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“Local charm, local history, and a wonderful family!” 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 #7 of 18 Hilo B&B and Inns
Bay Area, California
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Local charm, local history, and a wonderful family!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2013

We had an amazing time at the Shipman House! Beth and Gary were so kind to us and we just loved her baked goods! I still dream of her granola she makes and wish we had it here in the mainland!

Right when you drive up to the Shipman House, it's like you're transported back in time. When you walk into the house, all of the 'normal' world fades away and you relive the family's rich history and can understand why they call it home for so many generations.

The rooms are quaint and inviting and we even got to listen to the frogs in the evenings! We got so used to the frogs lulling us to sleep we had to find a (albeit poor) replica of it to help us fall asleep when we got home.

Thanks again Beth and Gary! We miss you guys!!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
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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
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Melbourne, Australia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

This place goes to show that the unplanned can be the most memorable about a place. We were unexpectedly overnight in Hilo (after a helicopter flight) - too late to drive back to Kona. We found Shipman House on a brochure, and although hadn't meant to spend this much for the night ended up being so glad we did. I could go on for ages about the houses beauty and history, about the fabulous, helpful kindness of Barbara and Garry in making our stay so great - suffice to say we wish we had stayed longer here: the house must be seen to be believed. Take time to browse each room and especially the library. Our bedroom with high four poster bed, original antique furnishings had lovely views, the lovely old bathroom was luxurious. The sumptuous fruit breakfast (all grown on site - at least a dozen varieties of fruit) was amazing - and we had a very informative and friendly chat with Garry over breakfast before we had to (regretfully) leave. My husband fell for the passionfruit butter - simply delicious over the home made muffins. Thanks so much Barbara and Garry, if we are back in Hilo we'll be back to stay without doubt - longer next time!

Room Tip: Ask for the big room at the top! (can't remember it's name) - well worth it - it overlooks...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Riudarenes, Spain
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

We stayed just one night (pity we had a pretty full schedule), and we simply enjoyed the luxuries to the point of going back in time reveling in what this could have been like in the old days. Barbara Ann and Gary, were brilliant hosts. Top class accommodation and just perfect. We all recommend The Shipman House. Congratulations to our Hosts.

Room Tip: All the rooms are good.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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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 #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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