Big Island Hotels

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Shipman House Bed & Breakfast Inn

At a Glance

    Pros

  • 10-minute walk to downtown Hilo
  • historic home
  • friendly and knowledgeable local hosts

    Cons

  • not a great spot for kids
  • two-night minimum

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  

Shipman House Bed & Breakfast Inn Review

This historic bed-and-breakfast on 5½ verdant acres on Reed's Island is furnished with antique koa and period pieces, some dating from the days when Queen Liliuokalani came to tea. There are three rooms in the mansion—the turreted main house dating from 1899—and two in a separate cottage. On Tuesday night, a hula class practices Hawaii's dances out on the lanai. You can participate or just hang out and watch. Barbara (fifth generation of the Shipman family in Hawaii) and husband Gary are friendly hosts with a vast knowledge of the island. Barbara will even teach you how to string a lei with sweet-smelling flowers from the garden. The tropical breakfast buffet is yummy, with macadamia-nut granola, special breads and muffins, and tropical fruits grown right on property.

    Contact Information

  • Address: 131 Kaiulani St., Hilo, HI, 96720 | Map It
  • Phone: 808/934–8002; 800/627–8447
  • Website:
  • Location: Hilo

    Hotel Details

  • 5 rooms
  • Rate includes breakfast.
  • Credit cards accepted.
Updated: 01-06-2014

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  
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    Hilo Highlight!

    The Shipman House B&B is an enchanting and historic inn. Barbara and Gary have preserved the charm while adding modern conveniences, such as the beautiful en suite bathroom. Their recommendations for restaurants and sightseeing made our vacation one of our best ever. Breakfast is a feast of tropical fruits and home baked goodies. We will definitely return to the Shipman House the next time we visit The Big Island.

    by jodi_copeland, 8/9/09
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    Exceptional Bed & Breakfast!

    The Shipman House in Hilo, Hawaii richly deserves a top rating! Innkeepers Barbara and Gary elevate hospitality to a fine art as they welcome you into their historic home. This home has welcomed author Jack London, Hawaii's last monarch Queen Lili`uokalani, as well as other dignitaries. It is no wonder: Shipman House is gracious and welcoming. Guest rooms are comfortable and designed for relaxation. I especially appreciated the simple décor and very clean room that we stayed in. We had a wonderful view of sunrise over the bay each morning. The bathrooms, too, are clean and private with fresh towels daily. Each morning we could look forward to a delightful breakfast featuring home baked bread, pastry, and fruit from the back yard garden. And what fruit! the wonderful spread included papaya, pineapple, apple bananas, figs, and mangos, among others. It is an amazing array of flavors authentic to the island. Conversation never flagged around the breakfast table: our innkeepers kept the talk flowing and all guests participated over cups of delicious hot coffee. Barbara and Gary happily share their knowledge of the island. They provide detailed advice about driving routes, hiking trails, and local restaurants. For guests visiting sites at night they provide flashlights, jackets, and beach mats. Hawaii could not ask for better ambassadors! We have stayed in Bed & Breakfasts around the US, but this was our finest experience. We enjoyed an extended vacation at Shipman House and heartily recommend it!

    by booklady55, 8/24/09

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