I stayed here for two nights before boarding the Bilikiki liveaboard for a 12 day dive trip around the islands (diving was fabulous and the liveaboard service second to none). The Bilikiki recommended the Kitana Mendana Hotel (nice wooden structure. Executive rooms are nice, older rooms not that great) as it’s closer to their office and near where they onboard passengers, but after reading the Trip Advisor reviews I opted for the King Solomon.
The hotel reception, restaurant and bar is centered around two traditional style Solomon Islands thatched houses. The bulk of the rooms are up a steep hill accesses by cable car. There are a few standard rooms in front of the reception.
I had requested a deluxe room but there was a mix up and I got a standard room in front of the hotel. These are older, smaller rooms next to the car park and beside a hair salon and a solicitor’s office. They were doing construction work from 8-5 so it was very loud as well. There are no windows and the bathrooms are tiny and have a 1950s style sink design. There is no hot water in these rooms as they have been waiting for months for apart from Australia. The rooms also lack soundproofing, so the minute your neighbor turns on the TV you get blasted out of bed. Good thing abut the room is that it was very clean and the aircon, fan and fridge worked very well--a must in the steamy Solomons! Stil, they are sad and tired rooms as the attached picture shows.
I requested to move rooms but since they were full, they could only accommodate my request the next day. (The hotel is usually fully booked to Australian medics and others aid workers with the reconciliation project on long tern contracts helping, so book your room well in advance.) The next morning, the room transfer was effected smoothly, I was helped with my luggage, my laundry was transferred to my new room and they gave me a deluxe room at a discounted rate to compensate for my trouble.
You have to take a cable car up a hill to reach the deluxe rooms, in itself a neat experience. The deluxe rooms are bright, airy and spacious with tiled floors and a large bathroom with shower stall. They also have fresh flowers in the room that adda a welcoming touch. Air con and fan worked fine. There is also a fridge. TV only has CNN and an Australian channel. It’s worth paying more for the deluxe rooms. There s a tiny pool on the first cable car level. During power cuts the cable car doesn’t work so try and get a room on Level 1 or 2 otherwise you have along steep climb up lots of stairs!
You can access the internet if you have a laptop by buying a Bumblebee card for either 2 hours (Solomon $50) or two weeks $250. Sadly nothing in between. This is not a hotel fault but a failing with the wireless service provider. Internet service is very slow. Apparently, the local telecom company got upset at folks calling for free on Skype and slowed down the internet so that you can’t use Skype!
A buffet breakfast costs $55 extra. It’s generous with a good selection of hot dishes, toast, fresh fruit and fruit juices, including the wonderful bush lime thirst quencher that is great for re-hydrating and helping control sweating. They have nightly activities in the restaurant including Solomon and Gilbert Islands dancing 3 times a week. The best places to eat are the Chinese restaurants on the main street near the Kitano Mendana Hotel opposite the Air Pacific Travel Office and next to the second hand clothes store. The hotel receptionist can direct you.
Take advantage of your time in the Solomons to book a Battlefield Tour with Wilson or Jeff (he’s a VERY talkative and detail oriented ex Aussie army man, so don’t book more than a half day tour with him at a time!). The reception has their contact details. A half day tour costs $450 for one person (about $65) or $325 for two. Some of the taxi drivers will offer to take you around and charge $100 an hour, but you need a four- wheel drive to access some sites. A taxi to/from the hotel is $70 and the taxi drivers are honest about prices.
There is a new hotel (Park Heritage) being built which is supposed to open by end 2009. It’s reputed to be five star and will definitely offer the best hotel service in the Solomons but the New Zealand manager says it will be around an international 3 to 4 star. May be worth checking out if you need your luxury.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The King Solomon Hotel specialises in long term accommodation, with a selection of self contained rooms and apartments available in the heart of Honiara.You will find the 'King Sol' nestled amidst lush green gardens, within easy walking distance of the Solomon Island's Cultural Museum, banks, business houses, shopping centers and cafes.The King Solomon Hotel offers fast wireless internet connection, Honiara's top chefs and friendliest staff, a beautiful waterfall swimming pool, a gym and nightly entertainment. Conference facilities are also available for up to 200 people.Many rooms have views across Iron Bottom Sound to Savo Island and beyond. Enjoy the friendly atmosphere and fast service at the hotel's popular Bamboo Bar Cafe. The King Solomon Hotel is your ideal corporate stopover or holiday base. ... more less
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