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“Dont beleieve the pictures”
Review of Otintaai Hotel

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Otintaai Hotel
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Tarawa Atoll
Reviewed May 13, 2013

My colleague stayed here May 2013,the only thing the motel has going for it is its proximity to the airport.No hot water food better off eating tinned food from supermeaket nearby.About 17klm from betio but the trip will atke you at least 1 hour.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled on business
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2  Thank Casey J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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6 - 12 of 20 reviews

Reviewed March 21, 2013

I stayed here in August 2011 for 4 nights & never forgot the terrible condition of this hotel, with bad service & lazy service from most staff. However during my recent visit to Tarawa from the 14/02/13 to 07/03/13 I called into the OTINTAAI HOTEL & wanted to witness and see if any changes had been made !!!! On approach noticed no more sercurity staff close to the gate when entering, the atmosphere felt like somthing from a ghost town, anyway walked down towards the resturant area & got talking to a couple of staff members who i remembered from 2011, one staff member informed me they only had 2 guests at that time, I couldn't help feeling sorry for the staff with very little to do, lack of interest with few guests the shift must have felt very long. the hotel does no longer provide breakfast included in the room rate & you have to pay if you ask for any meals. Staff told me that the expression of interest for take over of the hotel had passed & they were hoping a overseas investor would take over, being a 40 room hotel it's such a shame it's going to waste before it completly falls down, needs thousands of dollars to renovate & bring this government hotel up to international standards, with the future of all the roads in Tarawa being updated [hopefully starting sometime this year] it's a shame that the hotel isn't already updated especially with all the international tradesman arriving in Tarawa & seeking long-term accommodation, the new road contract job may take 3-4 years to complete. This hotel could look so beautiful if someone is willing to invest in a expensive project & bring life back into this hotel, then seek some locals for employees !!!!! That's all i can say is good luck to the investor & hope OTINTAAI HOTEL can be saved before it's to late !!!!! I called in for a 2nd visit just before I left Tarawa & after waiting 45 min's for a coffee i just politly gave up & walked away.............. very sad !!!!

Room Tip: View your room before deciding to stay & pay, ask for a top level room & enjoy the view of t...
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled solo
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2  Thank Stephen N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2013

This hotel is a 1 star at best. The rooms are old, ugly, and not somewhere you want to spend any time in (especially as the tv doesn't work). If you're luvky you'll get a dribble of water out of the shower but don't count on it in the morning when others are showering. The restauarant and bar are next to non-existent. Even taking into account the limitations of the country - this is definitely no a place I'd recommend.

Room Tip: Find your room at another hotel.
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled on business
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1  Thank Andy100668
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2012

I stayed at the Otintaai Hotel in early 2008 and again in September 2009. It's a government-run hotel, located on the South Tarawa islet of Bikenibeu. If you're doing business with government agencies or diplomatic missions (clustered on the islet of Bairiki) the location is not so convenient unless you have your own transport or use the frequent mini-buses that ply their trade along the road.

The atmosphere is pretty casual but I've found the staff do try to help to the best of their abilities. The accommodation buildings are identical structures to the older wing of the Kitano Mendana Hotel in Honiara, Solomon Islands, but sadly haven't benefited from a similar degree of regular maintenance. The rooms had a slightly musty smell and I suspect that the choice of soft furnishings (such as carpet on the floor) may not have been entirely wise. However, the hotel is just about on the equator and surrounded by water, so warm temperatures and high humidity are the real culprits here. Keeping the place clean is tough in this environment but here I have less sympathy - I feel a greater attention to this aspect of hotel service is possible and would improve the experience for guests. If Mary's Motel and Tabon te Keekee can manage this (and they do) then it could be done at the Otintaai as well.

The restaurant menu often has items that are unavailable - like all of Kiribati, availability of certain ingredients is subject to when the supply ship most recently visited and demand for certain items in the interim. Visitors to Kiribati need to bring a flexible and sympathetic attitude in this regard: if inconvenient for visitors, spare a thought for the locals, for whom this situation is the norm. For example, on one visit, the only type of milk available for my breakfast cereal was long-life caramel-flavoured soy milk - it wouldn't have been my first preference but was gratefully accepted nonetheless.

Water and electricity supplies were intermittent, which was a minor inconvenience though, again, almost certainly the same situation for all residents. Suffering together engenders a sense of community!

Overall, I wouldn't say don't stay here but do bring your sense of humour with you. I-Kiribati (the people) are, from my experience, well-intentioned gentle people who are unlikely to be able to fix all of your problems (I hope that doesn't sound patronising, as I have high regard for them). They will do their best for you. A smile goes further than a tantrum in this part of the world.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled on business
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4  Thank Dean M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2011

Arrived on the 18th August after my disappointment at my first confirmed booking alsewhere, after a 10 min's drive from the first disappointment I asked at the OTINTAAI reception if they had any vacant rooms & after filling out the forms for guests & refusing to sign until I had seen the room, firstly I was shown Room 39 & on first impressions I'm quite pleased with the overall appearance of the room & presumed this was a basic room & the cleaner said this is the VIP room & I'll show your the standard room, [not interested in staying in the standard room after viewing it & needed a good cleaning especially with the black bathroom tiles & smell of mould etc] I returned to reception & after some effort in trying to negotiate with one of the female staff & eventually with the manager I manged to get the room 39 for the standard rate of AUD 77- [they were asking for the 39 VIP room AUD 99-], when I took my first shower I noticed the water pressure was very slow, second problem the toilet system flushed sometimes, no coffee or Tea facilities in the room, the TV was a waste of time with only one channel & a terrible picture, considering I had a good rate for this room I couldn't help feeling very disapointed especially the staff calling it a VIP room, the food in the restururant was terrible.... B/fast was included in the rate & a very basic for choice....i managed to arrange car hire for 6 days & I agreed with the reception staff that I'd pay by C/card for my stay of 7 nights & car hire & they charged 6% extra c/card fee!....On asking staff for a kettle sugar cups/spoons etc etc on a number of ocassions & still after 4 nights no sign of this happening with manay many excuses! The final straw after my 4th night & returning to my room after a very long day touring around the Island & deciding to take a shower & noticed no towels & at 8:30pm had to walk down to reception for a towel & told they have none in reception & the laundry staff had left for the day, I'm pissed off & demanded that someone find me a towel & I checked in the laundry with a security guy & still couldn't find any towels, then the guy looked around in the vacant rooms & no towels, eventually after almost one hour waiting a female staff member brough a towel to my room & reminded me that this was a new towel they had just purchased for me & then the water pressure was just dripping.......I then decided I'd had enough of the total attidude from staff & all the problems in my room & packed my personal stuff & also noticed 2 T-Shirts & one pair of shorts had been stolen, i handed the key in a reception at approx 9:20pm & just drove to another choice of accommodation, the following morning I returned to the OTINTAAI HOTEL & paid my invoice for my stay & car hire on 2 seprate C/card transactions, when I left I noticed i'm also charged for 5 nights & not 4!....... I would never stay there again with the total service being ZERO & appears to be many staff in the reception area & the back office & very few staff helping to make each guest stay a pleasent time...... Needs new management who are interested in their guests not just the money..........if that's the problem in my VIP room 39 I wonder what the problems would have been in the normal standard rooms.......A REAL DUMP & LOCK AWAY YOUR PERSONAL CLOTHING........!

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled solo
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2  Thank Stephen N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 17, 2010

I didn't stay at this hotel I just called in & asked the security guard if I could take a look around the hotel grounds & have a drink & lunch.....of course your most welcome he replied! I walked around the grounds & on my first impressions I noticed this place needed some urgent attention especially noticing the detoriation of the building, went into the restaurant for a meal & drink, only 4 other guests eating, the staff were pleasant enough, I ordered a meal with fish salad with some french fries, the time frame in receiving the meal was fine, the food appeared over cooked & the fries appeared to have just been pre-heated from the day before without any taste, when I went to pay the bill the young lady behind the counter appeared to have some difficulty in working out the total cost & the change. A shame this hotel appears so neglected considering it's Government owned & supported hotel, the hotel is close to the airport approx 15 min's drive, I spoke to one guest from Japan & he informed me the rooms were very basic & neglected and accommodation rooms in desperate need of modernisation & repairs......I'm glad I decided on other accommodation option on this island....this large hotel has no much potential with the right owners & money for the repairs to update.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled solo
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Thank Stephen N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 17, 2010

I guess the Hotel is what I expected in such a remote place. Vary basic, but adequate for a couple or a bunch of guys travelling together. Everybody seemed to be a Government Trainee and as such service was often slow and haphazard ie main course arrived before the starter. If you dont like fish, dont go to Tarawa. We had an upstairs room, but the aircon did not work and the water only seemed to run in the morning. Ensure, if you are with a group, you are first in the shower. Who knows how long it will last! The rooms were clean and the room service was friendly. The kids who work there really try hard to please, but i dont think many have a lot of experience in the Hotel Industry. Difficult in a place like that as this is the only proper hotel. We had a wedding in the middle of our stay and the hotel was full of locals. An experience in itself with so many local people all enjoying themselves.

Not a luxury hotel, but clean, functional and a place to lay your head. You do need to rentacar as its kinda half way between anywhere.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled with friends
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Thank T0md0tc0m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Otintaai Hotel

Address: Bikenibeu, Republic of Kiribati
Location: Republic of Kiribati > Gilbert Islands > Tarawa Atoll
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Tarawa Atoll
Number of rooms: 40
Also Known As:
Otintaai Hotel Tarawa

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