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“One of the better places to stay in Tarawa”
Review of Utirerei Motel

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Utirerei Motel
Ranked #1 of 1 Ambo Village B&B and Inns
Reviewed February 21, 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
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1  Thank Sam M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zinnia B, General Manager at Utirerei Motel, responded to this reviewResponded August 26, 2016

Dear Sam

We appreciate your feedback regarding Utirerei as this is very helpful for us. We quite agree that bringing lots of movies is useful, but we also have tv in all the rooms and in the restaurant for those who want to watch the news, etc. There are also places here in Betio, Ambo and Bikenibeu that have been set up recently for evening entertainment and our friendly staff can accompany you to these places.

Or if you are interested in snorkelling and swimming or other activities, this can be arranged by the Front Desk staff too.

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29 - 35 of 52 reviews

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
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Thank Warwick P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zinnia B, General Manager at Utirerei Motel, responded to this reviewResponded August 26, 2016

Dear Warwick

Thank you for your review! We appreciate the time you have taken to provide your opinions of Utirerei and its staff - thank you for your contribution!

We hope that you will continue to stay with Utirerei on future visits to Tarawa and hope that the developments undertaken will continue to raise our service standards.

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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
See more room tips
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Mark R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zinnia B, General Manager at Utirerei Motel, responded to this reviewResponded August 26, 2016

Thank you Mark for your contributions - these are greatly appreciated as they assist management in seeing areas that they need to improve. Since you wrote this review, major changes have been implemented and hopefully you will be able to see these changes the next time you stay with us.

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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
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Thank sethair
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zinnia B, General Manager at Utirerei Motel, responded to this reviewResponded August 26, 2016

Dear Sethair

Thank you for your review! We appreciate this and hope that other guests will also choose to stay with us!

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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
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Thank bluemercury
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zinnia B, General Manager at Utirerei Motel, responded to this reviewResponded August 26, 2016

Dear bluemercury

Thank you for your review. Since your review in 2013, the continental breakfast has included fruit (in season), cereals, porridge, sliced bread, and the usual condiments are provided (milk, juice, coffee and tea, butter, jam, peanut butter, etc).

Rooms are cleaned from Monday to Sunday inclusive. Hopefully on your next visit, you will be satisfied with the services provided.

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Reviewed September 5, 2013

The Utirerei is easily the best accommodation I've stayed at on Tarawa. The reception staff were all amazingly friendly and worked very efficiently. There was quite a large group of us checking in, which has posed problems at other Pacific islands, but the check-in was handled very quickly with no problems.
My room, while quite basic by developed world standards, was a step above the other two hotels I've stayed at in Tarawa. It was clean and well-appointed. Notably, the air conditioning worked (and was quiet!) and we had running water - again, much better than some of the other hotels...
The restaurant & bar was good and very affordable. The food is basic, but not too bad. The ordering & payment system could use some work - it was actually quite a mission to order - but really, that is to be expected in a place like Tarawa, so just relax & roll with it.

Room Tip: Don't get a room near Reception - they start work early in the morning and crank the music up lo...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Aldous D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zinnia B, General Manager at Utirerei Motel, responded to this reviewResponded August 26, 2016

Dear Aldous

Thank you for your review. You will be pleased to know that our menu has more variety of dishes to offer now and we get quite a lot of people coming through for luncheon or dinner receptions or to just dine out with friends or colleagues or family. Our ordering and payment system has improved and it is quite easy to order and pay as well.

We hope to see you at Utirerei when next you are in Tarawa!



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Reviewed September 4, 2013

Unfortunately, options are very limited on Tarawa. Utirerei is the best of those options. It has a very good restaurant and I experienced very nice air conditioning in my room. That is, except one night when the power went out in half of the hotel. This is where my only complaint about the hotel took place. I informed the front desk at 9pm about the problem and they assured me that they contacted the utility workers who would have power up by 11 pm. At 11:30, by which time I was thoroughly miserable, I went to the front desk to investigate. The office, instead of keeping somebody on staff to care for guests during such an emergency, was closed. Finally, by 1am I was so thoroughly hot and unable to sleep that I bothered the night guard to get somebody to open another room for me to sleep. In most other hotels I would not have been required to pay for the night, but the hotel staff made no effort to accommodate me. Certainly a fluke occurrence, but the staff needs to earn better customer service in similar situations.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled on business
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1  Thank Brian K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zinnia B, General Manager at Utirerei Motel, responded to this reviewResponded August 26, 2016

Dear Brian

On behalf of management and the staff, we sincerely apologise for this negative and fluke incident. The main power on the island experienced incidents of total blackout and these influenced management's decision to purchase a back up generator for the comfort of in house guests. The generator has been working effectively to date so negative issues that you unfortunately experienced during your stay with us in 2013 have not been repeated.

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Additional Information about Utirerei Motel

Address: Ambo Village TARAWA, 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: $58 - $83 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 28
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are an accommodation provider (motel with 28 rooms) and are located in Ambo Village. We have offer rooms at varying price points as follows: 8 standard rooms 12 de luxe rooms 2 executive suuites 2 self contained apartments (ideal for long stays), and 4 overwater de luxe rooms. We also operate a restaurant and bar, and convenience store, and also offer catering for special functions, banquet and meeting facilities on the premises too. ... more   less 

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