The variety of lodging in Kiribati varies based on where you go in the nation.
Marys Motel and the government-owned Otintaai Hotel are the two major hotels. Both include motel-style accommodations, as well as a restaurant and air conditioning. They are situated at various ends of South Tarawa, and your choice of where to stay is generally dependent on your activities while in South Tarawa.
There are also a number of smaller properties strewn around South Tarawa. The Kiribati National Tourism Offices website has a complete listing, including a map with locations.
These hotels may be extremely busy throughout the year, so it is best to book ahead of time.
A trip to North Tarawa is the simplest and most convenient method to see Kiribati rural life. North Tarawa has a variety of guesthouses and traditional-style lodging.
Tabon te Keekee is the nearest alternative, providing traditional Kiribati lodging in an I-Kiribati family setting. It is located in Abatao, about 10-15 minutes north of the airport.
Biketawa Islet, operated by the Otintaai Hotel, provides traditional kia kia lodging. Meals and sleeping equipment, as well as boat transfers, may be organized in a similar manner to a retreat.
Abaokoro is home to a council guesthouse.
Gilbert Island Group and Council Guesthouses
The Outer Islands are Kiribati’s essence, yet not enough people take the time and effort to visit these isolated islands. Each has its own culture and tale to share about its past.
Each of the Gilbert Group’s outlying islands has at least one council guesthouse. Standards vary per organization, but they are often a combination of local type homes known as Kia Kias and open style guest rooms. Each guesthouse often features a common living room where meals are served, and the fee is about AUD30 per night, which includes three meals each day.
The amenities offered differ per island, but they are all in remote settlements, thus expectations should be adjusted appropriately. Typically, electricity will be provided in the evening and throughout the night. Food will mostly consist of local cuisine, and it is suggested that you bring anything else you may need. It is also advised to bring fresh drinking water with you. Most guesthouses are conveniently situated on the beach or causeway, making them an ideal place to stay for swimming and touring.
The Island Councils operate these guesthouses, and it is one of the council’s limited sources of income. Each municipality will usually have a vehicle and driver available for rent to assist you explore the island. Alternatively, many people will be eager to rent you motorbikes and scooters.
There are a number of fishing lodges, guesthouses, and hotels to select from in this world-renowned bone fishing location. Accommodation is often rented in seven-night increments, and each lodge will provide you with the services of a fishing guide to help you in your excursions. Visit www.kiribatitourism.gov.ki for a complete list of hotel choices.
The hotels are designed for fisherman, and meals and activities are planned around your fishing day. Typically, meals are included in the price.