Shipman House Bed & Breakfast Inn Reviews


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

Score Breakdown based on
260 Reviews

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A great stay!

5 on July 06, 2017

What a beautiful home! We stayed (3 adults) in the Makai room in the cottage out the back. A very spacious room and clean room, we were able to enter the main house to enjoy. Barbara and Gary were very friendly and accomodating, we took on their recommendations for dinner and activities. The morning buffet was devine, a great selection of local foods. Highly recommended!

One word describes it - Fantastic

5 on June 24, 2017

it was fabulous - beautiful property, excellent accommodations and wonderful hosts.

Wonderful stay in historic B & B

4.0 on May 24, 2017

So glad we had the opportunity to stay at this historic b & b before it closes next month. The location was outstanding and our hosts were very nice!

Shipman House, Hilo HI

4.8 on May 24, 2017

Great bed and breakfast to stay at while exploring the magical Big Island. Room was spacious and clean and had everything we needed. The breakfast was amazing and the proprietors made us feel like family. Would highly recommend.

a piece of Hawaiian aloha and history...

5 on May 14, 2017

We stayed here three nights in May. Our room was spacious and famous, the one where Jack London and his wife stayed. Outside our room was a wide veranda where we spent time, to sit,to enjoy being out of the rain and to absorb the peace. Breakfasts were divine. Home made biscuits, made by one of the owners and an explanation of all that was available by the other one. 4 kinds of granola, yogurt, toppings....various kinds of tropical fruit (all but papaya grown onsite)....bread and bagels that could be toasted, lilikoi butter, 4 or 5 fruit jams....fruit water for tea and coffee. And, the hosts sat and ate and talked story with us.

Victorian Hawaiian Delight

5 on April 30, 2017

Stayed in Aunt Clara's Shell Room for three days. I strongly recommend this B&B for travelers who want to stay on the east side of Hawaii. Barbara and Gary are delightful, thoughtful hosts. They restored Shipman House, a home that has been in Barbara's family for 100+ years. They know everything about the island and give very well thought out advice. The breakfasts consist of mostly homegrown fruits and from scratch baked breakfast breads, hot cereals, granola, hard boiled eggs, cheeses and yogurts. Must try the smoothies! Aunt Clara's private bathroom is not ensuite,, but the room looks out onto Hilo Bay. Beautiful!

Historic B&B

5 on March 22, 2017

Stunning location and more stunning home. We absolutely loved our stay, the owners are fun and engaging and the breakfast spectacular. You could not ask for better, just like visiting a friend.

Mahalo Gary and Barbara,

4.0 on March 19, 2017

It was lovely to be at your beautiful home. I enjoyed my rocker time in the morning and afternoons and the flowers and birds. You are very gracious hosts, making it feel as though each visitor is special. The breakfasts were outstanding. I loved the variety of fruits especially as there were some I hadn't tasted. I look forward to another stay with you in the future.

Amazing Experience

4.8 on March 12, 2017

I really enjoyed the history, character and gardens of the house. The Shipmans were very nice people and gave us an experience we will not forget. They explained their family history, the history of the area, and even the grew the breakfast ingredients on the property! They gave an explanation of everything on the fruit plate.

Wonderful Stay

4.8 on March 02, 2017

Stayed here for 2 nights with my 2 sisters and my brother-in-law. We fell in love with the beautiful home and greatly enjoyed Barbara and Gary, our gracious hosts. Wonderful breakfasts on their veranda were highlighted by a huge tray of local fruits. Returning to the Shipman House at the end of a busy day felt like coming home! Barb Miles City, Montana

Historic Hilo

5 on February 23, 2017

Shipman House is a treasure of Hilo for sure. Barbara and Gary are great hosts. The breakfasts are phenomenal. The house is gorgeous and very comfortable. It is a short walk to downtown Hilo. We also made the short walk in the opposite direction to see the Rainbow Falls. Would definitely recommend this B&B.

Great Experience

5 on February 20, 2017

The Shipman House lived up to the on-line reviews. The B&B is a true treasure. The location is private, yet an easy walk into Hilo. Conversations about Hilo with the owners over a magnificent breakfast were informative and helped direct our exploration of the area. Overall, I highly recommend the Shipman House, especially considering limited options for upper end accommodations in Hilo.

Shipman House - over the top as always

5 on February 20, 2017

Atmosphere is friendly. Breakfasts are excellent with a wide variety of fruits, homemade granola, jams, biscuits and breads. Home is a wonderful example of early 20th Century Hawaiian architecture. Lanais are plentiful and expansive. We have stayed at Shipman House many times and been never disappointed.

Shipman Review

3.6 on February 20, 2017

Gary, the host, was awesome!

Didn't want to leave

5 on February 16, 2017

Not only is Shipman House a beautiful, historic home, but the hosts, Barbara and Gary are so welcoming. I truly felt like we were guests, rather than customers. And the breakfasts. All that delicious fresh fruit, the Portuguese sweet bread, the homemade granola, and the lilikoi butter. I would go back in a heartbeat.

Historic Jewel in :Hilo

4.6 on February 14, 2017

This is my third stay at the Shipman House. A beautiful historic house filled with timeless family treasures and wonderful tropical views. . A sumptuous and exotic breakfast greets you. A special place full of Aloha. My favourite place to stay on the Big Island.

Great Stay!

4.8 on January 25, 2017

My husband and I spent three nights at the Shipman House Bed & Breakfast Inn to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary! Everything was wonderful and the breakfast fabulous! Gary and Barbara made us feel right at home and gave us excellent travel ideas to enjoy our visit most completely.

A lovely stay at a tranquil gem

4.8 on January 16, 2017

This is a beautifully-restored historic property, tucked away in a quiet and tranquil spot away from the road. The grounds are lovely, and at night the only noise is the gentle chirping of small frogs. Our hosts joined us in the AM for a delicious breakfast, featuring great fruits from their own property, and yummy baked goods. They provided excellent advice about activities, places to dine, etc. We had a wonderful time.

Wonderful Place to Stay!

5 on December 18, 2016

Where do I begin! We had such a wonderful time at the Shipman House. We loved Hilo and enjoyed every moment of our stay.- there was so much to do and see! Gary made us feel welcome from the minute we arrived, and we loved chatting with both he and Barbara every morning. Their passion for the island is infectious, and they were so eager to share their knowledge, advice, and stories about the island with us. We miss the sounds of the coqui frogs every night and the amazing breakfast every morning. The delicious fresh fruit and baked goodies every day were such a treat! Thank you Gary and Barbara, we hope to be back some day! Mahalo, Rebecca and John (11/15-11/20)

Unique B&B Location and Hosts

4.4 on December 15, 2016

My familly had a great time. Our hosts where very nice and helpful. Best breakfast ever!

Charming Historical B&B

3.6 on December 12, 2016

Delightful stay. Barbara and Gary are wonderful hosts.

Lovely and restful time at Shipman- a stay to remember

4.6 on December 03, 2016

Spent 3 nights at Shipman and was welcomed each morning with a taste of Hawaii food and hospitality. I felt very welcomed and cared for by the owners. I appreciate the history of their beautiful home. I would recommended and go back if I visit Hilo again.

Lovely and historic

4.8 on November 21, 2016

We loved the Shipman House. It is simply beautiful, a restored piece of Hawaii history. The hosts are delightful and informative. Breakfast is memorable -- fresh fruits grown on the property, amazing pastries, delicious Kona coffee. We are particularly fond of the quiet Hilo side of Hawaii and this will be one of our favorite stops.

Honeymoon at Shipman House

4.6 on November 06, 2016

Barbara and Gary are excellent hosts. The room and bed were very comfortable and tranquil. Getting up each morning for breakfast on the porch was a joy. Would love to return here!

Wonderful hosts. Delicious breakfast, a Hawaiian special!

4.4 on October 20, 2016

Shipman House was a good landing for sure. Perfect for first time visitors to the Big Island. Hosts guided us gently into Hilo and beyond. Wow.

Outstanding service

5 on October 12, 2016

We celebrated our mom's 80th birthday at Shipman House. The property was beautiful, the staff friendly and Barb and Gary went above and beyond to make our stay wonderful. I was very special and my mom couldn't have been happier. Thanks to everyone at Shipman House.

Ein Zuhause weit weg von zu Hause

4.6 on September 17, 2016

Wunderschönes B&B mit herzlichen Gastgebern, die sich liebevoll um Ihre Gäste kümmern und mit allem von Informationen zu Ausflügen, Kühltaschen für den Proviant bis zu Taschenlampen bei nächtlichen Spaziergängen versorgen.

A Must not miss experience!

5 on April 25, 2016

My partner and I have been in the hospitality biz for many years... we have never been to or had a more wonderful stay anywhere!! Barbara and Gary are wonderful hosts, the food from the estate was delicious ...and the house was amazing. Our only regret was not staying longer!

Best place to stay in Hilo

5 on April 08, 2016

Barbara and Gary are great hosts!!! They will give you great suggestions for lunch/dinner and things to do. Close to old downtown to walk but far enough away it feels like you are in the country. I stayed in the guest cottage....the only "issue" was the curtains where a little thin that if the porch lights were on it made the room a little bright. I will defiantly be staying here again!!! I already miss the fruit platter and Barbara's home made granola mix....

Historic residence with great service

4.8 on March 28, 2016

Wonderful experience!

shipman house B&B

3.6 on March 26, 2016

Gary and Barbara are very gracious hosts. The breakfasts' were fresh and delicious, accompanied by interesting and useful information about the island.

Lovely Stay

4.6 on March 23, 2016

Very comfortable room and hospitality. We hope to go back some day.

A Touch of Grand Plantation

3.4 on March 20, 2016

We only spent 2 nights here at the Shipman House as we were ending our vacation. A wonderful breakfast was served on a spacious verandah. Our Hosts were wonderful in explaining all the various foods. Close to the old downtown. We were in a back building which had everything we needed. I found accommodations in Hilo to be expensive.

Wonderful Stay

5 on March 11, 2016

Spent three nights in the comfy guest house and had three fabulous breakfasts with fresh fruits from the house gardens, homemade granola, and lots of yummy goodies. We were totally spoiled by the hosts and hated to leave.


4.6 on February 26, 2016

The most exceptional aspect was the interesting discussions with the owners - the house and Hilo history, guidance to sites and restaurants, broad selection of tropical fruits for breakfast (many fresh from the property), useful comprehensive booklet in each room about house, area, history, etc.

Hilo Happiness

4.2 on February 19, 2016

Loved our stay at the bed and breakfast. If you stay on the second floor getting your bags to the room are a killer. However, the knowledge of the area and sights to see advice Barbara and Gary give i.e. Excellent and will add to your enjoyment of your visit. We loved visiting with the other guests over breakfast. The fruit platters are worth the cost alone! It is a very old building and there is a slight smell in some of the rooms - that would be the only thing I would change if I could.

Outstanding in every respect

5 on February 15, 2016

This is a charming and historic B&B that we rate among the best we have stayed in. The house itself is worth visiting with its beautiful period furnishings. We loved that many of the fruits at breakfast came from the owners' garden. On the outskirts of Hilo, the home feels so private. A Victorian home in the middle of the rain forest with a view of the ocean is a real and rare treat!


4.8 on November 03, 2015

This is the ONLY place I would stay in the Hilo area. Seriously. Not because other options are lacking, but rather because Barbara & Gary have made Shipman House such a gracious and awe inspiring experience for the guests. If your travel takes you to the east side of the Big Island, you're making a mistake if you fail to book a room at Shipman House as your home base to see waterfalls, the volcano, museums, Merry Monarch...

Awesome stay at the Shipman House

5 on October 30, 2015

Ideal place for a "special get-away" with the one you love. Staff and owners of the property are very hospitable. Excellent accommodation, and delicious breakfasts in the morning. Very relaxing surrounding and very troplical. Much Aloha to the Shipman Ohana, Mahalo anui loa.- Larson, Major and Sakata.


5 on September 29, 2015

We love the Shipman House! This was our second visit and it was like returning to family. We recommend it to anyone wanting a first class B&B experience.

A wonderful change from the regular bed and breakfast

4.8 on September 28, 2015

The home was full of the islands history. It's old charm along with the attention and care from the owners made our stay peaceful and relaxing, The rooms were spotlessly clean and the sounds of the island wildlife at night were magical. The breakfast was fantastic¿¿

Wonderful place

5 on August 26, 2015

Beautiful house and nice rooms. Generous Buffet breakfast, we appreciate : the muffins, the lilikoi butter, the smoothie ... Anne et Christophe from France

You won't be disappointed.

5 on May 31, 2015

I'd love to find the correct expressions of gratitude to share with you how terrific Barb and Gary are along with their staff at the Shipman House. The grounds are fabulous, the home invites you in immediately and the greeting from Barb or Gary make you feel like you've truly arrived at a very special destination. The breakfast is a true delight as are the other guests you meet. You won't be disappointed. We've been going regularly for the last 11 years, always look forward to returning again. Kord and Jay

Great place to stay

5 on May 10, 2015

Lovely home. Wonderful hosts. Very knowledgeable about the area and extremely helpful. Great breakfast with a variety of local fruits and delicacies to sample. Highly recommend staying here.


4.4 on May 10, 2015

Barbara et Gary sont des passionnés de leurs îles et vous conseillerons merveilleusement sur quand et quoi faire pour vous faire partager des moments formidables sur Big Island. Le petit déjeuners est tout simplement divins et incroyablement originals ( fruits de leurs jardins, confiture, gâteaux maisons...) du jamais vu. Allez y les yeux fermes

Romantic Hawaii

4.8 on May 06, 2015

A classy address for visiting volcanos, observatories, and a lovely tropical coast. The rooms are pretty and clean.The owners are friendly and entertaining. Strolling to old Hilo to shop and eat at good restaurants is a treat.

Fantastic B&B

5 on May 03, 2015

The host were wonderful, wonderful breakfast with homemade bread and beautiful fruits. Very helpful with recommendations for dining and excursions.

Lovely Historic Home

5 on April 28, 2015

I love original historic homes. This place made our trip, curved glass windows with counter weights, high ceilings, unique window/doors leading to the expansive porch. All in a lovely neighborhood walking distance to downtown Hilo! Doesn't get much better! Coffee was ready early with newspapers to read until breakfast is served all with an awesome view!

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.

We came back!

5 on February 11, 2015

This year was our second January stay at Shipman House, and we will be back again next year. It is a place of calm, space, gracious hosts and fantastic breakfasts - plus a grand piano in the parlor that guests are invited to enjoy!

Wonderful stay at the Shipman House!

4.2 on February 03, 2015

We recently stayed 3 nights at the Shipman House and very much enjoyed the stay. It was a beautiful home with lots of history, clean, great location in Hilo and offered a fantastic breakfast! We stayed in the guest house which was quite and very private. I highly recommend this B&B.

Shipman House in Hilo is a Gem

4.8 on January 13, 2015

Beautiful historic home, wonderful hosts, and breakfast included an astonishing variety of tropical fruits from the property.

Wonderful Place and Hosts!!!

5 on December 20, 2014

What a wonderful place!! And the most gracious hosts!! We stayed in the guest cottage and felt like we were staying with relatives on a lush, tropical plantation. Every morning we would walk up to the main house, a beautiful Victorian mansion, and were not only treated to a wonderful breakfast consisting of a large array of freshly picked fruits (from trees on the property) and other yummy things but were joined by our host and hostess, Gary and Barbara, who ate and socialized with us and the other guests. Their home is gorgeous (we took a tour), the grounds are spectacular (as is the entire neighborhood), and as a special treat we were serenaded each night by the resident coqui frogs, which we fell in love with. We slept soooooo good! Can't wait to go back! Thank you, Barbara and Gary, for a wonderful experience. You two are the best!!! - P&S

Take Barara's Tips

4.6 on December 18, 2014

Enjoyed staying at Shippman house the hosts are knowledgeable about the area, especially with regard to dining options. Would have liked to stay longer, plan to return again with my husband.

Beautiful place with outstanding hosts

3.8 on November 25, 2014

Beautiful old Victorian house on an amazing tropical estate. The breakfast was outstanding. The best are the hosts Barbara and Gary, who made us feel truly welcome.

Essence of Hawaii

5 on November 16, 2014

We had an amazing time at the Shipman House B&B. The home is absolutely beautiful with Hawaiian history and personal stories enveloping every room. Barbara and Gary are wonderful hosts, sharing facts and history about the home, culture and community. The breakfasts were presented beautifully, including exotic fruits that are never seen on the mainland. Barbara prepares different breakfast items daily, incorporating local foods (poi, taro, macadamias, fruit) into traditional breakfast dishes (hash browns, muffins, fantastic smoothies). Barbara makes her own granola and it's delicious. We felt at home and were extremely comfortable and relaxed, wishing we had stayed a couple more days. We will definitely return with friends and/or family!

Loved the Shipman House and Hilo

4.4 on November 13, 2014

We were delighted with our stay at Shipman House. This beautiful 19th century Queen Anne Victorian mansion is exceptionally spacious, light and airy, with amazing antiques. Barbara and Gary are friendly and hospitable, with lots of great suggestions for activities, restaurants, and more. Our room in the main house was comfortable, with a great bed and good lighting, and the bathroom combined modern conveniences with period charm. The “ginger shampoo” -- a flower from their gardens, made a wonderful hair conditioner and was a special Hawaiian touch. An amazing variety of local fruit was a breakfast highlight, along with conversations with the other guests. Would definitely recommend and return.

Lovely old mansion

4.0 on October 27, 2014

We enjoyed our stay at Shipman House. The house is located close to the main part of Hilo but feels secluded. The house and grounds are lovely. The daily breakfast on the veranda is amazing with a wide selection of fruit, breads, jams, juices, and good coffee. The seating is at two large tables so you have a chance to get to know fellow guests. Our room was upstairs in the main house. The room was large and furnished with everything we needed, as was the bathroom. The room also included a notebook of articles about the area as well as restaurant recommendations. I would stay here again if visiting Hilo again

Beautiful B and B

4.2 on October 25, 2014

We very much enjoyed our stay at the Shipman House. Our inn keepers were excellent hosts! Delicious breakfasts each morning.

Relaxing B & B

4.6 on October 20, 2014

It was a wonderful and relaxing place to stay. The hospitality of Barbara and Gary was exceptional! Conversation was great and the sharing of information regarding the Island was welcomed!

A truly unique historical treat!

5 on October 08, 2014

This is a rare jewel indeed! And my thanks go out to Barbra and Gary for sharing this amazing home and allowing us a glimpse into a bygone era. This is a home not to be missed! And thank you for the great breakfast. I will be back!

Hilo Stay - September 2014

3.4 on September 20, 2014

Beautiful restored inn with lots of character. I found the common rooms to be more of a museum than a comfortable place to relax. It was warm in our room at night so we enjoyed the breeze while sitting on the lanai on the second floor. There was a wonderful selection of fresh fruit at breakfast with many that I had never tasted before.

Hilo Stay

4.6 on September 02, 2014

The Shipman House Bed & Breakfast is a beautifully restored mansion with a beautiful view. The rooms were large, clean and well appointed. The breakfasts were like none we had ever experienced, consisting of the widest selection of fresh fruits many we had never heard of. The owners were warm and welcoming and certainly people we would like to stay with again.

Old Hawaiian Feel

3.6 on August 26, 2014

What a beautiful and interesting inn! Owners/Innkeepers Barbara & Gary provide an inviting, informative, and tasty stay in a home over 100 years old with tons of character. The house is a museum with interesting decorating and old time functionality. Skeleton keys are used to enter the rooms and with this throw-back feel comes old school cooling: fans and a breeze. No A/C! Surprisingly, the room never felt uncomfortable. Another omission is tv but they do provide WiFi which is welcome accommodation. Fresh baked muffins, homemade jams/butters, and sweet fruits coupled with the island's best coffee give guests a wonderful start to their day. Barbara and Gary are more than willing to share the house's history plus answer any questions you have about Hilo and the rest of the Big Island. Highly recommended!!!

Historic Hilo

4.0 on July 27, 2014

The host and hostess are a delightful, helpful couple ready to share a wealth of information about their home, its origin and history, and their little part of the island. Their breakfast is a seasonal array of exotic fruits and beans. Tree frogs chirp through the night, but either exhaustion, the comfortable bed, or the available earplugs made them irrelevant to our experience. Overall, our stay was a very positive experience in a great vacation.


5 on July 23, 2014

Even though we stayed for two nights in Hilo during a rain storm, the Shipman House was luxurious respite for our getaway. Thank you Barbara and Gary.

Nani Nani

5 on July 18, 2014

Barbara and Gary Andersen are wonderful host for their lovely home in Hilo. They epitomize the Hawaiian term "oluolu" kind and gracious. The room was lovely and the breakfast buffet was over the top.

Hilo B&B

4.4 on June 26, 2014

We had a large front bedroom, en-suite. Some bedrooms have separate bathrooms. It does get quite warm in the house as there is no A/C but fans are provided. Speak with owners about which rooms are the coolest if this is an issue. Very personal experience and the breakfast is quite nice featuring many locally grown fruits and their own cereal. Nice location in a neighborhood. Pretty easy to get around to access local sightseeing and restaurants. Hilo may not be a "resort" destination but there is plenty to see and do. Owners are quite helpful.

Delightful Retreat at Historic Shipman House

4.8 on June 18, 2014

Shipman House is a uniquely historic property, an elegant and lovingly restored Victorian home, circa 1899, located on five lushly landscaped acres. Jack London and his wife Charmian were once house guests, as was Queen Liliuokalani, who enjoyed playing the Steinway piano in the parlor. In short, a visit to Shipman House is one of those rare opportunities to glimpse what life was like for a privileged few in turn of the century Hilo, Hawaii, while enjoying thoughtfully designed baths, and breakfasts featuring exotic fruit, often grown on the estate, and much, much more. History buffs will be fascinated to learn about Barbara Andersen's family, their long history on the island, and how they came to acquire Shipman House. Gary is a font of information about things to see and do in Hilo and beyond. We stayed in the guest house on the "Mauka" side, the one away from the main house (with the headboard from the original Jack London bed), and we couldn't have been more pleased or more comfortable (and we imagine the Londons were as well). Our room afforded plenty of storage, a small refrigerator stocked with water and juices, earplugs if the coqui frogs were just too much (we found them lulling), a notebook full of information about the house itself and really, really good restaurant tips!

Fantastic B&B

5 on June 16, 2014

This place took our breath away as we drove up. Fantastic! Our room was perfect, as was the whole place. The posted pictures are good, but being there is even better. The best part was sitting on the porch and watching the sun rises and then the great breakfasts of local fruits and breads (hence the 5 stars for "dining"). Our hosts were gracious and well informed. They know the island well including places to visit and to eat as well as the island's history. Highly recommend the Shipman House.

gorgeous incredible breakfast area of fruits!

4.6 on June 08, 2014

Beautiful location, close to town, in fact we walked to dinner. Barbara is wonderful. We had a lovely stay.

Large room, friendly owners, no rolling luggage on floors

3.8 on June 03, 2014

Just keep in mind that it is an old house, and there are tons of lizards and frogs living all around (and inside). The price was a bit steep compared to every other hotel we stayed at on the Big Island (especially if you compare what you get for the $$ at the mega resorts on Kohala Coast), We stayed in the "Shell Room", which meant we had to walk into the common hallway to get to our bathroom (not shared). The bed was comfy, the owners were very friendly and talkative. She had given us bad advice on our lava tour hike -- she advised against walking through mud as a 60+ yr old guest hated the experience, whereas my gf and I are early 30's and really enjoyed it. Still, we had a lovely view from all the windows, incredibly clean floors (have to be as shoes aren't allowed inside), secure parking (hidden from road), fresh fruit for breakfast every day, and a prepared binder full of Hilo restaurants and general house info. We enjoyed our stay!

Innkeeper Response
Thank you for the review! We are glad you enjoyed your stay, because we enjoyed having you here. As you say, it is an old house…on the National Register, in fact. Turning it into a B&B was a great way to share the house with visitors. Unlike a hotel or mega resort, a B&B’s owners and staff treat visitors like friends, and give guests advice based on personal experiences, whether theirs or those of other guests. We always ask guests about their restaurant and touring experiences, so we can pass along the most up-to-date feedback. Not everyone enjoys trekking through a couple miles of deep mud, but everyone should be allowed to make the informed choice. We provide kimonos for the walk from the “Shell Room” to its bathroom down a short private hallway. The other upstairs guestroom is at the far end of the main hall. In fact, all guest rooms have complimentary cotton kimonos “just because”. We also provide earplugs for those who do not enjoy hearing the coqui tree frogs during the night. Tiny coqui frogs, about the size of a gummy bear, live in trees and bushes. Guests compare their chirping to spring peepers in the East. Rarely do they hop onto the porch, and they do not come into the house. As for the 4” green geckos, (think TV commercial), they keep spiders and insects under control, and it would be unusual to find more than one or two in a guestroom.

- Barbara Andersen (innkeeper)

Shipman House Recent stay

4.2 on May 31, 2014

My daughter and I enjoyed our 2 night stay. The historic home is absolutely lovely and well maintained. Breakfast on the lanai was a treat with all the fresh locally grown fruits and homemade breads. The owners are very friendly, filled with great stories and advice, but not intrusive nor invasive! We recommend this lovely B&B to anyone wishing a quiet getaway.

A unique place in Hilo

5 on May 19, 2014

Shipman House is a treasure...and the hosts Barbara and Gary make a worthy effort to create a memorable stay in their beautifully restored and maintained Victorian home. They joined us at breakfast each day and offered helpful information on activities and restaurants. Breakfast itself is a delicious array of home baked pastries and garden fresh fruits. Loved the sunrise over Hilo Bay seen from the Shell Room, accompanied by the dawn chorus of birdsong. We gladly complied with th 'house rules' (shoes off, no rollers)...perfectly reasonable in light of Hawaiian tradition and the beauty of the hardwood floors. Would love to return someday.

Great place - full recommendation

4.8 on April 30, 2014

Outstanding B&B with great rooms, view, service and an awesome breakfast. Gary and Barbara take their time to guarantee that the stay meets all expectations.

Lovely House, Great Breakfasts

4.6 on April 04, 2014

We really enjoyed our stay at this B&B. The house was built in 1899 and is a beautiful old Victorian. The room was comfortable and quite large. The hosts were very knowledgeable and friendly. The breakfasts were a treat and included many healthy options, including fruit grown on the property. We highly recommend this place.


5 on April 02, 2014

I visited there with my wife, daughter and son in law for the first time. A warm hospitality and the beautiful house made our stay most pleasant and unforgettable. The breakfast with a variety of fruits was beyond expression. A lot of Japanese magazines reported of this house, but it is necessary for a guest to speak English. I would like to stay there again. Ryoichi, Tokyo, Japan

Outstanding choice

4.6 on March 30, 2014

Best ever breakfast, hospitality and beauty! Will gladly recommend Shipmans to others. Very helpful hosts that provided history and guides to activities.


5 on March 25, 2014

The most amazing place on the big island! If we ever go back to Hawaii we will absolutely stay here again! The owners, Barbara and Gary were so friendly and amazing! Felt like we were with family!

Shipman B&B stay March 2014

5 on March 24, 2014

My husband and I enjoyed this beautiful home and the company and care of it's hosts so very much. A truly spectacular B&B. The detail to furnishings, provisions of comfort, the wonderful breakfasts and the kindnesses shown will always be a treasured memory. Thank you so very much for everything. If we should get the opportunity we will be back again on your doorstep! Jola and Steve

Wonderful place to stay

4.2 on March 08, 2014

Really enjoyed the beautiful house and grounds. We stayed in the cottage, very roomy and pleasant. Barbara and Gary are friendly and gracious hosts, fun to talk to and helpful. And, loved the breakfasts, especially all the fresh fruit from their garden.

Heavenly Stay In Hilo

5 on March 06, 2014

A stay at Shipman Inn provides an amazing accommodation experience. The hosts Gary & Barbara provide wonderful hospitality within their grand home & cute cottage. We stayed in the cottage & loved the experience - colonial room, seclusion, singing frogs, tropical vegetation - sublime. Hilo was delightful town & reminded us of tropical Australia but without the snakes!

Tastiest/healthiest brunch ever

5 on March 06, 2014

Yes, come for the location and the setting in Hilo, on the less-touristy side of Hawaii Island. Yes, come for the warm Hawaiian hospitality offered by the Andersens. Yes, they are helpful and a great source of information for things to do, places to visit, and things to see. But, the things that most exceeded our expectations were: 1) the Tuesday evening hula lesson: not only was it a lot of fun, but it was also very informative about the history of hula and the stories behind individual dances. 2) the array of ripe tropical fruits, most of which were grown on the property, was truly astounding, and the hosts explained origins and qualities of each one. If you are very lucky, there will be taro hashbrowns (for those of you who grew up in the Islands). Also outstanding were the housemade Portuguese sweetbread (an old island favorite) and granolas, especially with the lilikoi (passion fruit) butter.

A Wonderful Hawaiian Experience

4.4 on February 27, 2014

My husband and I were in our final days of visiting Hawaii and wanted to see the Kilauea Volcanos Park. We made a reservation at the Shipman House in Hilo to be near our travels. We chose wisely. The house brought us back to less stressful times to sit on a porch and read, look at lovely lush greenery around the house and looking at all the antiquities that are so natural in the house. The breakfast was so genuine Hawaiian with fruits, breads and coffee from the island plus many more items to enjoy and experience. The aloha spirit was all around. Look forward to returning hopefully in future.

Old Hawaii still exists, and you can stay there

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.

February Stay

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!

Great Stay at Shipman House

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.

History lives!

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.

a perfect Hawaiian retreat!

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!

The Heart of Hilo

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.

The Big House Hilo, HI

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.

Spectacular home with friendly hosts

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.

Shipman House is a Great place to stay on the Island of Hawaii

4.8 on December 27, 2013

The place was beautiful, and hosts Barbara and Gary were fantastic. We will be back!

fabulous B&B in Hilo

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.

Insight into and Memories of Old Hawaii

4.8 on December 12, 2013

A wonderful taste of "old Hawaii!"

Fantastic B&B in Hilo

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.

Most beautiful House on the island

4.6 on November 30, 2013

Like staying with friends who own a gorious house. Beautiful guestrooms

Shipman house is a must in Hilo

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

Bed and rest for is

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

Historic home

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.

Beautiful and Historic

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!

Beautiful and unique B&B 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!

Very pleasant stay

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.

Our stay at Shipman House

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.

great place to stay

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.

Wonderful Place

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

Great Stay at the Shipman House

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.

Lovely B&B

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.

Pleasant Stay

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.

The best vacation spot in Hilo

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.

Relax in paradise

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

A superb stay at a lovely place

4.2 on August 30, 2013


Shipman House Excels!

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!!

Relax and enjoy Hilo!

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!

Great Stay in a Historic House

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.

What a beautiful place!

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!

Excellent B&B in Hilo

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!

Belle découverte

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 !

Shipman House visit

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.

Shipman Bed & Breakfast

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.

Lovely stay

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

Fantastic Bed and Breakfast

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)

Haven of Rest

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!!

Wonderful property!

4.0 on March 24, 2013

Great property; friendly and helpful hosts; great fresh homemade breakfast. Wonderful room in the cottage. Very quiet.

A gracious experience of historic Hawai'i

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.

The Shipman House

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!

A Delightful Surprise

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.

A Home Away from Home

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.

Relaxing step back into Hawaiian history

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.

Superb B&B

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!

Great charm, value and hospitality in Hilo

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.

Felt Like Home

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.

Excellent value for Hawaii

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.

FINMONINAL Bed and Breakfast Get Away!

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.

History, Hospitality and Charm

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!

authentic, quality B&B in Hilo

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!

Travel back in time

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.

Transports to another time

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

Our first stay in Hilo and Big Island

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.

Hilo's gem

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.

Stay at a museum

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.

Wonderful and Relaxing!

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!

Charming People / Lovely Home

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.

Double Rainbow

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

Wonderful Hospitality filled with Aloha!!

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!

Most pleasant stay in Hilo

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.

Shipman House is amazing

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

A true Hawaiian experience!

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!

Should never had left!

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.

Hilo Elegance

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!

our first time in a BB

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

Innkeeper Response
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!

- Barbara (innkeeper)

Amazing place!

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.

Stay at Shipman House

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.

Great place to stay, relax and enjoy Hawaii.

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.

A Weekend in Paradise

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!

Shipman House rules overwhelm

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.

Shipman House B & B in Hilo

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!

Shhipman house

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.

Capturing the grandness of a bygone time

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

Gorgeous B & B

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.

A great experience

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.

essentially the perfect B&B

5 on June 13, 2012

A fascinating and beautiful house, with gracious and informative hosts. A wonderful experience overall.

Great stay in Hilo

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!

Very relaxing visit

5 on June 09, 2012

The proprietors were gracious, the breakfasts were great and the room was historic, spacious and comfortable.

John and Brenda in Shipman House

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.

Immerse yourself in Hawaiian history here

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.

Great experience in historic house

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.

Great place to stay

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

Flawless Hospitality

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.

Hilo Stay

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....!

quite charming and romantic

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.

Shipman Bed & Breakfast

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.

Shipman House in Hilo

5 on April 12, 2012

awesome!! and the breakfast's were the best...!! thanks to our kind hosts...

Being part of the Family

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!

Delightful stay at a beautiful home

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!

An Oasis in Hilo

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.

Treat yourself at Shipman House

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.

A taste of the real Hawaii

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.

Big Island Getaway

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.

Staying in a piece of Hilo history

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!

A must stay if you are in the Hilo Hawaii area!

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.

richardson beach and hilo too

4.0 on February 04, 2012

comfortable, aesthetic room with lots of light and pleasant breezes; great breakfasts, friendly hosts; and cool landscaping.

Historic B&B with charming hosts!

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.

A breakfast to die for!

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 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.

Very nice B&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.

Old Boiled Eggs

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.

Innkeeper Response
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.

- Barbara Andersen (innkeeper)

An amazing, truly special place......

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.

A Living Museum

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!

The Perfect Bed and Breakfast

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

Museum and B&B

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!

Loved our stay at the Shipman House B&B!!

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.

19th century charm near the rainforest

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...;-)

Can't wait to go back

5 on August 23, 2011

Shipman House is fabulous.....we can't wait to go back!

Historic B&B

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

A Pleasant Experience

5 on August 01, 2011

Daily breakfast, accomodations, and overall service was exceptional.

Breakfast in Paradise

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.

Vintage Hawaiian with a personal touch

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.

Shipman House

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.

Vacation Stay at the Shipman House

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

shipman house bed and breakfast inn

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.

A fantastic experience!

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.

Great place 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

Parham's visit to Hilo

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.

Lovely stopover in Hilo

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!

The absolute best B&B

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.

Old Hawaii Charm

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

Loved it!

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!

March 2011 Stay

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.

Very pleasant stay.

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.

The nicest B&B ever!

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!

Most charming historic B & B

4.4 on March 09, 2011

Charming restored historic house with obvious attention to detail. Innkeepers charming and knowledgable. Best place in Hilo!

Paradise Perfection

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.

Four Days in Paradise

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

Slice of heaven

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.

The only place to stay in Hilo

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.

Staying at Shipman House added an extra dimension to our Hawaiian holiday

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.

We loved Shipman House!

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!

Grand, historic home; be prepared for coqui frog noise from outdoors

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.

Shipman House is worth the trip!

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 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!

Four Seasons Meets Martha Stewart

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

Second to none

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...

Business Stay at the Shipman House

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!

best way to experience the "other side" of hawaii!

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".

Inn-credible stay in old 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!

Great find!

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.

The Top Spot in Hilo

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

Shipman House

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.

Shipman House, Hilo, Hawai'i

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

Hilo Heaven

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.

A Beautiful Experience

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

What a discovery!

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 !

What a wonderful B&B!

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.

A part of local history

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.

Enchanting Experience

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.

Hidden Treasure

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!

Hilo Gem

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.

Beautiful B & B

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!

Great place to stay

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.

AMAZING with a capital "A"

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!!!

Wonderful referral...

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

A Romantic Birthday Weekend

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.

Best breakfast but beware...

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.

Innkeeper Response
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.

- Barbara Andersen (innkeeper)

Experience Historic Hawaii at it's Best

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.

Shipman House Bed & Breakfast Inn


  • Nightly Rate $219 - $249
  • Reviews (260) 4.6
  • Rooms 5
  • Accepts Gift Cards

Contact Innkeeper

  • Phone 1-8089348002
  • Fax 1-8089348002
  • Toll free 1-8006278447
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