Mary's Motel

Mary's Motel

Government Administrative Centre Bairiki Republic of Kiribati
Mary's Motel
Traveler (66)
view from my balconey NO:7
Room & Suite (7)
Whole Lobster A$26, Long Soup A$9
Dining (5)

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About

3.5
#1 of 1 motel in Tarawa Atoll
Location
4.1
Cleanliness
3.5
Service
4.0
Value
3.3
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Good to know
HOTEL STYLE
Business
Property amenities
Free parking
Wifi
Bar / lounge
Restaurant
Wine / champagne
Airport transportation
Non-smoking hotel
Laundry service
Room features
Air conditioning
Refrigerator
Room types
Non-smoking rooms

Location

Government Administrative Centre Bairiki Republic of Kiribati
Getting there
Bonriki Airport
12.4 mi
See all flights
1 Restaurant
within 5 miles
66Reviews5Q+A21Room tips
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Detailed Reviews
STEPHEN N wrote a review Nov 2010
Brisbane, Australia
+1
4.0 of 5 bubbles
After spending 7 days in HONIARA SOLOMON ISLANDS & then 2 days in Nadi in FIJI, I fly with AIR PACIFIC to TARAWA between 28/10/10 to 02/11/10, this is my first time to TARAWA, first impression god it's appeared so hot when leaving the aircraft. The Airport is very small & basic [like a large garden shed or stable], I was greeted by the owners from Mary's Motel [family business] with a very warm welcome & continued on our free transfer to the motel approx 40 min's one way from the airport. The roads are a little rough [ look out for the bumps or humps in the road], they are not marked & I missed a few with my hired car especially at night without any street lights ]. On arrival at Mary's Motel I filled out some forms & at first offered room 2 in the centre of the block of rooms [ i remembered reading some reviews about the traffic noise ] & therefore asked for a different room, my room was at the right side of the main building on the top floor room 7, on first impression the room is quite large with a old fashioned air-conditioning system & rather noisy!, a kettle to make coffee or tea, small TV, not that I ever watched, with one channel & bad reception I didn't care! & small balcony to sit & admire the views, bathroom reasonable for basic accommodation, each time I left my room I was greeted by a mother cat with her sweet baby kittens. The restaurant again an open spaced area allowing for the cool breeze to spread through, all staff were very pleasant and always said thank you or your welcome! Decided on car hire for a couple of days at $50 Aussie dollars per day, extra charge for all the meals, basic meals with a reasonable choice on the menu,[ no charge for coffee or tea ] .......before I forget to mention when you depart from the airport don't forget your departure tax of $20, most other destinations have the taxes included, for some reason Kiribati still uses the old system & charge when you depart. I throughly enjoyed my time in Tarawa especially driving around the Island & exploring different parts at my own pace. The local people were extremely friendly [a little shy at first] they made you very welcome to Tarawa, my only negative observation while on this beautiful Island is the amount of rubbish on the side of the streets & waterways, in some way i'm not really surprised considering I didn't notice any bins in the whole 5 days on the Island, surely the government of Kiribati could provide bins for everyone? I didn't go on tours & was just happy to go at my own pace without being pressured, the only local tour & the only one I went on was with MOLLY'S TOUR [this can be arranged with the staff at the front desk at Mary's Motel] Molly is a resident on Tarawa & she is very knowledgable about the Island especially it's history, the main tour Molly will organise for you is called [WW1 BATTLE OF TARAWA & CULTURAL TOURS] located in BETIO, phone no: --------, you don;t have to be in a group, if your a solo traveller like my self it doesn't matter Molly will make you most welcome. I experienced catching the local transport, more like vans than buses, good fun especially with the music! no taxies on the island. Not much choice with buying souvenirs, managed to purchase a couple of sarongs, post cards from the local postoffice are worth buying & great artistic stamps. Main bank on the island is ANZ [coolest place in town] & managed to get a couple of the local Kiribati $2- coins. Managed to drive over 220km within a few days & fuel price is only slightly more expensive than in Australia. One evening during my stay at Mary's Motel a group of young local people turned up & preformed a Cultural Dance for the Motel guests, many guest were not informed this was planed & therefore a real surprise & most enjoyable. Don't forget to visit Parliament house & if you speak to the security guard he's happy to show you around the grounds, considering the building is about 10 yrs old the front is an unusual design, also opposite Parliament House your'll notice 2 stands selling local handicrafts & souvenirs, lastly visit the Cultural Centre in BIKENIBEU a very interesting place more like a museum, the staff were very knowledgable and especially helpful when I informed them my next destination from Tarawa to Christmas Island in KIRITIMATI, & they gave me some info on Xmas Island. My overall conclusion on Tarawa Kiribati was very enjoyable & would highly recommend this remote isolated part of the world to my friends, also suggest that MARY'S MOTEL appears to be the best choice in TARAWA, their prices are reasonable [they except c/c payments], just a comment please be aware that very few places in TARAWA except Credit Card payments. I couldn't get a reception to use my mobile phone & if i'm honest I was quite pleased not having to be bothered while relaxing in TARAWA.......Thank you to the local residents of TARAWA in making me so welcome & hope to re-visit some time in the future.....advice to travellers who are considering visiting KIRIBATI either TARAWA or CHRISTMAS ISLAND in KIRITIMATI please take a look at the AIR PACIFIC website & look for the special BULA FARES, these are heavily discounted tickets 99.00 US DOLLARS return from NADI, worth reading and saving lots of money!
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Date of stay: October 2010
3.0 of 5 bubblesValue
3.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
4.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
3.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
4.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Sunnyguy61 wrote a review Oct 2012
Kansas City, USA
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mary's Motel is not a motel in the real sense, that is not a place for people on long drives to stop for the night. You cannot go on long drives in Tarawa for one thing and there is not enough parking space anyway. However as a small hotel at the center of government and much of commercial activity in Kiribati, it does quite well. There is an old set of rooms that are cheaper and not very nice and a new block that are up to a reasonable standard. You won't be coddled and the rooms may not be up to the standards of international tourism but are large, comfortable, well equipped with refrigerator, water boiler for coffee or tea, decent wardrobe and lots of really hot (maybe too hot) water. But don't hope for a TV (at least one that is connected to anything). The new rooms are air conditioned, mostly with very quiet split type units that work well. There is little road noise (though sometimes parties can be noisy). WiFi is present but as with most Internet on Tarawa is variable from quite good to absolutely dreadful -- with dreadful in the majority. It is a pay as you go Internet connection and it is easy to use up your half hour ($2) trying to read and send a couple of emails. Better to walk for 10 minutes to TSKL (Telecom) and use their very good Internet Cafe which is not only cheaper but a lot faster. The restaurant is basic but is about the only place in Tarawa to get real expresso or even good brewed coffee. The food is fine though vegetables in Tarawa are pretty scarce and expensive so mostly rice, noodles and fish are the mainstays. Bairiki government offices are in walking distance and the Betio facilities are a short public bus ride across the causeway ($0.80). There may be nicer rooms in some of the B&B places but Mary's is probably the best option as it has a restaurant in the facility and is ideally located.
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Date of stay: October 2012
3.0 of 5 bubblesValue
3.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
3.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
4.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Traveled on business
Room Tip: Stay away from the few upstairs rooms that have a window type air conditioner. The A/C units are...
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
laendersammler wrote a review May 2012
Nuremberg, Germany
4.0 of 5 bubbles
I stayed at Mary's Motel for four nights during an islandhopping-tour through the Pacific.
As I stayed at the chaeper old wing (55 AUD instead 88 AUD per night) I had a simpple, but clean room. Air-Con was a bit noisy, but everything else was o.K.
Transfers from and to the airport worked well. Food is good. Staff is friendly. Would definitely stay here again, if I would Kiribati again.
Another plus: Mary's Motel is only 100 meters from the sports ground, where in the evenings all the action take place (Football, Volleyball, Basketball, Track&Field). It was fun to watch this sport competitions.
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Date of stay: May 2012
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
3.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
4.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
4.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
3.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Traveled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Mereiva wrote a review Jan 2024
Majuro, Marshall Islands
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mary's Motel in Kiribati is a cozy retreat with friendly staff and clean, comfortable rooms. After a long day of traveling, it's just what you need to feel at home. The staffs are welcoming and always ready to assist. The rooms are well-kept and offer a cozy atmosphere, providing the perfect place to relax and unwind. Mary's Motel is a convenient and comforting choice for travelers in Kiribati, offering a warm and inviting environment to make your stay as comfortable as possible.
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Date of stay: January 2024Trip type: Traveled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Inspiredgal wrote a review Oct 2013
Penrith, New South Wales, Australia
5.0 of 5 bubbles
In mid September 2013, my friend and I spent 5 nights in South Tarawa, Kiribati. When we arrived and came through customs, the hotel staff of the original hotel we had booked online weeks before didn't come to collect us from airport. However, we were kindly offered a ride by one of the Mary's Motels staff who had come to collect another person. She drove us to our hotel and it didn't look fit enough for a dog to stay in it. She phoned her Motel and found there was a room available for our stay in South Tarawa so we went with her to Mary's Motel and we are so glad we did!

We were given a basic but very clean room with piping hot shower and everything we needed including an excellent air conditioner, a must for Kiribati which is stinking hot! The Motel's restaurant was excellent in it's huge variety of foods to choose from and very cheap too. Local fish and lobster were fresh and delicious! Bottled water was cold and cheap from the restaurant.

The Motel also offered very good internet connection for only $10 for the duration of our stay. The staff were exceptional in their care of us and in arranging tours, car hire and even making phone calls to places we intended to visit to help us in arrangements. They also offer excellent, same day laundry service at an amazingly low price.

We were there during the 'pay day' weekend and were treated to a literally breath-taking performance of local dancers in national dress on the Friday night.

There were many travelers and international visitors who we met over dinner each night and many of these have been to South Tarawa numerous times on business etc. All of them said that Mary's Motel was the best in South Tarawa, and I totally agree and would definitely return to Mary's Motel on other visits to Kiribati and recommend Mary's Motel to those visiting or touring South Tarawa.
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Date of stay: September 2013
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
3.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Traveled with friends
Room Tip: Ask for a room in the new wing. :)
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
solotravellerCanada wrote a review Mar 2012
Canada
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Kiribati - in particular, Tarawa Island - is the kind of place that makes Haiti or downtown Detroit city look like Switzerland by comparison. The poverty and filth on this island is staggering.

So, relative to the rest of this island, this hotel is pretty good. It's clean, and I didn't wake up scratching my body halfway through the night. The rooms have air conditioning and showers.

That notwithstanding, you had better keep your mouth tightly closed when you take a shower, or you will be able to crap through the eye of a needle at 30 feet the next day. The water on the property is not fit for drinking, and management will tell you that if you ask (although they don't warn you about it). There is a restaurant attached to the property - best to stick to the soups and local fish dishes, the meat dishes were awful.

The hotel offers internet, but it is extraordinarily slow (think "1,200 baud modem"), and only suitable for passing text emails only. If your room is close to the front office, you might be able to connect (wirelessly) from your room. Otherwise, you have to take your computer to the front office and connect there.

The hotel is a long way from the airport (about a 45 minute drive one way), however, the hotel offers complimentary pick-up and drop-off at the airport. On the way to the hotel, I saw the government-run hotel about halfway through the journey - it didn't look very good from the outside, my guess is that Mary's is probably the better of the two.

If you get shipwrecked on this island, Mary's is probably the best place to stay. But, if you are not shipwrecked, keep on moving and don't stop at Tarawa Island, because if God ever had to give Planet Earth an enema, he would insert the tube right here on this island.
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Date of stay: March 2012
3.0 of 5 bubblesValue
2.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
3.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
2.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
3.0 of 5 bubblesService
4.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Traveled on business
Room Tip: Make sure the light bulbs and the air conditioner work before you unpack.
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Sheedy2007 wrote a review Jan 2007
Adelaide
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Mary's motel is one of the few accommodation highlights in Tarawa. It is rustic in the island sense of the word, but the food is simple and cheap. Order ahead for the lobster and at $25.00 AUD it is a meal to be treasured in Tarawa. However makes sure that the food is hot as tummy bugs are prevalent in Tarawa in general. I have never had a problem at Mary's and have visited and stayed four times. Soy sauce in liberal quantities will keep the critters at bay.

There is no TV but the entertainment is all around. It is a short run over the causeway to the nightlife of Betio and the War tour is one to be experienced.

This is the place to get away from it all. No reliable mobile service and the simple comforts of life are scarce. Accomodation is simple but clean. Dont rely on having hot water as it is rare on Kiribati. Always rinse your teeth with bottled water.
Enjoy!
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Date of stay: November 2006
3.0 of 5 bubblesValue
3.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
4.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
4.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
2.0 of 5 bubblesCheck in / front desk
2.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Traveled on business
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
NewTravelsABC wrote a review Apr 2015
Auckland Central, New Zealand
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Tried all the others too but this really is the best place to stay in town.
Who would have thought that hot showers are a must in a place like Kiribati!
Very friendly staff and food, while not your last word in freshness, is passable.
I would stay at Mary's if I ever come back to Tarawa however unlikely that is!
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Date of stay: February 2015
3.0 of 5 bubblesValue
3.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
3.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Traveled on business
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
William S wrote a review Aug 2014
Tempe, Arizona
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Speaking of expectations I didn't have many after seeing the various accommodations in Tarawa. Service was excellent they really helped us with many local connections etc. room is basic but very clean, air con works great, and you need it. Beds were adequate as well as the bathroom facilities. The associated restaurant offers wide variety of food. It can get a little loud Friday nights payday but gets quiet at 10pm. After talking to local tour operators it seems the only place they recommend as well. Wifi is paid but cheap at $2 an hour and worked great for us most of time.
Read more
Date of stay: August 2014
3.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
3.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Nick H wrote a review Mar 2015
Colombo, Sri Lanka
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mary's offers a nice place with hot water and air conditioning, both of which are indispensable when working almost right on the equator. A nice shower and a cool room are extra welcome. A few things I might change given I came back with chikungunya from this last trip would be to close the restaurant off with mosquito netting to reduce exposure to mosquitoes. Also, being an early riser, it would either be nice to have coffee in the room with milk (presently only tea bags are provided) or open the restaurant a bit earlier than 7am for a nice espresso drink, which by the way are well done at Mary's.
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Date of stay: March 2015
4.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
4.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Traveled on business
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
tractor33 wrote a tip Oct 2018
Leederville, Australia179 contributions114 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
"Ask for a room away from the causeway"
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Mark O wrote a tip Feb 2018
Sydney, Australia69 contributions38 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
"I was told that if you want decent wi-fi get the first room next to reception."
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Denabroad wrote a tip Dec 2017
Sydney, Australia98 contributions48 helpful votes
3.0 of 5 bubbles
"Stay in rooms 1 or 2 if you can. Away from traffic noise and they have TV."
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Denabroad wrote a tip Aug 2017
Sydney, Australia98 contributions48 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
"The rooms near the road can be noisy"
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Sunnyguy61 wrote a tip May 2017
Kansas City, USA181 contributions157 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
"The mid-range price rooms are the best value in my opinion."
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Not the right property for you?
There are more places to choose from in the Tarawa Atoll area.
ALSO KNOWN AS
mary`s hotel tarawa, marys hotel tarawa
LOCATION
Republic of KiribatiGilbert IslandsTarawa Atoll
NUMBER OF ROOMS
8
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MARY'S MOTEL - Updated 2024

Frequently Asked Questions about Mary's Motel
What are some of the property amenities at Mary's Motel?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include an on-site restaurant, a lounge, and free parking.
What food & drink options are available at Mary's Motel?
Guests can enjoy an on-site restaurant and a lounge during their stay.
Is parking available at Mary's Motel?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
Does Mary's Motel have airport transportation?
Yes, Mary's Motel offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.