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Shipman House Bed & Breakfast Inn

131 Ka`iulani Street , Hilo, HI 96720 USA (Show map)

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Historic family estate with huge comfortable guestrooms, private modern baths, free WiFi. Famous breakfast buffet with fresh tropical fruits. Hosts with extensive knowledge of the area are happy to help you plan the most for your visit. Near town, volcanoes, snorkeling, waterfalls. Learn a hula; explore our five lush tropical acres.



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  • Guest room4.5
  • Service4.8
  • Value4.3
  • Cleanliness4.7
  • Onsite Dining4.8

Score Breakdown based on
212 Reviews

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Great Stay In Hilo

5 on April 07, 2015

Wonderful property, owners friendly and a piece of Hawaiian history in the perfect setting.

A Short Stay in Paradise

5 on April 07, 2015

We have stayed at many Bed and Breakfast establishments in the Central Coast area of California and the Shipman House experience beats any we've ever seen. Barbara and Gary Andersen (the hosts) have done an outstanding job of renovating the historic house and have recreated a bit of a magical experience for their guests. I was in "hog heaven" as a former history teacher! We stayed in the guest house the first night since all the rooms in the main house were reserved. The room was quite comfortable and had an attached bathroom. The next two nights we stayed in Auntie Clara's Shell Room in the main house. The "shell room" had a private bath across the hall so a privacy robe was provided for each guest. The house is located a short distance from downtown Hilo and is situated on Reed's Island, between two rivers. Check out the the pictures in the Bed and Photo Album of the house, the furnishings and the incredible continental breakfast. Most of the fruit is grown on the property and we must have tried 8-10 fruits that we've never experienced before. Toast and breads, fresh home made muffins, hot cereal and a great Macadamia Nut Granola were included along with cups of the most outstanding coffee we've ever had. We toured the house with the help of a self guided notebook and really sensed the history of the rooms. How many times does one experience sitting down at a grand piano that the Queen of Hawaii played? The list of notable visitors from former years goes on and on. Jack London, Amelia Earhart, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr., Cecil B. deMille, Lauritz Melchior, cole Poprter, Edward G. Robinson, Paul Newman, Janet Gaynor along with many others. The Andersons give us excellent advice and recommendations for dining and touring the Hilo area, including the amazing volcano experiences. We couldn't have been happier with all aspects of our stay..

Pleasant stay in Hilo

5 on April 07, 2015

We enjoyed mornings sipping coffee on the large porch and conversation with the other guests and our hosts. The baked goods and fruit for breakfast were delicious!

Lovely B & B

4.2 on April 06, 2015

This B & B looks like something from a fairytale. Large comfortable rooms with fine antiques and interesting books and articles. We enjoyed the way framed photos were displayed in the upper hall - casually set on benches, as if they were getting ready to be hung. Breakfast was wonderful, with lots of fresh tropical fruit, yogurt and homemade granola.

Happy in Hilo

4.6 on April 03, 2015

Loved this B and B! I would definitely return and recommend it to others. House and grounds very well-kept and I loved my large room, bath and porch in the guest cottage.

Must-Stay in Hilo

4.6 on March 06, 2015

We stayed here for 2 nights on a recent trip to Hilo, and it was the best accommodation decision! Everything about this charming B&B, from location to the hosts to the views to the rooms and the house, was perfect. And their breakfast was absolutely amazing; this was our first stop in Hawaii, and we did not have a breakfast like this for the rest of our trip. We went during a slight drought, but even so, the local fruits and juices and everything else was incredible, so I can only imagine what it's like during a good harvest year for the property's own fruit trees. The hosts were also really great, their family tries to generally eat breakfast with their guests, and they're a fantastic source of information. The location is very central. All in all, there is absolutely no doubt that if you are visiting Hilo, this should be the only accommodation option! We will definitely be staying here again if we visit Hilo.

Lovely Hosts

4.2 on February 25, 2015

Extraordinary home, magnificent breakfasts and very helpful hosts.

Hawaiian spirit hosts

5 on February 23, 2015

Beautiful place with historic value on top Very nice hosts ( Gary and Barbara) who know their island well andmake you feel at home All dinner recommandations they gave us were excellent

Excellent B&B

5 on February 21, 2015

This Victorian B&B is magnificent! The rooms are furnished with period pieces, many original to the house. The surroundings are really beautiful, peaceful and quiet.) Innkeepers Barbara and Gary are terrific hosts. They’ll sit down with you at breakfast and fill you in on the history of the inn, on the history of Hilo, and will give you good ideas of what to do, where to go and sites to see. And speaking of breakfast, they’re great – especially Barbara’s muffins and corn bread. But the pièce de résistance is the help yourself platter full of tropical fruits that are not only delicious but beautiful to look at! It’s a work of art! Try them all!

Three Visits - Always Great

5 on February 14, 2015

This was our third visit to the Shipman House in Hilo, the first in 2001. The house itself is magnificent. Barbara and Gary are exceptional hosts. The breakfast is over the top. The suggestions for visiting in the area are spot on. We hope to have the opportunity to visit more in the future. Satisfied guests from Connecticut.

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Location Type

Countryside, Small town, Tropical


Hilo, Hawaii (Big) Island, HI (ITO) 4 miles

Directions to property:

From Hwy 19 in Hilo, turn up Waianuenue Ave. Turn right at 3rd light onto Kaiulani St. First house on left after wooden bridge.

Area Attractions

Antique Shopping, Aquarium, Art Galleries, Beach, Gourmet/Fine Dining, Historical interests, Movie Theater, Museum, National/State parks, Nature area, Ocean, Waterfalls, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Farmers' Market, Orchid Nurseries, Botanical Gardens, Surf Beach, Performing Theater, Picnic area, Religious Services, River, Rodeo, Winery, Zoo

Inn Details

Establishment type

Bed and Breakfast, Historic Inn

On-site amenities

Copier, Fax Machine, Fireplace, Library, Piano, Telephone , Fresh Flowers, Hula Lesson, Free Internet Wireless

Room amenities

Alarm clock, Amenities Basket, Bath robes, Board games, Ceiling fans, Desk, Fridge, Hairdryer, Internet Service, Ironing Board, Private entrance, Radio, Wi-Fi

On-site activities

Bird watching, Fishing, Golfing, Hiking trails, Kayaking, Hula Lessons, Birding, Whale Watching, Picnicking, Shopping, Sight-seeing, Swimming pool, Tennis courts

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  • Check In:: 3pm
  • Check Out:: 10am
  • Open All Year Round: No
  • Smoking Allowed: No
  • Drinking Allowed: Yes
  • Alcohol Provided No
  • Suitable For Children: Limited Limited
  • Childcare Provided: No
  • Guest Pets Allowed: No
  • Disabled Access Limited

Terms and Conditions

  • Minimum Stay: 2-night minimum unless a single night is available between other bookings.
  • Accepted payments Other, AMEX, VISA, Mastercard, Travelers checks, Cash
  • Deposit Amount Required: One night's deposit, 50% for longer stays, balance on arrival.
  • Cancellations: Refund less 5% for cancellation 2 weeks before reserved date. Within 2 weeks of reservation date, refund less 5% IF accommodation is rebooked.



Gary and Barbara Andersen

Languages spoken


About the innkeepers

A Shipman great-granddaughter, born in Hilo, Barbara experiments with local foods and flavors, and paints in her spare time. Gary, from the San Francisco Bay Area, plays soccer, and would like to hunt and fish more.

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Continental Plus

  • Time Served: 7:45 - 9:00 A.M.
  • Serving Location: on the verandah

Special meal options

Low fat , Restrictive , Vegetarian , Gluten-free


131 Ka`iulani Street , Hilo, HI 96720 USA (Show map)

Property highlights

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