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Big Island Hotels

Shipman House Bed & Breakfast Inn

  • 131 Kaiulani St. Map It
  • Local Flavor

Pros

  • 10-minute walk to downtown Hilo
  • Historic home
  • Friendly and knowledgeable local hosts

Cons

  • Not a great spot for kids
  • Two-night minimum

Updated 01/06/2014

Fodor's 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.

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Hotel Information

Address:

131 Kaiulani St., Hilo, Hawaii, 96720, United States

Map It

Phone:

808-934–8002; 800-627–8447

Hotel Details:

  • Credit cards accepted
  • 5 rooms
  • Breakfast

Updated 01/06/2014

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Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating
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Aug 24, 2009

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!

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Aug 9, 2009

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 George

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Aug 5, 2006

Splendid breakfast!

This is the place to stay when in Hilo --bar none. Don't miss breakfast...

By Linny

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Aug 3, 2006

Lush setting, spacious rooms and a five star breakfast.

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Jul 17, 2006

The Real Hawaii - Not a Tourist Trap

Our travel agent tried to send us to one of the man-made resorts but we wanted to see the Hawaii of old. We chose this on our own and were very pleased. We ate breakfast on the porch overlooking Hilo Bay. Barbara and Gary were great with advice on the best places to go and eat. We saw parts of the island that most people will never see. If you want man-made, go to Disney World and save the Air Fare.

By John

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Mar 29, 2006

Lodging in a museum

Having limited experience at a bed and breakfast I have to say that the Shipman House was a new experience. It is a great old house with lots of interesting history that the propriters are willing to share. The funiture and fixtures are priceless. The breakfast in the morning is full of unusual fruits, homemade breads and rolls and even spreads. Breakfast is served on the porch overlooking the lush vegitation that surrounds the establishment.

One caution. In the asian tradition, there are no shoes in the house. Fortunately my significant other was better at remembering this house rule than I. This is a better option for us than the bed and breakfasts located near the volcano in Volcano Village. That neighborhood is a little run down and although you are close to the volcano, you miss the proximity to Hilo which is a good size town with things to do.

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By Michael

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Mar 5, 2006

Better than the adverts.

Great experience.Mahalo. On the want to revisit list.

By Karen

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Feb 7, 2006

Shipman House Hilo

The Shipman House's architecture and setting are stunning. The view from Auntie Clara's Shell Room across a rainforested wall of vegetation toward the ocean is unforgettable. Delicious, generous breakfast on the outdoor wrap-around porch.

By Brian

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Aug 30, 2005

Comfy and Delightful

This immaculately maintained bed and breakfast is sure to please any discerning traveler. Barbara and Gary, who own and operate this little piece of paradise, will bring a smile to the face of anyone who understands the difference between good service and service with a heart. And the food, including an ample selection of local fruits and specialties, is to die for. I very much enjoyed my stay and can't wait to return.

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