The two main hotels are Marys Motel and the government owned Otintaai Hotel. Both offer motel style accommodation each with a restaurant and air-conditioning. They are located at different ends of South Tarawa and the decision on where to stay is usually made based on your activities while you are in South Tarawa.
There are also a variety of other smaller properties scattered throughout South Tarawa. A full listing including a map showing locations can be found on the Kiribati National Tourism Offices web site.
These hotels can get very busy throughout the year so it is advisable to book ahead.
A visit to North Tarawa is the easiest and most convenient way to experience village life in Kiribati. North Tarawa offers a number of guesthouses and traditional style accommodation.
Tabon te Keekee is the closest option, offering traditional Kiribati accommodation in an I-Kiribati family environment. Located at Abatao it is only 10-15min north of the airport.
Biketawa Islet, run by the Otintaai Hotel, offers traditional kia kia accommodation. Run in a similar fashion to a retreat meals and sleeping equipment can be arranged, along with boat transfers.
A council guesthouse is located at Abaokoro.
Gilbert Island Group and Council Guesthouses:
The Outer Islands are the essence of Kiribati and not enough people make the time and effort to visit these remote islands. Each has a distinctive culture and story to tell of its history.
Each of the outer islands of the Gilbert Group have, at the least, a council guesthouse. Standards vary across the group however they are usual a mix of the local style houses known as Kia Kia’s and an open style guest rooms. Each guesthouse usually has a communal living area where meals are served and the cost is approximately $30 per night including 3 meals a day.
The facilities available vary from island to island, however they are located in isolated communities and expectations should be altered accordingly. Electricity will usually be supplied in the evening and throughout the night. Food will mainly be based on the local fare and it is recommended that you take anything additional you may need. It is also recommended that fresh drinking water is taken. Most guesthouses are perfectly located on the beach or causeway and a lovely spot to stay easy for swimming and exploring.
These guesthouses are run by the Island Councils and it is one of the very few ways the council earn revenue. Each council will normally have a truck and driver that you will be able to hire to help you discover the island. Alternatively many of the locals will be keen to hire out the motorcycles and scooters to you.
This world renowned bone fishing destination has a variety of fishing lodges, guesthouses, and motels to choose from. Accommodation is usually booked in 7 night packages and each lodge will have the services of a fishing guide to assist you in your expeditions. For a full list of accommodation options visit www.kiribatitourism.gov.ki.
The lodges are geared around fishermen and schedule meals and activities around your fishing day. Meals are usually included in the price.
For a full list of accommodation options visit Kiribati Tourism’s page.