Victorian charm and heirlooms. Special is a vacant word; the Shipman fills that void word with the smell of warm wood and porch paint, the sound of Coqui frogs and the taste and texture of tropical fruits that for once, aren't lurid mush.

I suspect and hope it attracts a clientele that appreciates its unique story, its time in history, the furnishings, and innkeepers. Lovely grounds around the house. A fresh and unprocessed bounty of fruits from the property, and homemade breads and muffins, granola, juices, and spreads to start your day. The rooms are simple comfort -- clean, well-maintained, rocking- chair-romantic.

If you don't like rules (meant to preserve the house and establish routine for the team running the property), then you're not looking for a B&B experience here. If you can go with their flow, you'll find they'll do backflips to tell you where to go, what to see, and where to eat. They have opinions and they will do their best to steer you from mediocrity.

Your excellent experience in Hilo and its environs starts with the Shipman House.

Room Tip: The Mauka Room is not on the side with the parking lot (plus) but if you can hear guests coming and...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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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186 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
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English first
Perth
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2012

History and charm seeps from the walls of this majestic property. The large and tastefully appointed rooms evoke a restrained elegance that is quaint and inviting. Your hosts are humbly proud of their creation and rightly so. It is always a challenge to renovate and reestablish heritage of a bygone era but the icing on the cake is Barbara's family link back through the generations of family members who originally established and have owned the home. She has relit the candle to her families history and created a museum of charm that is an unexpected bonus when you stay at the Shipman and a tour by Barbara through the house is an elevating and must do experience. The breakfast is an inspired delight based around Hawaiian fruits and homemade cakes and pastries with an oatmeal mix to die for ... and make sure you don't forget to ask Barbara to test you with a surprising taste sensation from a magical African berry that tricks your taste buds into thinking sour is sweet and sweet is sour.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2012 via mobile

We stayed here with another couple in the upstairs rooms and had a fabulous stay. Our hosts, Barbara & Gary were most gracious and generous in providing local knowledge about where to eat, what to see & where to go. Breakfast was produced mostly from fruits grown on the property or baked on the premises and was delicious.
The house has been lovingly restored and you get a real sense of its history as you wander the halls or chill out on the verandah with a beer or wine.
If you are rambunctious or have boisteroud kids this may not be the place for you, but we loved it.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2012 via mobile

Amazing house, hosts and experience! I stayed here with my daughter and it was the most relaxing, informative and tasty vacation. Hilo is old and charming and not crazy like Kona or Waikiki. The people were friendly and Barbara and Gary gave us daily advice on what to see and experience. The breakfast was HUGE and had fresh local fruits, fresh smoothie, juices and baked local bread and a homemade breakfast muffin. Simply fabulous!

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Ponca City, Oklahoma
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2012

We loved our stay at the Shipman House. The trip up the driveway to this enchanting home was just the beginning of our excitement. The owners have restored an old Victorian Home to it's former grandeur and have furnished it with many family antiques. The main floor is a step back in time to pre-statehood Hawaii. We stayed in Auntie Clara's Bedroom and loved watching the sunrise from our very comfortable bed. Then was the fabulous breakfast on the lanai. The weather was beautiful, the owners were great hosts, and the amount of quality of foods available was outstanding. There were 13 different fruits (most gown on the Shipman House grounds), two kinds of homemade granola, a hot cereal, fresh yogurt with 6 different toppings, two kinds of bagels, and two kinds of homemade breads with 4 different jams or fruit butters. And that doesn't include a fabulous assortment of teas, coffee, and juices. My only disappointment was that I couldn't eat it all! The wrap around porch on the first floor and the second story porch were appointed with great chairs to comfortably watch the sun set through the palm trees and to enjoy the sounds of the Hawaiian evening. The innkeepers were spot on in their recommendations for great parks, eating places, and businesses to visit. The value for your money was definitely worth it and we will stay there anytime we are in Hilo.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2012 via mobile

The Shipman House is beautiful. The hosts, Gary and Barbara, are very nice people who take good care of their guests. The house is centrally located in a pretty part of Hilo. The breakfast is delicious and full of variety (from baked goods to many kinds of tropical fruit that were was grown on the property). The hospitality at The Shipman House is superb. If you're comin for a peaceful stay in Hilo, this is your place.

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Barcelona, Spain
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2012

We stayed at the Shipman house for just one night about two years ago (october 2010), so I am not good on the details. I just remember that Barbara took great care of us, asking for our plans for the day, and making great recommendations: we wanted to see the lava flow in the evening, and not only did she recommend a great place to have "the best" chocolate milkshake, but she also provided us with things we had not though of, such as a blanket to seat on, binoculars, and I think she even mentioned a tripod for the camera. She also recommended a great place for dinner on our way back.
For our needs, breakfast was more than sufficient, with plenty of fruit, which I am really fond of. But I usually don't eat a lot for breakfast.
We were not annoyed by the frogs. In fact, I don't really remember hearing them.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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 #7 of 18 B&Bs / Inns in Hilo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
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 b&b Inn
Shipman House Hotel Hilo
Shipman House Bed And Breakfast Inn Hilo, Hawaii

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