5 on February 24, 2014
Our family of three (two adults, one teen) stayed in the Makai Room, one half of a detached cottage behind the main house. It was a perfect island retreat, reminding me of my childhood summers with family on Oahu. No phone, no tv, no A/C, just the trades and a quietly whirring ceiling fan. (The free wi-fi works great though, if you need it.) The bed was very comfortable, and the cottage immaculate. A large tub/shower had plenty of hot water and good pressure. There is a small refrigerator in the room and a shared microwave on the back porch, helpful for leftovers. A couple of nights we ate our meals on the screened porch of the cottage, serenaded by the Coqui frogs and bathed by the fragrant night breezes. The breakfast was ample and varied. Make sure to try the homemade granola and also the lillikoi butter. I am craving the macadamia nut coffee cake right now. We liked the guided tour of the immense platter of tropical fruits, and enjoyed discovering some new flavors. Barbara made sure to inquire about allergies or special needs, which we don't have, but some may. Barbara and Gary are knowledgeable and helpful guides to all the island attractions. Yes, they have some house rules, but that is what keeps Shipman House the treasure it is. We appreciated the historical connection to Jack London, who stayed there with his wife in 1907 while their boat The Snark was being repaired (you can read about it in his book The Cruise of the Snark). The house really is a museum, and it was fascinating to read the detailed notebook describing the history of the items. This is the place for you if you want to slow down to island time and experience a taste of old Hawaii. Thank you, Barbara and Gary, for welcoming us into your wonderful home. We look forward to returning to Shipman House.
4.0 on February 19, 2014
Lovely house, fantastic tips of what to do and friendly atmosphere created by the owners. And of course the famous breakfast, delicious!
4.8 on February 18, 2014
We had a great stay at Shipman House. It was wonderful to see this historical home which has been lovingly restored. Our hosts were full of good recommendations for restaurants and places to visit. The breakfast was delicious. We were there in the winter and our room was comfortable to sleep in without any AC but it was warm and humid during the afternoon when we returned home from our activities.
4.2 on February 06, 2014
I, and three friends had a lovely time staying at the Shipman House for three nights. The atmosphere of an older Hawaii is carefully maintained while providing all the comforts of a good B&B. The Hosts go out of their way to visit at breakfast, sharing tales of old and contemporary Hilo. The breakfast was a beautiful array of tropic fruits, cereals, and home baked breads. The house itself is the real reason to visit, an outstanding example of the best of Hawaiian Victorian.
5 on February 03, 2014
Our time at Shipman House was a wonderful, memorable five days. We stayed in the Makai room in the guest house: it was perfect! Breakfasts on the lanai were all that was promised, with the delicious fresh fruits, spectacular baked goods, and Kona coffee. Barbara and Gary were most gracious hosts. A highlight of the visit was singing and playing Queen Lili¿'¿uokalani¿'¿s songs on ¿the¿ piano in the parlor. We eagerly look forward to a return visit!
4.8 on February 01, 2014
Shipman House is a time capsule that takes you back one hundred years. The building and furnishings are exquisite. Your hosts, Barbara and Gary, are walking, talking guidebooks to the history, geography and culture of Hilo, the Big Island and all of Hawaii. Their breakfasts are simply the best we've had anywhere, with most of the expansive offering of tropical fruit grown on the property. There may be cheaper places to stay in Hilo. There are none better.
5 on January 26, 2014
This is a marvelous retreat hideaway superbly managed with comfortable accommodations and breakfasts to die for, in a stately Victorian full of art treasures and antiques. No phones and no TV.
4.6 on January 21, 2014
It's worth it to stay here just to get a look at the house. It is spectacular, and it has an interesting history. The hosts were very friendly and knowledgable about the area. With the sounds of the shrieking frogs and the lush foliage, it was a bit like being nestled in a rainforest. The bridge being under construction was a bit of a bummer because it is a long, narrow and winding route to the house otherwise. Hopefully it wi be fixed shortly.
4.8 on December 27, 2013
The place was beautiful, and hosts Barbara and Gary were fantastic. We will be back!
5 on December 20, 2013
We stayed for 3 nights at the Shipman house. We were pleased with out stay. The morning breakfast was perfect every morning. We shared our plans for the day and learned about island each morning during breakfast. When we shared we wanted to go snorkeling they provided a cooler with some waters and printed directions to the best snorkeling spot. The room was clean and perfect for us two traveling. I would recommend the Shipman House B&B.
4.8 on December 12, 2013
A wonderful taste of "old Hawaii!"
4.4 on December 02, 2013
We stayed at the Shipman in mid November 2013, as the first stop on our Hawaii holiday. The Shipman is a beautiful house, and we loved the view from our room. Gary was a great a host, pointing us in the right direction for all the best local attractions and restaurants.
4.6 on November 30, 2013
Like staying with friends who own a gorious house. Beautiful guestrooms
4.6 on November 17, 2013
Very nicely renovated Victorian home with a great view of Hilo bay and an amazing breakfasts with home grown fruits prepared by the owners
4.8 on November 08, 2013
The was much attention to detail. We had enjoyed the real Hilo area and the best sights and food
4.6 on October 26, 2013
The Shipman House has the interest of a museum, the quiet comfort of a home and the convenience of being close to downtown Hilo and Rainbow Falls. Hosts Barbara and Gary were full of information and history of the area, provided a lovely breakfast each morning on the porch.
5 on October 22, 2013
My wife and I stayed in Aunt Claire's Shell Room at the Shipman House for 3 nights while in Hilo on our honeymoon. Every morning we were greeted by a beautiful view of the sunrise over the bay through the two large windows past the foot of our bed, and also by a lovely breakfast spread including local fruit grown on the property. Our hosts Gary and Barbara Andersen were gracious and hospitable, and full of excellent recommendations for places to eat and things to do on that side of the island. This is the place to stay in Hilo!
5 on October 18, 2013
We absolutely loved our stay at Shipman House Bed & Breakfast Inn! There really is nowhere else like this on the island of Hawai'i, and we cannot praise the experience highly enough. The house itself is incredible, beautifully and carefully restored, full of extraordinary antiques and curios. Our room was light, comfortable, clean and beautifully finished. The breakfasts served every morning are unrivaled - quite honestly the best spread one could wish for - tropical fruits, homemade bakes, smoothies, carefully chosen teas and coffee. Perfect. Our hosts Barbara and Gary couldn't do enough for us, and made us feel so welcome in their wonderful home. We were even lucky enough to be staying there during hula dance lesson night! Thank you so much Barbara and Gary for making our stay in Hilo so truly memorable!
4.4 on October 17, 2013
Thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the Shipman House. A bit concerned in the beginning about the "house rules", but it all worked out. Wonderful, healthy breakfast with an amazing fruit platter from fruit grown on the property. Very much appreciated attention to detail, including kimonos for guests to wear. Aunt Clara room spacious and bathroom is a little down the hall but you are the only room at that end of house so it is not a problem at all for privacy.
5 on October 15, 2013
We felt comfortable and very welcome in this private home. Gary and Barbara are the perfect hosts. This was a unique experience.
4.4 on September 25, 2013
Shipman house is a great place to stay, idyllic settings for lazing around or the perfect location from which to visit the many wonderful attractions on Big island. The hosts are wonderful and go out of their way to help you plan each day over a lazy feast of fresh fruit, hot from the oven treats and much more. The fruit smoothies are worth rising for alone. Hilo is a delightful little town to explore and Tina's gourmet garden cafe was the find of the whole holiday, salads, curries, smoothies that were a culinary experience of their own.Would definitely like to return to this delightful place in the future.
4.8 on September 25, 2013
Fantastic B & B. Would not hesitate to stay there again. Well kept beautiful house. We stayed in the shell room. Breakfast was great. Gary and Barbara were excellent hosts. Byron & Teresa gregg
5 on September 21, 2013
My wife and I recently stayed 2 nights at the historic Shipman House bed & breakfast in Hilo, Hawaii. We had a very pleasant and relaxing stay. Barb & Gary have done a great job maintaining the historic character of the house. There are a few house rules to follow but they are reasonable. The narrow road leading to the house is tricky but certainly navigable if you go slow. We would certainly stay here again on our next visit.
4.6 on September 18, 2013
Had a relaxing stay in Sept. Barbara and Gary were wonderful hosts...welcoming and very knowledgeable about the area. Breakfasts were amazing...lots of fresh fruit, and always varied breads and protein sources.
3.8 on September 11, 2013
Our stay at Shipman House was very pleasant. The room was spacious and both the room and bathroom were spotless. It was a warm sleeping at night, but otherwise comfortable. Breakfast was fabulous, with homegrown fruits and homemade breads.
5 on September 09, 2013
We wouldn't be able to say enough about all this is good concerning the Shipman House. This is our 9th year staying there and have never been disappointed. It's an experience you will never forget and will wish to continue for many years to come, They are simply the best.
4.8 on September 06, 2013
No televsion nor phone adds to the calming effect of this relaxing place. The rooms are large (in the cottage),airy,comfortable and convenient to all the area offers yet isolated. We stayed for our second time and the friendliness of the owners just added to the appeal. Breakfast was fresh and slightly diiferent for the three days and the unusual fruits were a hit.Highly recommend
4.2 on August 30, 2013
5 on August 25, 2013
I stayed recently for five nights at the historic Shipman House and it was a very memorable stay. Gary and Barbara are very friendly and go out of their way to help our stay comfortable. The breakfast is amazing!!
5 on August 21, 2013
We had a fantastic visit in Hilo, HI. Our stay at the Shipman House was delightful. Barbara and Gary are a wealth of information which helped us plan our days to the fullest. The breakfast was delicious with homemade breads, granola, and coffee cakes. The fruit plate was unique to Hawaii. This is the place to stay when you are in Hilo!
4.8 on August 09, 2013
We stayed in the guest cottage, the Makai Room, a large, beautifully appointed room with a screened porch overlooking the lawn and garden. It was very private, more so because when we were there no one was staying in the room next door. The house is in town, just a short distance to the historic downtown. As you can see from the photos, the Shipman is a grand, historic house that the Andersons have worked tirelessly to restore and maintain. Classic interior with all the modern amenities, except for TV's and air conditioning, which in our opinion was not needed. It was a great base from which to explore the volcano and Puna district. We will definitely be staying there again when in Hilo.
5 on August 05, 2013
Everything about our stay at Shipman House was amazing. The building, the history, the location, the room, the hosts, the breakfast... I would not hesitate to recommend the property to anyone. One of my most favourite places I've ever stayed.... ever!
3.6 on July 27, 2013
Without a doubt we would make a return visit to Shipman House B&B in Hilo. Gary and Barbara are wonderful hosts, filled with information about the area and island. The house is beautifully restored. They do have a few peculiar rules (no wheeling luggage inside, no shoes inside, etc.) but they were by no means difficult to meet. Breakfast is a special treat. Tons of fruit, baked goods and more. We were able to try many Hawaiian fruits that we may never see or taste again, all right from their gardens! The rooms are nice rooms - good size, furniture fine, bathrooms clean and plenty of closet space. We hope to return to Hilo and Shipman House B&B some day!
4.4 on July 26, 2013
Magnifique maison pleine de charme ! Les propriétaires sont vraiment très gentils et accueillants ! Les déjeuners sont succulents avec énormément de choix et une abondance de fruits ! On déjeune sur une belle galerie protégée ! Tout est impeccable !
4.2 on July 25, 2013
My room was on the first floor - had the veranda right outside the "window door". It was lovely to be able to go out and sit and listen to the birds and wonder about the property. My Dad's room was upstairs and it also had it's own outside deck area. He had a nice view of the Hilo harbor. Breakfast was excellent. Barbara made taro muffins that were so, so yummie, not to mention her cornbread (taste like cake). It was a lovely stay.
5 on July 19, 2013
This was a magical experience. It was a privilege to be able to stay in one of Hawaii's great historical mansions and the family history and details are inspiring. Barbara and Gary were exceedingly welcome. Barbara was very sensitive to food allergies and went to great trouble to make safe gluten free and AMAZING breakfasts. Her Morning Glory Muffins should be entered in a contact - and would win 1st place. The breakfasts are phenomenal - fresh fruits, smoothies, breads, quinoa, and whatever a guest could want. This was an exceptional experience.
4.8 on April 19, 2013
Stayed at this b&b with my husband for his birthday and absolutely loved it! The house is gorgeous and the hosts are great. Cannot wait to come back
5 on April 08, 2013
My husband and I were celebrating my 50th birthday in Hawaii. We stayed for two nights at the Shipman House in order to spend time at the Volcano Nat'l Park. The Shipman House is a wonderful place; like living in a museum! The hosts were friendly and helpful. The breakfast buffet on the lanai was amazing! We would recommend this place to anyone who appreciates detail and a quiet mature atmosphere. A definate 10 out of 10! Merci, Kimara (Switzerland)
4.8 on March 29, 2013
Spent 2 relaxing nights at Shipman House just this week. Such a beautiful home in historic Hilo. Barbara and Gary are warm and inviting hosts who shared a wealth of knowledge on the local attractions. The breakfast is beautiful and delicious....Barbara's Portuguese sweet bread with lilikoi curd is amazing!!
4.0 on March 24, 2013
Great property; friendly and helpful hosts; great fresh homemade breakfast. Wonderful room in the cottage. Very quiet.
4.8 on March 23, 2013
A welcome change from the large could-be-anywhere hotels, our stay at Shipman House was a window into historic Hilo and a chance to experience the graciousness of our hosts and this house. Located off a quiet street not too far from old Hilo town, this house has nice views back to Hilo Bay, has beautiful lanais and living and dining rooms with impressively high ceilings and appointed with historic furniture and photos from the family's long history on this Island. Breakfast is a delight and delicious, featuring topical fruits -- many of which are grown on the property. This B and B offers an authentic, historical Hawaii experience and was a great base from which to explore Hilo, the Volcano area and the Hamakua Coast.
4.4 on March 20, 2013
Our stay was very relaxing. Barbara and Gary were very friendly and had lots of great suggestions for us. The breakfasts each morning were satisfying. I would stay with them again!
4.6 on March 08, 2013
A friend booked our reservation so we didn't know what to expect. The warm greeting by our friendly and informative hosts, the elegant and historic home surrounded by beautiful grounds and the delicious breakfast, made for a wonderful stay.
5 on March 08, 2013
The Shipman House Bed & Breakfast is an exquisite piece of the Big Island's history and delightful home away from home. The Andersens are amazing hosts whose everyday breakfasts are tropical bits of heaven. Making their guests feel like dear friends is their special gift, providing island-perfect accommodations which provide rest and refreshment. This will be our ONLY choice of stay on Hawaii.
4.8 on March 06, 2013
We spent two nights at Shipman House and would have been happy to stay forever. Shipman House is filled with family history yet offers up-to-date extras like WiFi. Breakfast is a vast spread of local fruit, jams and breads along with the usual eggs, bagels, etc. Our room was spacious and the bathroom was fully equipped. Barbara and Gary even provided earplugs in case the local frogs were too loud. If you play the piano, there's a well-tuned grand in the living room and guests are welcome to play it. We felt like members of the family during our stay and would happily return for another visit.
4.8 on March 04, 2013
My husband and I had the wonderful opportunity of staying at the Shipman House for three nights in February. All we can say about the experience is that it was worth every minute of it! The beauty of the house , it's history,the breathtaking surroundings,the superb hosts who not only gave us delicious breakfasts but were so heipful as well--- we can go on and on. All we can hope is that we are able to revisit sometime soon and enjoy it all over again!
4.8 on February 26, 2013
Beautiful inn, great hospitality and lots of local and tourist information easily available from the innkeepers Barbara and Gary. Almost feels like having friends in Hilo. Great location, walking distance to Hilo, which is a charming little town, filled with soul and lots of things to do and see. Not the sterile tourist environment, but run like a real business. Great place to hangout on the porch or rooms have space to hang out as well. And the breakfasts are filled with lots of local fruit and all kinds of yummy goodies. Highly recommend this inn.
5 on February 22, 2013
My wife and I stayed at the Shipman House for the second time. We were accompanied by my cousin and her husband. We found Barbara and Gary to be wonderful hosts, meeting all our needs with a smile. The breakfast that they served was outstanding; we enjoy fruits and the fruit tray at breakfast was over the top. The freshly baked muffins and Portuguese sweet bread were delicious. There was a different muffin each of the three mornings we were there. The house is comfortable and the environment is peaceful and relaxing. The rooms are large and airy. We plan another visit in the future.
5 on February 06, 2013
We found the owners of Shipman House to be generous, helpful and hospitable. The breakfast was beautifully presented with a selection of fruit from the garden and the local farmers' market. The rooms and bath are spacious and spotless. (I would suggest that the towels really don't need to be changed every day) The house has been in Barbara's family for generations and it's apparent both she and her husband Gary work very hard to preserve and maintain the property and to give their guests a sense of Hilo hospitality. We would recommend the Shipman House and consider it one of the best values on the Big Island.
4.6 on February 02, 2013
This is a Hilo must! You won't be disappointed! Barbara and Gary are a Jem! You will feel right at home.
4.6 on February 02, 2013
A 19th century impeccably maintained Victorian mansion oozing with charm , calm, and splendour set in the tropical rainforest yet on a hill with a splendid view over the sea in Hilo, Hawaii. Owners Barbara and Gary Anderson are the quintessentially ideal hosts providing precious tourist and insider information about their Island and state always mindful of when to offer it and when to leave you to your personal time. the breakfasts are the piece de resistance that is arguably the best breakfast I have ever eaten and all from their own lush gardens and oven! hat a treat to wake up to! we will miss the Big Island because of Shipman House!
3.6 on January 29, 2013
beautiful Victorian -- stunning restoration and care ideal setting in Hilo Mauka Room is ample in size, simple comforts, well-maintained and well-serviced excellent launching point for activities around Hilo breakfast is exceptional -- local, curated, varied, can accommodate dietary challenges innkeepers clearly love this home and their family's part in Hilo/Hawaiian history innkeepers are knowledgeable, a little 'salty' but warm-up and will help you how they can will recommend!
4.0 on January 24, 2013
Shipman House is a beautiful, older plantation house with a calm and relaxed spirit. The hosts Barbara and Gerry are very hospitable and welcoming. The rooms are furnished with antiques so that you have to be careful moving around. Shoes have to be taken off and luggage cannot be rolled in the house due to the old pine wood floor. The bathroom is adjacent to the room ( at least in which we stayed in) and is really big. The lanai is overlooking Hilo Bay which is nice to start or finish your day with. Breakfast is probably the best you can have on Hawai'i, but you need to be prepared to start your day early since the breakfast is only until 9. All in all worth spending the money but it is more a Chambre d'Hotes ( what we call it in Europe) since you live with the family following their "rules" and pace of the day. It can become chilly in the evening so make sure you have something warm, also the bedroom can become quite chilly during the night but the sound of the rainforest lull you to sleep.
5 on January 22, 2013
My wife and I loved our stay at Shipman House. We loved the tranquil atmosphere, the gardens, the paintings, prints, furniture and other beautiful articles in the house, and we really enjoyed meeting Barbara and Gary. We will be back. John & Barbara Crary
5 on January 21, 2013
Our first trip to the Big Island included a two night stay at the Shipman Inn. We picked the right place to stay to enjoy the Hilo area. Barbara and Gary have restored a family gem with a great history. There commitment to the Shipman House history and restoration is only part of the reason a person needs to stay. Breakfast is amazing including fresh fruit from the estate with personal touches from Gary and Barbara and their staff. When in Hilo the memories of a stay at the Shipman is worth the experience.
4.2 on January 21, 2013
We stayed for two nights beginning of the year and would absolutely recommend the place. The house is in an excellent shape for its age and has been renovated with a flair. Gary and Barbara were very helpful abut everything and delightful hosts. For sure you have to get accustomed to the rules of the house, but hey they are living here ! You certainly wouldn't like strangers walking around with shoes on your renovated wooden floor either. The breakfast was absolutely great with lots of fresh fruits from the garden, a great variety of bread and bagels, a daily baked delight and fresh juice. Everything you need to start a great day.
4.0 on December 04, 2012
We stayed at Shipman House for only one night mid-Nov 12. We found that a number of points noted in other reviews on which we selected to stay at Shipman House were absolutely correct: The grandeur of the place, the feeling of stepping into history, the comfortable rooms & beds. We also recognized aspects criticized in some reviews: there are some strict rules to be adhered to at Shipman House and Barbara is the guardian of the place and can have a quite straight forward way of telling a new arrival the right ways. We can understand that people could get upset to be told what to do in their holidays, but having a look around the place and taking a bit more time to learn to know your hosts and you will find that this place needs some rules to preserve the heritage and that Barbara and Gary are in fact both most gracious and welcoming hosts. Examples: We made a mistake in our booking and could not stay the two nights. Barbara allowed us to come anyway and we even could stay in the best room. We came earlier than the book-in time and Barbara and Gary arranged that we could drop of luggage off and relax before we went sight-seeing . Barbara and Gary can also provide very good insight into the past history of Hawaii and Hilo in particular as well as on places to visit. In respect to the rooms and breakfast, we stayed at Auntie Clara's Shell Room and can highly recommend it. It has a view into Shipman House very own crater. The breakfast was not a cooked breakfast (not allowed in Hawaii for B&B but ignored by many), but was extensive and very varied with a lot of different fruit, freshly backed bread, scones and similar, good muesli and yogurt. In summary: A very special place to stay in Hilo and probably in Hawaii with as much history around you one would only find a a museum. Take your time to stay longer, learn to know your hosts, Shipman House and Hilo and you will discover a very different aspect of Hawaii, away from tourist beaches, condominiums and huge hotels.
5 on November 29, 2012
The Shipman House was a welcome relief after the hustle and bustle of Honolulu. Barbara and Gary are the ultimate hosts. Our stay here was like visiting old friends or family. The house and property are absolutely stunning yet comfortable. You can feel the history in this place. One more thing...the breakfast is about as sweet as it gets. After eating the fruit in Hawaii, the taste back on the mainland will never be the same. This is a wonderful place to stay and we just loved it!
4.8 on November 25, 2012
Barbara and Gary warmly welcomed us to their cool, comfortable and beautiful home. We stayed several days, and Barbara guided us to the best scenery and most interesting history in the area. We are so pleased that we found the Andersens, and their wonderful, homey base for the happiest part of our trip to Hawaii. We enjoyed all that Barbara shared about the history of her home, which is also intertwined with her family's history.
5 on November 17, 2012
We had an amazing time with the gorgeous inn and the super innkeepers. Truly outstanding and unique historical experience. Awesome fresh breakfasts and love the bathrobes! Highly recommend and will come back again! Aloha! A hui ho n+g
5 on October 20, 2012
You will love everything about this Bed and Breakfast! From the historical journey of this family and Hilo as seen throughout the home, to the spacious bedrooms, and beautiful antiques and artifacts, and last but not least, the island grown fruits from their backyard, homemade granola, porteguese sweet bread, cornbread (YUM!) and bountiful buffet sprinkled with a little 'talk story' on top!!! Heaven!!! Thank you Barbara and Gary for making me feel right at home!
4.0 on October 15, 2012
It is a unique experience to stay in this wonderful house, to discuss with Barbara and Gary during the breakfast as you would discuss with old friends. My room was very pleasant, the bathroom had all what you expect to find. Shipman House is moreover within walking distance from the center of Hilo, contrary to the majority of the other hotels. Without hesitation I highly recommend to stay in that place.
5 on October 09, 2012
Teodoro e Bibiana lá estiveram, foi como se viajássemos no tempo aos princípios do séc. XX, quando os EUA começaram a se estabelecer com suas típicas, imponentes e charmosas casas
4.6 on October 04, 2012
We loved our stay in the Shipman Bed and Breakfast Inn. Gary and Barbara shared their knowledge of the area and made us feel welcome. The breakfasts were absolutely delicious, including many homemade products, all with complete explanations of origin and use. These accommodations definitely enhance a visit to Hawaii; wish we could have stayed longer!
5 on October 03, 2012
Wow, what a great experience. The Shipman was the perfect spot to spend a few days exploring the Hilo area. Barbara and Gary were the perfect hosts and they clearly are proud of their home. The rooms are fantastic; each either own distinctive history (our fist nigh we were the only guests so we got a peak into all the rooms before they filled up the next day). The breakfast each day was truly a feast with property-grown fruit a highlight. Despite the warning of the noisy frogs, the beds were so comfortable the ear plugs were not necessary. Will definitely be coming back.
4.4 on September 29, 2012
Our stay in this stately home was memorable. Barbara is a fine cook and she and Gary are friendly hosts in a warm home which also has elements of a museum! The afternoon hula class on the lanai overlooking Hilo Bay was a real treat. We shall return for a longer stay next time!
4.2 on September 22, 2012
Shipman House was our first BB experience and it was outstanding. The room were just like the photos and the only compliant was that there is there air-conditioning inside only a fan. We visited during spring time but i can image it would be alot more uncomfortable during summer. Highlight was the breakfast which is not your ordinary breakfast. Everything on the table has a story and has been made with love. If anyone is in Hilo this BB is the place to go
Aloha, and thank you for your very nice review. Just a quick note about Hilo's temperatures...Our Hilo summers are relatively cool, a 'scorcher' being 86 to 88 degrees F, and the humidity never reaches the levels of the South or the East Coast. Our summer temperatures tend to be far cooler than those of the continental USA. A fan is usually quite adequate. Thanks again for the review!
5 on September 17, 2012
Staying here while on the big island is a must! Get away from the vegas style big hotels on the other side of the island and see what real Hawaii is. Barbara and Gary run a great place. Exploring their house is like a trip back in time to old Hawaii and staying their is a great jumping off point for the entire island.
4.6 on September 15, 2012
Great stay in a large and clean room with lots of windows so sleeping without a/c was very comfortable. Once suggestion would be some sort of desk in the room as we are both business folks and need to check in with work on a daily basis. The breakfasts with familiar and exotic fruits, homemade smoothies and baked goods out on the porch were lovely. Barbara and Greg both very helpful with their suggestions of where to go and what to see. Would definitely stay here if we visit Hilo again.
5 on September 12, 2012
Absolutely wonderful 3 days! Barbara and Gary were gracious hosts, generous with their extensive knowledge of the Island, and the breakfast was incredible. The house is a well kept, living museum, that made us feel connected to the history of the island. An absolute gem.
5 on August 27, 2012
What a lovely lovely place. We felt nurtured and nourished on every level: by the surroundings, by the home itself with its myriad treasures and comforts, by the amazing breakfast, by the company of Barbara and Gary...when I close my eyes, even here in the heat of the Arizona summer, I can still feel the peaceful ambiance of our tropical time in the Shipman House.
4.6 on August 27, 2012
The hosts were very welcoming. Breakfasts were wonderful: fresh, delicious, locally sourced foods. The hosts joined us for conversation about Hawaii, including local history and tips on local sites to visit. The historic house is lovely, furnished with antiques and with beautiful, lush, tropical grounds. The location is very convenient to downtown restaurants and shops.
5 on August 14, 2012
Thoroughly enjoyed our weekend in Hilo. Barbara and Gary were excellent hosts and treated us like part of the family. The fresh fruits served at breakfast were amazing. We will be going back soon; and we will be staying at the Shipman House!
3.4 on July 23, 2012
The house and grounds were beautiful and it was almost like visiting an interactive museum. We were a group of four (two different rooms) and we all agreed that while the rooms, view and food at breakfast were lovely, the level of scrutiny and rules to be adhered to, were somewhat off putting. It reminded me of being in a library with what felt like restrictions on sound and movement imposed by a disapproving head librarian. Don't get me wrong, the Anderson's are lovely people but we all got the feeling that they were somewhat socially challenged and therefore seemed more forbidding than they actually intended. As a result, we found ourselves tiptoeing around and speaking in whispers.We are all seasoned travellers in all parts of the world so one can only imagine what people who were less so might think.
5 on July 18, 2012
Staying at the Shipman House B&B was the highlight of our trip to the Big Island. Barbara and Gary are gracious hosts with a wide knowledge of Hilo history and points of interest. The accommodations were excellent with clean rooms, full amenities and interesting local decorative touches (woven straw rugs, Hawaiian quilts, tasteful Hawaiian artwork, etc.). The breakfasts were lovingly made with platters of exotic tropical fruits and freshly baked goods, smoothies, juices, hot cereal and very good coffee. The location is only a short walk from downtown Hilo. Our family agreed that we would all like to visit Hilo again, and when that day comes, there is no question that we will return to the Shipman House B&B!
4.8 on July 16, 2012
Our stay at Shipman House was fabulous. The house is lovely, the rooms spacious. The most wonderful part of our stay was meeting our hosts Barbara and Gary.
5 on July 08, 2012
My husband and I recently had the pleasure of traveling through the Big Island of Hawaii. We had the good fortune to spend 2 nights at the Shipman House Bed and Breakfast Inn which was a grand old Victorian house that has been impeccably restored to its former beauty. Barbara and Gary Andersen were delightful hosts sharing knowledge of the area, customs and sights to see. The home is impeccable, comfortable and filled with lovely antiques. Breakfast was an education into the many local fruits available, and Barbara shares her own recipes for granola and a variety of breads. My personal favorite was the geckos who whimsically appear at breakfast to share a few crumbs Barbara feeds them. We hope to return some day. Cheryl & LeRoy Pickrel
3.8 on June 28, 2012
Absolutely stunning property with beautiful grounds, chock full of wonderful antique furniture. The family history stories from Barbara and Gary were interesting, the breakfast fruit platter was a delicious learning experience! Would recommend this B & B to everyone.
5 on June 18, 2012
We immediately felt in love with the house and our rooms and Barbara and Gary are great hosts which gave us all the local information you need to make the stay a great experience. The breakfast is delicious with the best homemade food and the freshest fruits from the garden.
5 on June 13, 2012
A fascinating and beautiful house, with gracious and informative hosts. A wonderful experience overall.
4.8 on June 10, 2012
The Shipman House was perfect for our stay in Hilo...large room with a varied and excellent breakfast. Barbara and Gary were super hosts, sharing the history of the area as well as offering spot-on suggestions for activities and dining. The best part was that we felt like we were in the 'real' Hawaii, from the location of the lodging to the hula kumu who teaches on Tuesday nights. We loved it!
5 on June 09, 2012
The proprietors were gracious, the breakfasts were great and the room was historic, spacious and comfortable.
5 on June 03, 2012
My wife and I spent just over two weeks on the Big Island, with Shipman House being the last place at which we stayed. We stretched our budget a little more than normal, but it was well worth it. It is a historic and beautiful house, which Barbara and Garry have restored with much of the original furniture. They are welcoming hosts who made us feel very much at home. We stayed in Auntie Carrie’s Room. Just outside our room, on the first floor was a balcony overlooking the front garden, plus providing views of Hilo bay. Breakfast was a great experience, with an amazing range of fresh fruit, plus freshly baked breads and muffins, as well as Barbara’s own brand of granola. My wife is on a gluten free diet, and that was also accommodated for. Each morning at breakfast, Barbara and Garry chat with the guests at breakfast, and ensure everyone is introduced There was no TV in our room, which is no bad thing. There appeared not to be laundry facilities, a minor disadvantage, as there is a laundry not far away. Shipman House is in walking distance to the shops and restaurants around Hilo bay All in all, I think that Hilo was one of the most charming places we visited on the big island, and this was in no small part due to Barbara and Garry, and Shipman House.
4.6 on May 23, 2012
What a treat to stay where Queen Liliuokalani spent afternoons with Mary Shipman, eating poi and playing her own compositions on the grand piano. Lovely rooms and wonderful location. The Anderson's are gracious hosts who know how to make their guests feel welcome. The array of fresh fruit, homemade bread made, and good conversation for perfect breakfast fare.
3.8 on May 17, 2012
The only thing that I found improvable was the mattress - it took half a day in the mornings until I felt comfortable to walk upright. Joachim M.
4.0 on May 07, 2012
Staying here is like staying at a good friends place. The owners Barbara and Gary share their expertise with you as well as have breakfast each day with their guests. Everyone is introduced and made very welcome. The breakfast is delicious with a wide selection of tropical fruits, Barbara's famous muesli and fresh baked breads and muffins. The house is quite famous in Hilo and the furnishings and nick nacks are worth viewing. The rooms are large and the beds comfortable. This B&B is located in downtown Hilo close to many good restaurants and a 35 minute drive to the volcano. In my opinion for siteseeing on the Big Island, Hilo is the best place to stay, better than Kona, regardless of the regular rain in Hilo
4.2 on May 07, 2012
The Shipman House is a family museum, and a treasure. The innkeepers are friendly and offer helpful suggestions to make a visit to Hilo memorable. We stayed in the Makai room and appreciated the cleanliness, the simple but tasteful furnishings, the quiet, the morning sunshine AND even the song of the frogs, though the room is supplied with earplugs in case the singing loses it's charm. I had thought the breakfast ending at 9am was too early but it was really a favor to us because it got us up and out and exploring the beauty of the area. Take home some of Barbara's toasted macadamia ginger granola.
4.6 on April 30, 2012
Geat place easy to get to and central to everything. Quaint setting and relaxed. Delicious breakfast and friendly hosts! We will return....!
3.4 on April 23, 2012
the cottage was quietly elegant in the old local fashion. the owners are well aware of what they have inherited and gracefully share this knowledge and gift. the gtounds are lush and available.
4.6 on April 14, 2012
We had a great time at Shipman Bed & Breakfast! Great room, amazing breakfast and the owners were so nice and very helpfull.
5 on April 12, 2012
awesome!! and the breakfast's were the best...!! thanks to our kind hosts...
5 on March 20, 2012
A wonderful place, a great performance, fantastic owners, an excellent choice. Once again Thank you! Lina&Andreas
5 on March 19, 2012
We don't really need to say anything more! It was more expensive than we wanted to pay for a night, but it was well worth it! Shipman Inn was an amazing property! Gary and Barbara were wonderful hosts! We would have liked to spend more time with them, but we had plans for sight-seeing in Hilo. Their recommendations for dining and sight-seeing were "right-on". We hope to stay with them again!
4.6 on March 12, 2012
My husband and I spent 3 delightful nights at the Shipman House Bed and Breakfast in Hilo. It is truly a beautiful home set in a beautiful, lush setting. We stayed in Auntie Carrie’s room, a large, comfortable room on the second floor. The owners, Gary and Barbara Andersen were a pleasure to meet. This is their home and running this bed and breakfast is not just a job to them. They were always available to answer our questions. They had plenty of literature in the room concerning activities and places to dine. They were at breakfast (wonderful) every morning, interacting with the guests. They care very much about giving you the information you need to enjoy your stay and enjoy it, we did!
4.2 on March 10, 2012
Shipman House is situated on a peaceful island located in a part of Hilo that is convenient to many of the highlights on the Island of Hawaii.. The house itself is beautifully restored and Barbara and Gary are the perfect hosts. I highly recommend this B & B.
4.8 on February 28, 2012
Treat yourself to Shipman House B&B while you're on the Big Island. I did, and I don't regret it. Top flight hosts, location, breakfasts and accommodations made me feel as if I really were in paradise. Rooms are romantically historic yet spotless and full of creature comforts such as quality linens and toiletries and an iPod-friendly clock. Easy walk into Hilo to shop and eat. Birdsong and coqui song will wake you. Just a great spot. And the smoothies make getting out of bed worth the effort.
4.8 on February 24, 2012
My husband and I stayed several days at the Shipman House B&B and fell in love with Hilo and the Big Island, largely thanks to the true "aloha spirit" and hospitality and beauty we found here. An amazingly delicious breakfast of local fruits, homemade jams (loved the lilikoi butter and baked muffins) and great granola -- while overlooking Hilo Bay and the lush plants in their yard. Comfortable and luxurious accommodations, plus museum quality collection of antiques. Most of all, our hosts provided invaluable insights and guidance on what to see and do in Hilo and its surroundings. A not-to-be missed experience.
4.4 on February 22, 2012
We enjoyed our stay with the Andersons home as well as the conversations with other lovely guests during breakfast. The house was enjoyable, clean, charming, and well equipped. Loved the kimonos. The breakfast food and fruit was delicious and plentiful. We did hear the frogs our first night but didn't really need the ear plugs provided. The second night it rained and the sound was wonderful. The sights and sounds of this place were fantastic, just what we hoped for. We would definitely recommend the Shipman House to others looking for a nice get away. Irene and Dennis Two nights: Feb 16-17, 2012. Checked out on the 18th.
4.8 on February 14, 2012
Barbara and Gary have done a fantastic job in beautifully updating the Shipman House, which holds a unique place in Big Island history. To top it off, they are gracious hosts, always ready to share a story about their house, the fantastic native fruits that always seem to show up for breakfast or things to do in Hilo. Barbara even found me a great dentist who saw me in an hour when I broke a tooth one morning! We loved the old pictures, books and memorabilia decorating their B & B and staying in the room that Jack London used during his visit years ago was a real treat. The Shipman House was one of the highlights of our long visit to Hawaii and we recommend it for anyone who is looking for a special experience. It's not inexpensive but we thought the experience was well worth the price!
4.6 on February 04, 2012
Wonderful owners with a personal interest in your visit. The breakfast was superb! We would recommend this B&B without reservation. The island is a great destination but it was made more wonderful by the chance to stay at this B&B. Thanks Barbara and Gary. We will be back.
4.0 on February 04, 2012
comfortable, aesthetic room with lots of light and pleasant breezes; great breakfasts, friendly hosts; and cool landscaping.
3.2 on February 01, 2012
Barbara and Gary are charming hosts. The Inn is a historic building in Hilo located with easy access to everywhere on the Island. The breakfast was authentic Hawaiian with nearly all items from their property. The hosts were part of breakfast to share information and their hospitality, which was enjoyable. The only thing that wasn't good was the WIFI, which is their ISP. ATT 3G service was available but also not consistent.
4.0 on January 13, 2012
We spent two nights at this lovely B and B. Our room was not in the main house but was perfect for our needs...very comfortable. The view from the side porch of Hilo Bay was a delight...next time we will select the room with that view! The breakfast was terrific with a wide variety of tropical fruits mostly grown by Gary and Barbara. Gary's passion fruit butter and and Barbara's macadenia granola were just delicious....not to mention the Shipman sunrise smoothie! We would highly receommend this B and B.
3.4 on December 03, 2011
Very nice B&B; brkfst was terrific w/local food; wish the bed was a king w/memory foam but slept fairly well; love the open window/screens/muslin curtains/breeze; quite expensive, though.
1.0 on November 29, 2011
A tour of the breakfast fruit was nice ONCE (it was done each day for new arrivals), but getting a tour of the Victorian house would have been better. The breakfast was lacking - nice breads and juice, but little hot food (a limited supply of oatmeal) in the way a guest would hope for at a nice B&B. Nobody ate the pink and blue highlight-coded eggs that were iced in a bowl and had been boiled in earlier days (coding identified when the eggs had been boiled). Sleeping was a challenge due to wildlife and lack of heating. Coqui frogs, en masse, chirped all night until it got cold, and there are rats building something in the attic. There has to be a better way to treat guests. Asking for the guest's identification when settling the balance and checking out was a bit much. For a once grand and historic old Victorian home, it was disappointing as a bed and breakfast establishment. Other guests were similarly disappointed. We will not return.
I am so sorry you were disappointed in your stay. Please let me clarify some of your points. Tours-- Yes, we DO give a breakfast tour to new arrivals, so they know what they are eating and how it may taste. I had no idea it offended guests who had enjoyed the same tour previously. House tour-- I used to give a long personal tour of our lovely Victorian, but soon realized some people would rather spend more time on THEIR own interests, rather than someone else's, so we printed self-guided tours that we point out at check-in, and another copy is in each guest room. We are available to answer questions, too. Breakfast-- By county ordinance, B&Bs are restricted to serving continental breakfasts, not hot breakfasts. It has to do with being a homestay. We hardboil more eggs than we serve, so a spot of color dates the egg, and there are no old eggs. We could boil fewer at a time, but it's hard to predict just how many will be eaten. Sleeping-- We realize jungle sounds at night are unfamiliar, so we provide bright orange ear plugs for all guests. Jungle noises may include heavy rain on large leaves, palm fronds brushing against the roof, palm seeds blowing onto the roof, or chirping coqui frogs. Cold-- At this time of year, it may get chilly at night, so we make sure all guest room windows can close, and there is an extra blanket in each guest room closet. ID-- We swipe the guest's credit card through the machine for the balance due at checkout. If the card is not signed, our credit card processor requires us to verify the signature on the receipt with that of some other identification. Yes, it can be awkward when someone has already been staying here a few days.
4.2 on November 06, 2011
Shipman House and Gary and Barbara Andersen couldn't have been more wonderful. The property, the view, and the renovation of the home are all exquisite. But what made my stay unique and special was the personal care and attention they lavish on their guests. Their handmade morning breakfasts with fresh tropical fruit picked from their garden and with homemade jams and baked goods would be a treat in and of itself. What I loved even more was how they joined their small group of guests in the morning, and over coffee listened to our plans, and gave excellent travel recommendations. Their great advice led me places I may have passed over, and helped me avoid other travelers traps. A truly special place and special people to visit.
3.8 on October 11, 2011
Shipman House certainly made our stay in Hilo memorable, and the breakfast was a wonderful way to start our day!
4.6 on October 04, 2011
Our stay at the Shipman House was perfect. Gary and Barbara were so helpful and friendly, they made us feel almost like family. The breakfasts were the best ever as were the accomodations. Bill and Rae Krueger
3.4 on October 04, 2011
We stayed in one of the rooms in the cottage and it felt like our home, very spacious room, very clean and a lovely feel around it. Hilo`s center (including the market) is actually in walking distance (10-15 minutes), which we liked a lot. Highlight is definitely the breakfast, with all tropical fruits grown on their grounds, home made bread, all served on the great lanai with sea view. Barbara and Gary know how to make you feel at home!
4.8 on September 09, 2011
We stayed at the Shipman House B&B for three nights and even though we're not normally B&B people, we really loved the house, our room and our hosts Barbara and Gary. We stayed in Aunty Clara's Shell Room in the main house. Our private bathroom was just outside the door to our room. Our room was very quiet in relation to hearing anyone else in the house and our bed was super comfortable. There are frogs that chirp outside at night, but they didn't bother us at all, even my husband who is normally a terrible sleeper. There is no airconditoning, but there was a fan that kept us comfortable (again, even the husband who desperately needs aircon at all times!). It's a shame that some other reviewers have complained about certain things, ie not wearing hard shoes in the house, not rolling luggage through the house etc, but this is a very beautiful old house that needs to be preserved and these issues are clearly outlined early on, so it's not like it would come as a sudden surprise to anyone. The buffet breakfast is just beautiful, with lots of fruit grown on the premises, toast, yogurt, granola, boiled eggs etc and Barb always bakes something delicious for the table too, loved that! Barb and Gary are very welcoming, have a wealth of knowledge about anything and everything and were easy going and easy to talk to. We normally are 'hotel' staying people who a very particularly about our tv, airconditioning, blackout curtains and anti-social ways, but we didn't care about any of it during our stay at Shipman House - we really enjoyed ourselves. If we're ever visiting the island again, I know where we'll be staying.
4.4 on September 06, 2011
Perfect location above Hilo, beautiful rooms (without TV and A/C - but without a real need for it), charming hosts, a luxury and healthy, tasteful breakfast. One place where You have to be before You die...;-)
5 on August 23, 2011
Shipman House is fabulous.....we can't wait to go back!
4.6 on August 03, 2011
A grand old B&B. The breakfast alone is worth the stay and Barbara is the most friendly and accommodating host you could ask for. Yes, it will cost a few dollars extra, but Barbara will insure your stay is as romantic and rewarding as it can be. They will even work with small children and accommodate your special dietary needs. I can guarantee that you will not find a more comforting B&B - The Holts
5 on August 01, 2011
Daily breakfast, accomodations, and overall service was exceptional.
5 on July 25, 2011
A recent 2 night stay at the Shipman House in Hilo proved to be what was expected and more. The Innkeepers were meticulous in the running of their B&B and the breakfasts were exquisite. Highly recommended.
5 on June 30, 2011
A beautiful home where Barbara and Gary see to your every need. More than just a room at an inn, it's a chance to experience the history of the area while enjoying modern day amenities. Their recommendations for places to go and eat were spot on and their home grown breakfast delicious. If you're interested in the history of the island this is the place for you. We had a wonderful time. Top notch.
5 on June 19, 2011
The Shipman House is truly a unique property, run and maintained lovingly by the great-granddaughter of one of the original owners, as well as her husband. Some of the antiques are museum-quality. The Hawaiian history throughout the house is intriguing and well done. The service is so friendly, warm and inviting, with lots of helpful hints on places to go and things to do.
4.6 on June 17, 2011
The Shipman House really defines what a B&B should be. Every aspect of staying there was perfect. Food, accommodations, local advice, etc. I would stay there next time I am in the area. Great find. Steve & Emily
5 on June 06, 2011
The house and grounds are outstanding. We felt totally at home at the shipman house. The owners are incredible people who go out of their way to make your visit memorable. Hightly recommond staying at the shipman house.
5 on May 31, 2011
Barb and Gary were fantastic hosts. The Shipman House is a beautifully restored victorian home. Breakfasts were great, lots of fresh fruit grown on the property. Barb and Gary were very attentive and gave lots of advice on where to go and what to do. We would definitely recommend the Shipman House.
4.2 on May 25, 2011
Beautiful house surrounded by nature. The hosts are very nice, attentive and helpful. Best breakfast in all our trip through different islands. Definitely the place to stay in Hilo.
4.8 on May 23, 2011
Would highly recommend! House is lovely. Great location. Hard to beat this for a relaxed stay in Hilo. Many thanks to Barbara and Gary to opening up their home as a B&B and as hosts. John W and Vicky (from N. Cal)
3.6 on May 13, 2011
We spent 5 nights at the Shipman House B&B. Our 1st room was on the 2nd floor and was spacious and lovely. The last 2 nights we moved downstairs(we knew this ahead of time) and we found the room dark. Barbara & Gary (innkeepers) were wonderful and knowledgeable hosts. Each morning breakfast was a beautiful and delicious assortment of fruits, fresh baked goods, Barbara's famous granola and more. it was all quite delightful. The innkeepers graciously accommodated our granddaughters who are living in the area. The location was perfect for walking into town. Mahalo to the Shipman House
5 on May 10, 2011
This is truly one of the best B&B in Hawaii if not the US. The rooms are great, breakfast is wonderful,Greg & Barb are outstanding hosts, and the house a real historical treasure.
4.8 on April 21, 2011
Convenient and warm welcome, spotless, lovely old Hawaii atmosphere, close to town but far enough away to be quiet and charming in a residential context. Wonderful hosts and helpful staff. Great breakfast, easy parking, nothing to criticize at all!
5 on April 20, 2011
The house and furnishings were absolutely perfect and immaculate. Hosts were incredibly helpful providing information and fun to talk with. I definitely hope to go back, next time with friends and for a longer stay.
5 on April 17, 2011
This wonderful old house and the people who run it are world class. We just stumbled on tothe web site and were rewarded with a beautiful experience. We'll be back. Bob and Sue, Honolulu
4.4 on April 13, 2011
To start off, Gary and Barbara were great hosts. They welcomed us, helped with our luggage, showed us around the home and gave up pointers on local hang-outs. I must say, we hit all their recommendations and had a wonderful time. The House is all you would expect from a beautifully restored historic home. The bedrooms are roomy and comfortable. The study was my favorite reading place after a long day of touring the town. And the breakfast....WOW. The fruits were amazing and Gary explained what each fruit was and what other fruit it tasted similar to. The homemade breads and jams; one word….YUMMY. The papayas were outstanding as well. We were even treated to a breakfast one morning with Gary and Barbara's grand-daughter and family. It was truly a relaxing and comfortable stay all around. We highly recommended the Shipman home!
4.2 on March 30, 2011
We definetely enjoyed our stay at Shipmen House. The host are excellent, helpful and the historic environment is a place you really can enjoy. Excellent breakfast is provided. Try the "Miracle Berry" from the garden! The sophisticated and calm environment is just 10 minutes walking from downtown Hilo.
5 on March 15, 2011
We stayed 4 days at the Shipman House. The breakfast is extraordinary. The room is roomy and well appointed though rustic. What you mostly get here as compared to other places or hotels are the sunny dispositions of Gary and Barbara Andersen. It is in their nature to be sincerely interested in people and they want to make doubly sure you have a good itinerary for the day. They gave us some great suggestions. Also eating in the AM with others is another place for tips. The weather was great and the town of Hilo is funky. Important to go to the Farmer's Market.
4.8 on March 11, 2011
This was really the nicest B&B we had ever seen/experienced! Impressive house with luxury rooms (and great views!). The nicest welcome and service during the stay (and great breakfast!). It was located perfectly, with Waipi'O Vally, the Akaka falls, the 'city center of Hilo' and Hawaiis Volcanoes National Park nearby! We would really recommend the place!
4.4 on March 09, 2011
Charming restored historic house with obvious attention to detail. Innkeepers charming and knowledgable. Best place in Hilo!
5 on March 07, 2011
This is the nicest place I have stayed in the Hilo area. The rooms, house, hosts and the breakfasts are superb. The hosts take great care of the guests and it is clear that they love their work and their home and the people who stay there. This was my second visit to their B&B and I will make my reservation soon for my next visit in 5 months. Thank you for sharing this little bit of history with the rest of us.
4.6 on February 21, 2011
The second part of our stay in Hawaii was in Hilo at this bed and breakfast. If we were to do it again (and we might), I would stay the whole time here. Barbara and Gary were very interesting and knowledgeable about the area and they supplied flashlights and umbrella's and a few other things if needed. The house is lovingly restored and full of antiques and history. It was delightful to have breakfast on the lanai with fresh fruit from their property and homemade bread, muffins and coffee cakes! After our day of exploring we would sit on the porch and enjoy the evening. Heaven!! We definitely recommend this B&B. February 2011
5 on February 04, 2011
Allright, how do you define heaven here on earth? Perhaps a stay at the Shipman house. What a beautiful building seeping with history-see the bed where Jack London stayed in the early 1900's, the first house in Hilo with plumbing and electricity (and a great story to boot)-that has been lovingly updated with the most modern conveniences. Breakfast on an open air veranda with freshly picked exotic fruit. An evening filled with the sounds of abounding tropical life and sea scented breezes. Best of all, two wonderful hosts, Barbara and Gary who share a lifetimes' insight into the authentic Hawaii. Simply put the best bed and breakfast experience my wife and I have ever had.
4.2 on January 23, 2011
Barbara and Gary are wonderful hosts full of great suggestions especially their recommendation of a hole-in-the-wall Thai restaurant. The breakfasts were the best we had experienced during our trip and we just came from the Muana Kea! We stayed in the guest cottage and loved having the use of both rooms and the porch which made it very private. We highly recommend Shipman House.
5 on December 01, 2010
Shipman House is a beautfully restored period house in a great location. Hilo is the perfect place to base yourself while you explore the many experiences available on that side of the island. Choosing to stay in Shipman House in Hilo was a great decision and one we look forward to repeating. Gary and Barbara were the perfect hosts and did everything to make our stay more rewarding. We loved our 3 nights in Aunty Clara's Shell Room and the delicious fresh breakfast every morning was a great start to the day. We would recommend Shipman House to anyone. David and Marieta Barnard, Avalon Beach, Sydney, Australia.
4.0 on September 26, 2010
We stayed 2 nights and were delighted by the hospitality shown by Barbara and Gary, the wonderful room and stunning setting. The breakfasts really are terrific and keep you going all day. stay there and enjoy it for yourself!
3.8 on September 21, 2010
The Shipman House is a fabulous historic landmark and walking museum, filled with family and Hawaiian history. Jack London once visited and Queen Lilliokalani once played on the Steinway piano. It's on a beautiful location surrounded by rainforest bordering a stream. Gary and Barbara are gracious hosts who are always accessible, in person or by cell, and who impart the history of the home with pride. The breakfast tropical buffet is colorful, healthy, and hearty; it includes fruits from their garden and surrounding farms. We stayed in the Shell Room with a beautiful view of Hilo Bay in the distance. We were surprised the bed did not have a headboard and that they weren't any curtains or window shades on the very large windows. One had to sleep with the windows open and use a floor fan for air circulation since there isn't air conditioning. The coqui frog invasion on the Big Island is prevalent in the rain forest surrounding the Shipman House since the loud chorus of sound at night requires the use of ear plugs, provided by the hosts. One gets used to it if you are used to tropical locales while vacationing but you should be aware. Overall, a good value but I expected more "finish" (head board, better mattresss, window covering, ceiling fan, etc.) for the high price.
4.0 on August 31, 2010
We stayed at the famous and historical Shipman House B&B for two nights during our visit to the Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii. Here is what we can summarize for you: Location: Very central to lots of tourist attractions. The volcanoes are only 45 minutes away which made our evening/night visit of to this special National Park not too tiring. Staff: Owners, Barbara and Gary, are friendly and personable. They have superior knowledge about Hilo and beyond. The Shipman House: This house carries lots of precious memories and is beautifully decorated with unique artifacts from different parts of the world. Be sure the play the grand piano in the living room, just like Hawaii's Queen Lili'uokalani did. Read all about it at their website www.hilo-hawaii.com Breakfast: If you like healthy breakfast, this place is for you! You will be served with fresh fruits grown on the property along with home made baked goodies and Kona coffee. Overall, we highly recommend a stay at the Shipman House to enjoy the relaxing and authentic life in the beautiful Hawaii!
4.0 on March 15, 2010
The Shipman Bed and Breakfast is a blend of "Four Seasons Hotel" quality and service, with "Martha Stewart" aesthetic sensibilities and attention to detail. The owners/operators, Barbara (an American Barefoot Contessa) and her quietly-handsome, soccer-playing husband Gary, were the perfect hosts. An elegant, yet relaxed and congenial atmosphere, first class breakfast, and a very convenient location. We stayed at this Bed and Breakfast in February 2010, and look forward to returning. Barker & Sullivan, Edmonton, Canada
5 on February 13, 2010
Once you've crossed the wooden "thunder" bridge entering Ka'iulani Street, you literally find yourself in another world. And when you set your eyes on No. 131, it dawns on you that you're in for something very special. Next thing, after having settled in your room (the gorgeous "Makai" in the cottage, in my case), you feel like not ever wanting to leave again. This feeling intensifies in the morning - after a good night's sleep with Coqui frogs singing their lullaby - when you're sitting in one of the rocker chairs on the lanai of the main building overlooking the gorge, sipping the last cup of great coffee after one of the most delicious breakfasts on the face of this earth ... Yes, it's hard to hold my horses, my raving is honest and sincere - I fell in love with that place! I'm glad I relied on my gut feeling. When planning my trip I had made it a point staying there even if it meant (re-)arranging my itineray around their availability. Shipman House certainly is not a bargain but it's definitely worth its price. Its location, its enchanted garden, its cleanliness, its old-world charm, and its calm and serene atmosphere are unsurpassed. But what would all that be without the people who make it possible?! Barbary and Gary are the most wonderful and considerate hosts you can imagine, always giving that special attention to every little detail. It's so obvious they love what they're doing as they're doing everything with love. This, I believe, is true aloha spirit. Far away from that paradise I'm sitting in my home in Germany, watching the snow coming down in a harsh winter that seems endless, writing this review that's taking me forever as I keep stopping to dream of that one of kind place in Hilo, Hawai'i...
5 on February 01, 2010
Was overwhelmed with the Customer service from Barbara! Much appreciated her openness and flexibility! The family B&B grouds were as beautiful as the pictures and the access was quite easy. Made my short stay comfortable. Hope to see you again soon....Mahalo!
4.6 on December 13, 2009
we had a fantastic 3 night stay with Barbara and Gary at the Shipman house in August 2009 as part of our honeymoon. We wanted to spend a few days on the other side of the hawaiian islands after a few days at the resorts of Kauai and Maui. Hospitality was fantastic. The best part are the amazing breakfasts of local coffee, fresh picked fruit from the grounds of the house, and fantastic baked goods. Gary would then pack us a LUNCH to go for our days travels! Barbara helped us plan what to do each day and gave use the supplies that we would need (winter jackets, flashlights, star maps). Their restaurant recommmendations were on point. No better way to sample the "real hawaii".
5 on December 05, 2009
We chose the Shipman House because it was close to a relative we were visiting in Hilo. However, we quickly came to appreciate the charm of the Shipman House and its friendly proprietors, Barbara and Gary Andersen. Our room was clean and we felt as if we were truly on vacation. The setting felt like another world. Barbara and Gary took the time to talk to us and share their trove of knowledge about life in Hilo. The breakfasts were outstanding--we enjoyed the array of fresh fruit (guava smoothies!), mac nut granola, and scrumptious muffins. The Andersens prove first-rate service, and our experience here was inn-spirational, inn-vigorating, and inn-credible!
4.4 on October 18, 2009
Thoughtful and knowledgeable innkeepers made for a great experience in Hilo. Breakfast was outstanding - highlighted local produce and family recipes.
5 on September 19, 2009
My wife and I stayed at the Shipman house and it is a beautiful location. Barbara and her husband are welcoming hosts and share the history of Hawaii and their B and B. The home has been in Barbara's family for many years and Barbara and her husband returned to the Island to operate it as a B and B. They do it right and our only mistake was our stay was too short. We will be back. The breakfast was outstanding and don't miss the cornbread! This is the best B and B on the Hilo side. Greg and Jackie Roberts, Gig Harbor, WA
5 on September 13, 2009
I do not think that my stay in Hawaii would have been as enjoyable if I had stayed anywhere other than Shipman House. From the excellent breakfast to the comfortable room, the elements of an ideal hotel are already taken care of to the smallest detail. Add to that the excellent hospitality from the innkeepers, Gary and Barbara, and it's safe to say that Shipman House offers an experience that cannot be beat. From conversations with them over breakfast one gets a truly unique perspective on Hawaii, as well as advice that surpasses any mere travel guide. For anyone who wants to experience the best that Hawaii has to offer, Shipman House is a wonderful starting point.
5 on August 24, 2009
Shipman House is extraordinary. Within this gorgeous home, Barbara and Gary Andersen host guests with graceful hospitality that is restorative and refreshing. Upon entry, guests are immediately greeted with the warm character of this beautifully constructed and furnished home. The meticulous attention to detail in this restored mansion establishes a marvelous ambiance that is fresh and clean and timeless. The quiet dignity of the house is immediately soothing to the tired traveler. This is a place that captures the eye and, at the same time, provides a calming and stately backdrop for an exceptional stay. As accurately described in other guests’ reviews and comments, breakfast is a special delight. The delicious and colorful spread of fresh fruit, much from the house garden, is complimented by Barbara’s delectable and ever changing baking. From the lanai, the view of Hilo Bay across a green, tropical expanse is soothing and picturesque. Guest conversations, interweaved with the Andersens’ fascinating explanations of local history, attractions and recommendations for the day, make breakfast the highlight of each morning. This is a place, in my opinion, much different that other B&Bs I’ve experienced. The stately beauty of the Shipman House and its surroundings, the lovely gardens, the rocking chairs on the porch and the quietness of the rooms make for an exceptional environment. Moreover, the Andersens’ personal attention to each guest makes a stay at the Shipman House a most wonderful experience. Having been their guest for 11 nights, I strongly recommend a minimum of 3 nights. This way guests can begin to experience the hospitality and the gentle rhythm of life that characterizes the Island of Hawai’i. Mark Gaspar Arlington, Virginia
5 on August 22, 2009
beautiful house, warm hosts, delicious breakfast. my daughters and i had a wonderful experience at this gorgeous, comfortable, hawaii victorian. the amazing antiques and the attention to detail alone made the house a living work of art. breakfast could not have been more enjoyable with the stunning array of local fresh fruit, home baked bread and granola, and kona coffee. can't wait to return to this lovely big island home.
4.8 on July 01, 2009
We had a wonderful time at Shipman House. Our room was exquisite and it had a beautiful, and very well equipped bathroom. Our hosts, Barbara and Gary, are extremely knowledgeable about the area and very willing to be helpful about activities in the area. They gave us great advice about when and how to visit the volcano nearby. And the breakfasts were delicious, served on the beautiful big porch. We met other interesting people there and had a totally wonderful experience. I would recommend Shipman House very highly to anyone who wants to see that area of Hawaii. I would definitely return there and would advise all of my friends to do the same. Debbie Burger
5 on April 25, 2009
Take an easy walk from the beachfront scenery, shops, restaurants of Hilo town. Cross a wooden bridge over rushing water, and you'll see the Shipman House Bed and Breakfast. An immaculate, perfectly restored, Victorian mansion rising above the surrounding jungle, this house was lavishly designed for tropical comfort. Plantation shutters opened from my enormous, fresh, and comfortable room onto a sweeping veranda, where I lounged sipping passion fruit juice as the sun set. Breakfast offered an array of tropical fruit grown on the Shipman lands. Mango, guava, star fruit, pineapple, passion fruit, exotic varieties of bananas, and many more. Plus fresh-baked goodies, hot entrees, and divine coffee. Guests are invited to play the grand piano, explore two levels of the mansion;and make themselves truly at home. Barbara Andersen, a Shipman descendant and current owner, is warm, welcoming, and a fountain of Hawaiian history, helpful knowledge, and Aloha spirit. Frankly, I didn't want to leave. This review is the subjective opinion
5 on April 11, 2009
It is a beautifull house, very well kept, clean. Barbara is the perfect host and makes it very pleasant to stay. She thinks about all the little things you might need, therefore nothing is missing in this B & B. Overall great !
4.8 on April 10, 2009
We really enjoyed our one night stay at Shipman House and we appreciated all of Barbara's suggestions for dinner. My favorite experience was sitting on the porch in the rocking chair and looking out over the beautiful grounds - by far, they were the most beautiful of any of the places we stayed on the Big Island. Equal to the beautiful grounds was the breakfast that morning - enjoyed the wonderful fruit grown right there on the premises and the special attention that Barbara gave each guest. We really enjoyed our stay and would love to return some day! Thank you, Gary and Barbara, for sharing your beautiful home.
4.0 on October 27, 2008
We enjoyed the beautifully-restored Shipman House. Barbara and Gary were very hospitable, and their local information, recommendations, and volcano updates were very helpful.
5 on October 27, 2008
Our lovely vintage cottage room had a huge bathroom with tiled shower built for two. We were lulled to sleep in a comfortable bed with jungle sounds in the background. Breakfast in the Big House was the best it could possibly be with dozens of tropical fruits picked fresh that morning and a delicious passion fruit butter to spread on our homemade toast that will not be forgotten. The service was especially gracious and attentive.
4.8 on October 23, 2008
Shipman House is a beautiful mansion surrounded by tropical jungle. While you are close to downtown, you wouldn't know it. The atmosphere is completely relaxed. The owners are a delight. My only regret is that I didn't stay longer!
5 on October 03, 2008
A last minute decision to spend one night in Hilo prompted us to search the internet. Having read a review, we decided to try the Shipman House. It is as it was described. A beautiful Hawaiian landmark, owned and operated by a delightful and welcoming couple; Gary and Barbara. We stayed in th e cottage and were serenaded by the local coqui. The breakfast was delicious and the time spent with them was informational and enjoyable. We will return to Shipman house on our next visit to Hawaii Island.
5 on September 28, 2008
We stayed in Aunt Carrie's room which was very large and nicely decorated. Extra little touches such as embroidered bed sheets and special soaps made it so much more special. Enjoyed a fabulous breakfast of home made breads, muffins and granola. Excellent coffee and fruit smoothies. Hosts very gracious and helpful with historical information, travel tips and activities information.
5 on September 26, 2008
The Shipman House is a beautiful bed and breakfast with wonderful hosts! We've stayed at a fair number of bed and breakfasts but none compare! The home was impeccable and beautifully kept. We took the self guided tour and found it very informative and interesting; it was fun to imagine what life was like when the home was built and to learn about the Shipman family. Barbara gave us a tour of the grounds and pointed out a lot of things we didn't know about the tropical plants they have. Gary and Barbara were very willing to suggest places to dine and things we shouldn't miss while we were in Hilo and were helpful with directions! Breakfast was extraordinary - we had the chance to try several fruits we didn't even know existed and the morning glory muffins and coffee cake were out of this world! We had a wonderful time - Thank you Barbara and Gary!
5 on September 25, 2008
our room was great
5 on June 03, 2008
Staying at the Shipman House was the highlight of my entire trip to the Big Island of Hawaii. It is by far the most elegant and exquisit bed and breakfast on the island. The innkeepers, Gary and Barbara Anderson, were extremely gracious to their guests. I stayed in Aunt Clara's room and felt like a queen on vacation. The grounds are prettier than a botanical garden. I will certainly stay there next time I go to Hilo, Hawaii.
5 on May 21, 2008
I have read the other reviews and I absolutely agree how wonderful the hosts Barbara & Gary were. They were so imformative on things to see and do! We have an open agenda to just explore and they pointed out the best places to go in our time. It was amazing to eat at local restaurants like the Seaside that were amazing and not as advertised as the cheesy tourist places. The house was so clean and very historic and a treasure if you like antiques. I read another review talking about the hassle of taking off your shoes and I completely disagree with the previous review. The house is in such great shape because the owners care so much about it. It is also a Hawaiian tradition! We were also informed before we booked that we would have to take off shoes. It was so clean and we have a gentle breeze in our room and it felt fantastic! There were also local juices in out refrigerator and kimonos in the closet for us to wear. It was an amazing trip and the house is unbelievable. The breakfast was amazing, fresh smoothies, muffins, fresh baked granola, hard boiled eggs, homemade breads and fruit that was grown on the yard. A++++ Amazing place to stay!!!
4.0 on May 11, 2008
Hi- We stayed at Shipman House in May, 2008, and were referred by LOCALS- that is, friends who have a house in Hawi, Hawaii. They said it was THE place to stay in Hilo, to make a completely Hawaiian vacation. It was indeed. We love history, and through relatives feel very connected to Hawaii, so were delighted with the feeling of the old mansion, and the great array of Hawaiiana books in the library on the first floor. I took one of them to bed with me. The views from the lanai at breakfast are gorgeous of Hilo's harbor. The breakfast food was the most authentic Hawaiian we had all trip- local fruits, home-made muffins (which Barbara packed with us to take on to the volcano part of the trip), enchanting jams, excellent coffee...we would stay there again, and Barbara was an informative hostess- and she changed our dinner reservation to a much more gourmet delight, which we are grateful for. We are glad we stayed there. The Goldsmiths
5 on May 05, 2008
What a wonderful surprise when I arrived at the Shipman House. I had no idea where my husband was taking me for my birthday weekend, as we departed Honolulu on Hawaiian Airlines. I was thrilled to be in such a historic and gracious home. The house was immaculate, the furnishings historic and interesting, the hosts gracious and friendly and the bedrooms and bathrooms well appointed. The breakfast each morning was to die for - starting with delicious coffee, a dozen different local fruits, home made granola and yogurt along with fantastic corn bread or macadamia nut coffee cake fresh from the oven. Barbara, the owner is extremely knowledgeable about all the plants, local history, restaurants and things to do and see. We had a wonderful weekend, couldn't have been better.
3.4 on March 31, 2008
The Shipman house has a lot of good and bad things. Good - Historic old house on a nice property. Owners have had it in the family for years and really care about it. Breakfasts are sumptuous and consist of home grown fruits and fresh baked products. Free hula lesson if you are there the right night. Owners are super-friendly and helpful with planning trips and suggesting restaurants. Bad - Owners insist on no shoes and you carrying (not rolling) luggage up 20 stairs to protect the floors. No shoes can be annoying as you are always taking them off and putting them on. Room was a large white box with no television and no air conditioning. The windows had to be open and since the house is old, the windows are not sealed properly so little bugs come in when the lights are on. Also coquis make noise the whole night. We liked it, but I can see where some would be kept awake.
Thank you for the review. We appreciate your pointing out the "bad things", but want to assure you guests should not be surprised by any of them on arrival. About 10 years ago someone else mentioned the no-shoes-in-the-house and the no-rolling-luggage-indoors policies, so I made sure both are posted clearly on the website, in the initial email availability response, and in all confirmation letters. We want all guests to be completely aware before they commit to a reservation here. Our National Register home's original floors are all soft Douglas fir, easily marred by hard shoes, grit and rolling luggage. In Hawaii, it is customary to remove shoes before entering a home, and locals wear slip-ons. We are also very careful to inform potential guests that all rooms involve stairs, and they may have to carry their own luggage. The part about not rolling luggage indoors is underlined. Because it is so pleasant on the island's Hilo side, air conditioning is generally unnecessary, but all rooms do have ceiling or table fans, just in case. In 11 years, we have had just six guests request a television. Our website states we have no televisions, but I would be happy to add it to the email correspondence, too. Coqui frogs arrived at our end of the street about 5 years ago, bringing their nocturnal 'bird' chirping. We do provide earplugs in each guest room for those who find the frogs unpleasant, but most visitors like their song, as you did. We want to thank you for this opportunity to clarify some of our B&B's little quirks.
5 on November 12, 2007
Shipman house is a rare jewel in B&B's. The rooms, house and grounds are impeccable. The furnishings are mostly original to the house and filled with the history of the house. Gary and Barbara are extremely warm and inviting and obviously love what they do. You will feel at home from the moment you arrive. Don't miss breakfast! The fresh fruits from the grounds shouldn't be missed and every morning there is a different baked item to fill yourself with. This is the place to stay for a night or a week. They also have great suggestions for sight seeing and dining.