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Review of Mary's Motel

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Mary's Motel
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Tarawa Atoll
Duneidn
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“OK”
Reviewed 26 May 2012

Pretty standard motel for the Pacific Islands. Clean rooms restaurant is also about average. Seems to be the best of all the motels on Tarawa.

Room Tip: The new wing is the better one, but try and get one close to the bar so you can get the wireless int...
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  • Stayed June 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank leestream
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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50 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
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English first
Nuremberg, Germany
Level Contributor
208 reviews
207 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 240 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 May 2012

I stayed at Mary's Motel for four nights during an islandhopping-tour through the Pacific.
As I stayed at the chaeper old wing (55 AUD instead 88 AUD per night) I had a simpple, but clean room. Air-Con was a bit noisy, but everything else was o.K.
Transfers from and to the airport worked well. Food is good. Staff is friendly. Would definitely stay here again, if I would Kiribati again.
Another plus: Mary's Motel is only 100 meters from the sports ground, where in the evenings all the action take place (Football, Volleyball, Basketball, Track&Field). It was fun to watch this sport competitions.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
8 Thank laendersammler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canada
Level Contributor
362 reviews
290 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 320 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 March 2012

Kiribati - in particular, Tarawa Island - is the kind of place that makes Haiti or downtown Detroit city look like Switzerland by comparison. The poverty and filth on this island is staggering.

So, relative to the rest of this island, this hotel is pretty good. It's clean, and I didn't wake up scratching my body halfway through the night. The rooms have air conditioning and showers.

That notwithstanding, you had better keep your mouth tightly closed when you take a shower, or you will be able to crap through the eye of a needle at 30 feet the next day. The water on the property is not fit for drinking, and management will tell you that if you ask (although they don't warn you about it). There is a restaurant attached to the property - best to stick to the soups and local fish dishes, the meat dishes were awful.

The hotel offers internet, but it is extraordinarily slow (think "1,200 baud modem"), and only suitable for passing text emails only. If your room is close to the front office, you might be able to connect (wirelessly) from your room. Otherwise, you have to take your computer to the front office and connect there.

The hotel is a long way from the airport (about a 45 minute drive one way), however, the hotel offers complimentary pick-up and drop-off at the airport. On the way to the hotel, I saw the government-run hotel about halfway through the journey - it didn't look very good from the outside, my guess is that Mary's is probably the better of the two.

If you get shipwrecked on this island, Mary's is probably the best place to stay. But, if you are not shipwrecked, keep on moving and don't stop at Tarawa Island, because if God ever had to give Planet Earth an enema, he would insert the tube right here on this island.

Room Tip: Make sure the light bulbs and the air conditioner work before you unpack.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank solotravellerCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 May 2011

Lets face it - coming to Tarawa you can't expect the type of accommodation and service that you are used to - so get that out of your head before you come. The food was good the rooms very acceptable, car easy to rent and staff willing to help if you ask. INternet was not that expensive - you buy in multi hour lots - so 24 hours (used over a period of a week) cost $30 - it was slow but did the job.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank dmaker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Phoenix
Level Contributor
17 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 May 2011

Agree with previous comments--the place is very basic, but the staff are very helpful, and this is clearly a better option than the government run hotel. Airport pickup/drop off worked well. Food and drink is via a walk up window with simple tables, but everything was quite good. Wifi wasn't free but it worked fine.

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank hhoran
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rockdale, Australia
Level Contributor
553 reviews
101 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 391 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 November 2010

After spending 7 days in HONIARA SOLOMON ISLANDS & then 2 days in Nadi in FIJI, I fly with AIR PACIFIC to TARAWA between 28/10/10 to 02/11/10, this is my first time to TARAWA, first impression god it's appeared so hot when leaving the aircraft. The Airport is very small & basic [like a large garden shed or stable], I was greeted by the owners from Mary's Motel [family business] with a very warm welcome & continued on our free transfer to the motel approx 40 min's one way from the airport. The roads are a little rough [ look out for the bumps or humps in the road], they are not marked & I missed a few with my hired car especially at night without any street lights ]. On arrival at Mary's Motel I filled out some forms & at first offered room 2 in the centre of the block of rooms [ i remembered reading some reviews about the traffic noise ] & therefore asked for a different room, my room was at the right side of the main building on the top floor room 7, on first impression the room is quite large with a old fashioned air-conditioning system & rather noisy!, a kettle to make coffee or tea, small TV, not that I ever watched, with one channel & bad reception I didn't care! & small balcony to sit & admire the views, bathroom reasonable for basic accommodation, each time I left my room I was greeted by a mother cat with her sweet baby kittens. The restaurant again an open spaced area allowing for the cool breeze to spread through, all staff were very pleasant and always said thank you or your welcome! Decided on car hire for a couple of days at $50 Aussie dollars per day, extra charge for all the meals, basic meals with a reasonable choice on the menu,[ no charge for coffee or tea ] .......before I forget to mention when you depart from the airport don't forget your departure tax of $20, most other destinations have the taxes included, for some reason Kiribati still uses the old system & charge when you depart. I throughly enjoyed my time in Tarawa especially driving around the Island & exploring different parts at my own pace. The local people were extremely friendly [a little shy at first] they made you very welcome to Tarawa, my only negative observation while on this beautiful Island is the amount of rubbish on the side of the streets & waterways, in some way i'm not really surprised considering I didn't notice any bins in the whole 5 days on the Island, surely the government of Kiribati could provide bins for everyone? I didn't go on tours & was just happy to go at my own pace without being pressured, the only local tour & the only one I went on was with MOLLY'S TOUR [this can be arranged with the staff at the front desk at Mary's Motel] Molly is a resident on Tarawa & she is very knowledgable about the Island especially it's history, the main tour Molly will organise for you is called [WW1 BATTLE OF TARAWA & CULTURAL TOURS] located in BETIO, phone no: --------, you don;t have to be in a group, if your a solo traveller like my self it doesn't matter Molly will make you most welcome. I experienced catching the local transport, more like vans than buses, good fun especially with the music! no taxies on the island. Not much choice with buying souvenirs, managed to purchase a couple of sarongs, post cards from the local postoffice are worth buying & great artistic stamps. Main bank on the island is ANZ [coolest place in town] & managed to get a couple of the local Kiribati $2- coins. Managed to drive over 220km within a few days & fuel price is only slightly more expensive than in Australia. One evening during my stay at Mary's Motel a group of young local people turned up & preformed a Cultural Dance for the Motel guests, many guest were not informed this was planed & therefore a real surprise & most enjoyable. Don't forget to visit Parliament house & if you speak to the security guard he's happy to show you around the grounds, considering the building is about 10 yrs old the front is an unusual design, also opposite Parliament House your'll notice 2 stands selling local handicrafts & souvenirs, lastly visit the Cultural Centre in BIKENIBEU a very interesting place more like a museum, the staff were very knowledgable and especially helpful when I informed them my next destination from Tarawa to Christmas Island in KIRITIMATI, & they gave me some info on Xmas Island. My overall conclusion on Tarawa Kiribati was very enjoyable & would highly recommend this remote isolated part of the world to my friends, also suggest that MARY'S MOTEL appears to be the best choice in TARAWA, their prices are reasonable [they except c/c payments], just a comment please be aware that very few places in TARAWA except Credit Card payments. I couldn't get a reception to use my mobile phone & if i'm honest I was quite pleased not having to be bothered while relaxing in TARAWA.......Thank you to the local residents of TARAWA in making me so welcome & hope to re-visit some time in the future.....advice to travellers who are considering visiting KIRIBATI either TARAWA or CHRISTMAS ISLAND in KIRITIMATI please take a look at the AIR PACIFIC website & look for the special BULA FARES, these are heavily discounted tickets 99.00 US DOLLARS return from NADI, worth reading and saving lots of money!

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank Stephen N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne
Level Contributor
132 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 September 2010

I have stayed at this hotel a dozen or so times over the last 10 years! It is quite central to business area on Bairiki and Betio! Will not stay here anymore due to constant difficulties in getting room confirmed. Three out of the last 5 times I have arranged to stay here the hotel has stuffed the booking. Twice, even with an email confirmation from the hotel, a copy of which I always bring with me, I was told they had no record of the booking. Once I arrived only to be told they now had only a room for three days and the other 4 days I would have to find alternate accomodation.
In Kiribati, you have to be prepared for "different" type of accommodation. Many do not have hot water for showers, which is not as bad as it sounds!
Mary's has a reasonable dining area for breakfast and lunch, never had dinner there as I usually eat with friends off site. Do not expect fresh food, most is frozen or canned.
Mary's internet is famous amongst business people for being quite bad and very expensive!
The hotel is situated right next to the main road so there is quite a bit of traffic noise all day.
Before you go to Kiribati, check the website http://www.kiribatitourism.gov.ki/index.php/accommodation/tarawaaccommodation
for a list of other accommodation

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Mark R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Mary's Motel

Property: Mary's Motel
Address: Government Administrative Centre | Bairiki, Republic of Kiribati
Region: Republic of Kiribati > Gilbert Islands > Tarawa Atoll
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Tarawa Atoll
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 8
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Also Known As:
Mary`s Hotel Tarawa
Marys Hotel Tarawa

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